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Spider-Man: Far From Home Trailer Teases Hydro-Man

Remember the days when a superhero movie had just one big bad? Neither do we. 

In addition to revealing the first look at once-assumed-villain Mysterio (played by Jake Gyllenhaal), the first trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home offered a wink at and a glimpse of the wretched Hydro-Man — or, at least, what appeared to be the Marvel Comics troublemaker. 

A blink-and-you'll-miss-it-moment in the footage shows Peter Parker's (Tom Holland) best pal Ned (Jacob Batalon) having his picture taken as he and his classmates drift along a European sea at the start of a summer vacation that Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) ultimately hijacks. (There's no such thing as "time off" in the superhero world, apparently.) Looking just behind Ned, fans can spot a boat named "ASM 212" — a reference to Amazing Spider-Man #212, the January 1981 comic issue that marks the first appearance of Hydro-Man. 

Off that subtle nod to the character comes a more explicit tease. 

Later on in the Far From Home trailer, Peter dons a sleek new suit and swings through the skies as he faces off against several different villains, one of which is made of sand, one that is a mass of lava and flames, and another that's comprised of (no shock here) water. A hulking creature that swirls up tidal waves and sends them crashing down onto Peter and his high school buddies, the water-based villain may not be the true Hydro-Man since the trailer doesn't refer to it by name, but it's a foreboding force nonetheless — and one that Spidey can't vanquish on his own. 

Enter Mysterio. Traditionally an antagonist in the Marvel Comics lore, Mysterio (real name: Quentin Beck) presents himself as an ally to Peter (who's still learning from his past mistake of taking on missions he isn't adequately prepared to carry out by himself) in the Far From Home trailer. Mysterio was originally believed to be the main villain in the upcoming sequel pic, but actor Gyllenhaal previously went on the record to confirm that the character isn't a force of evil in Far From Home. Furthermore, the current evidence at hand suggests that Mysterio and Spider-Man will form a tag-team in the film, the special effects wizard and master hypnotist fighting alongside the friendly neighborhood hero to defeat the wave-constituted villain and his sandy and fiery companions — foes seemingly inspired by the Elementals

Though far less popular than other Spidey adversaries like Green Goblin or Doc Ock and hardly sitting on the front line of Marvel's troupe of villains, the Elementals have been a part of Marvel Comics for decades, the group of extra-dimensional humanoids having made their print debut in August 1974's Supernatural Thrillers #8. Created by writer Tony Isabella and artist Val Mayerik, the crew consists of four ancient immortal beings who once ruled kingdoms on Earth prior to the rise of Atlantis. There's the lord of the waters, Hydron; the master of the earth, Magnum; the wielder of flames, Hellfire; and the mistress of the winds, Zephyr. Their powers are straightforward: Hydron can control water; Magnum manipulates rocks, sand, minerals, and other earthly materials; Hellfire leads the group and generates fires; and Zephyr controls air and wind. 

Like Hydron, Hydro-Man is a Marvel villain that has command over water — but he's more well-known than his Elemental counterparts. Brought into existence by writer Dennis O'Neil and artist John Romita Jr., Hydro-Man was born Morris "Morrie" Bunch in Brooklyn, New York, where he worked as a crewman board the U.S.S. Bulldog cargo ship. Morrie got mixed up in the aftermath of a fight between Spider-Man and Namor, the Sub-Mariner, and wound up getting inadvertently thrown overboard. The accident wouldn't have been cause for concern if it wasn't for the experimental generator submerged in the ocean. Once Morrie hit the water, the radiation from the generator combined with sea-dwelling bacteria transformed him into Hydro-Man, granting him the powers of water manipulation and superhuman strength. He instantly blamed Spider-Man for turning him into a mutated half-human, half water-man, and thus their rivalry began. 

Both Hydron of the Elementals and Hydro-Man carry qualities that match the watery villain seen in the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer, so really, either one of the baddies could be the actual featured. However, considering that the name "Hydro-Man" rings more bells amongst Marvelites than does "Hydron," perhaps Far From Home merged the two men together. This idea is a popular one with fans, who have theorized that Far From Home will feature examples of "composite characters," with the Elementals appearing "to borrow elements from classic Spider-Man villains ... Hydron being similar to Hydro-Man, Magnum being similar to Sandman, and Hellfire being similar to the Molten Man." 

If true, this would mean that Far From Home includes remixed pairings of at least three Elemental monsters and three Spider-Man villains. The water-logged dude shown in the trailer could be a combination of Hydron and Hydro-Man; the sandy one a mix of Magnum and the nefarious shapeshifter Sandman; and the blazing one a blend of Hellfire and the Molten Man, the genius chemical engineer also known as Mark Raxton whose skin turned gold after he accidentally poured liquid alloy all over himself. 

A past LEGO leak and a social media post from Holland hinted at Hydro-Man's possible presence in Spider-Man: Far From Home. Information about the company's upcoming toy sets teased that both Hydro-Man and the Molten Man would be a part of the new movie. Apparently, LEGO will release sets entitled "Hydro-Man's Attack" and "Molten Man's Battle" as part of Far From Home's promotional campaign. As for what Holland offered regarding Hydro-Man and Far From Home, the actor previously shared a video from the film's set, in which a Peter Parker stunt double gets smacked by a huge wave. Hello, Hydro-Man? Sounds like it. 

So, where does Mysterio, seemingly Spider-Man's sole accomplice, fit into the Hydro-Man/Elementals picture? Well, he may actually be the bad guy after all. 

Current speculation goes that Mysterio might use his ability to design masterful, immersive illusions and create mirages of the monsters — then unleash them throughout Europe and partner with Nick Fury and Spider-Man, effectively positioning himself as a kind-hearted guy, a friend of Peter's, and a total hero. All the while and unbeknownst to Nick, Peter, or the masses, Mysterio could be controlling the very creatures he's convinced everyone he would die to defeat, and could be manipulating Peter into doing some dangerous stuff in the name of their partnership. 

The fact that Mysterio is known for artfully deceiving others with his illusions, making it almost impossible for them to differentiate between fantasy and reality, and that the villains in the Far From Home footage look weirdly similar to one another (where the actual Elementals and Hydro-Man, Sandman, and the Molten Man all have unique designs) further supports this theory. 

From our perspective, this seems plausible and would certainly fall in line with Peter Parker's personal narrative arc. He's still just a teen figuring out how to be the best superhero he can be, learning when to do things on his own and when to take help when it's offered. Not allowing others to assist him got Peter into hot water in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and since he's eager to prove himself and please higher-ups like Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Nick Fury, Peter won't be one to deny Mysterio's alliance in Far From Home, thus opening the door for Mysterio to do what he does best: trick everyone around him for his own gain.

It's a lot to think about, we know, but at least there's plenty of time to do so before Spider-Man: Far From Home opens in theaters on July 5. Hopefully before then, we'll get some sort of confirmation on who these bad guys really are.