|“||Who am I? That, my dear, is an excellent question. Though not one easily answered.||„|
Raven Darkholme, (also known as Mystique), is the major villainess from the X-Men comics and media. She is a somewhat cruel and treacherous ally of Magneto who has worked as part of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants but has also taken over - being capable of even more radical thinking than Magneto at times.
She is one of the X-Men's most deceptive and cunning opponents, happy to do what it takes to get the upper-hand and ensure mutant supremacy - this ruthlessness has been displayed when she attempted to kill her own adoptive daughter Rogue and son Nightcrawler on numerous occasions.
Mystique is also quite happy to switch sides if it is in her interests and this combined with her formidable shapeshifting abilities serves to make her a very dangerous opponent.
Mystique as she appears in the X-Men film series, as portrayed by Rebecca Romijn. In the movie X-Men, it was revealed that Mystique's own family tried to kill her for being a mutant. Later, she joined Magneto and became his trusted right-hand.
In the comic books however Mystique's past is much more mysterious, her exact age is never revealed but she is known to have been alive and active in the late 19th century and during her travels would have a relationship with Sabretooth, ultimately producing Graydon Creed - oddly enough despite his origins Graydon would grow to be a human rather than a mutant and indeed would be one of the X-Men's greatest enemies as the leader of the anti-mutant organization Friends of Humanity - at any rate Mystique soon broke up with Sabertooth and would continue on her tour of the world, eventually giving birth to another son, Nightcrawler, by the demonic mutant Azazel but she would abandon this child as well.
Ultimately Mystique would gain a final child by adopting Rogue and settle into a criminal career as part of the Brotherhood, where she would grow to be one of the X-Men's most hated and recurring foes.
However, things changed after the events of Axis where Mystique would take the roll of a true hero to try to stop the now evil X-Men and Avengers from wreaking havoc. She desperately fought Nightcrawler to turn him back to his true self and ultimately, she along with her comrades would take the fall for the Avengers and X-Men so their reputation wouldn't be ruined in the eyes of the world.
Mystique has a strange family. She and Sabretooth had a relationship though she transformed into someone else. She ends up having a son named Graydon Creed. She also had another son named Kurt Wagner (also known as Nightcrawler), from a love affair with the extra-dimensional warlord, Azazel. Mystique also adopted Rogue when she was very young. Mystique had a lesbian relationship with her life long friend named Irene Adler (also known as Destiny), who helped raise Rogue. In the films, she is Charles Xavier's adoptive sister and a former lover of Magneto.
Powers and Abilities
These powers combined serve to make her a stealthy opponent capable of tricking many, however it is not as effective against Wolverine, as she can not disguise her scent without aid - she also suffers from the limit that she can not transform into non-humanoid forms.
In the comic book canon it is stated that Mystique's brand of shape-shifting is far more advanced than most, in that she can alter herself on a genetic level, leading to the additional powers of regeneration and immunity to age. Her control over her own biology even allows her to copy certain powers tied to physical stature such as physical fortitude. Mystique's physical changes extends to her being functionally male while in a male form and able to get others pregnant or having children who are born inheriting whatever looks one of her aliases had at the time of conception.
Mystique's age and experience have lead her to become one of the more crafty Brotherhood mutants, a trait gained entirely though time and effort and not through a mutated brain of any kind. Mystique's power-set combined with her cunning and need to assume new persona's to infiltrate high-security areas has lead to a well maintained charisma Mystique uses to endear herself to and manipulate others. With just a few exceptions, nearly all her "friends" and family are easily traded in-and-out of familiarity to her based entirely on how useful they are to her. Her need to remain as socially adaptable as she is physically adaptable has lead even Mystique to become lost in her own cons occasionally.
- Prior to her prominent position in the X-Men's rogue gallery, Mystique was the main foe of super-heroine, Miss Marvel and a serious foe of Nick Fury, commander of S.H.I.E.L.D..
- In the original Miss Marvel comics, Mystique was called by her real name, Raven Darkholme.
- Writer Chris Claremont, co-creator of Mystique and main-stay writer for X-Men comics originally envisioned Mystique in an open lesbian relationship with her team-mate Destiny. Marvel however did not want the subject mentioned and so Mystique and Destiny were never openly shown as being in a romantic relationship. None the less, most fans still caught onto Claremont's undertones and he has canonically confirmed to fans that the two were an item.