X-Men: First Class opens in theaters on Friday, June 3. You've seen the trailers and may have noticed (*shock*) that the characters appear a little differently than they do in the comics. Heck, the whole continuity of the movie universe here can be called into question. But that's part of the point, it is a different universe. This is the first in a series of character profiles to give you a refresher on the character as they stand in the comics, how it appears they'll be portrayed in the movie and what we'd like to see happen with them in the movie.
First up Mystique. Yes, Mystique will be part of Professor X's X-Men. The first trailer showed her as one of the teenage mutants at the school. Besides being a teen, she also has normal skin and is blonde. But she will have her trademark blue skin.
Mystique has an interesting and complex past in the comics. How much of that will and should be used in the movie? (Be warned, a theory that has developed may be a possible spoiler).== TEASER ==
Mystique first appeared in Ms. Marvel #17 in 1978. The biggest difference is she is older in the comics...much older. She is said to have been born in the early 20th Century. Even as a teen in X-Men: First Class (set in 1963), she's still much younger than her comic book counterpart. Her first encounter with the X-Men in issue #141, she was the leader of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and there were hints that she had some sort of relation to Nightcrawler.
She was a foster mom to Rogue. To further emphasize her age, it was revealed that she knew Wolverine years back and had a relationship with Sabretooth, which lead to being the mother of Graydon Creed. Later it was revealed she was Nightcrawler's mom with Azazel the father. While she has straddled the line between good and evil with the X-Men, she never really had what it took to be a real X-Man.
In the single character trailer, we get the impression that all this history is unrelated to the onscreen Mystique. We see her as a child, in her familiar movie-blue skin and scales as seen in the other X-films. It's not clear (from the trailer) if she was born with blue skin or if she goes through early puberty and changes.
Later in the trailer she's shown at the Xavier school as a young blonde. Despite being shown as able to change into her scaley form, it's not clear (yet) why she has this appearance.
She seems happy. Happy, young and full of hormones. She's supposed to be involved with Azazel in the comics at some point but the trailers show us that she will be getting a little friendly with Hank McCoy, before he turns blue and furry. Is this a completely different Raven Darkholme we'll be seeing in the movie? What will her reaction be when Hank turns into Beast?
There is more to this young blonde in the trailer. Erik Lehnsherr (soon to become Magneto) calls her on the fact that she's using her powers to appear differently. As we suspect, her true form is blue and scaley.
This leads me to what I want to see with the character. I can fully accept that this movie will have major differences from the comics. Everyone needs to get over the fact that it will not be near 100% faithful to the comics. We can think of it as being inspired by the comics and enjoy it for the piece of entertainment it hopefully will be. But I still don't like Mystique being so...young.
I've watched the trailer and for me, the big question is in that first scene. With this being a flashback, how far back does it flash back to? Could this actually take place half a decade before the present time in the movie? The room they're in doesn't really reveal too much. Who is this kid she's shaking hands with? (I can't tell if that shirt's style can be narrowed down to a certain time period). There are other young kids in the movie besides young Mystique. We will also see young Erik and young Charles in the credits. Let's look at these two kids side-by-side:
On the right we have Bill Milsner. I'm not an expert on kids' faces so I have to ask, are these two the same actor? Keep in mind, kids do change quickly as they grow and I'm not sure how far apart these would be if they are the same. If it is indeed the same actor, that reveals a bit. Little Billy here is listed as playing young Erik. That means that Mystique isn't a teenager in the movie and would be closer to Erik's age. (Edit: In a new TV spot, the kid in the pajamas actually introduces himself as Charles Xavier. But that still proves that Mystique should be older than a teen in the movie.)
This is what I'd want to see. Could it be that besides posing as a normal looking mutant, she's really posing as a normal looking teenage mutant? I would really dig it if she was actually older and just making herself looking like a teen, perhaps to try to infiltrate Charles' school. Mystique may have tiny bits of goodness in her but I don't see her as good enough to honestly be in Xavier's school. Let's have Mystique be the bad girl she's supposed to be in the comics. This also allows for her to be involved with Azazel and someday giving birth to Nightcrawler.
But then it means there's a bit of grossness in the fact that she's making moves on a teenage Hank McCoy. Hopefully he's at least eighteen in the movie.