A villain published by Marvel Comics
. Mystique first appeared in Ms. Marvel #16
Raven Darkholme was born a mutant with the ability to change her shape and
appearance to mimic that of any person. If she transforms herself into the
physical form of a person with super-powers, she does not gain those powers. Also,
she does not gain mass if she shifts into a person who is larger than she is.
Darkholme's past has never been fully revealed, but pieces of it have come to
light over the years. She and the mutant Destiny were close friends and it
has been hinted at that they may have been lovers, though both were women. It
is also known that Darkholme has had at least two children. One of them
shared her unusual appearance: blue skin and yellow eyes. This child she abandoned
and he was raised by a group of gypsies. The child grew up to be the X-Man
The other child she had with Victor Creed, the mutant known as Sabretooth.
Their child ended up having no mutant powers and was named Graydon.
The child grew up hating his parents and what they were and became the leader
of an anti-mutant group when he became an adult.
Mystique first came to the public eye when she led a group of mutants in an
attempt to assassinate Senator Robert Kelly, a member of Congress who sought
to enact legislation to register mutants in the U.S. This group of mutants
called themselves the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Their plans were thwarted
by the mutant heroes the X-Men.
During this time, it was revealed that Darkholme, who called herself Mystique,
served as the foster mother for a young mutant named Rogue. Rogue had the
ability to absorb the abilities and memories of those she touched, but could
not control the power. While working with Mystique and the Brotherhood, Rogue
absorbed the powers of the hero Ms. Marvel as well as her personality and memories.
Rogue eventually left Mystique and sought help with Charles Xavier, the
leader of the X-Men. This caused a rift in their relationship.
Darkholme eventually became a government agent when she negotiated a truce with
Valerie Cooper, a member of the National Security Committee, for herself and
the members of the Brotherhood. The group
was renamed the Freedom Force and acted as government enforcers.
During a conflict with the Shadow King, a powerful evil telepath, Mystique's
companion Destiny was killed. Mystique turned her back on her fellow mutants
in the Freedom Force and resided with the X-Men for a time. The loss of
her friend caused Mystique to have a breakdown for a time and she left the
X-Men in the company of the mutant Forge. Later, when Forge took leadership of the mutant team X-Factor, who were now
agents of the U.S. government, Mystique worked with them.
The character of Mystique gained a great deal of popularity when Brian Singer's
vision of the X-Men was released as a movie. The character was played by
model Rebecca Romjin-Stamos, a lot of blue body paint, and just enough
prosthetic pieces to keep the movie ratings under an R rating.