One of the most notorious super villains from the X-Men, Raven Darkholme, is one of the most complex and dark mutants Marvel has ever created. Her backstory and questionable lifestyle have made her one of the most exciting LGBT comic book characters ever. She’s been in every single X-Men movie, but her bisexual lifestyle hasn’t made it at all in the films.
She has had sex and several different lovers, and gave birth or was a mother-figure to a lot of people. Whether she is a misguided mutant or truly an evil character, you be the judge.
Mystique’s Powers And Origin
Created by David Cockrum and Chris Claremont, she first appeared in Ms. Marvel #16 back in 1978. She can shapeshift to mimic any person she sees with uncanny precision.
She has been part of nearly every single mutant group on both sides. The X-Men, the Brotherhood of Mutants, X-Factor, Marauders, Freedom Force, The Hand, and X-Factor. She probably has infiltrated even more using her powers to gather intel as a secret or double agent.
Mystique’s Queer Lifestyle
Her convoluted backstory only has small bits and pieces. Many of which have revolved around her children like, Nightcrawler and Rogue. But what we do know is that Mystique had an remarkably long relationship with Irene Adler, also known as Destiny.
It is a good point of fact to know that Marvel followed the Comics Code Authority. From 1954 to the early 2000s that prohibited explicit portrayals of gay or bisexual characters, and dictated how several characters were portrayed.
Like Northstar and Iceman, Mystique was not allowed to be a lesbian character. There were several extensive hints, and interviews with writer’s who wanted to make Mystique a queer character, but were advised not to.
Hired to help Destiny, who had the power of precognition. She could predict the future and use her powers to change the future to how she saw fit. Destiny needed Mystique to help decipher her premonitions and stop them from coming to pass. They ultimately become life-long lovers, so long, in the fact that Destiny became an old woman while Mystique retained her youthful appearance. She has admitted that she at least 100 years old (though her real age is still unknown).
After establishing her Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, which later becomes the Freedom Force, she uses her power and influence for the government. In Uncanny X-Men #255, Mystique and Freedom Force fight the Reavers, a group of cyborgs who hate mutants, on Muir Island. Destiny is killed after Mystique left Forge to protect her.
Mystique was emotionally traumatized. Having foreseen her death, Destiny left a note with extremely precise instructions for Mystique after cremation. Mystique scattered her ashes at sea. She had also left several books of images from her visions of the future and were part of Mystique’s original mission, “Destiny’s Diaries.”
Mystique would later join the X-Men to get closer to her daughter, but develops a very close relationship with Iceman, another LGBT X-Man. The two of them consummate their love. She eventually reveals her true nature as a traitor in a fight with Mastermind and Omega Sentinel, during a battle between Mr. Sinister’s Marauders and the X-Men. She uses the battle to abduct Rogue and has the opportunity to kill Bobby Drake, but doesn’t.
Mystique met Victor Creed (Sabretooth), under the disguise of Leni Dauber. They were to assassinate a Berlin scientist. The two became lovers, but Raven eventually faked her death so she could leave Sabretooth.
Unknown to him, she had a child who would later grow up to be Graydon Creed. She left him for adoption and kept tabs on him to see whether he would be a mutant. When it turned out he was a normal human and the leader of a mutant-hating group called the Friends of Humanity, Mystique killed him herself.
Mystique later married a rich nobleman named Baron Christian Wagner, in the Bavarian Alps. She hoped to use his wealth and power for her personal gain.
When she found out he was infertile, she used her powers to try to have sex with as many men as possible to have another child. She ended up meeting Azazel and became pregnant with his child.
During childbirth, she reverted to her true blue-skinned form, and had Kurt Wagner (Nightcrawler). When they saw the child looked like a demon, the villagers swiftly went after the two. On the run, Mystique threw her newborn into a river and then morphed into a villager to escape. Though she left her child for dead, Kurt Wagner grows up to become Nightcrawler, one of the X-Men.
After abandoning another one of her children, Raven finally met Destiny, who became her friend and lover. With Destiny’s powers, they decided to adopt Anna Marie, who later becomes the X-Man, Rogue.
After the trauma of leaving her first two children, Mystique genuinely cares and raises Rogue. Her daughter joins the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. After Rogue absorbed the powers of Ms. Marvel, she leaves the Brotherhood and joins the X-Men.
Thinking that Professor Xavier brainwashed her daughter, she tries to rescue Rogue. Rogue reveals that she needed Xavier to help her control her powers. Mystique leaves and resents the X-Men and Xavier for stealing the only child she was able to raise as her own.
Why You Should Love/Hate Mystique
Having been around for over a hundred years, Mystique’s view of mankind is despicable. But what made her views of humans and mutants so tainted, and different than the views of Professor Xavier?
It may be due to in fact to her long life. She’s been around longer than most humans, which means she’s been through more than a few World Wars. Maybe it was the fact that she had to throw one of her own children over a waterfall because they were both being chased for being different.
Even though she can physical change her appearance to whatever she wants, her son couldn’t. If these villagers were willing to chase and kill a newborn baby because it looked like a demon, what could he do all his life? She could blend in with the crowds and make up a brand new identity whenever she wanted but her son didn’t show any latent abilities. Most mutants gain whatever powers they have as teenagers.
If she had to deal with living as a blue woman with yellow eyes, did she really want her son to have the same life she did? Constantly out on the run. Could her throwing Nightcrawler over the edge have been a mercy killing in her eyes? Or was she doing it to save herself?
Another thing to think about is that Mystique actually has body issues. Like many gay men, she hates the way she looks, she refuses to look at herself in the mirror unless she’s under disguise. But what traumatic event led her to hate how she looks?
Random Facts About Mystique
- Her metamorphic powers slow down her aging process. She was around in the 1920s with Wolverine.
- She is always naked, she merely makes her skin look and feel like other materials.
- Unlike the film version of X-Men, Mystique and Magneto are not that close in the comics.
- She was originally going to be the father of Nightcrawler, but the writers decided not to.
- She’s omnilingual to most readers, but this could just be her training and being around for hundreds of years.
- The reptilian skin she has from the movies was introduced in the comics after she saved Toad.