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Raven Darkholme (Earth-616)

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Quote1 Who am I? That, my dear, is an excellent question. Though not one easily answered. Quote2
-- Mystique src
 

Early Life

Little is known about Mystique's past due to the fact that she can eliminate the outward signs of aging with her shapeshifting; it is not known exactly how old she is. She apparently learned to use her powers at a very early age which made her family fear her, for there is no evidence known to the public or the government that Raven Darkholme ever looked like anything but a normal human being.

According to Mystique herself her powers manifested when she was twelve years old and she had to fight just to survive.[22]

First Betrayals

Raven Darkholme (Earth-616) from Wolverine Vol 3 62 0001

Raven in Mexico, 1921

In 1921, Raven found herself in the Mexican Sonoran Desert about to be executed by a firing squad because of her blue skin, which had led the locals to believe she was a witch. As she was blindfolded and tied to a post, she noticed a man tied up beside her. When she asked if he was a murderer. He answered: "... worse, a horse thief." Raven managed to untie herself just before the firing squad shot and watched as the man was riddled with bullets. [citation needed]

However, he managed to somehow survive and kill the guards. After they both escaped, Raven was surprised that he was still alive and asked how he knew she would be able to free herself and escape. He responded: "I didn't", and when she asked where he was going to next, he said the nearest bar. Raven introduced herself to the man who said his name was Logan, after which she told him that she had a group of friends in Kansas City, that he would probably like to meet. [citation needed]

Once in Kansas City, Raven told Logan about her group, who scammed local people. After meeting Raven's crew, and saving one of them from an angry customer that was scammed, Raven informed Logan that she, along with her crew, were planning a bank heist and she wanted him to take part in it. When Logan expressed his reluctance to get attached to people (likely due to the loss of his parents, Rose, Smitty, Silver Fox, Seraph and Janet), Raven told him that she knew it was hard to trust people, but that they could be a family and to trust her. They kissed and Logan decided to help her. However, Raven betrays Logan and her friends by alerting the police; leaving her crew to take the fall for the heist while she escapes with the stolen money. She encounters Logan in a train later and he questions her about this. Raven tells Logan that each one of them should just start a new life. Once Logan turns his back, she kicks him out of the train. [citation needed]

Raven and Destiny

Des14

Raven and Irene Adler

Her earliest meeting with her friend Destiny (Irene Adler) occurred at "the dawn of the 20th century." Irene was an Austrian mutant with precognitive powers. She was most accurate in predicting near-future events concerning her present environment. However, during a period of 12 months in her adolescence, Irene had produced 13 volumes of prophecies concerning the late 20th and early 21st centuries. When that period ended, Irene was left physically blind and haunted by disturbing images of uncertain meaning. She enlisted Raven's services in pursuit of two goals: the deciphering of her recorded prophecies and a mission to prevent the most terrifying of them from ever being fulfilled. [citation needed]

The two women would soon become life-long friends and lovers, but they both discovered that their set goals were difficult to achieve. Their abilities would easily allow them to achieve personal success but to shape the future was stated to be "next to impossible" as it would require "social engineering."

Their decades-long quest apparently required them to constantly travel. They encountered Shadowcat and Rachel Summers, who had time traveled from the future and sought to prevent a plot by Nazi agents Baron Wolfgang von Strucker and Geist, "Ghost," a member of Nazi intelligence and their ally Amahl Farouk, Shadow King.

The three had conspired to question the rights of the British Monarch to the throne and then to replace him with Oswald Mosely of the British Fascist Party, a likely ally for Nazi Germany. Irene and Raven contacted their old acquaintance, Logan to help the time travelers. Irene and Raven advised Shadowcat and Logan against proceeding in their contemplated assassination of Adolf Hitler and other prominent leaders and officials of the Nazi party. Raven was laconic in only stating: "All of us have learned to kill, Logan, but more importantly, we have learned not to kill, and to know the difference."[23]

At some point, Raven reportedly lost contact with Irene. She managed to locate her working as an archivist in the Alamogordo nuclear research facilities in New Mexico. Raven was uncertain of Irene's motives but apparently trusted her enough not to press for answers.

Marriage

Sabertooth & Mystique

Mystique tells Creed she's pregnant.

Raven would meet Victor Creed, the man known as Sabretooth. At the time, she used the identity of deceased German secret agent Leni Zauber. Both Leni and Victor had been assigned with the assassination of a scientist in East Berlin. Raven completed the mission in place of Leni. Then she and Victor had to hide in a safe location for a while. They became lovers, but she soon faked her death in order to leave him. [citation needed]

The result of this short-lived affair was reportedly the birth of Graydon Creed, her earliest known child. A number of stories have reported that soon after his birth, Raven gave him up for adoption. Others depict Mystique making arrangements for him from a distance. Graydon reportedly spent most of his childhood in a boarding school. Raven kept track of his activities until he reached adolescence. Graydon was the son of two mutants and as a result likely to be a mutant himself. However, he eventually proved to be a Homo sapiens instead of a Homo superior or Mutant. Raven was disappointed and soon abandoned him. Graydon grew to hate his parents and eventually extended his hatred towards all mutants. He later became leader to the mutant-hating organization Friends of Humanity and then a politician. Graydon, at the height of his political ascension was assassinated by an unknown shooter.[24] The shooter was later revealed to be a time traveling version of Mystique, as part of a convoluted time paradox involving Jean Grey, Iceman, Toad, and Juggernaut. [citation needed]
Raven Darkholme (Earth-616) (as Raven Wagner) 04

Mystique as Raven Wagner

For several years Mystique was also reported being the mother of Nightcrawler but the exact events were uncertain. It was eventually ‘revealed’ that the father was Azazel, a demonic-looking mutant from biblical times claiming to be the inspiration for Satan. [citation needed]

At the time, Raven was married to Baron Christian Wagner; older sources give his name as Count Eric Wagner, an affluent member of German nobility. He would prove to be a loving husband, but rather disappointing as a lover. His infertility added to their marital problems. Raven started using her shapeshifting powers in order to secretly have sexual encounters with others. She particularly seemed to seek men who somewhat resembled Victor Creed. She was apparently both seeking sexual satisfaction and attempting to conceive another child. Another fellow mutant eventually seduced her. [citation needed]
Uncanny XMen 428 mystique azazel

Mystique is seduced by Azazel.

He called himself Azazel and stated he was the ruler of "an island nation off the coast of Bermuda: La Isla des Demonas," The Island of Demons. He was apparently a fellow shapeshifter and also had the powers of teleportation. He was later revealed to also have the power of immortality and to be the father of an ancient race of mutants known as the Neyaphem, active since at least 9000 BC. His natural form was that of a young man with black hair, yellow eyes, red skin and a pointed tail. He later claimed to have been posing as a demon and to have used many aliases: "Because I am Azazel, Semihazah, Duma, Keriel, Mastema, Beliar, Gadreel and Beelzebub. And most commonly called Satan." Many of these aliases have also been claimed by several notable demons of the Marvel Universe. [citation needed]

A Mother

Raven soon became pregnant. Her husband became suspicious and his father suggested a blood test to verify if the child was his. Mystique used a dagger to slay the Baron and then buried him. When she gave birth her concentration on her human form was lost and her natural blue body was revealed. Her child was a young boy with black hair, yellow eyes, blue skin and a pointed tail. The locals considered both the mother and the child to be demons and attempted to slay them. Mystique managed to escape but abandoned her second known son. He was found and raised by Gypsy sorceress Margali Szardos and named Kurt Wagner. [citation needed]

Mystique would later become adoptive mother to the girl Rogue, who had run away from her home in rural Caldecott County, Mississippi. The girl was living alone in a wooded area, brandishing a shotgun and trusting no one when Mystique found her. Destiny foresaw that Rogue would be important to them and Mystique sought her out, gained her trust and took her in. She and Destiny would raise the girl over approximately a decade and Mystique would grow to be very protective of her. While Rogue was under her care, she maintained the false identity of Mallory Brickman, the wife of U.S. Senator Ralph Brickman and her adopted daughter, Gloria, was a result. [citation needed]

Mystique had concealed her superhuman powers and criminal intentions so well over the years that, as Darkholme, she was able to rise rapidly through the United States Civil Service to the trusted position of Deputy Director of the DARPA in the United States Department of Defense,[19] giving her access to military secrets and advanced weaponry, both of which she used for her own criminal and subversive purposes. [citation needed]

The Brotherhood

Mystique organized the third incarnation of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, which originally consisted of herself, Avalanche, the Blob, Destiny, and Pyro. Mystique named her group after the original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, an organization founded by Magneto. [citation needed]

Rogue was trained by Mystique and eventually joined her Brotherhood team. Her mutant power was the ability to absorb the psyche, memories, personality, strengths and any skills or powers of whoever she touched. Rogue proved to be a powerful member of the team. She went on many missions with the Brotherhood and with her help the team was almost able to defeat the Avengers. [citation needed]

On a mission with the Avengers, Rogue fought Carol Danvers, better known as the super heroine named Ms. Marvel at that time. Rogue tried stealing Carol's powers, but Carol fought too hard and Rogue ended up absorbing Carol's memories and powers, while Carol was left an empty shell. Professor Xavier later restored Carol's memories, but not the emotions that went with them. Rogue, meanwhile, felt like she was losing her mind, grappling with Danvers' psyche and at times not knowing which memories were really hers. Feeling like she was in danger of losing control of herself, Rogue ran away from home and sought help from the X-Men, hoping that Professor X would be able to treat her. While the other X-Men were very hesitant of accepting their former enemy at first, Xavier welcomed her and gave her a spot on the team. [citation needed]

Worried that Rogue had left because Xavier had brainwashed her, Mystique went to rescue her leading an attack on the X-Men. Rogue stopped her, saying how she had left of her own free will. Mystique was doubtful and hurt, but Rogue ultimately convinced her by saying that Xavier was probably the only person who could help with her powers and give her a chance at a normal life, as she feared the absorbed personality of Carol Danvers would otherwise drive her insane. [citation needed]

Mystique grudgingly agreed and let Rogue stay with the X-Men. Though she would remain close to Rogue, coming to help her at times, Mystique came to resent Xavier.

The third incarnation of the Brotherhood first became known when it attempted to intimidate the public by assassinating Senator Robert Kelly, who was investigating what he perceived as the possible danger posed by the existence of any superhuman beings. The X-Men thwarted the assassination attempt. The Brotherhood later clashed with the X-Men on other occasions, as well as the Avengers and other heroes. Rogue was a member of the Brotherhood for a time but finally left to join the X-Men, in order to find help in learning how to deal with her superhuman powers.

Freedom Force

Freedom Force (Earth-616)

Mystique and Freedom Force

Anti-mutant sentiment among normal human beings had greatly increased, and the federal government launched its own covert anti-mutant program, Project Wideawake. Believing that the times had become too dangerous for the Brotherhood to continue its criminal activities, Mystique went to Dr. Valerie Cooper, special assistant to the head of the National Security Council, and offered the Brotherhood's services to the government. Cooper agreed to convey the offer to the President, on the condition that the Brotherhood pass a test she imposed; the capture of Magneto. The Brotherhood, now renamed Freedom Force, succeeded in bringing Magneto to the authorities (only because he voluntarily surrendered to them), and soon afterwards officially entered the government's employ. In return for entering the government's employ as Freedom Force's leader, Mystique received a presidential pardon for all criminal charges against her, but the pardon would be revoked if any member of Freedom Force was found committing a crime. During her time with Freedom Force Mystique faced many new opponents such as the Grip, Avengers West Coast, and several other foes.

During this stint, her team was sent to Muir Island and were confronted by the Reavers, who killed her teammate Stonewall. During the battle, she charged Forge with the duty of protecting Destiny. Forge managed to protect her until she convinced him that Mystique needed more help. After Forge left to help Mystique, Destiny was slain by a mind controlled Legion. After the battle with the Reavers Mystique discovered Destiny dead and swore vengeance on Forge for her death. She was then visited by a future version of herself and decided to take some time off to mourn the death of Destiny. During her time off she went on a cruise and scattered Destiny's ashes into the ocean. [citation needed]

With Destiny dead, a tired and depressed Mystique was marked for death by the villainous Shadow King. The Shadow King saw Mystique as a threat to his plans on using the FBI to track down the X-Man Storm and used his powers to enslave Raven's government handler Val Cooper and ordered her to kill Raven. Val broke free at the last minute and shot herself, allowing Raven to contact Nick Fury and arrange a desperate endgame to oust the Shadow King. Mystique allowed herself to be brainwashed into thinking she was Val, so that the Shadow King would not suspect that she was alive and rejoined the Shadow King's side. During the Muir Island Saga, the Shadow King's final gambit to destroy the X-Men and Professor Xavier, Mystique was given the trigger word "Rogue" that caused her to return to normal and help save Xavier from being murdered by the Shadow King. [citation needed]

During this time, Freedom Force's remaining members were sent to Kuwait during the Gulf War. This mission proved to be another disaster; members were either killed, wounded or captured and Freedom Force officially disbanded.

Mystique's mental condition worsened when she was marked for death by her former Freedom Force teammate, Spiral. Spiral stalked Raven across the globe, further adding to Raven's mental instability. She was saved by Wolverine, who took her to the X-Mansion in hope that Xavier could help the wayward mutant. In the end, Raven apparently had a complete breakdown (though later stories implied she was faking it) and was taken to Dallas by Forge. While with Forge, Mystique was horrified when she found out that her son Graydon Creed had formed a successful anti-mutant hate group. Shortly afterwards, Graydon hired Sabretooth to kill Mystique, but Mystique told Sabretooth about their son and he decided to go after Graydon instead. [citation needed]

When a top ranking U.S. General who had ties to Graydon turned up dead, Forge realized that Mystique was to blame as she made her move to kill her son. This led to Rogue and Nightcrawler trying to stop Raven and led to Nightcrawler learning that Mystique indeed was his mother. Raven failed to kill Creed and was presumed dead after saving Nightcrawler from Creed's attempt to murder his newly discovered brother.

X-Factor

Mystique (X-Factor vol1 119 pg05)

Member of X-Factor

Mystique resurfaced several months later, in a failed attempt to kill Legion for his murdering of Destiny. Mystique had an implant put in her skull by Forge in order for the government to be able to keep track of her. She was then forced to become a member of the government-sponsored team X-Factor after being arrested for trying to blow up a dam. In truth, Mystique was trying to save the dam, which the U.S. Government wanted to destroy so that they could blame it on mutants. She joined coincidentally to the departure of X-Factor member Wolfsbane. Her membership led to tension with her teammates when Sabretooth was added to the team months later as a sleeper agent, for the main purpose of killing Mystique before she could uncover the truth about the conspiracy she had discovered. She slowly developed a romantic relationship with team-leader Forge (though he later thought that she was just using him). [citation needed]

Part of the conspiracy involved Mystique's son Graydon Creed running for President, under an anti-mutant platform.

Mystique33

Mystique's future self assassinates her son, Graydon Creed

At the same time, both Graydon and Mystique learned that her lover Destiny had married and had children during one of the couple's separations. Irene's children were now adults with their own children, one of which was a mutant. Graydon had the mutant teen savagely beaten by members of the Friends of Humanity, as a warning towards his mother. Mystique was furious and wanted to kill her son, but stopped when she was given a message that Graydon's backers wanted her to kill him and turn her son into a martyr. [citation needed]

Mystique then sought to save her son from being betrayed by his backers, but failed miserably. Graydon died and his death ushered in a new wave of anti-mutant violence. Ultimately, Sabretooth acted on his orders to kill the members of X-Factor as "Operation Zero Tolerance" was activated. Even though she could have left her teammates to die, Mystique attacked Sabretooth, an act of intervention that distracted Sabretooth long enough to keep him from finishing off the already injured team. Mystique then fled the scene after arranging for the members of X-Factor to receive emergency medical treatment for the wounds Sabretooth inflicted onto them.

Raven Darkholme (Earth-616) (as Mallory Brickman) 02

Mystique as Mallory Brickman

Mystique went into hiding, taking the identity of senator's wife Mallory Brickman, using her husband's influence to set the FBI on Sabretooth. She prevented Rogue from giving up her mutant powers and she continued her investigation of the U.S. Government over her son's death, leading to her aiding the Toad and his most recent incarnation of the "Brotherhood of Evil Mutants" on a mission to raid a government base. The mission failed thanks to Machine Man, who fought the Brotherhood and forced the team to flee. Mystique fled to Europe, at which point her life changed dramatically. While taking the form of a blond haired woman during a trip to the beach, Mystique was confronted by a famous photographer who told the mutant that he wanted to make her the next big fashion model.

Amused, Mystique accepted and quickly became the fashion industry's newest top model. Using her money, Mystique moved back to New York and into an expensive penthouse apartment. At peace, Mystique bought a telescope and used it to take in her penthouse's view of New York. This proved to be a huge mistake, as a nearby building was being used by Skrulls loyal to Apocalypse to build the machinery needed for an upcoming scheme of the villains. When one of the Skrulls caught Mystique by her window with her telescope, they assumed the worst and framed Mystique for the murder of a Japanese diplomat. With help from Shadowcat and Rogue, Mystique was cleared and left town. However, before she left, Shadowcat found one of Destiny's diaries, left there by Destiny herself before she died. [citation needed]

Mystique then reached a breakthrough regarding her investigation of the U.S. conspiracy against mutant-kind, but fate caused Mystique to suffer a massive blow. While gaining the critical Intel on the identity of those who were involved in her son's death and the attempt to kill her via Sabretooth, Mystique suddenly lost her powers while pretending to be a man in a busy office workplace. [citation needed]

Arrested, Mystique's life was torn apart as the U.S. Government acted on their intel regarding Mystique and used it to destroy all of the alternate identities that Mystique had established over the years and arranging for Mystique to be unable to access any of the money she and Destiny had hidden away over the years. This caused Mystique to lose any self-control she might once have had, as the loss of her powers and the loss of her freedom caused her to lash out at everyone around her. Most notably, Rogue felt the brunt of her stepmother's wrath, as Rogue had no sympathy for Mystique's plight. The relationship soured most notably when Rogue refused to tell Mystique that the X-Men were going to fight the High Evolutionary, who was responsible for depowering all of mutant-kind, so as to restore everyone's powers. The X-Men defeated Evolutionary and restored everyone's powers, allowing Mystique to escape jail. [citation needed]

Mystique however, would soon face her biggest fears realized in the worst way possible. Raven was sent back in time by the original X-Factor's sentient ship. Raven found that she was destined to be part of a great time paradox, where she found herself with a time delay weapon, which she was about to program to kill Graydon. Mystique was confused, because she remembered that she set up the weapon, but never got around to program it. After some deliberation, she decides to activate the weapon to kill Graydon. Mystique's sanity was further damaged by the revelation that her lover and soulmate Destiny was one of the founding members of the anti-mutant conspiracy Mystique had dedicated countless years fighting and had willfully withheld medical treatment to mutant children that would have resulted in them not growing up deformed due to their mutations.

Dream's End

This led to Raven once again going mad, at the futility of her mission to change the world for the better. Raven became nihilistically obsessed with death and genocide, as she reformed the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants for another assassination attempt on Senator Kelly as well as Mystique kidnapping Moira MacTaggert and impersonating her in order to access her research on the Legacy Virus. While not the gifted scientist that Moira was, Mystique's insanity and experience with bio-terrorism allowed her not only to use samples of Moira's Legacy Virus infected blood to create a biological weapon that would infect humans as opposed to mutants, but most importantly, allowed her to come up with a cure for the Legacy Virus after repeated readings of all of the doctor's research which, when filtered through Mystique's insane mind, resulted in her being able to pick up on insights that Moira had missed when researching. [citation needed]

The assassination attempt on Kelly ended in failure when the mutant villain Pyro betrayed his teammates to save Kelly's life. Mystique blew up Moira MacTaggert's research facility, fatally injuring the doctor. Mystique then shot Moira's foster daughter Wolfsbane with a prototype of Forge's neutralizer gun, depowering her. [citation needed]

Rogue arrived and confronted her mother. When Mystique revealed her plan to Rogue on using a modified form of the Legacy Virus on the humans, Rogue realized that she was ill and tried to help her. Mystique pretended to accept Rogue's help before stabbing her in the gut. If it were not for Rogue having absorbed Wolverine’s healing factor, she would have most likely died. [citation needed]

As Mystique confronted the other X-Men, Rogue's healing factor revived her. Sneaking behind Mystique, Rogue used the bone claws she had absorbed from Wolverine and stabbed her in the back. [citation needed]

Mystique was hospitalized, where she told the X-Men that Destiny had predicted a dark future for mutant-kind and that the future Destiny foretold kept on unfolding despite all that Mystique had done to prevent it. She believed that the only way to save them was to get rid of the humans, for a planet of mutants might survive, while mutants divided against each other and with humanity shunning them as outcasts would be doomed. [citation needed]

Mystique was sent to prison, but quickly escaped. She then allied herself with the daughter of the original Mastermind in an attempt to wrest control of the military organization known as the X-Corps from its founder, Banshee. Outfitted with a device that gave her the ability to generate an electrical charge, Mystique created the identity of a super-villain and joined the X-Corps. While Mastermind's daughter mind-controlled the other members of the organization, Mystique brought Banshee’s organization down and slit his throat, leaving him in critical condition

Double Agent

Raven made a deal with Professor Charles Xavier. He had to make Mystique his secret agent, as his previous one, Prudence Leighton, had died and Mystique was the only one suitable enough to complete the missions. Xavier posed as Magneto to rescue Mystique from the Department of Homeland Security and from execution at the hands of Johnny Kitano, Special Magistrate for Homo superior crimes against humanity, and a mutant himself. Hunted by many countries for her acts of terrorism, Xavier offered her protection from being detected by them. In exchange, she was to act as Xavier's secret operative. If she were caught, Xavier would deny ever working with her. Former lover Forge aided her technologically while Shortpack acted as her handler. [citation needed]

At this time, Mystique claimed that there was an impostor out to frame her, taking control over the Brotherhood and sending them on their recent missions (the assassination of Moira and the infiltration of X-Corps). Whether she was speaking the truth remains to be seen. The two never truly trusted each other, but as long as Mystique completed the missions without killing anybody, Xavier would keep her safe from the authorities. Working with Xavier was Forge, whom Mystique had had a brief romance with while she was in X-Factor. [citation needed]

One of Xavier's enemies, the Quiet Man, who was actually Prudence Leighton inhabiting the body of her assassin, contacted Mystique and offered to give her an interference transmitter which would keep her safe from the authorities, the same type of device Xavier was using, if she killed Xavier. Creating a plan that would free her from both men, Mystique pretended to try killing Xavier while secretly working with the mutant thief Fantomex, who she had alert Forge to stopping her at the last moment. Her plan was on having the Quiet Man see this and believe that she really had attempted to kill Xavier and was still working for him. However, the other X-Men also believed that Mystique had tried killing Xavier and sought her out.

Rogue managed to track her down. She disowned her adoptive mother, saying she had tried to forgive Mystique for stabbing her, but that this was too much. She went on to say that Mystique wasn't her mother, that she was a monster. Mystique tried apologizing to Rogue for how she had hurt her, but Rogue was distraught with rage and attacked her foster mother. Mystique managed to escape by blowing up the house and going through the window, changing her form to shield her fall.

Mystique went to the Quiet Man, who was planning on having her killed due to outliving her usefulness. After a battle, Mystique killed the Quiet Man, saved her former field-handler Shortpack, and discovered the Quiet Man's interference transmitter had been a fake all along. Later, Forge caught Mystique trying to steal his interference transmitter. After some angry words, he smashed it and told her he never wanted to see her again. The two shared a sad good-bye kiss and Mystique left. After Mystique was gone, Forge realized that she had already switched his transmitter for the fake one. [citation needed]

Joining the X-Men

X-Men Vol 2 172 Textless

Mystique as Foxx

Mystique ended her working relationship with Xavier and infiltrated the Institute under the guise of Foxx, a student put in Gambit's Squad, in order to ruin Gambit's relationship with Rogue. Gambit continuously resisted her attempts at seduction until she revealed herself to him. She explained she was trying to relieve tension between him and her daughter. She promised that he would not be cheating if she turned into Rogue and had sex now. Her true identity revealed by Emma Frost, Raven claims to want to join the X-Men and have a better relationship with her foster daughter. She has since gone working with a new associate, Pulse, who she thought was a better fit for Rogue. Mystique's true motives, and who she was communicating with while inside the Xavier Institute, remain a mystery. [citation needed]
X-Men Vol 2 194 Textless

Mystique as an X-Man

Mystique was of great assistance in the battle against the Children of the Vault, killing Sangre by pumping thermite bullets into his aquatic body. However, during the Marauders attack on the Mystique's house, she shot Rogue, revealing herself as a traitor. As Iceman tried to save Rogue, Mystique activated a Neural Inhibitor and defeated him. When the Marauders searched for Destiny's Diaries, Mystique was yet again assaulted by Iceman and defeated him, saying next time they met she would kill him. [citation needed]

Messiah Complex

MystiqueChild Gambit

Mystique and Gambit with the "Mutant Messiah"

Mystique remained with the Marauders during the hunt for the first new mutant baby, but murdered Sinister in a plot involving the baby and Rogue's killing touch. She appeared to be working with Gambit, who, like her, had plenty of ulterior motives to want to betray Mister Sinister. Mystique shoved Sinister onto Rogue, killing him through fatal skin-to-skin contact. Then, in keeping with the words of the Destiny Diaries, touched the baby's face to Rogue's, believing that this would heal her foster daughter. While the baby was not affected by Rogue's power, to Mystique's surprise, Rogue did not awaken as the Destiny Diaries predicted. Believing their plan to have failed, Mystique cried at Rogue's bedside.[25]

As they grieved, Rogue finally awoke. After hearing all that Mystique had done, and sick of her manipulations, Rogue said she was tired of people getting hurt whenever Mystique was around, and tried to kill her with her touch. When Mystique was merely rendered unconscious, Rogue discovered that the baby's powers had restored her own to normal. The baby's touch purged her of the Strain 88 virus and all the residual psyches she had absorbed over her life, including Hecatomb. However, she now had the consciousness and the memories of the one person she wanted nothing more to do with: Mystique. Sickened by what she has absorbed, Rogue told Gambit that she needed to be alone, and left.[26]

Wolverine Vol 3 62 page 00 James Howlett & Raven Darkholme (Earth-616)

Mystique and Wolverine

During the following commotion of the end battle and shooting of Xavier in Messiah Complex, Mystique regained consciousness and escaped from the area. Cyclops asked Wolverine to track down Mystique and permanently take her out. Wolverine tracked her first to Iran, then to Afghanistan.[13] After a bloody fight she told him to just kill her. Logan told her that he had friends who would always come to get him, while she was alone. He left her in the desert with the pistol telling her she should know what the gun was for.[27]

Mystique (by Ron Garney)

No fear...

Manifest Destiny and the Dark X-Men

Mystique resurfaced posing as Bobby Drake's ex-girlfriend Opal Tanaka. She set off a bomb inside of Bobby's Blackbird before shooting him and kicking him out of the plane.[28] Later, she followed Iceman to the hospital and injected him with a fatal dose of a toxin created by Mister Sinister. Hospital staff tried to get to Iceman, but they were held back by Mystique while Iceman expelled the toxin from his system. Afterward, Mystique attacked Iceman in a truck and set the truck ablaze with Iceman in it. Iceman stepped out of the fire unharmed then disarmed and immobilized Mystique, but she escaped moments later after turning her body into her child form.

Later Mystique impersonated Iceman and stood on top of the Golden Gate bridge threatening to blow it up. Iceman arrived and discovered the reason for Mystique doing this was Wolverine telling her that she would die alone. After a heated conversation, Iceman froze the bomb, Mystique punched him and jumped off of the bridge into the water. Her body was not found.[29]

Dark X-Men Vol 1 1 Textless

Joining Osborn's Dark X-Men

Mystique joined Norman Osborn's Dark X-Men, posing as Professor Charles Xavier for P.R. purposes. Osborn injected her with nanites and kept her on a short leash and should she try anything, Osborn would turn her into a human bomb.[30]

Death and Return

Mystique played a part in sending Wolverine's soul to Hell. Upon regaining possession of his body, he resolved to hunt her down; despite the fact that she helped return him from hell and tried to warn him that the Red Right Hand were setting him up. He killed her, and her body was later sold at auction to the Hand.[31]

Mystique apparently was resurrected by the Hand as she was seen taking the appearance of Victor Creed and took a suitcase full of money in his place before walking away and reverting to her real shape.[32] It was revealed the she and the newly resurrected Sabretooth were lovers and were working for the Japanese branch of the Hand under Azuma Goda. After Sabretooth betrayed Azuma Goda and left him to be killed by Wolverine, he declared himself the invisible King of Asian crime with Mystique by his side.[33]

The New Brotherhood of Evil Mutants

Raven Darkholme (Earth-616) Uncanny X-Force 27

Mystique as a member of the Brotherhood

Mystique joined the new incarnation of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in their plan to expose and destroy Wolverine X-Force and claim Genesis as their own Apocalypse. She used the form of Psylocke to seduce Fantomex but she was discovered and a fight start.[34] Mystique told Fantomex about the toxin that she poisoned him with it and that someone was after Psylocke just like she was sent after him which lead him leave the fight. Also, she was present with the rest of the brotherhood watching as Ultimaton exploded to kill the X-Force.[35] Mystique, however, had her own plan to use Evan to kill the Shadow King and claim leadership of the brotherhood. Unfortunately for her the X-Force were alive and tricked her into leaving the brotherhood base so they can have more information.[36]

After Professor X's death

In the aftermath of the conflict between the Avengers and the X-Men, Mystique gathered Sabretooth and Lady Mastermind with the purpose of reforming the Brotherhood,[37] committing numerous heists, and using Lady Mastermind's illusions to incriminate the original X-Men,[38] which were recently brought to the present by Beast.[39] Mystique also met with the young version of Cyclops in an attempt to sow distrust for the X-Men (both Wolverine's and adult Cyclops') in him. After her plot was discovered and stopped by the X-Men, Mystique incapacitated and stole the identity of Dazzler and usurped her position at S.H.I.E.L.D. by posing as her.

Silver Samurail killing Mystique from Uncanny X-Men 16

Silver Samurai (under the control of Magneto) stabbing Mystique

With the money they robbed in the heists, Mystique acquired Madripoor from Hydra and attempted to turn it into a mutant sanctuary. Raven, posing as Dazzler, attracted Magneto to the island, and showed him her plans. However, Magneto reacted violently to the plan, believing that Mystique and the others were traitors to their species, in part due to allowing the use of Mutant Growth Hormone to run rampant in the streets to fund their operations. He heavily injured Mystique and the Brotherhood, and left after making their base collapse.[40]

It was revealed later during the reading of Xavier's will, that he and Mystique had gotten married in secret.

AXIS

Mystique is among the villains recruited by Magneto to help fight Red Onslaught in Genosha.[41] The inversion spell Doctor Doom and the Scarlet Witch cast to defeat the Red Skull affected not only the villain but everyone in the island, inverting the moral axis of the heroes and villains present there.[42] Mystique became heroic, and tried to make the inverted X-Men reason and stop their attempt to take over New York City. She failed, but was recruited by Steve Rogers to be part of the Astonishing Avengers, the group of now-good villains to stop both the conquering X-Men and the fascist Avengers.[43] When a reinversion spell was cast, Mystique became evil once again.[44]

The Wolverines

Mystique found herself kidnapped by a group comprised of Daken, Sabretooth , Lady Deathstrike and X-23 (Laura Kinney). Moments before she was kidnapped, Mystique went to an auction in Madripoor that was selling the remains of Wolverine. During the auction Daken, infuriated by this display, killed everybody that was in the auction except for her, Viper, and Agent Kim.[45]

While being kidnapped Mystique finds herself a part of a team dubbed the “Wolverines”. She finds that their kidnapper is a mysterious man named and threatening them with the “control words” (that manipulate, sedate or even kill each of them), Shogun, Neuro, Endo, Junk and Skel ally them to find the adamantium-petrified body of Wolverine in the burnt-down Paradise facility, when they encountered and fought the Wrecking Crew, hired by Mr. Sinister (Nathaniel Essex), who were looking for the same. When X-23 and Daken found the body, Mr. Sinister appeared, took Wolverine's body, plus an eye and arm from Daken, and left. Apparently, Daken lost his healing factor.[46]

After they failed mission in their mission to retrieve Wolverine's body, Mystique then declared herself as the leader of the team, and makes Sharp help her retrieve the zhulong, or sun dragon, on Taipei, and told Shogun, that Lady Deathstrike is interested in him, but Sharp thinks she doesn't because as he holds her secret words, she wants to kill him. Then, before they leave, Mystique creates a complex trap where he makes him reveal her secret words. Then, while Ogun tells Shogun, to return to Sinister, Deathstrike appears and attacks him. After a short fight, they kiss. Suddenly, a mysterious figure appears from a meteor crash and demands to know who killed Logan.[47]

Powers

Metamorph: Mystique can psionically alter the formation of her biological cells at will. As a result, she can cause herself to look and sound like an exact duplicate of any human, humanoid, or semi-humanoid being of either sex, wearing virtually any kind of clothing. Her control is so exact that she can precisely duplicate another person's retina pattern in her own eyes, finger, palm and skin-pore patterns on her own hands and skin, smell to overlap the original being, and vocal cords to match voices to the point of corresponding voice prints.

Mystique was once exposed to dangerous levels of radiation in order to save the life of Toad. The process morphed Mystique's appearance to match her more reptilian physique from the movies, and boosted her powers so that she could now morph her body into taking certain desired physical traits depending on her situation at the time (note: this reptilian form was quickly discarded, whether it was because of retcon or if she simply shape-shifted back to her previous form remains to be seen).

Examples of this new ability included: night vision, wings on her back, talons in her fingers, sharp fanged teeth, natural body armor, mermaid-like tail, and she could even compress into a nearly two-dimensional state to glide on air currents (similar to Mr. Fantastic), which she used to survive an explosion.

Since her resurrection by The Hand, her powers have been enhanced to a higher level than they were before, to the degree that she could fool super-humanly acute senses such as Wolverine's sense of smell, something she couldn't do before her death.

  • Metamorphic Adaptation: After her enhancement Mystique showed the ability to adapt her body depending on her situation at the time. She was able to to camouflage her body according to her surroundings, shift her organs into her lower extremities, and mimic the textures of metals (when she took on the form of Magneto and his helmet). She also clearly stated that she was always naked and simply made her skin look and feel like other materials to fool others.[48]
  • Enhanced Physical Attributes: Able to enhance her strength, speed, agility, reflexes, and senses.
  • Accelerated Healing: Mystique's nature allows her to repair wounds and regenerate herself from minor to near death injuries in a short span of time, much faster than an ordinary human.
  • Toxin & Disease Resistance: She is also able to develop resistance and immunities to toxins and diseases.
  • Retarded Aging: Her metamorphic powers have retarded the degenerative effects of aging. She has always had this ability even before her enhancement; she is either close to or over one hundred years old.
  • Psychic Defence: Mystique's nature also provides her with a natural defense against telepathic intrusion.

Nick Fury's intel classified her as power level 8,[49] while the O*N*E stated that she was a Severe Threat.[50] According to Prosh, her Comparative Mutagenic Power Register was of 8.3.[51]

Abilities

Master Combatant: Mystique is a highly skilled combatant. Her skills rival those of Black Widow and Captain America.

Trained Actress

Expert Marksman

Multilingual: Mystique has stated that she knows at least eleven languages; besides her presumably native German and English, she has demonstrated fluency in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Farsi and Czech.[citation needed]

Covert Operative: Strategist in terrorist and commando operations.

Strength level

Mystique possesses the normal human strength of a woman of her physical age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise.[52] She can enhance her strength using her powers for brief periods by redistributing mass.[53]

Weaknesses

Appearance Limitation: Originally, it was clearly stated that Mystique's powers were limited to appearances only; she could not assume the powers of the people she morphed into or alter her body to adapt to different situations. Although Mystique’s powers were enhanced, Mystique could never duplicate the powers of other superhumans, and she still cannot duplicate the powers of the person she imitates: for example, when she turned herself into a duplicate of Nightcrawler, she did not gain the ability to teleport. However, she can use her powers to mimic the powers of others; such as assuming the form of Sabretooth, and then using her powers to enhance her senses, strength, speed, agility, and of course naturally heal at an accelerated rate.

Unchangeable Body Mass: While she can make herself look exactly like a person who is physically bigger than herself, she will not weigh as much as the real person does.[54] Although she can maintain the form of a person of her own height, weight, and build indefinitely, the longer that she maintains the form of a person physically bigger than herself, the greater the strain she feels.

Schizophrenia (formerly): Mystique's shape-changing physiology causes her brain to suffer from constant and subtle shifts in her brain tissue that manifested in the form of schizophrenia. Her personality constantly changed, making her volatile and unpredictable. Psylocke has since stabilized her mind.[55]


Equipment

She has used experimental weaponry and devices, including a power-drainer that disabled Iron Man. Nanotech capable of fooling Cerebro and related tech.[56]

Transportation

Seen in Wolverines, Mystique's vessel The Changeling was a highly advanced stealth ship capable of cloaking and flying at very high speed. The ship had sophisticated weapons and surveillance systems, with an on-board analysis computer and power-suppressing containment cells. The ship was destroyed[57] and it is currently unknown if it has been replaced.

Weapons

Conventional firearms and an energy beam pistol. Various skull-shaped explosives usually carried on her belt.

Mystique Vol 1 11 Textless

Mystique

  • Mystique has stated that she wasn't born in the last century[58] and that she is "over 100 years old".[22] Her earliest meeting with her friend Destiny was stated to have occurred at "the dawn of the 20th century".[59] In 1921 she met Logan in Kansas City,[13] and they all later worked together in Scotland, shortly before the World War II.[5] (However, in an early appearance in Uncanny X-Men #170, Mystique dreams that she is in the year 1783, which is specified as being 170 years before her birth. As the comic was published in 1983, this would make her 30 years old at the time of the story. This has since been retconned.)
  • Despite the fact that it is unknown when she was born, it can be assumed that she was born in the month of September - she was once given a sapphire necklace, because apparently it was her birthstone (traditionally associated with being born in September), to which she replied 'How did you know when I was born?'[53]
  • Her powers manifested when she was twelve years old.[22]
  • She never wears true clothing. Due to the nature of her powers she can simply create clothes from or over her skin, thus eliminating the need for regular clothing or those made from unstable molecules. Because of this she is always naked as she admitted to Shortpack. (though this is subject to interpretation)[48]
  • Mystique cannot stand her own appearance, and therefore never wants to look at her reflection in a mirror.
  • Contrary to what is shown in most other incarnations of her in film and television, the comics version of Mystique is not Magneto's second-in-command. In fact, the two have only had a handful of encounters together and barely even know each other.
  • Veteran X-Men writer Chris Claremont has stated in interviews that he originally intended for Mystique and Destiny to be Nightcrawler's biological parents (Mystique having morphed into a man for the conception), but Marvel nixed the idea for being too controversial, due to it being a point in time where writers were prevented from having a gay or bisexual character.

Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. Dark X-Men #1
  2. Dark Avengers / Uncanny X-Men: Utopia #1
  3. X-Men Vol 2 #171
  4. Ms. Marvel Vol 2 #49
  5. 5.0 5.1 X-Men: True Friends #3
  6. Sabretooth #3
  7. Sabretooth and Mystique #1
  8. Uncanny X-Men #267
  9. Uncanny X-Men #359
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 X-Men Vol 2 #93
  11. 11.0 11.1 Uncanny X-Men #402
  12. Uncanny X-Men #428
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Wolverine Vol 3 #62
  14. X-Men Vol 2 #172
  15. X-Factor Vol 3 #27
  16. Astonishing X-Men Vol 3 #65
  17. 17.0 17.1 Uncanny X-Men Vol 3 #9
  18. Uncanny X-Men #401
  19. 19.0 19.1 Heroic Age: X-Men #1
  20. X-Men: Earth's Mutant Heroes #1
  21. Mystique #15
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 X-Men Vol 2 #174
  23. X-Men: True Friends #1-3
  24. X-Factor #130
  25. New X-Men Vol 2 #46
  26. X-Men Vol 2 #207
  27. Wolverine Vol 3 #65
  28. X-Men: Manifest Destiny #1
  29. X-Men: Manifest Destiny #5
  30. Uncanny X-Men #513
  31. Wolverine Vol 4 #9
  32. Wolverine Vol 2 #300
  33. Wolverine Vol 2 #301-303
  34. Uncanny X-Force #26
  35. Uncanny X-Force #27
  36. Uncanny X-Force #31
  37. All-New X-Men #9
  38. All-New X-Men #12
  39. All-New X-Men #1
  40. Uncanny X-Men Vol 3 #16
  41. Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #2
  42. Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #3
  43. Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #6
  44. Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #9
  45. Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #5
  46. Wolverines #1
  47. Wolverines #7
  48. 48.0 48.1 Mystique #4
  49. Secret War: From the Files of Nick Fury #1
  50. X-Men: The 198 Files #1
  51. X-Men Forever #1
  52. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #9
  53. 53.0 53.1 Mystique #6
  54. Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #6
  55. Uncanny X-Men Vol 4 #15
  56. Uncanny X-Men Vol 3 #34
  57. Wolverines 19
  58. Mystique #17
  59. X-Treme X-Men #1
  60. [20]
  61. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 8



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