The most duplicitous and audacious Spider-Man villain is Quentin Beck, better known as his costumed alter ego Mysterio. A special effects mastermind who turned to a life of crime, Quentin’s movie magic trickery has given Spider-Man a headache for years, with Mysterio employing a whole set of gimmicks and illusions to deceive Spider-Man and the other heroes of the Marvel Universe. After being directly alluded to in previous games, Quentin appears in a big way in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 and keeps the heroes guessing his true intentions like his comic book counterpart.
Here is everything you need to know about Quentin Beck, including references to the character in Marvel’s Spider-Man, his on-screen role in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, and his extensive history in the comics.
Before Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Quentin Beck
Quentin Beck wasn’t seen in Marvel’s Spider-Man or Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, but his antagonistic history with Peter Parker was directly referenced in the 2018 game. While investigating a Halloween party at Empire State University in search of a scientist targeted by Mister Negative, Spider-Man encountered a small funhouse designed after Mysterio’s usual schemes. More annoyed by the experience, Spider-Man confronted a professor dressed as Mysterio, who was unaware she was facing Mysterio’s actual adversary.
Throughout Marvel’s Spider-Man, Peter found old backpacks he had hidden across Manhattan during his extensive history of defending the city, each containing souvenirs. A backpack hidden in Harlem contained a fragment from Mysterio’s helmet. Peter recalled battling Quentin sometime before the game’s events.
The Role of Quentin Beck in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
Quentin resurfaces in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, making his on-screen debut in the game and being genuine about his rehabilitation after serving prison. With the help of business partners Betsy Schneider and Cole Wittman, Quentin opened a virtual reality studio in Coney Island called Mysterium. Though skeptical about Quentin’s intentions, Miles Morales agreed to try the Mysterium himself. Still, an accident caused him to escape barely, with the Mysterium closed in the aftermath of the incident.
After studying what went wrong with his virtual reality technology, Quentin learned a virus infected it and that innocent people who were drawn into it remained trapped inside. Quentin approached Spider-Man to rescue those trapped in his virtual reality construct. At the same time, he investigated how the virus compromised his software, with Miles agreeing to help him. Through his investigation, Miles discovered that Quentin was at odds with Betsy and Cole over their shared financial issues and general distrust between them.
In reality, Betsy and Cole planned to appropriate Quentin’s technology for themselves, using it to trap rich people inside the virtual reality program unless they paid hefty sums for their release. Though the two framed Quentin for their plot, even going as far as to force him to wear his old Mysterio costume, Quentin was trying to atone for his past and run a legitimate business. Miles rescued Quentin and exposed Betsy and Cole as the real criminals, with Quentin using his technology to transport himself to parts unknown and continue working on himself.
Quentin Beck in Comics
Mysterio was developed by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #13, with Quentin Beck similarly a special effects genius and stuntman who turned to crime after his Hollywood career failed. In their first encounter, Mysterio framed Spider-Man for robbing the Midtown Museum and used his scientific knowledge to disrupt Spider-Man’s webbing and spider-sense. Spider-Man turned the tables on Mysterio by getting the villain to boast about robbing the museum, secretly recording the confession, and sharing it to have Quentin convicted.
Humiliated, Mysterio vowed revenge on Spider-Man and became a founding member of the Sinister Six to continue his vendetta with the hero’s greatest villains. Mysterio went to enormous lengths on his own to torment Spider-Man, from using hypnosis in a failed attempt to trick Spider-Man into exposing his secret identity to faking Aunt May’s death to cause Peter Parker to fall into despair. Mysterio briefly turned his attention to Daredevil instead, leading to the death of Matt Murdock’s love, Karen Page, and Mysterio’s own apparent death.
Years later, Mysterio resurfaced, claiming to have faked his death and reignited his long-running feud with Spider-Man. Mysterio revealed he had technology that let him visit the Ultimate Universe, bringing Peter and Miles together for the first time before their universes eventually merged. Since then, Mysterio has continued to confront Spider-Man with various new schemes to triumph over his arch-nemesis, with a whole arsenal of experimental tech and tricks to gain an edge.