A Brief Shoutout to Spider-Man 2’s Version of Mysterio
Watching Spider-Man: Far From Home's latest trailer reminded me of one of the strangest and funniest iterations of Mysterio that we've ever seen.
The first trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home, the latest film centered around the MCU version of the character, went live this morning and with it came our first official look at Jake Gyllenhaal’s version of the classic villain Mysterio. While Mysterio doesn’t look to be all that dastardly in Far From Home so far, he’ll likely turn out to be the film’s main antagonist because, well, that would just kind of make sense.
Anyway, after watching the trailer, it got me thinking about all of the different iterations of Mysterio over the years. There have been plenty of great story arcs in both TV and comics that I loved featuring everyone’s lovable fishbowl-headed baddie, but I think one of my favorites took place in the classic Spider-Man 2 video game from the early 2000s. While that game’s story largely mirrored the movie it was related with, it did feature a few additional villains not seen in the film and Mysterio just happened to be one of them.
I think what I love about the most about the Mysterio portion of Spider-Man 2 is just how insanely wacky it is compared to everything else in the game. Mysterio utilizes UFO-like drones to wreak havoc upon the citizens of New York City and also at one point changes The Statue of Liberty to resemble his own likeness rather than that of Lady Liberty. There’s also one super weird sequence where as Spider-Man you have to go to some fun house that Mysterio has set up only to end up fighting a bunch of clown dolls. It’s so strange and offbeat and I loved this entire portion of Spider-Man 2.
Spider-Man 2 also got Mysterio so, so right by portraying him as this sniveling weasel of a character. Quentin Beck, Mysterio’s original alter-ego, was simply a petty visual effects artist turned criminal with no real powers to speak of. When he’s not hiding behind illusions, he’s just some normal dude in a weird outfit wearing a fishbowl.
No moment of Spider-Man 2 more accurately portrayed this than the final showdown with Mysterio which takes place in a convenience store that he’s trying to rob. It’s here that you finally face off with the real version of the character, no fake illusions, and the game makes it seem as though it’s going to be a grueling fight. Mysterio’s health meter appears at the top of the screen and is filled three times over, which is more than any other character you run into in the game.
Once the battle starts though, you simply punch Mysterio once and all of that health is eliminated in an instant. Mysterio flies backward and his fishbowl helmet comes soaring off of his head and crashing into the ground. Now revealed to be Quentin Beck, he begins begging for Spider-Man not to punch him anymore. You can see this whole sequence play out in the video below.
This, in a nutshell, is why I love Mysterio. He’s largely just some huge dork portraying himself to be something much greater than what he actually is. Even as Spider-Man 2 turns fifteen years old this year, I’m still left thinking about this iteration of the character and how silly it is.
I guess all that remains to be seen is how Jake Gyllenhall’s portrayal of Mysterio turns out to be. While I think he’s a bit too good looking and cool to play Beck initially, I also know that he’s a great actor and he’ll likely do the role justice. I also really hope he wears the fishbowl helmet for like 90% of his screentime.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is out later this year on July 9. In the meantime, I might have to finally dig out my PS2 and give Spider-Man 2 my first run through in nearly a decade.