Mystique is one of the most controversial, mysterious, and ruthless characters in the entire Marvel universe. Between her unique powers and selfish tendencies, she is pretty much an unstoppable force whose adaptability almost always ensures her own survival. Like many characters, Mystique has been on both sides of the good-versus-evil coin, landing much more often on the evil side. She's murdered, she's created mayhem and she's even tossed her own baby into a river. As far as comic book characters go, she is not the epitome of a superhero by any means.
As despicable as Mystique's behavior is, she remains one of the most popular Marvel villains of all time, appearing in more movies than any other Marvel baddies. Some of this popularity stems from her beauty, both in the comics as well as her on-screen performances by Rebecca Romijn and Jennifer Lawrence, but much of it comes from her complicated personality, unpredictability and scheming.
You never know what angle she'll be coming from and even when you think you do, she turns the entire narrative around. Sometimes it's the case of a terrible overrated red herring, but oftentimes it's a compelling twist, such as with these 16 Most WTF Things Mystique Has Done.
16 She's One Of The Oldest Mutants Alive
Apocalypse may have the rep of the oldest mutant (which is debatable, but that's another list), by Mystique is pretty old, too. Her powers keep her young, giving her the opportunity to live for many years without appearing to age at all. This is a big difference between the MCU version of the character, who obviously has her powers at a young age when she first meets Charles Xavier. In the comic books, Raven's powers manifest during adulthood and keep her ageless. She appears to be a young woman throughout her lifetime even though she is well over 100 years old.
Mystique is famous for saying, "I wasn't born last night, or even last century, for that matter." Of course, as a shape-shifting mutant, Raven is able to appear to be any age she wishes.
15 She's The Mother Of The Mutants Rogue, Nightcrawler, Raze, and Charles
People typically recognize Mystique as the adoptive mother of Rogue, but she has had several biological mutant children as well. Her most well-known is probably Nightcrawler, who was conceived with the demon Azazel in a plot to populate the earth with his progeny.
With Wolverine, Mystique had the mutant Raze, whose powers pool from both of his parents. The mutant, who hails from the future, certainly inherited his ruthlessness from both parents as well. Given that the two have slept together on multiple occasions, it's hard to tell when Raze was conceived, but many fans attribute it to the House of M story.
While posing as Moira MacTaggert, Mystique even had a son, Charles, with Charles Xavier.
This is not to say that Mystique is actually acts as a mother to these mutants. On the contrary, she's had some very tumultuous relationships with her children, but more about that later. She's also had a non-mutant baby, like the time...
14 She Had A Child With Sabretooth While Manipulating Him
In some ways, it's a bizarre pairing, but in others, it completely works: Raven and Victor Creed had a thing. They have been together on multiple occasions, however, and during the event that led to birth of their son, Graydon Creed, Raven technically raped Sabretooth.
When they first became lovers, she posed as government operative Leni Zauber during a mission and did not reveal her true identity to him before they had sex. She does this a few times in her life to different characters, in fact, and gets away with it, sometimes becoming with child, as she did in this case.
Graydon's lack of mutant powers, among other things, led to his hatred for mutants. He attempted to murder both of his parents through various means, including hiring an assassin for his mother and attaching a bomb to his father.
Mystique eventually assassinates Graydon herself after he creates the Friends of Humanity terrorist group against mutants.
13 She's Killed A Bunch Of People
It's no surprise that someone as devious as Mystique might be a killer, but she's murdered a lot of people in her life, ranging from her father-in-law to her husband, Christian Wagner, the Quiet Man to Mister Sinister, to her own son, Graydon Creed. There are unknown citizens that she kills as well. The murder of her father-in-law was simply out of self-preservation: he was about to reveal her as an unfaithful wife harboring a mutant baby.
She has also attempted to kill plenty of people, including another son (Nightcrawler), Wolverine, Legion, Banshee, Senator Robert Kelly, and countless others. Some of these attempts were parts of plans created by whichever group she was affiliated with at the time but many were also only to protect Mystique's own personal interests.
12 Her Clothes Are Mutated (Yes, She's Naked All The Time)
There's another reason why Mystique has so many fans: she's constantly naked. Whether fans lust after her or simply sigh in jealousy over the villain's freedom to never really have to wear pants, Mystique's nakedness is a pretty popular topic.
It has to be exhausting to morph your clothing all of the time, which is what Mystique does. Film fans caught onto this quickly while watching her transform from her blue, bumpy-skinned self (the bumps didn't come until after the movie, by the way) into various people wearing clothing.
Mystique obviously prefers to morph herself some clothing in the comics, typically preferring her white shift complete with skull crown. She's rarely seen nude as she is in the X-Men films, which was done as a sales tactic more than anything else.
11 She Has Worked For The Government And SHIELD
When Raven is on the side of good, she is a powerful ally to have at your side. She has worked on several heroic teams, ranging from X-Factor to Freedom Force (more about that later).
She also served as a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. during the House of M reality. Seeing her as an elite Red Guard agent who not only had a romance with Wolverine but a close relationship with her children, Rogue and Nightcrawler, was refreshing, even as brief and surreal as it was.
The most memorable moment in this story arc occurred when Mystique's memories are restored and, before she continues to fight in battle, she slaps Wolverine across the face. That pretty much summed the whole thing up and was one of the best reactions from the awakened superheroes.
10 She Has Been Professor X's Wife
The Marvel movies might have you believe that Mystique's love for Charles Xavier was strictly familial, but in the comic books there was a time when they were married. Not everyone knew it, however.
When Mystique posed as Moira MacTaggert and gave birth to the son of Charles Xavier in a future reality (and named him Charles Xavier), most people thought that she had tricked Professor X into the relationship. Once Xavier's last will and testament was read to his X-Men, however, they realized that he had indeed married Raven knowingly. While some reacted with derisive laughter over the announcement, others were pretty outraged to receive the news.
Given that this arc occurs after the films take place, most fans believe that it was simply created for the fans who enjoyed the idea of Chuck and Raven together on romantic terms.
9 Her Powers Were Enhanced Through Radiation
Mystique's powers are pretty straightforward, but they have also had some pretty strict limitations until fairly recently in her life. She was unable to change her size much and she certainly couldn't give herself, oh, two heads and a second set of arms until the X-Men Forever arc where she encountered some pretty serious radiation that left her powers pretty pumped up. It may as well have been mutant steroids and some fans thought it went way over the top.
Not only can Mystique now bend her insides at will in order to escape death and shrink down to the size of a small animal, but she can even change the way she smells to help her avoid being tracked. Love or hate her, that's pretty impressive.
8 She Slit Banshee's Throat
When Generation X was disbanded, Sean Cassidy (AKA Banshee) decided to start a new team known as X-Corps that pretty much consisted of a bunch of the old Gen-Xers like M, Jubilee, and Husk. The team also contained several ex-villains, making it look like a group doomed to fail, which is what it turned out to be.
Banshee's intent was to police mutantkind, even when the X-Men attempted to convince him to change his mind. In typical chaos-causing fashion, Mystique posed as someone else to infiltrate the group and released the criminals they'd rounded up (including Mastermind). She also slit Banshee's throat in the process, effectively rendering him powerless.
Banshee came pretty close to kicking the bucket after Raven slit his throat, but luckily he survived to live another day (and die another day after that.)
7 She Tried To Seduce Her Daughter's Boyfriend
Usually when a mom tries to seduce her daughter's beaut, she's referred to as a cougar, but in this case, Mystique went by the name of Foxx. As an underage student at the Xavier Institute, she attempted to seduce Gambit in order to prove that he wasn't good enough for her daughter, Rogue. While Remy refused her advances in the shower, he was thoroughly tempted.
Mystique has used her powers of deception for some impersonation doozies over the years. There was the time she pretended to be Dazzler so they could use the real Alison to produce Mutant Growth Hormone, and who could forget when she posed as Jean Grey in order to seduce Wolverine in the live-action movies? As far-fetched as that last one sounds, it wasn't the first or last time she's attempt to sleep with Logan.
6 She Turned The Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants Good
In a complete turn of events, Mystique once turned the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants into a team of superheroes called Freedom Force in the 1980s. Like the Suicide Squad and other teams of villains-turned-heroes, the group worked in order to obtain their own pardons, so they were a federal organization.
Unlike many of the X-teams, the Freedom Force actually managed to create a good name for themselves, earning public approval and positive media ratings. It wasn't all sunshine and roses, though. During this time, Mystique lost her beloved friend and lover, Destiny, due to the actions Legion (under the control of the Shadow King), which led to her attempting to kill Legion and for the comic itself to enter the Age of Apocalypse.
There are other periods in Mystique's life where she exists as a hero rather than a villain as well. She's proven that she's just as competent as a hero as she is a villain.
5 She Was Coerced Under Nanotech To Pose As Professor X
In addition to being married to Professor Charles Xavier, Mystique has posed as him on several occasions. One example occurred during her time with the Dark X-Men in the Utopia storyline, a crossover with the Dark Avengers.
Norman Osborn, who ran the team (which was never actually called "dark," merely just X-Men), injected Mystique's nervous system with nanotechnology that would set off and kill her if she refused to obey his orders. While she acknowledged that Osborn is smart to outwit and distrust her, she thoroughly resented the life-threatening blackmail.
At Osborn's behest, she posed as Professor X on talk shows and in interviews in order to generate approval for his Dark X-Men, as well as encourage vitriol against Cyclops and his team.
4 She Shot And Kidnapped Her Own Daughter
Rogue may not be Mystique's daughter by blood, but she's one of the few children who the mutant deemed worthy enough to actually raise (even if it was Mystique's partner Destiny who set up the adoption in the first place).
Most adoptive mothers wouldn't opt to shoot and kidnap their kids but hey, it seemed to work for Raven when she shot and abducted Rogue with the Marauders. As bad as it looked, it turned out that she did it to use Rogue to kill Mister Sinister and save her life by attempting to make her absorb a baby... No, wait, that didn't work out for Mystique, as Rogue left for Australia to sort her life out as soon as she had healed.
It wasn't the only time she brutally hurt one of her children, either. Mystique is famous for tossing Nightcrawler into a river. She also stabbed Rogue on another occasion, which her adopted daughter survived by absorbing some of Wolverine's power. She healed while clawing Mystique in the back, sending the mutant to the hospital.
3 She's Both Female And Male
It really shouldn't come as a surprise that Mystique is gender fluid, but as often as she is portrayed as female, it makes sense that people don't really think about it. Sure, she poses as male and female characters, but Chris Claremont came close to having her be the father of several characters as well as the mother of others. She is openly bisexual, with her longest-running relationship being the years she was with Irene Adler, AKA Destiny, a precognitive mutant.
The two raised Rogue together for a decade, but Claremont wanted them to have a child together biologically. The Comics Code Authority at the time kept him from running with the story, but it would be a great idea to revisit today.
Raven's openness and ownership of her own sexuality add to her popularity; in fact, her open mind in this area may be her best consistently redeeming quality.
2 She Slept With Wolverine, Then Tried To Kill Him
Raven has a much more long and winding history with Wolverine than she ever did with Professor X. She first encountered James in the 1920s when they worked together as mutant thieves. Even after they first became lovers then, she pushed him off a train and the cycle has been continuing since.
After the Messiah Complex, Cyclops tasks Wolverine with tracking Mystique down and killing her in the Get Mystique comic. They have some long chases and fight scenes, and he ultimately doesn't kill her, leaving her to attempt to kill him again during the Wolverine Goes to Hell story!
Mystique has also slept with several people in Wolverine's life, from his nemesis Sabretooth (who confessed to killing his love, Silver Fox, over pillow talk with Raven) to his son Daken. She's also slept with plenty of people that she later tried to murder. Of course, trying to kill Wolverine is nothing when compared to the fact that...
1 She Is Killed By Wolverine And Her Body Is Sold To The Hand
Having your body parts donated to save lives is leaving a beautiful legacy, but being shot and murdered in order to have your body sold to an organization like the Hand is just plain messed up. That's how Wolverine deals with Mystique in the Wolverine Goes to Hell comic during the Dark X-Men story.
When Wolverine escapes from Hell and realizes that she was instrumental in sending him there, he is bent on revenge. She fluctuates between trying to help destroy Logan and saving him in a confusing narrative that ends up with her dead on the street by his hand, literally slain by his claws. He leaves her there to rot, but she is quickly snatched up by Lord Deathstrike to be auctioned off to The Hand.
Anyone familiar with The Hand, of course, knows that means a resurrection is sure to follow, and that's why Raven remains alive to this day.
There's a lot of WTF in Mystique's long history with the X-Men? Did we miss anything? Share it in the comments!