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Early Years

Abandoned by her parents, Raven Darkholme met a young Charles Xavier when she broke into his family's Westchester mansion to steal food. She took the form of his mother to try and fool the boy, but he saw past the ruse. Thrilled at the fact that he wasn't the only one who was "different" in the world, he offered to let Raven stay and live with him and his family, which she accepted.

Years later, Raven followed Charles to England (posing as his sister) and worked as a waitress while he studied genetics at Oxford. She constantly had to hide her true appearance, which began to put a strain on their relationship.


When Charles was approached by Moira MacTaggert to assist in apprehending mutant terrorist Sebastian Shaw, Raven accompanied him to CIA headquarters where they displayed their abilities to a group of government agents, among them the Man in Black. Gathering a group of other mutants, including Erik Lensherr, Sean Cassidy, Alex Summers, Armando Muñoz, and Henry McCoy, they formed the early version of the team that would become the X-Men.

Raven as an X-Man

Henry McCoy 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. However, 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. The serum had the opposite effect he'd intended: it enhanced his mutation instead of dampening it.

The team was instrumental in stopping the Cuban Missile Crisis and foiling the Hellfire Club's bid for world domination. However, it was eventually split when Lensherr began to believe that humans would never accept mutants and opted to assert rule over them instead of waiting to be interred and executed. Raven, who had become something of a protégé to Lensherr, opted to join him and helped form the Brotherhood of Mutants.[2]

Murder of Bolivar Trask

In 1973, Mystique assassinated Dr. Bolivar Trask, whom she had discovered had performed experiments on mutants, causing the deaths of several of her friends. And that he was building giant robots, called Sentinels, designed to target mutants. However, her murder of Trask convinced the government to continue funding research into building Sentinels.

Mystique was herself captured, tortured and had samples of her DNA taken (which would allow for the creation of more advanced Sentinels, that could adapt to mutant powers), before finally managing to escape.[3]

Brotherhood of Mutants

Mystique impersonated Henry Gyrich, the aide to Senator Kelly, as part of a plan to kidnap Kelly and turn him into a mutant, thereby ending his support of the Mutant Registration Act.

"You're not part of the group": Getting stabbed by Wolverine

At Liberty Island, Mystique got into a fight with Wolverine. He stabbed her with his claws, permanently scarring her. However, she survived and morphed into the form of a fallen police officer, thereby allowing her to slip past the police that descended on the building.[4]

Magneto's mutation machine caused Senator Kelly to die, so she replaced Kelly and withdrew his support of the bill.[1]

Allying with the X-Men

Disguised once more as Senator Kelly, she learned from William Stryker that Magneto was in a federal prison. Mystique gained entry into Stryker's office by impersonating his aide, Lady Deathstrike, and gained details about Magneto's plastic prison (including the names of the guards), as well as to several more of Stryker's plans. After helping Magneto escape from prison, she joined Magneto's brief alliance with the X-Men.

While camped in an unknown forest area, Mystique attempted to seduce Wolverine in the guise of Jean Grey. When he discovered the marks of his claws, she shifted back to her blue form, telling him no one had left a scar quite like him. She later impersonated Wolverine in order to gain entry to Stryker's base at Alkali Lake.[1]

The Cure

Mystique was apprehended by the government after trying breaking into the FDA to get files about the cure for mutation developed at Worthington Labs. While Magneto was freeing other mutants to join his cause, a police officer aimed a cure gun at him. Mystique stepped in front of Magneto and was shot with the cure dart. Magneto was shocked at the self-sacrifice, and stared at the newly human and naked Mystique laying on the ground. Instead of her normal blue skin and red hair, she had normal skin and short black hair. Magneto subsequently abandoned her, stating that she was no longer one of them.

Mutant no more

Mystique retaliated by informing the government of Magneto's base of operations and plans. The cure to her powers may not permanent at all, as Magneto, who in the end of the conflict was also injected with the cure, has been seen to get his powers back slowly.[5] Her later activities are unknown.

Powers and Abilities


Raven Darkholme a.k.a. Mystique could manipulate her biological make up and skin cells to change her appearance to mimic other humans or human-like appearances (she once disguised herself as a replica of the Statue of Liberty).[4]


She is an expert in espionage and fighting. She is also extremely flexible, able to move her hand cuffed arms from behind her to her front, and unlock clamps on her hands with her feet.


Mystique seemed to have the most trouble keeping her eyes in an altered state -- they frequently flash yellow whenever she was distracted or startled while "in morph". She did not copy any abilities or skills from the person. For example, when she fought Wolverine, she assumed his form and fought him claw to claw, only to have her claws hacked off (they were made of flesh).



  • Mystique was the one who originally came up with Lehnsherr's codename, Magneto.[2]
  • Raven seems to display an attraction to Wolverine, despite the fact that he stabbed her,[4] and later rejected her.[1]
  • Wolverine and William Stryker are the only people in the movies to have seen through Mystique's disguise without the tell-tale yellow eyes, the former using his sense of smell,[4] and the latter when she imitated Wolverine, stating that he knows his own creations and that Mystique wasn't one of them.[1]
  • Romijn also portayed Joan in The Punisher.

See Also

Links and References


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