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MYSTERIO

Real Name: Francis Klum

Identity/Class: Human mutant, technology user

Occupation: Professional criminal

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Kingpin (Wilson Fisk)
    formerly Black Cat (Felicia Hardy), Mr. Brownstone (Garrison Klum)

Enemies: Miss Arrow, Black Cat (Felicia Hardy), Daredevil (Matt Murdock), Frosty, Roger Harrington, Gooch Herbert, Mister Brownstone (Garrison Klum), Mysterio (Quentin Beck), Mysterio (Danny Berkhart), Ortega Cartel (Alberto Ortega, Pilar Ortega), Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Flash Thompson

Known Relatives: Garrison Klum (Mister Brownstone, brother, deceased), unnamed mother (deceased)

Aliases: "Dum-Dum Klum", "Little Klum"

Place of Birth: Red Bank, New Jersey

Base of Operations: A downtown warehouse, New York City
    formerly Klum Tower, Columbus Circle, New York City

 

 

First Appearance
(Francis Klum) Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do#2 (August, 2002)
(Mysterio) Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man#11 (October, 2006)

Powers/Abilities: Francis Klum is a mutant with the power of teleportation; he can teleport himself and a passenger together, or teleport objects.  He also possesses low-level mind-control abilities.  In the guise of Mysterio, he wears a voice-altering helmet, and electrically-charged cloak, magnetic plate-spring boots, smoke projectors, and gloves which can spray a web-dissolving fluid or project electric bolts.  He utilized a number of mechanical and holographic illusions.

Klum's left lower leg is a prosthetic.

Height: 5'9"
Weight: 150 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown

History: (Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do#5 (fb) ) - Francis Klum is a descendant of the "Wenig Taktreisenders" or "little time travellers", a group of children who were implanted with mutant organs, giving them teleportation powers, in 1940s Germany under Dr. Josef Mengele's Project: Griffin. 

(Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do#5 (fb) ) - Garrison Klum began sexually abusing his younger brother Francis at a young age.  When they were both in high school, Garrison defended Francis from bullies Gooch Herbert and Frosty, but later abused Francis as "repayment". 

(Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do#5 (fb) ) - At their mother's funeral, Garrison tried to make Francis look at her body.  Horrified, Francis teleported away, manifesting his powers for the first time.  He wound up in a mall in Dallas, and only managed to teleport himself back home two days later.

(Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do#5 (fb) ) - Klum hired a prostitute to deflower Francis in Atlantic City.  Francis inadvertently mind-controlled the woman, making her submit to him.  When he learned that Francis had accidentally mind-controlled her, Garrison prompted him to persuade the rich and famous to sample his services.  Once word spread of his specialty, Garrison no longer needed Francis' talents, but kept him on as his major domo.  Six months later, the Klum brothers moved into real estate, buying the club they worked out of.  By the end of the year, they already owned five buildings.  With their new wealth, they made a number of ties with both legitimate businessmen, and criminals, like Wilson Fisk.

(Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do#2) - Five years later, Garrison's charity work had netted him an award.  Backstage at Carnegie Hall, he ordered Francis to destroy all evidence that they'd done business with Todd.  The following reception was crashed by Scorpia, who had been sent by the Ortegas to assassinate Klum.  He was rescued by Spider-Man and the Black Cat, who recognized his voice as that of Mister Brownstone. 

(Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do#3) - Garrison and Francis paid a visit to the Spanish Harlem brownstone of Alberto Ortega, head of the Ortega Cartel.  In rapid succession, Klum killed Alberto's wife Pilar, Alberto's men, and Alberto himself with massive overdoses.  Using knives from the kitchen, they cut up the dead bodies, making it look like they'd killed each other. 

(Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do#4 (fb)/Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do#5 (fb) ) - As Garrison prepared to rape the drugged Black Cat, Francis, tired of his brother's improprieties, teleported inside his body and exploded him from the inside out.

(Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do#5 (fb) ) - Francis contacted the Black Cat at Ryker's Island, where she had been imprisoned for Garrison's murder.  He informed her of his escape plan.  In preparation, he visited her hotel room and took her things back to his apartment. 

(Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do#4) - Francis teleported into Ryker's to rescue the Black Cat, but was confronted by Spider-Man and Daredevil.  He used his mind-control powers to make them battle each other as he and Felicia made their escape.

(Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do#5) - Atop the Queensboro Bridge, Francis teleported Felicia's costume to her, and explained his history.  He reacted violently to her suggestion that he turn himself in, insisting that she had no idea what he'd gone through.  She told him that she'd been raped, too.

(Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do#6) - Felicia told Francis about how she'd been sexually assaulted in college, and again urged him to turn himself in.  Before he could answer, Daredevil grabbed the Black Cat and Spider-Man began pummeling Francis.  Francis teleported the Black Cat's mask into Spider-Man's chest, and teleported a gun from his apartment to his hand.  Blaming Felicia for summoning her friends, he fired the gun at her, only for Spider-Man to jam it with webbing, making it explode in his hand.  Francis toppled off the side of the bridge and teleported away.

Francis suffered grievous physical injuries in his escape, losing his left leg below the knee and incurring disfiguring facial scars.  Seeking vengeance, he met with the Kingpin, who offered him the warehouse headquarters and costume of the late Quentin Beck, which Fisk had purchased from Jack O'Lantern.  Klum agreed, and paid Fisk ten million dollars.

(Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man#11 (fb) ) - After Spider-Man publicly revealed his identity, Klum rigged his place of employment, Midtown High School, with a variety of death-traps and illusions.

(Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man#11) - Before setting out to activate the traps, Klum ranted to himself in his warehouse, unaware that he was being watched via camera by Daniel Berkhart.  Arriving at the school, Klum activated a smokescreen of knockout gas around the school, cutting it off from the outside world.  Over the intercom, he revealed his presence to the staff and students, and informed them that he had wired the windows to a bomb, making the front door the only escape route.  Leading a group of students astray with a holographic Spider-Man, he appeared before them, startling them.  Back in the auditorium, where he'd established his command center, he was suddenly confronted by a demonically-garbed Mysterio who claimed to be Quentin Beck.

(Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man#12) - While Spider-Man triggered a gas trap and a flock of bats carrying an illusory Mary Jane, Beck mocked Klum's efforts.  Incensed, Klum attempted to teleport inside Beck, but found himself consumed in hellfire for his trouble.  Beck warned the singed Klum that Berkhart, now also in the guise of Mysterio, had arrived at the school.  Meanwhile, Flash Thompson encountered a false door and a mechanical Shuma-Gorath, which a student managed to defeat with a pocket-knife, and Spider-Man and Principal Roger Harrington faced an illusory Mary Jane, Dracula, and a falling anvil.  The frustrated Spider-Man finally burst into the auditorium, where Klum confronted him - only for Berkhart to arrive simultaneously.

(Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man#13) - The two Mysterios mocked each others' fashion sense, and Berkhart revealed Klum's identity to Spider-Man.  Berkhart bound Klum with snakes, only for Klum to teleport away and attack Berkhart with electric bolts from his gloves.  Berkhart counterattacked with his own electro-gloves, and eventually emerged the victor.  As Berkhart moved to finish off Klum, he was defeated by Spider-Man.  Klum arose, and threw a knife at Spider-Man's feet, compelling him to cut his own throat with it.  As Spider-Man moved to do so, Flash Thompson grabbed the knife and threw it into Klum's shoulder.  Klum remote activated the bomb in the basement and fled.  Despite nearly killing Thompson with a remote-controlled noose in the basement, Klum was foiled when the wall-crawler defused his bomb.  Retreating to the school library, Klum attempted to take school nurse Miss Arrow hostage, but instead found himself stabbed in the heart with her arm-stingers.  Coughing up blood, he teleported away.

Comments: Created by Kevin Smith, Terry Dodson, & Rachel Dodson.

Klum has an entry in the Spider-Man: Back in Black Handbook.

Klum's wounds at the hands (wrists?) of Arrow looked pretty fatal, but it's comics, so no body = not dead.

It isn't specified which Jack O'Lantern the Kingpin bought the Mysterio-stuff from, but it was probably Maguire "Mad Jack" Beck, given that a) she's Beck's cousin, and presumably had some of his stuff lying around, and b) her buddy Berkhart had the place bugged.  Alternately, it could have been Berkhart in the Mad Jack suit.

Francis' birthplace of Red Bank, New Jersey, also happens to be the birthplace and base of operations of his creator, Kevin Smith.

Profile by Minor Irritant.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Francis Klum, alias Mysterio, should be distinguished from:

...but has no known connections to:

 

Gooch Herbert & Frosty

(Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do#5 (fb) ) - Gooch Herbert and Frosty hassled the teenage Francis Klum for using the sophomore washroom.  Before they could pummel him, Francis' older brother Garrison intervened, beating up Herbert and smashing his face into a urinal.

--Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do#5

Gooch is the blonde, Frosty is dark-haired.


 

 

 


images: (without ads)
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man#11, p3, pan1 (main image)
Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil that Men Do#5 p6, pan8 (Francis, age 12)
Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil that Men Do#4, p19, pan4 (Francis as an adult)
Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil that Men Do#6, p24, pan3 (Francis, scarred)
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man#13, p20, pan4 (stabbed by Ms. Arrow)
Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil that Men Do#5, p4, pan6 (Gooch Herbert and Frosty)


Appearances:
Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do#1-3 (August-October, 2002) - Kevin Smith (writer), Terry Dodson (penciler), Rachel Dodson (inker), Axel Alonso (editor)
Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do#4-6 (February-March, 2006) - Kevin Smith (writer), Terry Dodson (penciler), Rachel Dodson (inker), Axel Alonso (editor)
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man#11 (October, 2006) - Peter David (writer), Todd Nauck (penciler), Robert Campanella & Rodney Ramos (inkers), Axel Alonso (editor)
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man#12-13 (November-December, 2006) - Peter David (writer), Todd Nauck (penciler), Robert Campanella (inker), Axel Alonso (editor)


Last updated: 09/23/10

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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