Mystique's first appearance was in Ms. Marvel #16 where she was seen in a shape-shifted form. She was first seen as Mystique two issues later. Both drawn by Jim Mooney (Dave Cockrum, however, designed the initial look of the character, so is also credited). Writer Chris Claremont stated that he originally planned to have Mystique and Destiny be Nightcrawler's biological parents, but due to the Comics Code Authority, Marvel refused to do this. However, years later Mystique and Destiny were confirmed to be a lesbian couple.
Raven Darkholme, otherwise known as Mystique, has a very convoluted history about which very little is known, the exception being that she is over a century old and was most likely born somewhere in Austria. Mystique is one of the few bisexual characters in comics, having had a long relationship with Irene Adler, otherwise known as Destiny. Mystique initially met Destiny when she was hired to help her decipher her dreams and stop the worst of them from coming to pass. The two of them would eventually become life-long lovers. When Mystique was involved with Destiny the two of them actively tried to thwart Destiny's negative precognitive dreams from actually occuring. The relationship lasted decades, ending when Destiny was killed. Mystique has also been the mother of at least three children. She is the biological mother of both Nightcrawler and Graydon Creed, whose father was the mutant Sabretooth. Ironically, Graydon turned out to be just a normal human and became the mutant-hating leader of the racist group known as the Friends of Humanity. He was eventually assassinated by Mystique herself. Her third child, by adoption, was Rogue, who would eventually join the X-Men after turning her back on Mystique's Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants.
In the 1920s, Mystique encountered the Canadian mutant Wolverine when he joined her gang of mutant pick-pockets. This meeting was possibly orchestrated by Weapon X. The two became lovers. Wolverine did not act when Mystique let their friends die when the situation turned sour, though he was extremely remorseful. As they ran away, Mystique pushed Wolverine out of the train they were escaping on because she did not trust him.
At one point in her life, circumstances led Raven to an important figure in Wolverine's past, Victor Creed. When the two initially met, Raven was in the guise of Leni Zauber. Both Leni and Victor had been assigned to kill a scientist in Berlin. Although, Raven was the one who ultimately killed the scientist, the two of them still needed to maintain a low profile and opted to stay in the same safe house. It was here that they first became lovers until Raven faked her death so that she could leave Sabretooth without objection. During their time together, unbeknownst to Sabretooth, they conceived a child. Raven immediately gave the child up for adoption, although she still kept track of him until he hit adolescence when it became apparent that he was not a mutant.
Later on in Mystique's life she had a son named Kurt Wagner with the ancient biblical mutant named Azazel. By this time, Mystique was calling herself Raven Darkholme, possibly her actual name. During this time Raven was married to Christian Wagner and the two of them were happily married until she learned of Christian's infertility. She then used her powers to have sex with a number of partners as she desperately wanted another child. That is when she met Azazel, who told her of the islands he ruled off the coast of Bermuda, and that he was the father of many mutants who were called Neyaphem. Raven
soon discovered that she was pregnant, although Wagner became immediately suspicious. Pressured to have her son, Kurt, blood-tested, Raven killed her father-in-law and buried him. She then gave birth to a baby with black hair, yellow eyes, blue skin, and a pointed tail after reverting to her true form due to the stress of the birth. The villagers thought that both the mother and child were demons and they quickly attempted to kill them. Raven soon threw her newborn son into a river before changing her form to that of a local villager so that she could escape alive. It is later revealed that, either through Destiny's precognitive powers or through the government contacts she eventually cultivates, Mystique keeps tabs on Kurt Wagner's whereabouts; she reveals in her first encounter with Nightcrawler that his foster mother, Margali Szardos, is aware of her.
Distraught over what she had done, Mystique wandered the world for some time During this time, she met the mutant Destiny and became both friends and lovers with her. Destiny, who was precognitive, told Raven it would be best for her to adopt a certain child named Anna Marie (who would later grow up to become the X-Man known as Rogue). Wanting to make up for abandoning Graydon and Kurt, Mystique eagerly agreed. Mystique genuinely cared for Anna, and raised her like the child she had lost. Although, initially distrustful, Raven gained the young girl's trust, creating a family with her and Destiny for nearly a decade.. Unfortunately, Destiny aged at the rate of a normal human, while Mystique's powers allowed her to retain her youthful body.
While still raising Anna Marie, Raven had concealed her mutant abilities so well that she was able to work for the United States Civil Service and eventually worked her way up to the trusted position of Deputy Director of the Defense Advanced Research Planning Agency (DARPA) in the United States Department of Defense, giving her access to military secrets and advanced weaponry, both of which she used for her own criminal and subversive purposes. In order to help further her terrorist activities, Raven organized a group called the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, whose members consisted of Avalanche, the Blob, Destiny, and Pyro.
After training Anna in the use of her powers, Mystique gave her the codename, Rogue, and allowed her to join the Brotherhood. With Rogue on their team, the Brotherhood successfully defeated the Avengers. However, during their battle, Rogue attempted to use her absorption power on Ms. Marvel. Unfortunately, Ms. Marvel did not go down easily, and Rogue was forced to absorb her psyche and powers permanently. This caused Rogue to feel as if she was going insane, since Ms. Marvel's persona often attempted to gain control of Rogue's mind. Though Rogue remained with the Brotherhood in subsequent encounters with the X-Men, the Dazzler, and an ill-conceived attempt to recruit Hybrid, the mutant child of a human and a Dire Wraith, Rogue eventually abandoned her pseudo family in order to join Charles Xavier in hopes that he could help where her mother could not. Unfortunately, Mystique believed that Xavier had brainwashed her daughter and she attempted to liberate Rogue from the X-Men's control. This rescue mission was short lived after Rogue told Mystique that she believed Xavier was the only person in the world who could help her control her powers. Reluctantly, Raven left Rogue with the X-Men, although she still continued to check in on her from time to time. Over the years however, Mystique began to resent Xavier and the X-Men, believing that they had stolen one of the few special people in her life.
Major Story Arcs
Days Of Future Past
Mystique's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants gained infamy after their attempt to assassinate Senator Robert Kelly. Unknown to Mystique,if her team had succeeded, the future events chronicled in the story 'Days of Future Past' would eventually have come to pass, and the mutant-hunting Sentinels would in turn hunt down and kill all mutants under the auspices of the U.S. government. To prevent this timeline from occuring, an adult Katherine Pryde projected her consciousness into her younger self. Pryde alerted the X-Men to the danger, and the team arrived in time to thwart the assassination attempt. It was during this mission that the adult Nightcrawler and Mystique would first confront one another.
Freedom Force is founded when Mystique offers the Brotherhood's services to Valerie Cooper, the special assistant to the Head of Security. Because of the growing anti-mutant hysteria that was spreading through America, the government accepted Raven's request under the condition that they locate and capture Magneto. The team proved to be successful only because Magneto had already opted to turn himself in. As a reward for helping the government, Raven and the rest of the Brotherhood had their criminal past erased with the condition that they commit no other crime in the future. During Raven's tenure as leader, she helped to capture the Avengers, who had been framed in a federal crime by Quicksilver; fought with X-Factor in order to arrest Rusty Collins, and battled the New Mutants in another attempt to capture both Rusty and Skids. During the Fall of the Mutants, Destiny warned Mystique that if Freedom Force did not intercede in Dallas, Rogue would die. At the climax of this conflict, the goddess Roma appeared and made it appear as if the X-Men, including Rogue, were being escorted off of this plane of existence. Mystique later led Freedom Force to attack the Reavers on Muir Island, where Stonewall was killed. During the same battle, Mystique left Forge in charge of Destiny, until Destiny convinced Mystique she needed her aid more. Destiny was subsequently killed and Mystique blamed and swore vengeance on Forge for her death. Mystique eventually decided to take time off for herself so that she could spread Destiny's ashes in the ocean.
Mystique grew tired and depressed without Destiny, and was soon marked for death by the Shadow King. She was assisted by Xavier and the X-Men before saving Xavier himself by helping to defeat the Shadow King. Unfortunately, Mystique's mental condition only worsened when she was betrayed yet again, this time by her former teammate, Spiral, who tracked her across the globe. Mystique was eventually saved by Wolverine, who took her back to the X-Mansion so that she could recover. In the end, Raven had a complete mental breakdown and was taken to Forge's home in Dallas. With Forge, Mystique became horrified when she discovered that her son, Graydon Creed had become the leader of an anti-mutant hate group and had hired Sabretooth to kill Mystique. However, Mystique revealed the truth about their son to Sabretooth, convincing him to go after Graydon instead. Later, when a top ranking U.S. General with ties to Graydon turned up dead, Forge realized that Mystique was to blame and was preparing her next move to kill her son. This led to Rogue and Nightcrawler's interference as they attempted to stop Raven. Nightcrawler also finally learned the truth that Mystique was indeed his mother. Although, Raven failed to kill Creed, she was presumed dead after saving Nightcrawler, when Creed attempted to murder his newly discovered brother. During her time with Forge, the two were also attacked by the time-traveling Trevor Fitzroy, but the intercession of the X-Men saved them.
Months later, Raven returned and attempted to kill Legion, who was responsible for Destiny's death on Muir Island. When her attempt failed, Raven began to flee from the government. Unfortunately, Forge had placed a tracking device in her head during their time together, allowing the government team, X-Factor to find and capture her. She was then forced to become a member of X-Factor, after she discovered a government plot to blow up a dam and blame it on mutants. Sabretooth was subsequently placed on the team as a sleeper agent in order to kill Raven. During her time with X-Factor, Mystique began to develop a true romantic relationship with Forge, even though he thought that she was only using him. Later it was discovered that Mystique's lover, Destiny, had given birth to children during one of the couples long separations. The children were now adults with their own children, one of whom was a mutant. Graydon had the mutant teen savagely beaten by members of the Friends of Humanity, as a warning towards his mother. Furious, Mystique began preparations to again attempt to kill her son, however she quickly decided against it when she learned that his own colleagues wanted him killed so that he could be made a martyr. Mystique reluctantly attempted to save Graydon from being assassinated, although she failed, and ultimately ushered in a new wave of anti-mutant violence.
Operation: Zero Tolerance
Soon after, Sabretooth acted on his orders to kill the members of X-Factor after "Operation: Zero Tolerance" was initiated. Mystique attacked Sabretooth in time to save her defeated teammates and arranged for them to receive immediate medical attention before going on the run again. Later, Mystique started using the alias of Mallory Brickman, the wife of a US Senator. She then used her husband's status to send the FBI after Sabretooth. Weeks later, Mystique infiltrated a government operated building where she attempted to gain critical intel on the identity of those responsible for her son's death and the attempt to kill her via Sabretooth. Nearing success, Mystique suddenly lost her powers and reverted to a human form before being arrested. This ultimately ruined all of Raven's hard work over the years, as the government destroyed all of her established alternate identities and denied her access to any of the money that she and Destiny had accumulated together. Mystique's relationship with Rogue also took a turn for the worse when Rogue refused to break Mystique out of jail and instead decided to join her "second" family by assisting the X-Men in defeating the High Evolutionary, who was responsible for the sudden loss of mutant powers. When the X-Men succeed in their mission, all mutants regained their abilities, allowing Mystique to escape from prison. Mystique was soon sent back in time by the original X-Factor's sentient ship where she discovered that her son's killer was none other than herself, and that Destiny was one of the original members of the anti-mutant conspiracy which she had been fighting for countless years now. This caused Mystique to have another mental breakdown and she became obsessed with eradicating humanity.
Red Data/Condition Critical
She soon developed a plan and reformed the Brotherhood of Mutants in order to steal the Legacy Virus from Moira MacTaggert. While impersonating Moira, Mystique's previous experience with bio-terrorism allowed her to use Moira's infected blood to create a weapon that would target humans rather than mutants. Raven was also able to find a cure for the human version of the Legacy Virus before destroying Moira's lab and fatally injuring the scientist. Before leaving Muir Island in the form of Moira, Raven was discovered by Rahne Sinclaire. Raven quickly shot the mutant in the chest with a gun engineered by Forge, depowering the young mutants. Rogue eventually attempted to stop her mother, but Mystique stabbed her in the stomach once she knew that Rogue would not allow her plan to be successful. Rogue survived the attack by absorbing Wolverine's healing factor and claws which she used to brutally stab Mystique in the back. Later in a hospital, Raven confessed to the X-Men that in Destiny's visions, she had seen a dark future for mutants and no matter what preventative action she took, it still seemed to unfold. Without sympathy, Mystique was sent to prison where she eventually escaped and began using Martinique Jason to control X-Corps before ruining the organization and cutting Banshee's throat, leaving him in critical condition.
After being defeated again, Mystique attempted to work as a double agent for Xavier, who offered to shield Mystique from being found by the other countries she was now wanted in for her acts of terrorism. However, if she were caught, Xavier would deny ever having worked with her. Mystique was assisted on her missions with advanced technology developed by Forge, and the three inch telepathic mutant, named Shortpack, who acted as her handler. During one of her missions, an enemy of Xavier's known as the Quiet Man, contacted Mystique and offered to give her an interference transmitter (the same device that Xavier used to keep her hidden from the authorities) on the condition that she kill Xavier. Mystique created a plan with Forge where she would attempt to kill Xavier, however, he would stop her at the last minute so that the Quiet Man believed that she was still working for him. Unfortunately, the X-Men believed that she had truly attempted to kill Xavier and went after her.
It was Rogue who eventually managed to track down Mystique and she quickly disowned her foster mother, claiming that she had simply gone too far this time. Mystique attempted to apologize for what she had done to Rogue, however, her efforts were futile as she was forced to blow up the house she was in order to escape from Rogue. Mystique then returned to the Quiet Man to gain the interference transmitter, however, the Quiet Man had already decided to kill Mystique, believing that she had outlived her usefulness. It was here that Mystique learns that the Quiet Man is in reality, Xavier's former special agent that Mystique replaced, Prudence Leighton. After an ensuing fight, Mystique managed to kill the Quiet Man, rescue her former handler, Shortpack, and discover that the interference transmitter she gained had been fake all along. She soon attempted to switch Forge's real transmitter with her fake one, however, Forge angrily smashed it before telling Mystique that he never wanted to see her again. The two mutants share a final and sad good-bye kiss before Mystique leaves and Forge discovers that she had already switched his transmitter with the fake one.
After some time had passed, Mystique began to become worried about Rogue's relationship with Gambit and their inability to have a physical relationship. Because of this, Mystique first posed as a student at the Xavier Institute named Foxx and attempted to seduce Gambit. However, her true identity was soon discovered and she claimed that her intention was to simply test Gambit, and was only acting in Rogue's best interest. She then asked to join the team, admitting that the world was too dangerous a place for mutants to be on their own, so she sought asylum with the X-Men. Rogue was opposed to Mystique's membership, however, the team opted to allow her to join on a probationary status.
Partly due to her previous interference, Rogue and Gambit soon split up and Mystique attempted to play match maker by introducing Rogue to the mutant known as Pulse. This did not work out in Mystique's favor and when Rogue was assembling her strike force of X-Men she added Mystique to her team only to keep an eye on her. Mystique ultimately helped Rogue's X-Men in their missions, including in their battle against the Children of the Vault. During her time with the X-Men, Mystique developed and consummated a brief relationship with Iceman. However, she later revealed herself to be a traitor when she allied with Lady Mastermind and Omega Sentinel (who was being possessed by Malice) and defected with them to join Mr. Sinister's Marauders during their attack on the X-Men. At the peak of the battle Mystique shot Rogue and subsequently abducted her, taking her to the Marauders base before giving Iceman a brief warning about the future.
Mystique stayed with the Marauders and looked after the still injured Rogue. When Gambit and the other Marauders returned to their base on Muir Island with the Baby Mutant, they immediately hand the child to Mr. Sinister. Sinister then tells the Marauders to leave, with the exception of Gambit, when Sinister shapeshifts into Mystique and it is revealed that she has already killed Mr. Sinister after she forced him to touch Rogue's skin. She then admits that everything that she has done since joining the X-Men has been done in order to save Rogue's life after reading certain sections of Destiny's Diaries, which revealed the outcome of the actions that Mystique should take. Mystique then tells Gambit that the child is required to save Rogue's life. Gambit does not understand the connection until Mystique places the child's forehead onto Rogue's lips. Gambit quickly snatches the child away and chastises Mystique, claiming that Rogue would not want to sacrifice the life of an innocent child only to save hers. Gambit soon realizes that the child is still alive, however, Mystique suddenly begins to breakdown when Rogue does not instantly wake up. Professor Xavier soon walks into the room and Gambit gives him the child for safe keeping as Rogue begins to gain consciousness. Gambit quickly tries to explain the situation, however, Rogue is still furious at her mother, and simply says that all of it has to stop. Rogue attempts to kill Mystique by touching her, believing that she is still infected by Strain-88, however it is revealed that Rogue has been completely healed and no longer has the psyche of every being she has touched residing within her. Unfortunately for her, this doesn't last long as Mystique's psychic imprint now resides within her. Rogue then leaves Mystique unconscious and heads to the Australian outback to work things out for herself.
During the following commotion of the end battle and shooting of Xavier in Messiah Complex, Mystique regains consciousness and escapes from the area. Cyclops later asked Wolverine to track down Mystique and permanently take her out. Wolverine tracks her first to Iran, then to Afghanistan, all the while remembering the first time they met. It turns out that both of them had previously been captured for being mutants in Mexico in 1921, and after freeing themselves, Mystique convinced Wolverine to join her group of fellow mutants in Kansas City. Wolverine agrees, however, he double crosses the group when they attempt to rob a bank by leading police to the scene. Fortunately for Mystique, she had already left before the police arrived. During the present time, Wolverine continued to track Mystique before he is ambushed. Mystique then shapeshifts into his form and proceeds to kill an unknown Afghan woman. When Wolverine finally arrives at the scene, others begin to shoot at him, allowing Mystique to escape. Later, she impersonates a nun in Baghdad, where Wolverine tracks her to a bar. After learning why Wolverine is chasing her, she escapes to another part of Iraq. She shapeshifts into the Iraqi mistress of Senator Miles Brickman , allowing her to kill and impersonate her former husband when he comes to visit. Wolverine finds a way to get into the military base to get close to Mystique in her Brickman disguise. When he finds her in Brickman's quarters, Wolverine calls Mystique a coward, and goads her into a fight, but she escapes yet again. Later on Wolverine tracks Mystique into the desert, and she is naked to show Wolverine that she is not a coward nor is she ashamed of herself. After some explosions and shooting, Wolverine finally gets closer to her and a fight ensues. Mystique tells him that the X-Men kept accepting her into the group only for her to betray them. She tells them that it is only her nature and that Wolverine will also betray them sooner or later. Wolverine is shot and stabbed while Mystique is stabbed with his claws multiple times. Injured, Mystique shoots Wolverine in the head which should cause him temporary brain damage as she then throws up in his face. She crawls away until Wolverine heals and awakens only to find her yet again. She tells him to just kill her but he sees that she is bleeding to death and throws her a gun, telling her that he has friends who will always come to get him, while she's alone. With that in mind, she should know what the gun is for. Mystique screams at Logan as he leaves her in the desert with the pistol.
It is later discovered that Mystique survived that day and has been in the form of Iceman's ex-girlfriend, Opal Tanaka, having met Bobby at a party. Recently, Bobby had been experiencing difficulties with his powers. His body is in pain and always feels cold. As Opal, Mystique encourages him to call Hank. Hank advises Bobby that the problem with his powers could very well be due to the toxin Mystique slipped him, but he would need to run tests in San Fransisco to be sure. He sends the X-Jet by remote and 'Opal' insists on coming with him. During the flight she questions him about how he was infected and asks Bobby, "I wonder if she meant for this to happen", but he dismisses the idea that Mystique would even care. Soon after, the bomb she slipped onto the plane explodes, creating a hole in the side of the jet. She reverts back to her true form before kicking him out of the jet and to the snowy covered mountains they were flying over.
Throughout the next few days Mystique repeatedly attacks him and nearly kills him; but never finishing him off. She tells Iceman that she has never loved nor liked him. She injects him directly with another toxin, refusing to let hospital workers help him, and forcing him to cure himself with his malfunctioning powers. While Bobby hitchhiked, she attacked the semi he was riding in. Bobby traps her in ice, but she escapes when he is distracted by the semi's driver.
She is later found waiting on top of the Golden Gate Bridge, disguised as Iceman, with a pressure switch detonator in her hand to the bomb she has planted. Bobby is given permission to approach her first while the others look for the bomb. It's here the two finally have it out. He tells her that Wolverine told him what happened in their fight. Mystique admits that Logan was right about her being alone. That it sounded like the truth. Bobby tells her that he thinks she was lying earlier about not loving him. To this she has no reply. He pushes her further about how her daughter and son won't have anything to do with her. She starts to cry and demands he stop, but he just pushes harder telling her that if she would try asking someone out to dinner in place of blowing up bridges she might actually get somewhere. With her hurt, angry, and sad she is distracted enough to let Bobby freeze her hand while still holding the detonator. Her bomb has been found and the rest of the X-Men are on the way. She uses her frozen fits to knock Bobby down and tells him, she will come to see him again. Not with her body or face, but promises that he will love her. That being said, she jumps off the top of the bridge, the full seven-hundred feet; and into the San Francisco Bay. Her body is never found, but Bobby is sure she is alive and realizes he owes her thanks. In her own way she cured him of the very problem she started.
After birth control policies are proposed for mutants in order to regulate their numbers, Norman Osborn, then the Iron Patriot, as well as the director of HAMMER, organizes his own mutant peace-keeping team: The Dark X-Men. This is something Professor Xavier publicly accepts, but this is actually Mystique under Osborn's influence masquerading as Xavier. While the real Charles Xavier is being held captive and tortured in HAMMER's base. Mystique seems an unwilling participant in the Dark X-Men team. To keep her compliant, Osborn has her injected with nano technology which will allegedly detonate and kill her if she does not conform to his whims.
Rather than be used as a field agent withthe Dark X-Men team, Mystique is sent out to perform PR (Public Relations) tasks, in the guise of Charles Xavier, such as giving interviews on talk shows or interacting with other media outlets. The plan is to have a well-known advocate of human-mutant coexistence denounce Cyclops and his actions.
After the betrayal of Emma Frost, Namor, Cloak and Dagger. Mystique remains behind, still infected with nanites, with the left overs of the Dark X-Men; Dark Beast, Weapon Omega, and Mimic. With the rescue of Professor X and Beast by the X-Men. Mystique posing as Jean Grey as a ploy to play with some of the X-Men that she dislikes, such as Cyclops, Wolverine and Emma Frost.
Mystique and Norman appear to have a deal that was made between the two of them. Something that has not been spoke of. She is impressed that Norman had the foresight to realize that she's too dangerous to be left alone, and tells him so. She may not be happy to be on this leash, but she does see why he feels it's needed. It's later revealed that Norman Osborn has placed nanites in her nervous system, so that if Mystique disobeys Norman, he'll blow her up. Norman has assigned a mission to her and the Dark X-Men, having to face the returned Nate Grey. After the Dark X-Man help the Green Goblin defeat Nate, Mystique realizes it was a mistake not helping him.
Wolverine Goes to Hell
Mystique recently resurfaced as an ally of Daken, working on a plot with a villain known as the Red Right Hand to send Wolverine's soul to hell and leave his possessed body to maim and kill those that are important to him on earth. Severing her allegiance with Daken, Mystique intercepts an attempt on Logan's current girlfriend Melita's life and drives away with her on a motorcycle. En route to the site where Logan was first banished to hell, Melita bickers with Mystique and threatens to call the X-men, she then attempts to call Logan's friend Yukio only to witness her death by a possessed Logan on the other end of the line. Mystique then explains that she still is deeply resentful of Logan and that she even played a hand in sending him to hell but claims she simply can't go through with it, when Melita asks why she merely responds "I have my reasons". The Ghost Riders ( Dan Ketch and Johnny Blaze) and Hellstorm then aid Melita and Mystique in saving Logan's soul from hell.
Mystique leaves during the ritual and once back to normal, Logan comes after her for having a hand in his possession. The Red Right Hand also sends Lord Deathstrike to kill Mystique for her betrayal. Raven calls Logan from a nearby rooftop to warn him of going after the Red Right Hand but he ignores her. Mystique is shot by an exploding sniper round by Lord Deathstrike who chases after her. While riding away on a motorcycle, Logan catches up to her in a car and the three converge in a bloody battle on the streets. It is Wolverine who ultimately kills Mystique and leaves her body in the streets. Raven's body is auctioned off and sold to the Hand.
Since then, she has resurfaced as the leader of a new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. With this iteration--consisting of Sabretooth and Lady Mastermind--Mystique is attempting to raise enough funds to buy the island nation of Madripoor. She claims to be bored with the conflicts between various mutant factions, though she sows distrust in the younger, temporally-displaced Cyclops to alleviate this boredom.
Mystique is a mutant metamorph who can psionically shift the cells and tissues of her body so as to change her physical appearance. She can cause herself to look and sound exactly like any human, humanoid, or semi-humanoid being of either sex, wearing virtually any kind of clothing and accessory (even glasses). As such, she almost never wears clothes of her own since she prefers to mimic 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, and vocal cords to match voices to the point of deceiving vocal recognition software. She is also able to shift the placement of vital organs in her body to avoid damage from lacerations and punctures (notably gunfire). She also possesses a retarded aging process, if she ages at all; she is over 100 years old. As a result of exposure to unknown extraterrestrial radiation her abilities enhanced; She now possesses a healing factor (which grants her a great tolerance for toxins), enhanced strength, and augmented shapeshifting powers. She has been shown growing wings (enabling flight), shifting her abdomen to conceal small firearms, growing extra limbs, changing her mass to become a small child and flattening her body (strikingly similar to Mr. Fantastic).
Mystique was limited only by her inability to diminish or increase her own mass. As a result, while she could make herself look exactly like a person who was physically bigger than herself, she would not weigh as much as the actual person that she was imitating. Although she could maintain the form of another person of similar height, weight, and build indefinitely (as with her own appearance as Raven Darkholme), the longer she maintained that form, the greater the strain she felt. If she maintained a bigger form for too long a period, the length of which is directly proportional to the difference in size between that form and her normal one, she would collapse and revert to her normal appearance. However recently she has stated that her mass can change when she does, possibly a result of her enhancement.
Mystique also cannot duplicate the powers of the person she imitates: for example, when she turned herself into a duplicate of Nightcrawler, she did not gain his ability to teleport. As of yet Mystique has not demonstrated any ability to adopt the form of non-humanoid beings, animals, plants, or non-living objects, it is conjectured that she cannot imitate any of these without interfering with the proper functioning of her internal organs and possibly causing her death. The truth however, like much regarding Mystique, remains unclear. However, she has on occasion, adapted fins for swimming, and even wings for hang-gliding. She is a good hand to hand combatant and skilled marksman.
Over the centuries, Mystique has become so adapt at imitation that she can usually tell if someone is pretending to be someone else just by their body language. This even goes for psychics, as she was able to tell that Nate Grey was possessing Norman Osborn.
- Height: 5' 10"
- Weight: 125 lbs
- Eyes: Yellow
- Hair: Red
- Skin Color: Blue
- Known Relatives: Christian Wagner (ex-husband, deceased), Kurt Wagner (Nightcrawler, son deceased), Graydon Creed (son, deceased), Anna Marie (Rogue, foster daughter), Miles Ralph Brickman (husband), Gloria Brickman (adopted daughter), Talia Wagner ( Nocturne, alternate time-line granddaughter)
- Citizenship: U.S.A., criminal record
- Place of Birth: Unrevealed
- Marital Status: Single
- Occupation: Mercenary, adventurer, former terrorist, government operative, private investigator, model, journalist
- Education: Unrevealed
Earth-295 (Age of Apocalypse)
Mystique in the Age of Apocalypse reality, is the ferry woman to Avalon. It is her duty to make sure that all travelers who attempt to enter Avalon meet with Cain, the guide to Avalon. Although she seems to oppose Apocalypse, Mystique is not much of a hero as she charges a heavy tariff to take passengers to Avalon by taking all of their valuables. Although she feels unfit to enter Avalon for her deeds, Nightcrawler convinces her to help him find Destiny. Once in Avalon, she helps to defeat both the Shadow King and his Pale Riders.
The counterpart of Mystique in Earth-797 is male, and is called Mystiq. He has a relationship with Destiny like his 616 counterpart but due to his gender, has a child with her. Destiny and the child get killed under unknown circumstances and Mystiq often went to their grave site. On one occasion, he gets attacked by soldiers when the Exiles Sabretooth rescues him. After this he is in Sabretooth's debt and joins the Exiles.
In the ultimate universe Mystique is a member of the Brotherhood, and former lover of Professor X until he left her for his student, Emma Frost. Mystique holds a deep seated resentment for this and thus serves Magneto's goals without question. She is initially seen when she teams up with Forge to take Magneto's place in his prison at the Triskelon building. She is later replaced by Mastermind and Stacy X. She next participates in an attack on the Ultimate's headquarters in order to secure the body of the deceased Scarlet Witch. She uses her shape shifting ability to take Iron Man out of the battle by turning into the Black Widow. While using this form she nearly convinces him to commit suicide before being knocked unconscious by the Wasp. It is also worth noting that Xavier has a cat named after Mystique because the cat wrecked his office. Emma was the one that made the suggestion.
Mystique, now using Rogue's identity, and Sabretooth seek out Jean Grey (currently under the guise of Karen Grant) for an as-of-yet unrevealed purpose. After Sabretooth killed Jean's current love interest, she used her powers to attack him and told Mystique to "Leave... while you still can."
Earth-58163 (House of M)
In the House of M reality, Mystique was a elite Red Guard Unit SHIELD agent where she has a close family with her two children, Rogue and Nightcrawler. She seems to have a romantic relationshipwith Wolverine. After her memory is restored, she slaps Wolverine and then continues to fight along side the other awakened heroes.
Earth-2301 (Marvel Mangaverse)
In the Marvel Mangaverse, Mystique teams up with her son, Nightcrawler and other members of the Brotherhood. She is later killed by Storm with a lightning bolt.
Earth-2194 ( Marvel Zombies)
The Mystique zombie disguises herself as the Scarlet Witch in order to get close enough to bite Quicksilver. Along with the Blob and Pyro, she is later destroyed by Cyclops's optic blast through the head.
Earth-4011 (Wolverine: The End)
Mystique is in attendance at Sabretooth's funeral.
X-Men: The Animated Series
Mystique disguised herself as lots of women throughout the time. She then had a relationship with a baron but ended after the discovery of her newly born son's mutantcy. Mystique is the leader of the Brotherhood of Mutants. She is Rogue's foster mother who trained her after she left her family. She also instructed Rogue on how to absorb Ms. Marvel's abilities. For her to have Rogue back from the X-Men, she disguised as Rogue making the situations more complicated for her. She then became a close ally of Apocalypse. Nightcrawler also seeks for her to define the real reason for her leaving him. Despite her son's love, she declined him and told him that she hasn't loved Nightcrawler since, he was the reason of the Baron for abandoning her. She disguised as a doctor that proposes a cure but it was revealed that she only used Angel to become Apocalypse's horseman. She then disguised as Angel in his absence.
In this series, Mystique is Magneto's ally and the leader of the Brotherhood. She followed Destiny's vision as Rogue was recruited by the X-Men. In order to have Rogue away from the team, she have to give Rogue a bad image of the X-Men through disguising. After being exposed to Magneto's power enhancing machine, she could shapeshift not only into humans, but also animals, change her scent and become immune to telepathy. After bringing Apocalypse back, she was turned into stone. Her stone form was taken by the brotherhood, but Nightcrawler took the statue back to the mansion. Rogue pushed her statue off a cliff in anger and it seemed to be the end of Mystique. In season four, she returned as a horseman of Apocalypse, with her powers greatly enhanced. She appeared to be invulnerable and could transform into multiple beings and objects. She seemingly became normal again after Apocalypse's defeat.
Wolverine And The X-Men
Mystique works for Magneto, despite having a past with Wolverine. She first appeared infiltrating the mansion in an attempt to discover if the Professor had regained consciousness. She fought with Wolverine and hinted that he should remember her. As she fled the mansion defeated, she discovered Nightcrawler who had teleported his way across the ocean from Genosha. As Nightcrawler was attempting to alert the X-Men of Magneto's plans she knocked him out and and returned him to incarceration in Genosha. She was later seen breaking into the MRD in order to locate and free a dangerous young mutant.
Mystique appeared later to help Wolverine liberate Christie Nord, Maverick's daughter. Wolverine slowly recalled memories where he saved Mystique from being enhanced by the Weapon X program. They were attacked by Sabretooth during their escape. Wolverine told her to run and that he would find her. After the memories returned, Wolverine approached Mystique to apologize and ask for details of his past. However, she refused to say anything since the man she loved would never return.
As with all incarnations of Mystique, she is a blue-skinned metamorph with red hair. Her eyes are yellow and she still wears the skull at the parting of her hair, and prefers to wear skin-tight white trousers and a top, instead of the naked rendition from the movies. Her power to reproduce the anatomy of others is so detailed that she can fool the retina scans of the MRD. Yet she also seems able to reproduce powers, or at least has mimicked Wolverine's heightened sense of smell. If she is able to reproduce other mutant's powers, and given that she has a history with Weapon X, then it would seem that her powers and past are a combination of the traditional Mystique of regular continuity and that of Copycat.
Superhero Squad Show
Mystique appeared in the Superhero Squad Show impersonating Black Widow to gain access to the helicarrier and eventually the SHIELD headquarters in order to steal the infinity fractals secured there. In a fight with Iron Man she used her Black Widow form to convince the other squad members to attack him saying he is the impostor. She is revealed to the heroes when she is struck in the head with Thor's hammer, causing her powers to go crazy and making her take on mixed-mated forms of other heroes/villains (such as using Modok's head and abomination's legs). When she regains her senses, she traps the squad heroes in a force field as Doom arrives. however, the villainess Screaming Mimi was really the SHIELD agent Songbird in disguise and helped free the heroes. Mystique was then arrested by SHIELD and has not been seen in season one since. While disguised as Black Widow, nearly all the squad members were showing romantic feelings for her, giving her a multitude of chocolates and flowers and Tony even asking her out to an Italian restaurant. During her fight with Tony, she did reveal she likes Italian food. Her appearance is her comic book form, although a more cartoony style to match the rest of the series. Also in this episode, she takes on the forms of Iron Man (complete with his suit's features), Falcon, Silver Surfer (complete with the board, although unable to stand on it), Thor, Captain America, and even Hulk (although this made her seriously clumsy due to not being used to Hulk's size and weight, although Wolverine jokes the stumbling is an improvement). It is unknown if she will appear in season two.
In the films Mystique, portrayed by Rebecca Romijn, has scaly skin and reptilian eyes. She can transform into humans, animals and even inanimate objects. She was also able to grow claws, and may have a healing factor (though she still retains scars, perhaps by choice). She is able to mimic retinal patterns and fingerprints exactly. She also is a highly agile and expert fighter, seemingly better than Wolverine.
Mystique abducts Senator Kelly in the film after taking the form of his personal aide, Henry Gyrich, before revealing her true form and knocking him unconscious. Near the end of the film, on Liberty Island, Mystique mimics a stone statue and assaults Wolverine. Although Wolverine possesses superior strength, Mystique uses her superior speed and dexterity to outwit him before leaving the area by climbing upside-down on a pipe. She later over estimates her abilities when she takes Storm's form while attempting to trick Wolverine. He quickly sees through her guise and stabs her in the stomach. When authorities arrive, she takes the form of a police officer allowing her to receive medical aid. She is then seen at the end of the movie to have successfully taken the place of the deceased Senator Kelly.
X2: X-Men United (2003)
Because of her further impersonation of Senator Kelly, Mystique is able to find information on classified government information, which holds the location and information on Magneto's prison. Mystique helps to break him out by injecting a guard with iron-bearing fluid. She later attempts to seduce Wolverine by pretending to be Jean Grey after she and Magneto join forces with the X-Men to help defeat William Stryker. At the end of the movie, both she and Magneto escape Alkali Lake after setting into motion an event that could cause the destruction of humanity.
X-Men 3: The Last Stand (2006)
In the beginning of the film, Mystique is captured by the government. It is here that they reveal that her true name is Raven Darkholme, although she refuses to answer to her "slave name" ever since her family tried to kill her. She is later freed by Magneto but was shot with the mutant "cure" and turns her into a human. Magneto then abandons her, saying that she is no longer one of them anymore. She gives the government information on Magneto's whereabouts. However, when soldiers reach the base, they find Multiple Man's decoys. It is unknown if this was all part of Magneto's plan or if she truly did it out of anger. It is also not known whether her powers returned or not, as Magneto's seem to begin returning at the film's end.
X-Men: First Class (2011)
The prequel film X-Men: First Class features a younger version of Mystique, portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence. Here, she was depicted as being a runaway child who broke into Charles Xavier's house to feed herself, and shapeshifted into his mother, only to be found out as an imposter via his strong telepathic abilities. Charles took Raven in as a foster sister.
Ashamed of her appearance, Mystique spends most of the events seen in the film disguised as a young blonde woman. Her opinions began to change when she met Erik Lehnsherr, who tells her that she need not be ashamed.
When the X-Men go to Cuba to stop an impending war between the United States and the Soviet Union, Mystique was ordered to stay in the fallen jet and to keep it safe from intruders. She eventually does this by ordering Azazel to stop what he was doing in the form of Sebastian Shaw, only for Beast to be able to knock him out. Following the battle between the X-Men and the Hellfire Club, after Charles Xavier is shot and paralyzed, he tells Mystique that if she truly wants to go with Erik, she should do so. She becomes a founding member of the Brotherhood of Mutants, along with Azazel, Angel Salvadore, and Riptide.
X-Men: Days of the Future Past (2014)
Mysique is confirmed to be returning in the sequel to X-Men: First Class portrayed again by Jennifer Lawrence.
X-Men: Arcade Game
Mystique first appeared disguised as Professor Xavier between the 5th and 6th stages of the game. She is a boss on the 7th stage in the form of Magneto, and attacks the player with punches and kicks that are far faster than the original Magneto.
X-Men: Mutant Academy 1 and 2
Mystique appears in both versions of the game as a playable character, in the first one as a unlock-able character.
X-Men: Next Dimension
She is a playable character in this game.
X-Men Legends 1 and 2
Mystique appeared in both installments of the game, first appearing in the introduction trying to kidnap Magma, and then as the first main boss. In the second game Mystique appears in the intro with Magneto and Sabretooth helping to release Xavier from his imprison. Later, she asks the team for help finding Destiny, who fled to the Savage Land in order to escape an attack by Apocalypse. She has special dialogue with Rogue upon entering of Savage Land jungle. When she finds out that Destiny is kept prisoner by Garrok, she attacks him and finally rescues Destiny.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
She appeared in this video game as a non-playable character who helps Wolverine save John Wraith. It is then revealed that they were lovers and that she is carrying his child. As she teleports away, she says, "What do you think of the name 'Kurt'?" It is implied that this is Nightcrawler as he shares the same name.
Marvel Avengers Alliance
Mystique is featured as a boss in several mission in the game. She is frequently seen in charge of the Brotherhood of Mutants. She is an infiltrator class character
A mutant shapeshifter able to assume any humanoid appearance, Raven Darkholme achieved top-secret Defense Department clearance and used it to steal technology for the use of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. She is also mother to the X-Men's Nightcrawler.
Raven Darkholme, a mutant shapeshifter able to assume any humanoid appearance and one of the key members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
Marvel Super Hero Squad Online
Mystique appears first as a boss in several missions. After a while, she became one of the villians released as a playable character. She is voiced by Laura Bailey.
Description: This dangerous foe of the X-Men is a stealthy shapeshifter. They call her... Mystique!
Marvel War of Heroes.
Mystique appears in the mobile card game Marvel: War of Heroes. Her cards are:
- [Shapeshifter Assassin] Mystique
- [Brotherhood Founder] Mystique