Raven Darkholme
Dark Phoenix Character Poster 04.jpg
Alias(es) Mystique
Appeared in X-Men: Days of Future Past
X-Men: Apocalypse
Dark Phoenix
Status Deceased
Actor Jennifer Lawrence
"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!"
―Mystique[src]

Raven Darkholme, also known as Mystique, was a mutant who possesses the ability of metamorphism. She joined the X-Men in 1983 when Apocalypse threatened the world.

Biography

Early Life

Raven shared the history of her counterpart up until 1973.

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."
―Mystique[src]

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 subtly 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

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

Powers

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: 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.
  • 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.

Abilities

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.
  • 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.
  • Seduction Intuition: Mystique possesses intuitive seductive, sexual skills, and charming allure which she can use to easily and efficiently seduce and manipulate anyone.
  • 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.

Weaknesses

  • 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.

Relationships

Appearances/Actresses

Behind the scenes

  • Jennifer Lawrence went through an extensive make-up and body-paint process as Mystique 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.
  • 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.

Trivia

  • 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. However, certain moments in Apocalypse have been taken to be allusions to such, though yet to be explored.
  • 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.

Gallery

X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Apocalypse

See Also

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