- “I really believed we could change them after D.C. [...] They still hate and fear us. It's just harder to see because they're more polite about it. I got sick of living that lie. [...] I'm not gonna be the face of a world that doesn't exist.”
Mystique (born Raven Darkhölme) is a mutant with the ability to shapeshift into anyone.
Little is known of Raven's life prior to her break-in into the Xavier Mansion. However, from what she revealed in X-Men and X-Men: The Last Stand, her early life was rather tragic. As a little child, her mutation was so abnormal to others that she feared going to school. Additionally, her parents, also fearful of her mutation, had at one point tried to kill her. Eventually, after years of abuse, Raven ran away.
- “We should come up with secret codenames, we're secret agents now! I'll start, I'm going to be...Mystique.”
One night, in 1944 at a mansion in Westchester County, New York, Raven Darkholme first met Charles Xavier, when she was caught by him while going through the cupboards searching for food in the kitchen, and was disguised as his mother when Charles found her. After he caught her, a young Charles accuses his "mother" of being an imposter, and asks what she has done with his real mother. He revealed his power of reading minds, explaining that his mother would not make him a sandwich or hot chocolate, at which point, Mystique shifts back to her normal, blue-skinned form, and the 2 mutants formally introduced each other. Overjoyed to meet someone else "different" like him, Charles says Raven can come stay and live with him and his family, and she can never be hungry again. They both started a friendship and become adoptive foster siblings.
18 years later, in 1962, in England, Oxford University graduate Xavier is publishing his thesis on mutation; Raven, now his foster sister, and a waitress, lives with him. One night at a restaurant Charles met and flirted with a woman named Amy, calling her heterochromia a mutation. She was offended by this until Charles explained that mutation took them from single-celled organisms to the most dominant form of reproductive life on the planet. She then called herself "Mutant and Proud". Raven, who was watching from a nearby table, approached them asking if she had to buy her own drink. Charles introduced the girls to each other, at which point Raven, fed up with Charles' antics, feigned heterochromia using her shape-shifting abilities. Charles and Raven left, the latter angry at his sister for ruining his chances. Raven used Amy's statement later.
Raven stayed with Charles when he graduated from Oxford. That night, Moira MacTaggert seeks Xavier's advice on mutation, and takes Xavier and Raven to the CIA to convince the chief that Shaw is a threat. Raven, along with Xavier, displayed their abilities to a group of government CIA agents in order to convince them that mutants really existed, among them The Man in Black and Moira MacTaggert. It was Raven who convinced the government that mutants did exist by demonstrating her shape-shifting abilities. After convincing them that mutants exist they are to be taken to a covert facility, but first Xavier tracks down Shaw.
During a failed attempt to capture Sebastian Shaw, Raven and Xavier met Erik Lehnsherr. Lehnsherr joins Xavier and Raven at the CIA facility, where they meet Hank McCoy, another mutant that Xavier accidentally exposes. Hank became instantly smitten with her, and a budding attraction was evident between them. Hank revealed that he had been working on a serum to cure his physical mutation but leave his abilities intact. He believed that Raven's ability to alter her appearance would hold the key to perfecting it. He requested a sample of her blood, during which they shared each others' wish to appear "normal", as well as a kiss.
Soon, Xavier and Lehnsherr went to find more mutants, who were then sent to Division X. The mutants included were Angel Salvadore, Sean Cassidy, Alex Summers, Armando Muñoz, and Hank McCoy; they formed the original team of X-Men. The facility is attacked by Azazel, Riptide and Shaw, with all the guards being killed. Shaw successfully recruits Angel, with Darwin feigning joining him. Havok attempts to attack Shaw, with everyone taking cover, but he absorbs Havok's attack and kills Darwin by forcing him to ingest a massive amount of energy.
When Lehnsherr and Xavier return they begin to train the mutants, though Raven is conflicted about hiding her natural form. Erik's constant validation of her true beauty and self overturned her opinion, and when Hank finished the serum she refused to take it. Hank injected himself and underwent a radical transformation, which resulted in him taking on a more bestial appearance.
During the Cuban Missile Crises, before taking off, Hank arrived and explained that the serum had the opposite effect he'd intended: it enhanced his mutation instead of dampening it. Though initially ashamed, Raven assured Hank that it was okay, as he is now his true self, and he shouldn't be ashamed. Hank nods in agreement, just before Erik says Hank never looked better. Hank, however, takes this as insult, believing Erik is mocking him, chokes him, until Charles tells him to let Erik go, which he does; Erik informs Hank that he wasn't mocking him. Havok then came up with a new name for Hank: Beast. The X-Men then take off in the Blackbird Beast designed, with him piloting and MacTaggart as his co-pilot.
The X-Men arrive at the battle sight, and after a crash-landing, due to Riptide, the team takes battle positions with Havok defeating Riptide, Magneto searches for Shaw, and Beast battling Azazel. Charles orders Mystique to stay in the ship and cover the entrance, which she reluctantly complies to. During the fight against the enemy mutants, after Beast and Azazel engage in a brutal fight, and, as Azazel prepares to kill Beast with his prehensile tail, Mystique, in the disguise of Shaw orders Azazel to stand down. With Azazel distracted, Beast finally knocks him out with the help of Mystique.
Instrumental in stopping the Cuban Missile Crisis and foiling the Hellfire Club's bid for world domination, the team eventually split when Lehnsherr asserted that humans would never accept mutants and opted to assert rule over them instead of waiting to be interred and executed.
After Charles' spine was hit by MacTaggart's bullets, Mystique went to Charles side, and bid each other farewell, telling MacTaggart to take care of Charles. Raven, who had become something of a protégé to Magneto, opted to join him and helped form the Brotherhood of Mutants with his new team from the Hellfire Club. When the remaining mutants left to form the Brotherhood of Mutants with Lehnsherr, Raven told a saddened Hank to remember to be proud that he was a mutant before being teleported away. She helped rescue Emma Frost with Lehnsherr (now calling himself Magneto), Angel, Azazel, and Riptide.
In 1973, following Magneto's imprisonment at the hands of the Pentagon after the murder of John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Mystique was left on her own to carry out his agenda.
She traveled to Saigon, Vietnam, posing as a general and orders "his" way into a bunker containing Havok, Mortimer Toynbee, Eric Gitter, Daniels, and other mutant GIs in the care of Major William Stryker, as they are being quarantined. Stryker and his men arrive to take them to Trask Industries so they can be tested on, but the general reveals himself to be Mystique, who attacks the troops. The mutant soldiers also help in taking down the men. Afterwards, Mystique uses her General disguise to get the mutants on a plane to safely return them back to America. Havok ask if she's coming but she replies that she has to fight a bigger battle.
Later, Mystique disguises herself as Trask and sneaks into Trask Industries, successfully infiltrating his office, where she finds autopsy files confirming his experimentation and murder of mutants, including Azazel, Angel, and other unidentified mutants that were experimented on, which makes her cry heavily and go after Trask. The night before the summit, Mystique travels to Paris and poses as a North Vietnamese General, aiming to intercept a meeting with Trask at the Paris Peace Conference and kill him.
The next morning when Bolivar Trask, accompanied by Stryker, were going to show off the X-Gene detector to the Vietnamese officials it gave off strong reactions on one of the Generals and exposed the General as Mystique. She transformed to her normal self and knocked out everybody but Trask.
In the original timeline, Mystique was a cold, ruthless and evil woman who would kill without a second thought. This was a result of her being cruelly experimented on. She is very beautiful, seductive and aggressive whenever she disguises herself as someone else.
In her childhood, Raven was very solitary, often hiding her true appearance for fear of judgement. When she first met Charles, she was happy that she found a place to live. In First Class, Mystique is shown to never once wavered to the dark side.
Mystique hates it when people try to dictate how she should live her life, as shown when grew bitter at Charles for insisting that she hide her appearance. For this reason, she felt very alone inside. When she met Hank, she at first thought that she had finally found someone who understood her, but when Hank had developed a serum to counter their abilities, she started seeing him as no different than anyone else. When Erik encouraged her to be proud of her abilities and not be afraid of judgement, she had finally found what she was looking for: acceptance. This drove her closer to Erik and further from Charles.
Mystique also appears to value her friendships dearly and appears to be devoted to helping other mutants. Before leaving with Magneto, she kissed Charles on the forehead, showing that she still cares for him. Though she felt guilty for abandoning her brother, she believed that this was the only way to help her fellow mutants.
In 1973, Mystique seems to have adopted an aggressive and violent streak in her personality as a result of her training under Magneto. Though she still had compassion and altruism, demonstrated when she saved Havok and other mutants from Stryker and later when she sheds a few tears after learning that many of her other friends were experimented on and killed. With this knowledge, she planned on killing Trask to avenge her friends.
Mystique also hates being betrayed, as shown when in X-Men: The Last Stand, she was angry that Magneto abandoned her after she was turned into a human. In X-Men: Days of Future Past, she developed a new hatred towards Magneto after he attempted to kill her, shown when she threatened him with a knife.
After her injuries, she started to feel torn between her love for her brother, and her hatred for Trask. When Charles insisted that she has to come home, she sees that he hasn't changed at all and as a result, ignores him completely. This, along with Magneto's betrayal, made Raven feel isolated again as she now felt that no one understood her anymore.
She finally reached a breaking point at the White House when she had a gun pointed at Trask. When Charles makes one last plea with her, she reasons that Erik's actions have already turned humanity against mutants. But when Charles states that she has a chance to show another way, she becomes hesitant. Charles then admits that trying to control her is what brought them to this point and leaves the decision in her hands with complete faith in her. Mystique now knows that Charles finally understands what caused them to become estranged. With this knowledge, she ponders deeply on her next move, knowing that she must decide carefully. After a long silence, she finally realizes her mistake and spares Trask. This not only saves all mutants, but it changes her for the better. Though still on her own, she no longer seems to possess malevolent intentions and seems to have forged a new, better path for herself.
Despite being seen as a heroic figure and role model in the mutant world, Mystique felt responsible for her teammates' deaths and brushes off any praise to her as a hero, seen in her first interaction with Nightcrawler.
Powers, Abilities, & Weaknesses
- Rebecca Romijn was actually naked when playing Mystique, with only layers of blue paint and a few very small costume pieces covering her up. When Jennifer Lawrence plays Mystique in X-Men: First Class, she developed a serious allergy caused by the body paint, and a specialist doctor had be to be called in, to the set, to tend to her after her skin broke out in rashes and boils. Fortunately for Lawrence, Mystique was wearing clothes often in First Class. Later in X-Men: Days of Future Past, Mystique returned to her nudist appearance, like that in the first three films, but this time, Jennifer Lawrence was given a blue suit up to her shoulders to reduce the 7 hours makeup procedure.
- In the first film, Rebecca Romijn wore colored contacts to make her eyes yellow. In the second and third films, her eyes were changed digitally.
- In the comics, Mystique and Azazel are Nightcrawler's parents, though no indication has been made as to whether this is true in the film series. They did, however, join the Brotherhood of Mutants at the end of X-Men: First Class, but Azazel was revealed to have been killed in the decade between the events of First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past.
- Interestingly, in a blooper reel of X-Men: Apocalypse, Jennifer Lawrence described Nightcrawler as her "illegitimate son with Azazel".
- In the original ending for X-Men: Days of Future Past, Mystique was going to side with Charles after giving up her intentions to kill Trask as she returns back to Charles' mansion, where her gunshot wound is tended to by Hank, in addition to that she would appear in the altered future (with Rebecca Romijn considered to reprise her role) teaching a biology class with Hank and then in the past, it explains why Mystique knew of and rescued Logan (under the guise of Stryker). However, this was changed to Mystique escaping after giving up her intentions and then making her own agenda by shape-shifting into Stryker by retrieving a drowned Logan from the Potomac River after the producers felt that the ending was too unpredictable, thus her appearance in the altered future was not shot, but the ending was trimmed for pacing reasons.
- Mystique was the one who originally came up with Lehnsherr's code name, Magneto.
- Raven seems to display an attraction to Wolverine, despite the fact that he stabbed her in the first movie, and later rejected her in the sequel.
- Before Jennifer Lawrence was cast, Amber Heard was rumored to play Mystique.
- Jeri Ryan was running for the role of Mystique, before Rebecca Romijn got to play the character.
- Wolverine and William Stryker are the only people in the movies to see through Mystique's disguises without the tell-tale yellow eyes, the former using his sense of smell, and the latter when she imitated Wolverine, stating that he knows his own creations and that Mystique wasn't one of them.
- In the movies, Mystique is portrayed as a nudist and appears naked throughout the course of the original trilogy. In X-Men: First Class it is shown that even as a child she was a nudist until she was convinced to wear clothing by Charles Xavier; later on, however, she was persuaded by Magneto not to, as he called her an "exquisite creature." In reality, this was done because the filmmakers wanted Mystique to be as sexually appealing to male audiences as possible while being able to retain a PG-13 rating since she had blue, scaly skin. Rebecca Romijn was actually naked when playing Mystique, with only layers of blue paint and a few very small costume pieces covering her up.
- The other reason for Mystique's nudism supposedly lies in clothing limiting her ability to shape shift. However, in First Class, she is seen shapeshifting whilst wearing clothing on two separate occasions, with her clothes seemingly changing as she does. It is yet to be explained how this occurred or whether she was in fact naked and creating the appearance of clothing with her abilities (as in the comics).
- Mystique is bisexual in the comics, this has not been explored in the movies although she has often flirted with Magneto and Wolverine in the films.
- In the comics, Mystique has blue skin instead of the scaly appearance she has in the films.
- A scene from Days of Future Past featuring Mystique was featured in the credits of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
- Mystique appears in every film except X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Wolverine, Deadpool and Logan.
- In the extended Rogue Cut of X-Men: Days of Future Past, before going to Washington, Mystique visits the X-Mansion and meets Hank McCoy. Raven says she decided to come back. But next morning, she disguises herself as Charles, goes to Cerebro's room and destroys the Cerebro helmet so Charles wouldn't be able to track her down.
- ↑ X-Men-X-Men: The Last Stand
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 X-Men: Days of Future Past
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 X-Men: First Class
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 X-Men: The Last Stand
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 X-Men: Apocalypse