Spider-Man: Far From Home is uniquely situated to carry the Marvel Cinematic Universe into a post Endgame future (no easy feat), and based on early indicators, both Mysterio and concepts of the Marvel multiverse will be major factors.
I’ve put together a list of the comics I’ll be most curious to read or re-read prior to Far From Home. As you’d expect, there’s a healthy mix of Mysterio’s greatest hits, but I also want to consider the fact that this is a “Spider-Man and the multiverse” story, which is inherently less common.
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Comics To Read With Spider-Man Far From Home!
Mysterio debuts in Amazing Spider-Man #13, and he’s a member of the original Sinister Six in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, but my personal favorite Silver Age Mysterio comic (and simply one of my favorites) comes from 1968 by Stan Lee and John Romita Jr. In these two issues, Mysterio strikes back at Spider-Man by 1) building a tabletop amusement park (great start) 2) plotting to convince Spider-Man he’s 6 inches tall and drive him insane 3) Celebrate!
Inarguably, a staunch portion of my affection relates to the issue’s influence on Mysterio’s endboss role in the video game Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions.
Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #50 to #51
There are better Spider-Man vs. Mysterio comics, but there aren’t a lot that feature Mysterio going quite so extra (ok, who am I kidding, that’s Quentin Beck’s whole mood). Mysterio stages an entire alien invasion – complete with The Tinkerer’s alien pals from Amazing Spider-Man #2! – and is ultimately undone when Peter Parker (finally) uses Mysterio’s own illusions against him!
Any Spider-Man comic with Marcos Martin interiors is special, and this Mysterio showcase written by Dan Slott is no exception. The three issue Mysterio feature comes smack in the middle of “The Gauntlet,” in which Spider-Man has previously faced off against Electro and Rhino and is soon to face the Lizard in “Shed.”
In addition to an imaginative expansion of Mysterio’s typical illusions, “Mysterious” falls smack in the middle of narratives surrounding Mister Negative, the Maggia, and F.E.A.S.T. In other words, it’s insanely tied to PS4 Spider-Man and easily the best recommended read for fans of the video game!
It is to Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli’s undying credit that the event bringing Peter Parker of Amazing Spider-Man and Miles Morales of Ultimate Spider-Man – one of the highlights of the entire Marvel Ultimate Universe – is the byproduct of weird old Mysterio’s multiversal machinations. Spider-Men doesn’t really solidify Mysterio’s prospects as a villain to be taken seriously, but it does tease those aspirations.
Of course, the main selling point here is Peter and Miles meeting for the first time, and while it’s not quite as user-friendly as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, it’s very close.
If the multiverse is, in fact, at the heart of Far From Home, then the suite that inspired Into the Spider-Verse is a great Spider-centric primer on alternate realities and infinite Spider-people. As the name suggests, Spider-Verse is the madcap event that brings in basically every “What-If” Spider-scenario imaginable, and brings the likes of Spider-Gwen (and oh so many others) into the world of Marvel Comics.
I don’t necessarily expect Far From Home to leverage this event as on the nose as “Into the Spider-Verse” (hard to imagine how that wouldn’t feel like duplicated efforts), but its spirit is deeply integrated into the Spider-Man mythos for the decade.
At this point, the Marvel comics work of Jonathan Hickman feels like a stock inclusion on any MCU-related reading (not to mention any best-of list worth its salt). The concept of Marvel’s Multiverse is at its absolute best throughout the Jonathan Hickman written sequence of comics connected in the pages of Avengers.
Honestly, I’d recommend any Marvel fan read Hickman’s Marvel Universe work as a whole. I genuinely believe it will inspire you to imagine all the possibilities of the MCU moving forward.
I’ve read seven issues of the newly relaunched Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man by Tom Taylor and Juann Cabal, and not a one has featured Mysterio. No matter, this is still my pick for a modern ongoing that gets to the root of what makes Spider-Man such a beloved and enduring character.
If nothing else, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #6 (aka the debut of Spider-Bite) is one of the best comics of the year, superhero or otherwise. Spider-Man is ever present, and ironically placing him pretty squarely in the “neighborhood” is the opposite of “Europe vacation,” but Taylor and Cabal are locked into why Peter Parker is special, and that’s always worth a reminder.