Mystique (Raven Darkholme) is a Marvel Comics fictional character associated with the X-Men franchise. Originally created by artist Dave Cockrum, writer Chris Claremont saw Cockrum's design, dubbed the character "Mystique," and, with Cockrum's permission, she first appeared in Ms. Marvel #17 (May 1978).
Mystique is a mutant shapeshifter whose natural appearance includes blue skin and yellow eyes. She is over 100 years old, stated in her solo series (issue #17): "I wasn't born last night, or even last century, for that matter..." Mystique is also the biological mother of Graydon Creed and Nightcrawler and foster mother of Rogue. She was forced to abandon Nightcrawler, but raised Rogue for a number of years and the two women have mixed feelings towards one another.
Throughout most of her history, Mystique has been a supervillainess, leading the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and assassinating several important humans involved in mutant affairs. However, she recently worked on behalf of the X-Men's Professor X in a short-lived eponymous series, and was provisionally voted into the X-Men. Actress Rebecca Romijn portrays Mystique in the X-Men films.
- 1 Fictional character biography
- 2 Powers and abilities
- 3 Other versions
- 4 In other media
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Fictional character biography
Mystique's exact age remains unknown. However, her earliest meeting with her lover Destiny (Irene Adler) is stated to have occurred at "the dawn of the 20th century." The exact circumstances of their first meeting are unknown.
Veteran X-Men writer Chris Claremont has stated that he originally intended for Mystique and Destiny to be Nightcrawler's biological parents (with Mystique having morphed into a man for the conception), but Marvel nixed the idea as too controversial.
Early espionage activities and contacts
The decades-long quest of Mystique and Destiny 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 Mosley of the British Fascist Party, a likely ally for Nazi Germany. Irene and Raven contacted an acquaintance of theirs, called 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."
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 motivation, but apparently trusted her enough not to press for answers.
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.
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 sapien instead of a Homo Superior or mutant. Raven was disappointed and soon abandoned him. Graydon would grow to hate his parents and eventually extend his hatred towards all mutants. He later became leader of 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. 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.
For several years Mystique was also reported being the mother of Nightcrawler but the exact events were uncertain. Much later another writer, Chuck Austen, eventually 'revealed' that the father was a demonic-looking mutant from biblical times claiming to be the inspiration for Satan.
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. She was eventually seduced by another fellow mutant, Azazel.
He stated he was 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 2000 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 Semihazah, Duma, Keriel, Mastema, Beliar, Gadreel, and Beelzebub. And most commonly called Satan." Many of these aliases have also been claimed by several notable true demons of the Marvel Universe.
Raven soon became pregnant. Her husband became suspicious and his own father suggested a blood test to verify if the child was his. Mystique used a dagger to slay him and then buried him. She eventually gave birth to 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.
Rogue and the Brotherhood
Mystique would later become the adoptive mother of 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.
Mystique had concealed her superhuman powers and criminal intentions so well over the years that, as Raven Darkholme, she was able to rise rapidly through the United States Civil Service to the trusted position of Deputy Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the United States Department of Defense. This position gave her access to military secrets and to advanced weaponry, both of which she used for her own criminal and subversive purposes.
To help her in her criminal activities, Mystique organized her own incarnation of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, which originally consisted of herself, Avalanche, the Blob, Destiny, and Pyro. This incarnation of the Brotherhood first gained notoriety when it attempted to assassinate Senator Robert Kelly, a notoriously anti-mutant politician. The X-Men battled the Brotherhood and thus thwarted the assassination attempt, thereby averting a series of events which would have resulted in the death of most super-powered humans, and the subjugation of North America by the mutant-hunting robots, the Sentinels (as chronicled in the "Days of Future Past" storyline). The Brotherhood later clashed with the X-Men on other occasions.
Rogue was trained by Mystique and eventually joined the Brotherhood. Her mutant power was the ability to absorb the psyche, memories, personality, strengths, and any skills or powers of whomever 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.
On a mission with the Avengers, Rogue fought Carol Danvers, Ms. Marvel. Rogue tried stealing Carol's powers, but Carol fought too hard and Rogue ended up absorbing Carol's memories and powers permanently, 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 initially were hesitant in accepting their former enemy, Xavier welcomed her and gave her a spot on the team.
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 that 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. 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.
Mystique was captured by Carol Danvers at the Pentagon at one point. She led the Brotherhood in clashes with Dazzler, and led the Brotherhood in battle with the X-Men as well. Mystique later visited Forge, and protested Henry Peter Gyrich's use of Forge's neutralizer.
Later, anti-mutant sentiment among normal humans rises and the federal government launches 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 Doctor 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 though only because he voluntarily surrendered to them so he could go on trial for his crimes and soon afterwards officially enter the government's employ.
In return for entering government service as Freedom Force's leader, Mystique and her team received a presidential pardon for all criminal charges against them, but the pardon would be revoked if any member of Freedom Force were found committing a crime.
Mystique led Freedom Force in capturing the Avengers on behalf of the federal government. She clashed with X-Factor in seeking to arrest Rusty Collins. With Freedom Force, she fought the X-Men in Dallas, and was present at the X-Men's apparent demise. With Freedom Force, she battled Cyclops and Marvel Girl. With Freedom Force she sought to arrest Rusty Collins again, and battled the New Mutants. She finally succeeded in capturing Collins as well as Skids. She led Freedom Force against the Reavers on Muir Island. On this particularly disastrous mission, Freedom Force lost two of its members, Stonewall and Mystique's lover Destiny. The death of her lover left Mystique psychologically scarred and she never truly recovered.
Mystique was later nearly killed by Dr. Valerie Cooper, who was under the Shadow King's mental control. She then impersonated Dr. Valerie Cooper. Mystique was eventually discovered impersonating Dr. Cooper, and saved Xavier's life by killing the Shadow King's human host, Jacob Reisz. She finally reconciled with Rogue. In time, she came to terms with Destiny's death. She teamed with Spiral and Wolverine in thwarting Mojo's near-destruction of the universe. Mystique later briefly stayed as a guest at Xavier's mansion. She began going insane, and left the mansion under the care of Forge.
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).
Part of the conspiracy involved Mystique's son Graydon Creed running for President, under an anti-mutant platform.
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.
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.
Mystique went into hiding, taking the identity of the 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 Toad and his most recent incarnation of the Brotherhood of 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 blonde 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.
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 intelligence 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.
Arrested, Mystique's life was torn apart as the U.S. Government acted on their intelligence 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 mutants, in order to restore everyone's powers. The X-Men defeated Evolutionary and restored everyone's powers, allowing Mystique to escape jail.
Mystique was later 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.
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 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.
The assassination attempt on Kelly ended in failure, when the mutant villain Pyro betrayed his teammates to save Kelly's life. Mystique blew up 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.
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 Rogue had not absorbed Wolverine's healing factor, she would have most likely died.
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.
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.
Mystique was sent to prison, but quickly escaped. She then allied herself with Martinique Jason, 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 supervillain 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.
Charles Xavier was later forced 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 Johny Kitano, Special Magistrate for Homo Superior crimes against humanity, and a mutant himself.
At this time, Mystique claimed that there was an imposter 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, who were out to execute her. Working with Xavier was Forge, whom Mystique had a brief romance with while she was in X-Factor.
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, after alerting Forge to stop her at the last moment. Her plan was to have 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 goodbye kiss and Mystique left. After Mystique was gone, Forge realized that she had already switched his transmitter for the fake one.
Joining the X-Men
Mystique later infiltrated the X-Men, posing as a young girl named Foxx. She attempted to seduce Rogue's boyfriend Gambit to break them up so she could set her daughter up with a young mutant named Augustus, a man she believed Rogue could be the happiest with.
Though severely tempted by "Foxx's" advances, Gambit resisted. Mystique ultimately revealed herself to him, telling him that she was trying to relieve the tension between him and Rogue (because of the two being unable to have sex due to her ability to absorb someone's essence upon skin-to-skin contact). Mystique then morphed into Rogue and told Gambit that he would not be cheating on Rogue if they had sex now.
When the telepath Emma Frost discovered who Foxx really was, the X-Men confronted Mystique. Mystique told them that she had been lonely and wanted to join the X-Men. Emma also discovered that Gambit had known who Foxx really was all along, and a furious Rogue believed the two had been having an affair. Mystique would not reveal if she and Gambit did anything, but told Rogue that if he truly loved her he would not have been tempted, and that she deserved better than him. Gambit denied anything had happened.
Later, the X-Men voted and decided to have Mystique join them on a probationary status (though Rogue was one of the ones who had voted against her joining). Meanwhile, Nightcrawler asked her to leave for a while regardless of the vote, saying that he needed more time adjusting to the idea of her being a member first. Mystique ultimately agreed and left. However, after Decimation, she joined the X-Men and brought Augustus (Pulse) along with her. Both have been crucial in the latest downfall of Apocalypse. Rogue believes that Mystique's transformation is yet another act.
Mystique was of great assistance in the battle against the Children of the Vault, killing Sangre by pumping thermite bullets into his aquatic body. After the Hecatomb battle on Providence, Rogue's team (sans Cable) returned to Rogue's former childhood home in Caldecott County, Mississippi which Mystique owns for some downtime. Mystique consummated her flirtation with Iceman, and even alerted the X-Men, who came to treat Rogue's illness, that there were intruders in the area. Only after Lady Mastermind dropped her illusions did the X-Men realize that it was an all-out attack, and that both Lady Mastermind & Omega Sentinel (the latter being possessed by Malice) had defected sides. During the Marauders' initial ambush, Mystique prevented Scalphunter from shooting Rogue. She then revealed herself as a traitor as well when she shot her adopted daughter and, standing over her body, ordered the remaining Marauders to kill the X-Men.
Mystique remained with the Marauders during the hunt for the first new mutant baby, but was revealed to have murdered Sinister in a plot involving the baby and Rogue's killing touch. She also appears to be working with Gambit, who, like her, had plenty of ulterior motives to want to betray Mister Sinister. When Sinister approaches Mystique as she is with the comatose Rogue, Mystique shoves Sinister onto Rogue, killing him through fatal skin-to-skin contact. Then, in keeping with the words of the Destiny Diaries, touches 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 and Gambit cry at Rogue's bedside.
As they grieve, Rogue finally awakens. After hearing all that Mystique has done, and sick of her manipulations, Rogue says she's tired of people getting hurt whenever Mystique is around, and tries to kill her with her touch. When Mystique is merely rendered unconscious, Rogue discovers that the baby's powers have 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 has the consciousness and the memories of the one person she wants nothing more to do with: Mystique. Sickened by what she has absorbed, Rogue tells Gambit that she needs to be alone, and leaves.
Mystique is the focus of the next Wolverine story arc, appropriately titled "Get Mystique." The story begins with a brief flashback revealing that Logan and Mystique first met in Mexico in 1921. Back in the present day, Wolverine is in the Middle East tracking Mystique, presumably to kill her for betraying the X-Men in Messiah Complex. Mystique evades Logan by blowing up a Mosque in Tehran, then travels over the border to Afghanistan. There she impersonates Wolverine and kills a local village girl, tricking the villagers into going after Wolverine. Mystique does not appear to be suffering from any lasting effects from being touched by Rogue. It is hinted at that Mystique's recent betrayal is not the only reason Logan is out to kill her, as they apparently have a common history of friendship, love, and, ultimately, betrayal. After a heated fight Wolverine manages to fatally wound Mystique, but he chooses to deny her the mercy blow. Instead, he drops a gun and leaves in the sunset, leaving Mystique to scream and curse behind him.
Mystique shows up again, posing as Bobby Drake's girlfriend Opal Tanaka, having inexplicably survived being left to die by Wolverine. She sets off a bomb inside of Bobby's Blackbird before shooting him and kicking him out of the plane.
Powers and abilities
Mystique is a mutant, a shapeshifter with the ability to psionically shift the formation of her biological cells at will to change her appearance and thereby assume the form of other humans. She can also alter her voice to duplicate exactly that of another person. 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. In addition, she could not change her overall body mass in order to change into a person larger or smaller than she is. She has the ability to create the appearance of clothes out of her own body. Mystique was shown in at least one instance transforming a metallic part of her costume into a functioning blaster pistol. Whether this was a function of her powers or of the costume piece itself is unclear. As a side effect of this power, her natural aging process has been suppressed (if not completely halted), as she has retained her youthful appearance despite being alive for over eighty years.
This changed in 2001's X-Men Forever miniseries, in which Mystique was 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 2000's film trilogy, 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. Examples of this new ability include night vision, wings on her back, talons in her fingers, and natural body armor. She can even compress nearly two-dimensional like a sheet of paper to glide on air currents, similar to Mister Fantastic, which she uses to survive an explosion. In addition, damage to her biological tissue is known to heal at a relatively fast rate and she can form a resistance to poisons upon contracting them. While she retained her advanced powers, she now appears in her old form without scales.
Mystique is a cunning strategist in terrorist and commando operations, and is a highly talented actress.
Age of Apocalypse
In the Age of Apocalypse timeline, Mystique is the ferrywoman to Avalon. It is her task to meet the refugees and make sure they meet the guide to Avalon, Cain. Though she works against Apocalypse, she is not much of a hero. She charges a heavy tariff to ferry the refugees to Avalon, taking all of their valuables. This plagues her conscience and she is reluctant to go to Avalon, as she feels that she is not fit to enter. Ultimately, she gets past her guilt to guide her son, Nightcrawler to Avalon and find Destiny. She and her son form X-Calibre to defeat Apocalypse's agents, the Pale Riders and the Shadow King.
In X-Men volume 2, issue 192, Mystique inquires "How does it judge the part we play here and now in protecting the remnants of mutant-kind?" He says "History is short on specifics" and that it only remembers broad movements, not individuals. She hints at wanting to know how she is remembered, and he comments that her name did survive in a database of his time. Her name is synonymous with traitor, comparing her name to Judas Iscariot. However, he does add that the information from his time is part of his history, as it was 2,000 years old.
In the Earth-797 reality, Mystique is apparently a man and goes by the name of Raphael-Raven Darkholme (and his alias is Mystiq). Much like the main Mystique, he had a relationship with Destiny but due to his gender had a child with her (Claremont's original plan for Nightcrawler's origin). They were both killed in unknown circumstances and Raphael often went to their grave sites. On such an occasion, he was about to be attacked by soldiers when the Exiles' Sabretooth, who had been stranded on this Earth, saved his life. Saying he was in his debt, he joined the Exiles when they came to pick up their teammate.
House of M
In the House of M, Mystique is an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and a member of its elite unit, the Red Guard, alongside Jessica Drew, Toad, and her children Rogue and Nightcrawler. She's also involved in an affair with Wolverine, the Red Guard's leader. When this unit, in pursuit of their former leader, attacks the heroes 'awakened' by Layla Miller, the entire squad is restored. With all of reality against them, any personal history is set aside, and Mystique fights alongside the rest of the 'awakened' without incident.
In X-Men Mangaverse, Mystique teams up with Nightcrawler and other Brotherhood members. Storm later kills her with a lightning bolt.
Mystique appears as a zombie twice in the Marvel Zombies universe. She is first shown disguised as Scarlet Witch, in order to get close to and bite Quicksilver. She is also shown fighting alongside zombie versions of Avalanche, Blob, and Pyro taking a direct blast from Cyclops to the face.
In the Ultimate Marvel Universe, Mystique was the former lover of Charles Xavier. However, during their stay in the Savage Land with Magneto, the young Emma Frost came under the tutelage of Xavier, and shortly after he dumped Mystique for Frost. Ever since then, Mystique has held great resentment toward Xavier, which in turn makes her undyingly loyal to Magneto. She teamed up with Forge and helped Magneto escape the Triskelion by taking his place in the prison cell before she was replaced by Mastermind and Stacy X and given a new assignment. She is hinted to be one of the few who actually knows how Xavier's darker side operates, stating "We all bought into Xavier's dream until we got a look at the sick brain behind it." It would later be revealed that Emma Frost named Xavier's cat after Mystique, after the feline partially destroyed the decor of his office. She appears in the ongoing Ultimates 3 alongside Magneto.
X-Men Fairy Tales
Mystique appears briefly in the X-Men Fairy Tales limited series, first issue. She is leading a group of thieves who attack the old monk/Professor X. They are scared away by Hitome/Cyclops. The other thieves were Avalanche and Pyro. In the fourth issue, she appears as Anna/Rogue's mother, a voodoo priestess.
In other media
In the original X-Men cartoon, Mystique (voiced by Rachel Carpenter and later by Jennifer Dale) was shown as the leader of the Brotherhood, a close ally of Apocalypse, and Rogue's foster mother (as well as Nightcrawler's biological mother). It is hinted that Apocalypse may have transformed her into the shapeshifter she is, as she tells Rogue that he made her what she is, and gave her purpose.
In the first season, Mystique aided Apocalypse in transforming several mutants into his Horsemen and later attempting to assassinate Senator Kelly (under orders of Apocalypse), a task for which she takes Gambit's form (she fails because of the real Gambit's interference). In the second season, Mystique appears and attempts to convince Rogue to return to the Brotherhood, though she fails in the end. It also revealed in the episode "Nightcrawler" that she is the titled character's mother. Mystique once again appears as an ally of Apocalypse in the "Beyond Good and Evil" storyline though when Magneto realizes how mad Apocalypse's intentions are, Mystique joins him in trying to stop Apocalypse. In her final appearance of the series, Mystique is kidnapped by Graydon Creed, a child she labored with Sabretooth. She is forced to send a letter to her other son Nightcrawler to lure him to a trap in exchange for her life. Creed attempts to kill all the mutants, but they escape. As Mystique flees, Nightcrawler gives chase because he wants to know why she abandoned him. Even though Mystique coldly tells him that she did not want him, Nightcrawler cannot bring himself to hate her and tells her that he will pray to God to allow him to forgive her. Touched that in spite of her cold treatment her son still cares for her, Mystique apparently sacrifices herself to save Nightcrawler when Creed attempts to shoot him. Though assumed dead by the X-Men, Mystique is shown to have survived and is last seen looking back at her two children with tears in her eyes.
In X-Men: Evolution, Mystique is portrayed as a ruthless and feared character, a master of hand-to-hand combat and an unscrupulous manipulator, but is also subject to temper tantrums when roused. Mystique wore her trademark white dress during season one but for the rest of the series wore a black combative outfit. After being exposed to the enhancing machine on Magneto's base, Mystique was briefly shown in her reptilian form, reflecting her appearance in the X-Men film, albeit in tattered clothes.
As in the comic books, Mystique holds dear the well-being of her two children, Rogue and Nightcrawler. Whereas the latter seems to return the love, Rogue deeply despises Mystique and even attempted to kill her at one point. The story of her separation from Nightcrawler was changed (she was attacked by wolves while on a bridge, causing her to drop him accidentally). It's also suggested that Nightcrawler was normal looking at first, as Mystique (and presumably Magneto) were shown in a laboratory with Mystique screaming, "What have you done to him!?", implying that Magneto has tested a chemical that enhances mutant abilities on the infant, resulting in the blue appearance.
Like her comic book counterpart, Mystique here possesses shapeshifting powers, however, she is also able to change her body mass as well, which allowed her to take various animal forms, ravens being her favorite. She also has superior human strength, being shown to the limits of kicking, and shattering the head of a stone statue.
In the first season, she is disguised as the principal of Bayville High, under the alias "Raven Darkholme", and is second-in-command to an initially unseen Magneto. She also found Avalanche, Toad, Blob and Quicksilver to be her Brotherhood while Professor X was recruiting new X-Men. She was revealed to be Nightcrawler's mother too. In the season finale, Magneto set a challenge for his team and the X-Men. The Brotherhood, Mystique, and Sabretooth were sent to battle an X-Man with the winner going to Asteroid M. Mystique fought Storm and lost. Mystique was exposed to Magneto's mutation-enhancing machine and her powers become elevated, though she disappears for a period of time after this. Later, Mystique assumes the alias "Risty Wilde" and befriends Rogue to infiltrate Xavier's mansion. Later, she kidnaps and impersonates Professor X and causes the mansion to self-destruct. After this, she revealed herself after having been impersonating Professor X. The team broke them free and made their escape but Cyclops left Mystique behind after she would not tell him where Professor X was. She was captured by the Government, but later broke free and brought the Scarlet Witch to the Brotherhood. She got her revenge on Cyclops later in the season by impersonating his brother Havok and telling Cyclops that he was lost in Mexico. Cyclops goes and Mystique attacks him and takes his visor and leaves him in the desert. After being attacked by wolves and Mexican citizens, he finds Mystique and the two battle until Jean Grey comes along and defeats Mystique. Towards the end of the third season, Mystique was shown several times with her companion Destiny who foresaw the Rise of Apocalypse. Mesmero, who was a servant of Apocalypse, managed to get Mystique to take control of Rogue and steal the powers of the X-Men, Brotherhood, and Acolytes so she could give them to Apocalypse. Mystique's powers were needed to open the third door to Apocalypse's tomb. She turned into a snake and slithered through a hole. She was tricked and turned to stone herself and Apocalypse rose from his tomb. During the fourth season, her stone body was seen several times. Rogue was not pleased. Nightcrawler got Agatha Harkness to see if she could do anything. She couldn't but she told Kurt that Rogue could. Rogue appeared and was going to use her powers to save Mystique. She quickly changed her mind and pushed the stone body over a cliff and it shattered. It appeared to be the end of Mystique but in the season finale she came back as a horseman of Apocalypse with her powers greatly advanced (even allowing her to become a mere puddle on the floor or create holes in her body at will to avoid attacks, as well as healing injuries virtually instantaneously whilst seemingly feeling no pain). After Apocalypse was defeated, she turned back to normal and tried to apologize to Kurt and Rogue for everything she had done but the two walked off and ignored her. Mystique was left alone.
Wolverine and the X-Men
Mystique has been confirmed to appear in Wolverine and the X-Men.
In the movies X-Men, X2: X-Men United, and X-Men: The Last Stand, Mystique is played by Rebecca Romijn and, unlike her comic book incarnation, is a member of Magneto's Brotherhood of Mutants. Her true form is serpentine, having scaly skin and reptilian eyes but with combed-back dark red hair. She is also a nudist; while she can mimic the appearance of clothing using her powers, she chooses not to. She can transform herself into humans, humanoids, and human-shaped objects. Most of the transformation sequences, particularly in the third film, are depicted beginning around her belly and moving out. Additionally, there is no indication that Mystique is Rogue's foster mother, as neither shows any recognition when they first meet. In the films, she has the ability to duplicate retinal patterns (as shown in the first film), and duplicates Lady Deathstrike's hand print simply by shaking her hand in the second film. In the third film, she was shown to seemingly alter her mass by taking the form of a child. In addition to her mutant powers, Mystique is extremely nimble and flexible, able to slip out of restraints with ease and use her feet as dexterously as her hands.
- In the first movie, Mystique impersonates Henry Gyrich, aide to Senator Kelly, as part of a plan to kidnap Kelly and turn him into a mutant, thereby ending his support of the Mutant Registration Act. However, Magneto's mutation machine causes Senator Kelly to die, so she replaces Kelly instead and withdraws his support of the bill. At the beginning of X2, her ongoing impersonation of Kelly helps her learn where Magneto is being held, and she helps him escape. In X-Men, Mystique has an extended fight with Wolverine. Although the man possesses great physical strength, Mystique ultimately outwits him in the battle, and slowly gets the better of him with superior speed and dexterity. She then leaves by climbing upside down up a pipe. She later reappears as Storm and approaches him, making a critical overestimation of her cunning. His acute sense of smell tells him who she really is and he stabs her with his claws, apparently killing her. She survives, however, and morphs into the form of a fallen police officer. As a result, she is able to slip past the police that descend on the building. At the end of the movie, she is seen on TV, impersonating Senator Robert Kelly.
- In X2, she learns from William Stryker that Magneto is in government possession while she is disguised as Senator Kelly. Mystique then gains entry into Stryker's office thanks to her impersonating Stryker's aide, Lady Deathstrike, and thus gains details about Magneto's plastic prison (including the name of the guards) and also accesses several more of Stryker's plans (most important of which is the plans to "Dark Cerebro"). After helping Magneto escape from prison, she joins Magneto's brief alliance with the X-Men. While camped in an unknown forest area, Mystique attempts to seduce Wolverine in the guise of Jean Grey. She kisses him and shifts into Storm and then into Rogue. When he discovers the marks of his claws, she shifts back to her blue form, telling him "no one's left a scar quite like you." She later impersonates Wolverine in order to gain entry to the Alkali Lake base.
- In X-Men: The Last Stand, Mystique is captured by the government. It is revealed that her name is Raven Darkholme. Magneto comes to save her, but a guard manages to fire a cure dart at Magneto. She takes the dart in his place, and her mutation is canceled by Leech's DNA embedded within the dart. She changes from her mutant form into her human form, naked since her clothing is a product of her mutation, and with dark hair worn as a bob. Magneto abandons her, stating "you're not one of us anymore", adding wistfully, "Pity. She was so beautiful." Mystique is arrested and gives the government the location of his base. However, when they raid the camp, they find it populated entirely with duplicates of Multiple Man. The movie does not make it clear whether she was aware that the information she gave would only lead the government to a decoy camp or if Magneto anticipated her betrayal and left the camp with Multiple Man's duplicates to spite her. It is also unclear whether or not the cure wore off and Mystique's mutant powers returned, as Magneto's did at the end of the film — as was revealed when he moved a chess piece without touching it.
- In the X-Men arcade game, she appeared, first disguised as Professor X between stages 5 & 6. She is the boss of stage 7, Asteroid M, where she takes the form of Magneto; she attacks players with punches and kicks curiously more quickly than the real Magneto.
- Mystique appears in the X-Men fighting game, X-Men: Mutant Academy and its sequel, X-Men: Mutant Academy 2 as a playable character.
- Mystique is a playable character in X-Men: Next Dimension. In the game she does not utilize her shapeshifting abilities, relying instead on her martial arts skills and weaponry, such as the gun she carries.
- Mystique appeared in X-Men Legends voiced by Grey DeLisle. In the opening scene, she and Blob try to claim Alison Crestmere. On Asteroid M, she and Sabretooth aid Magneto in his fight with the X-Men.
- Grey DeLisle reprises her role of Mystique, who is a non-playable character in X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse. She has special dialogue with Rogue (whom Mystique calls a traitor after she left the Brotherhood of Mutants) when in the jungles of the Savage Land.
- In Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, it is revealed in the future part that if the player chooses to save Jean Grey from being dropped into the Infinity Vortex in Mephisto's Realm, Mystique will avenge Nightcrawler by infiltrating the X-Mansion at night to vent her frustration upon Professor X where he will die in a coma months later and the X-Men will disband forever.
Mystique appears in X-Men Dimensions as Magneto's main henchman. She and Sabretooth are sent into the Astral plane to retrieve a stone, capable of enialating the entire human race. She returns in the sequel, X-Men Dimensions 2, to finish Magneto's plans. Her plans are foiled by Tabitha Smith, however. She is saved from death by Nightcrawler in the final pages. She has been confirmed to return in X-Men Dimensions 3, but it is currently unknown what sort of role she will play.
- x-men comics
- X-Factor #130
- Ms. Marvel #17
- Marvel Super Heroes Vol. 2 #11
- Uncanny X-Men #141-142
- Avengers Annual #10
- Uncanny X-Men #158
- Dazzler #22-23
- Uncanny X-Men #177-178
- Uncanny X-Men #184-185
- Uncanny X-Men #199
- Avengers Annual #15; West Coast Avengers Annual #1
- X-Factor #8-10
- Uncanny X-Men #223-227
- X-Factor #40
- New Mutants #78
- New Mutants #80, 82
- Uncanny X-Men #254-255
- Uncanny X-Men #266
- X-Factor #60
- X-Factor #69
- X-Factor #70
- X-Factor Annual #6
- Wolverine #51-53
- Uncanny X-Men #289-290