Symbiote Spider-Man #1, the first issue of a limited series set after Peter Parker returns from Battleworld with the black alien costume he gained during the events of Secret Wars, sees a nearly-retired Mysterio double down on a life as a super villain following an encounter with his wall-crawling archenemy.
In a trick-filled warehouse, Quentin Beck, better known as the master of illusions Mysterio, has again been thwarted by the symbiote-wearing Spider-Man. “I was done. I was finished. I was out,” Beck thinks, as Spider-Man warns the costumed criminal he’s going back to jail.
Spider-Man sends the fishbowl-headed criminal across the room, causing Beck to think back on a meeting with his college roommate, Johnny, a scientist in the employ of Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime.
Johnny says Fisk is a “genuine super villain,” discounting the street-level efforts of Beck’s costumed alter ego Mysterio. Beck tells Johnny of a rising independent movie studio raking in money hand over fist, whose silent partner invests in bearer bonds now resting in the Sun Trust Bank.
When Johnny calls the bank robbery “B-grade,” Beck says he’ll make enough to buy a Caribbean island “just for vacations,” and make him a major player in New York City — one who would be rich enough to hire people to kill the meddling Spider-Man.
At the bank, Mysterio has supplied a teller with a gas mask and a note instructing her to wear it. As she does, Mysterio conjures himself out of thin air, telling her she’ll return home safely to her husband and little girl if she opens the vault.
The employee complies, but Mysterio is surprised by an armed security guard. The guard opens fire on Mysterio, whose trickery allows him to escape the bullets unscathed. The employee isn’t as lucky, collapsing from a bullet wound to the chest. It leaves Mysterio distraught.
Some time later, Spider-Man’s alter ego, Peter Parker, visits the grave of his Uncle Ben with girlfriend Felicia Hardy, a.k.a. the Black Cat, in tow. At the graveyard, Parker spots Beck looking his way from a nearby grave.
Beck visits the grave of Audrey Henning, “beloved wife and mother,” the woman killed during Mysterio’s heist.
“This wasn’t supposed to happen. I come in, get the money, leave,” he says to himself. “No one was supposed to die. I didn’t want anyone to die.” Beck admits Johnny was right.
“I’m not a super villain. It’s all pretend, no different from one of my tricks.”
“I’m quitting. I’ve had it. No one else is going to die because of me,” Beck declares. “Let somebody else take out Spider-Man. I’m through. No one will miss me.”
Retreating to his warehouse, Beck says he’s “done with causing trouble.” He considers recording a short film renouncing violence as Mysterio once and for all, genuinely shaken by Audrey’s death.
As he mulls over starting his own special FX company that would emphasize practical effects, Mysterio is attacked by Spider-Man, whose spider-sense isn’t triggered by Mysterio’s presence. “Must be a trick,” Spider-Man thinks. “He’s found ways to smother my spider-sense in the past.”
A furious Spider-Man has figured out the grave Beck visited belongs to a woman killed in a recent bank robbery, fingering Mysterio as the culprit. Beck panics, freeing himself from Spider-Man’s grip by telling the black-clad superhero Audrey was his sister. “Excuse the hell out of me for mourning my sister!”
Spider-Man apologizes. “No. Not yet you aren’t,” Beck says. “But you will be.” With that, he presses a trigger and activates a massive explosion with a warning to leave — and a ten-second countdown until the entire place blows.
Spider-Man clears the blast just as a fireball consumes the warehouse. While laying dazed in an alley, Spidey admits he screwed up, wholly believing Beck’s lie.
As he leaves, the woozy Spider-Man opts against swinging away. His extraterrestrial costume slinks away from his face, while Mysterio watches from afar, tucked away in a shadowy crevice of the alley.
“What in the world?! It changed! Clearly there’s more to Spider-Man’s new costume than anyone knows. And I am definitely going to find out what that is,” Beck thinks, a menacing look of determination growing across his face.
“Because it’s a whole new ball game, Spider-Man. A whole new game.”
• Set during the original ALIEN COSTUME SAGA — before Peter learned of the symbiote suit’s true nature — comes the second installment of this all-new tale from comic legends Peter David and Greg Land! • Mysterio, after swallowing another loss against Spider-Man, has sworn vengeance upon the web-slinger! Recruiting another villain to to enlisting the aid of an impressionable hollywood stuntman to take on Spider-Man, Mysterio is dead set on ending Web-Head once and for all! • However, the symbiote suit isn’t willing to give up its host without a fight…
Symbiote Spider-Man #2 releases May 10. Mysterio makes his big screen debut, portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal, in Spider-Man: Far From Home, in theaters July 2.
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