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Supervillain Origins: Mystique

VO: Dan
This sultry mutant shape shifter sure knows how to put on her best face! Introduced to audiences as Raven Darkholme, Mystique was first a foe of Ms. marvel before becoming a mainstay of the X-Men series. While her true origins have never been revealed in their entirety, her mysterious past was been alluded to in several stories and pieced together for your viewing pleasure, complete with her familial connection to Nightcrawler. Join as we explore the origins of Raven Darkholme, otherwise known as Mystique.

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Supervillain Origins: Mystique

This sultry mutant shape shifter sure knows how to put on her best face! Welcome to, and today we will explore the origins of Raven Dalkholme, otherwise known as Mystique.

As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginings and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen to primarily follow the storyline, which unfolded in 1978’s Ms. Marvel #s 16-18 and was expanded upon in 1983’s Uncanny X-Men #170 and 1994’s X-Men Unlimited #4.

This mysterious shape-shifter first appeared in disguise in a Ms. Marvel issue, spying on the titular heroine and planning her demise.

At that time, she also infiltrated Shield’s headquarters, fooling their security safeguards by taking on the forms of director Nick Fury and a female espionage agent, with the goal of stealing top-secret information concerning the Avengers.

She was soon introduced to audiences as Raven Darkholme, having taken on the form of the assistant secretary of defense, a position she used to strip the Avengers of their government status.

With her plan eventually foiled, Mystique became a mainstay in the X-Men series. While her true origins have never been revealed in its entirety, her mysterious past was alluded to in a dream, in which she was shown having lived as far back as 1783, as she possessed reduced aging.

She was similarly revealed to have been Wolverine’s lover before the Weapon X project wiped his mind.

Mystique ultimately assumed the role of leader of the newly dubbed Brotherhood of “Evil” mutants following the disbanding of Magneto’s original group. Vying for world domination, her terrorist organization targeted prominent anti-mutant figures.

Eventually, she was revealed to be the mother of the X-Men member Kurt Wagner, otherwise known as Nightcrawler. Conceiving him with the mutant Azazel, she did so decades earlier, while she was married to a royal named Christian Wagner.

After murdering the baron, the stress of having given birth to a baby with blue skin and demon-like features temporarily made her revert to her true form. Labeled a demon alongside her baby, she was chased until she assumed another disguise, before dropping her baby into the river to avoid suspicion.

Interestingly, she had similarly mothered and abandoned another child named Graydon Creed with the mutant Sabretooth.

These harrowing actions caused her to wander the world before becoming lovers with a precognitive mutant named Destiny, who instructed her to one day adopt a child named Anna Marie to make amends for her deed. Her adopted daughter later became the X-Men member named Rogue, while her lover had been shown to have significantly aged during their time together.

Eventually, Mystique made a deal with the government to be pardoned for her crimes if she helped catch Magneto and go clean. However, after his capture, she continued to operate independently as a mercenary, causing problems for humanity and the X-Men.

Over the years, Mystique has appeared in various media. Portrayed by Rebecca Romijn in 2000’s X-Men trilogy, she was made the acrobatic and deadly right hand mutant of Magneto.

Mystique’s origin was given a dramatic retcon in 2011’s X-Men First Class when she was shown to be far younger than previously assumed, as she was made the childhood friend of Charles Xavier. Portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence in this version, the film showed how she and Magneto became partners and, as we’re lest to assume, lovers.

Are you a fan of the mysterious blue skinned shape shifter? For more in-depth comic book origins about your favorite comic book characters, be sure to subscribe to

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