Raven Darkholme
Dark Phoenix Character Poster 04
Alias(es) Mystique
Robert Kelly
Appeared in X-Men
X2: X-Men United
X-Men: The Last Stand
X-Men: First Class
X-Men: Days of Future Past
X-Men: Apocalypse
X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Status Unknown (Original Timeline)
Deceased (New Timeline)
Actor Rebecca Romijn
Jennifer Lawrence
Morgan Lily
"Forget everything you think you know. Whatever lessons you took in school, whatever your parents taught you. None of that matters today. You're not kids anymore. You're not students. You're X-Men!"

Raven Darkholme, also known as Mystique, was a mutant who possesses the ability of metamorphism. Once a member of Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, she joined the X-Men in 1983 when Apocalypse threatened the world.


X-Men: First Class

"Mutant and Proud."
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 happily 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 LehnsherrSean CassidyAlex SummersArmando Muñoz, and Hank McCoy, they formed the early version of the team that would become the X-Men.

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 Lehnsherr 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 Lehnsherr, opted to join him and helped form the Brotherhood of Mutants.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Following Erik's arrest for his involvement in the assassination of John F. Kennedy and Charle's self-imposed isolation after his students were drafted into the Vietnam War, Raven was left on her own. She traveled to Vietnam and helped Alex, Mortimer Toynbee and Eric Gitter escape a military facility from Major William Stryker.

Original Timeline

X-Men: Days of Future Past

In 1973, Mystique murdered scientist Bolivar Trask in retaliation for the fatal experiments he conducted on mutants (among them Azazel, Emma Frost, Banshee and Angel). Unbeknownst to Raven, her actions inadvertently doomed the mutant race; Trask's death led to the government approving his Sentinel project and her subsequent capture allowed the government to access her DNA and use it to give Sentinels the ability to adapt to the mutants' powers. Furthermore, killing for the first time, as well as being subjugated to torturous experiments, caused Raven to embrace a new identity as a ruthless assassin.

Mystique 2000

Adult Mystique


"You know, people like you are the reason I was afraid to go to school as a child."
Mystique impersonates Henry Gyrich, 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. However, Magneto's mutation machine causes Senator Kelly to die. During the battle at the Statue of Liberty to stop Magneto from using the device on the UN Summit, she has an extended fight with Wolverine, proving to be too nimble for him to hit. Wolverine wins when she tries to impersonate Storm to distract him. As she cannot mask her scent, he sees through the ruse and stabs her (notably, she is depicted with yellow-green blood). She survives, however, and morphs into the form of a fallen police officer. As a result, she is able to slip past the police that descend on the building. At the end of the film, she is seen on television, impersonating Senator Robert Kelly in order to withdraw his support of the Mutant Registration Act.

X2: X-Men United

"No one's left a scar quite like you."
Mystique uses her impersonation of Kelly as a means to free Magneto from his plastic prison. She infiltrates William Stryker's office by impersonating Stryker's aide, Lady Deathstrike, gaining details about the prison as well as several of Stryker's plans (most important of which are the plans to "Dark Cerebro"). She frees Magneto by seducing a guard and injecting him with enough iron for Magneto to work with. After helping Magneto escape from prison, she joins Magneto's brief alliance with the X-Men.Prior to this, she is approached by Nightcrawler, who asks her why she doesn't use her shapeshifting powers to blend in with normal people, to which Mystique replies, "Because we shouldn't have to." While camped in an unknown forest area, Mystique attempts to seduce Wolverine in the guise of Jean Grey, but the scar from their previous battle gives her away. She then shifts through several forms (Storm, Rogue, then Stryker), asking him what he really wants. She later impersonates Wolverine in order to gain entry to the Alkali Lake base. The disguise doesn't fool Stryker, but gains her access to the control room. From there she aids in the rescue of several captured mutants and leads the group to Dark Cerebro. She then impersonates Stryker to aid in Magneto's plan to kill every human in the world, though it is ultimately foiled.

X-Men: The Last Stand

"My family tried to kill me, you pathetic meatsack."
Mystique was apprehended by the government after trying breaking into the FDA to get files about the cure for mutation developed at Worthington Labs. It is here that her name is revealed to be Raven Darkhölme.

Magneto comes to save her, but during the attempt she is hit by a cure dart (manufactured using Leech's DNA) while protecting Magneto. As she lies on the ground naked in her normal human form, Magneto regretfully abandons her, stating "you're not one of us anymore". He adds wistfully, "It's such a shame. She was so beautiful".

Bitter over his betrayal, Mystique goes to the government and gives the location of his base. However, when they raid the camp, they find it populated entirely with duplicates of Multiple Man. It is unclear whether or not the cure wore off and Mystique's mutant powers returned, as it is suggested Magneto's did at the end of the film - as was revealed when he may have moved a metallic chess piece without touching it.

New Timeline

X-Men: Days of Future Past

"I know what I have to do. It's us, or them..."
―Mystique to Charles Xavier[src]
Raven's attempt on Trask's life was thwarted when the consciousness of Wolverine was sent back to 1973 to alter past events. She was stopped by Xavier and Lehnsherr, who learned about the consequences of Trask's death through Wolverine. However, new problems arose when Lehnsherr attempted to kill Raven to ensure the future would be changed. Raven escaped, but took a bullet to the leg, and her blood was obtained by Trask's scientists.

Raven continued to pursue Trask and traveled to Washington, D.C. where he would be unveiling the Sentinels to the public. Xavier again tried to stop her from assassinating Trask, but Lehnsherr caused further conflict by taking control of the Sentinels. The ensuing chaos allowed Raven, who was disguised as a Secret Service agent, to sneak into an underground bunker with Trask and President Nixon. Though Trask's mutant detecting device gave her away, Trask stopped the guards from killing her because he needed Raven's DNA for the Sentinels.

The metal bunker was soon brought above ground by Magneto, who now sought to murder President Nixon and the rest of the men in the bunker on national television. He would be thwarted by none other than Raven, who non-fatally shot him in the neck and knocked him out. As Raven turned her gun on Trask, Xavier was finally able to convince her to let him live; the public had just witnessed a mutant prevent an assassination attempt and sparing Trask's life would prove not all mutants were dangerous. Raven dropped the gun, effectively saving the mutants from extinction. She then disguised herself as a soldier and escaped.

Afterwards, an unconscious Wolverine was found in Potomac River by Raven, now disguised as Major William Stryker.

X-Men: Apocalypse

"Y'know, I really used to believe that. And maybe it's true here in Westchester, but they still hate and fear us, Charles. The difference is their just more polite about it now."
Despite apparently rescuing him, the real Stryker still obtained Wolverine, although it's unknown whether or not Raven turned him over willingly.

In 1983, Raven investigates an underground fight club in East Berlin, discovering Kurt Wagner and Angel. She uses the services of the black marketeer, Caliban, to rescue Kurt and bring him to America. From Caliban she also learns that Erik has resurfaced and had lost his wife and child. She then takes Kurt to Xavier's Mansion and he is recruited as an X-Man.

At the Mansion, Raven reunites with Hank and he shows her the new Blackbird and tells her that he has plans to reform the X-Men believing that the world still needs them.Raven however then tells him she is here to talk about Erik much to Hank's dismay.

When Charles returns to the Mansion along with Alex and Moira (who does not recognize Raven due to Charles erasing her memories in Cuba) the two discuss humanities treatment of Mutants with Charles believing that they have made significant progress only for Raven to claim that Mutants are still hated and living in fear and claims Charles should teach his students how to fight and defend themselves. When Charles claims she still sounds like Erik, Raven reveals to him what happened to Erik’s family and ask Charles to use Cerebro to find him.

Using Cerebro, Charles locates Erik, however, he is soon taken over by Apocalypse who uses Charles powers augmented by Cerebro to disarm the worlds Nuclear arms. Charles in a desperate attempt to stop Apocalypse orders, Alex, to destroy Cerebro which he does knocking Charles out in the process. As Raven, Moira, Hank, and Alex take the unconscious Charles out of the room, Apocalypse along with his Four Horsemen including Erik kidnap Xavier.

When Xavier's Mansion is destroyed by Havok's blast (which was meant to hit En Sabah Nur when he kidnapped Xavier), Peter arrives and is able to save everyone except for Havok, who had perished in the explosion. Raven is then captured by Stryker's men along with Moira, Peter, and Hank, after being knocked out with a blast. They are interrogated in a cell by Stryker. After the interrogation, Raven learns from Peter that Magneto is his father. Scott, Jean, and Kurt free them after Weapon X kills all of Stryker's soldiers. They escape from the base after Weapon X runs off into the wilderness, his memory partially restored thanks to Jean. Moira pilots Stryker's Jet and the group heads or Cairo, Egypt to save Xavier.

On the way, a frightened Jean ask Raven if she was scared on that day in 1973 in Washington D.C when she stopped Erik. Mystique says no but then begins to tell them she was scared on her first mission in 1962 and recounts the formation of the X-Men that day. Arriving in Cairo, Mystique instructs the others to save Charles while she and Quicksilver stop Magneto from manipulating the Earth's magnetic poles and killing billions of people. Before splitting up Cyclops advises Raven that not all of them can control their powers but Raven tells them not to and instead embrace them and for the first time in ten years willingly sheds her human form. 

Arriving at Erik’s location, Raven and Peter try to reason with Magneto to stop and explains to Erik that while he might have lost his wife and child he still has her and Charles (and subtitly hints that Peter is also his child). En Sabah Nur attempted to transfer his essence into Xavier to gain his telepathy, but Kurt saves Xavier, before it happens. Xavier, however, losses all of his hair as a result from the transfer ritual, but for the most part is unharmed. When En Sabah Nur tried to kill Peter, whom he had crippled, Raven disguised as Psylocke slashes his throat with a katana however he quickly heals. Apocalypse then begins to strangle Mystique, but Xavier uses his telepathy to stop him from killing her. Scott and Magneto fight En Sabah Nur physically while Xavier mentally fought him in the midst of it all Hank manages to get Raven and Peter to safety. While they are unable to overcome Apocalypse this distracted him enough for Jean to unleash her full power and with the assistance of Storm as well (who idolized Mystique) Jean incinerates him! with Angel incapacitated during the battle whilst Storm and Magneto having turned on En Sabah Nur, Psylocke fled.

After the battle with En Sabah Nur, Raven and Hank train Scott, Jean, Kurt, Peter and Storm as the next generation of the X-Men.

Dark Phoenix

"I’m not afraid of you, Jean. Look at me. Focus on my voice, we’re going to get through this together"
―Raven trying to calm Jean[src]
Over the next nine years since the defeat of Apocalypse, Raven became the field leader of the X-Men. She had led the team on numerous successful missions, with the X-Men gaining positive world wide recognition as a result. On a mission into space to rescue astronauts of the Endeavor, Raven says the team should retreat as they will not escape the solar flare in time. However, Xavier refuses to leave the last astronaut behind and instructs Jean to make a shield.

With Kurt going with her, Jean manages to hold the shield long enough for Nightcrawler to get the last astronaut to safety. Jean Grey is hit by the solar flare. Nearly dying, the stress on Jean's body unleashes the Phoenix Force, which absorbs the solar flare. Despite this success, Raven later chastises Charles for risking Jean and the rest of the team's lives, noting that his inflated ego comes from the X-Men's success. Charles tells Raven it’s necessary if they are to keep the humans in good faith that mutants can co-exist with them. Later, while the rest of the team are at a party featuring Dazzler, Raven tells Hank that they should move on from the X-Men.

During this time, Jean has a mental breakdown that nearly injures many of the students and passes out. Raven and Hank accompany Charles as he used Cerebro to find out what was going on in Jean's mind. As Charles probed her mind, Raven discovered that Charles had placed mental blocks on her before Jean managed to remove Charles from her mind, which severely injures him. Jean then escapes and the team go after her, with Xavier knowing that Jean is going to her old home. On the flight there with the X-Jet, Raven ask Charles how he knows where Jean is going and what he did to her. Charles tells Raven that he did what he needed to do to protect her. Raven accuses Charles of hiding the truth from Jean. The X-Men attempt to bring Jean back to them, but interruption by local police causes a battle. Raven approaches Jean and tries to calm her, assuring Jean that she will not give up on her. Jean, unable to control the Phoenix, accidentally blasts Raven away, impaling her on a piece of wood. As Hank goes to her aid, Raven tries to tell him that she loves him, with her last breath before passing away. The X-Men bury Raven at school and held a funeral where Charles told them that Raven lives on through all of them.

Character traits

Original Timeline

Raven was seen as Erik's closest ally in the in the original timeline. As his protégé and second-in-command, she was essentially the perfect assassin and terrorist. She was exceedingly knowledgeable, being able to program and operate whole military computer systems, and fluent in several languages, as she is seen speaking in the native language of just about every country she visits, and her ability to perfectly disguise herself only adds to her mastery of deception and infiltration. In addition to being intelligent and cunning, she is also a formidable fighter, and can get past groups of over 50 soldiers without a weapon. Magneto has effectively educated her to survive and learn virtually anything she needs for any given task, and like Erik, she is also highly dangerous, ruthless, vindictive, and would not hesitate to kill whomever she has to, including innocent mutants, to accomplish her goals.

However, Raven's earlier history revealed that she was not always a cold-hearted killer. As expected of someone with such a nonhuman appearance, as a child, Raven was scared and lonely, and in her youth, she was impressionable and sensitive. Despite finding solace in her foster brother Charles Xavier, finding friendship with her fellow X-Men as a founding member, as well as romance with Hank McCoy, she remained conflicted with her appearance, and unsatisfied that she still had to hide her true self from the rest of the world. This frustration lead to her leaving Charles and the X-Men and joining Erik Lehnsherr, the young Magneto.

Under Erik's tutelage, Raven became stronger and more independent, but also more aggressive and vindictive. She was captured by Trask Industries and experimented on, leading her to develop a deep hatred of humanity on-par with Magneto's.

New Timeline

However, a change in history lead to Raven reuniting with Charles and Hank and turning against Erik's attempt to start a war, this event narrowly saved her from killing Bolivar Trask in revenge and becoming a murderer. Instead, being able to conquer her hatred resulted in her becoming the compassionate person she used to be, and escaping her destiny of becoming a mutant terrorist and villain.

No longer a villain and now hailed as a mutant hero for stopping Erik's declaration of war at the White House, Raven focuses all of her efforts in freeing and saving as many of her fellow mutants as she can. Eventually, she returns to Charles' side to help Erik also reform and find peace. After they successfully helped Erik, Raven remains with her foster brother and becomes the teacher of the next generation of X-Men, some of whom the very same X-Men who became her enemies in a timeline that no longer matters.

Powers and Abilities


  • Shapeshifting: Mystique could manipulate her biological make up to alter and transform her own body, hair, skin, voice, muscles, tissues, nails, organs, appearance , etc, any and all physical traits anyway she wishes. She could take on the appearance of other humans or even objects (she once disguised herself as a replica of The Statue of Liberty).
  • Enhanced Condition: Due to being able to manipulate her cells on a biological level, Raven possesses superhuman strength, speed, flexibility, dexterity, agility, reflexes, and healing speed, however at a lower level than mutants such as Wolverine or Sabretooth.
  • Superhuman Strength: Mystique's physical strength is notably stronger than normal humans; she has been able to overpower and defeat any normal human she has faced, even those of greater mass and size. Her physical condition and impressive combat abilities has allowed her to contend with vicious opponents such as Wolverine; able to stun, and for the most part maintain the upper hand in combat with him, however he was able to eventually overpower her.
  • Superhuman Speed: Mystique is able to move and react faster than normal humans, however it is her combat speeds that have been most notably enhanced. She has been able to quickly and easily combat and overpower multiple opponents at once, her combat speed is also significantly complemented by her tremendous agility and flexibility.
  • Superhuman Agility: Possibly her most notable physical trait; Mystique possesses tremendous superhuman agility, flexibility and dexterity. She is able to quickly and easily coordinate her body to perform complex martial and acrobatic manoeuvres, allowing her to rapidly and effectively take down her opponents.
  • Accelerated Healing: Possibly a result of her innate ability to cause her cells to go through metamorphosis, Mystique's body is able to heal from wounds at a faster rate than humanly possible. It also seems that her enhanced ability to heal allows her to recover from normally fatal wounds, such as when she was stabbed in the gut by Wolverine's claws, and at a much faster rate.
  • Superhuman Longevity: Mystique's metamorphic powers have greatly slowed her ageing process. She can make herself look older or younger, but she herself has been stated to age at a rate roughly slower than a normal human's.[1]


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

  • Master of Subterfuge: Mystique has perfected the art of deception, showing no physiological sign when lying.
  • Master of Manipulation: Mystique possesses incredible and innate understanding/knowledge of psychology, she can see, understand, predict and manipulate personal behavior. She can spot another's deepest secret and inherent flaws with short conversation. These abilities allows her to detect lies, make allies, and be able to apply subtle mental pressure enabling the easy manipulation of any individuals. She always knows what to do or say.
  • Master Spy: Mystique is a master of stealth and disguise, capable of breaching any facility without being detected.
  • Expert Martial Artist: Mystique is an expert in the field of martial arts. She has mastered karate, judo, aikido, savate, boxing, lucha-libre style wrestling and multiple styles of kung fu. Combined with her strength, speed and agility, she is able to take down multiple opponents without being hit.
  • Master of Investigation: Mystique is capable of observation, investigation, intuition, and inductive and deductive reasoning of the highest caliber. Human intuition is an intuitive trait and one of her most effective tools. Given any problem, she can arrive at the correct conclusions with a fraction of the data.
  • Master of Interrogation: Mystique is adept in interrogation techniques, capable of law enforcement methods as well as torture. She is capable of tricking people into revealing what she wants to know, and can always detect lies.
  • Social Intuition: Mystique intuitively determines and knows how to interact with others. She could tell exactly what to say to interact with certain people, or tell the rank of a person within a group. She is very beautiful, has a great voice, eloquence and charisma. She has near irresistible level of charm that can be used to influence many.
  • Seduction Intuition: Mystique possesses intuitive seductive, sexual skills, and charming allure which she can use to easily and efficiently seduce and manipulate anyone. She is able to always provide sexual pleasure to anyone including oneself.
  • Multilinguism: Mystique is fluent in an unconfirmed number of languages. She has shown to be able to speak in English, Spanish, French, Vietnamese, and German. She was essentially demonstrated fluency in the native language of every country she visited and every ethnicity she has disguised.


  • Limited Replication: Mystique cannot copy any abilities or skills of another 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). While her outward appearance may change, Mystique is unable to hide her scent or mental presence, meaning that enhanced detection methods (such as Wolverine's nose) or psychic mutants are able to tell her apart. Although she can change her appearance, but she can't change her body scent. During her fight against Wolverine, Mystique attempted to fool him by sneaking up on him while disguised as his teammate Storm. However, Wolverine's acute nose recognized Mystique's scent, catching her completely off guard to win. Trask built a handheld device that was able to detect those who possess the X-Gene, it detected Mystique when she was disguised in the room. Mystique also can not copy memories of the person she turns into. She can only partially imitate someone's personality and attitude, allowing perceptive enemies to see through her disguises.



Behind the scenes

  • 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.
  • Rebecca Romijn went through an extensive make-up and body-paint process as Mystique. Once Jennifer Lawrence went through the same process in X-Men: First Class, she suffered through skin irritations and blisters due to a sensitivity to the body paint. As a result, from X-Men: Days of Future Past onward Mystique's make-up was only from the neck-up, with a bodysuit used for the rest of the body.
    • Morgan Lily, who played Raven as a child in First Class, wore a slip-on bodysuit and facial appliances which only took one hour and a half to apply, as subjecting a child actor to the extensive make-up was impractical.
  • The outfit worn by Jennifer Lawrence in the final scene of X-Men: Apocalypse is the first to evoke Mystique's turtleneck sleeveless costume from the comics.
  • In the upcoming X-Men: Sinister movie, Jennifer Lawrence talks about the relationship between her character and her brother.


  • 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 morph. However, in First Class, she is seen morphing 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). It is possible that clothing limits her powers, but not to the extent that it makes them unusable.
  • While Mystique is technically a Metamorph in the movies (meaning she is limited to only replicating humanoid appearances), in the comics and cartoons, she is better-known as a full shapeshifter, able to change herself into nearly anything.
  • The films do not suggest that Mystique is Nightcrawler's mother, even though they had a brief conversation in X2. However, certain moments in Apocalypse have been taken to be allusions to such, though yet to be explored.
  • 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.
  • 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 rejected her in the second.
  • Wolverine and William Stryker are the only people in the movies to see through Mystique's disguise without the tell-tale yellow eyes. Wolverine does so in the first movie by using his sense of smell, and Stryker in the second when she imitates Wolverine, stating that he knows his own creations and that Mystique wasn't one of them.
  • 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 and The Wolverine.
  • It is implied, though never outright stated, that Mystique had a small crush on Charles Xavier in her youth; however, he only ever saw her as a sister and she left him partly to force herself to move past him.
  • Her brother explains the true story about what happened to her when she was young. She claimed her parents tried to kill her but as it turns out it was never true.


Images in chronological order of the film timeline:

X-Men: First Class

X-Men: The Movie Prequel: Magneto


X2: X-Men United

X-Men: The Last Stand

X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Apocalypse


  1. X-Men: First Class

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