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Mystique (Marvel Comics)

Mystique

(Raven Darkholme) (gisted profile)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Mystique is a mutant spy and shapechanger, capable of impersonating anyone. Originally a Ms. Marvel villain, she then became a classic foe of the X-Men during the 1980s. Later on she was one of the Marvel villains who got recast as anti-heroes.

Mystique can be anyone, has extremely versatile powers and skills, and has been around for a very long time. This potential makes her useful, and even led to her having her own book for a while. Starting in the 2000s, a movie version of the character further raised her profile.


Background

  • Real Name: Raven Darkholme
  • Other Aliases: Raven Wagner, Leni Zauber, Ronnie Lake, B. Byron Briggs, Mallory Brickman, Millicent Hardwick, Holt Adler, Amichai Benvenisti, Surge
  • Marital Status: Widowed
  • Known Relatives: Count Wagner (husband, deceased), Kurt Wagner (aka Nightcrawler, son), Graydon Creed (son, deceased), Gloria Brickman (adoptive daughter), Rogue (adoptive daughter), Talia Josephine Wagner (aka Nocturne, alternate reality grand-daughter) – see below for more details
  • Group Affiliation: Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (formerly leader)
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile
  • Height: 5’10‘ Weight: 120 lbs Age: At least 80+ years
  • Eyes: Yellow (no visible pupils) Hair: Red Skin: Blue


The question of Mystique’s family tree

During the days when Creed and Logan were in Berlin as part of Team X, Mystique impersonated German spy Leni Zauber and had a brief relationship with Creed. After she got what she wanted, she escaped and left the dead body of the real Leni behind to ensure her cover.

Only later did she discover that she was pregnant. Surprisingly, their son, Graydon Creed, had no mutant powers at all and Mystique shuffled him away to boarding school. The boy developed a hatred for both his parents.

Nightcrawler

Later on, in disguise, Mystique married a German count, Wagner, of course not out of love but for wealth and power. In the following months, she found herself approached by a demonic-looking mutant named Azazel, who intrigued her. Mystique slept with him, willing to leave her current position to be with Azazel, but he soon dumped her.

When she discovered that she was pregnant, she arranged for the count to die under mysterious circumstances, for he would have known that he wasn’t the baby’s father. A few months later, when she gave birth, the child had blue fur and looked like a devil.

Due to the stress of the situation, Mystique slipped and also reverted to her true form. The townsfolk then hunted the “demons” down and Mystique knew of only one way to save herself. She morphed into a farmer and then pretended to have thrown the blue woman off a cliff and having found her child.

In front of the crowd, “he” then hurled the baby after her.

Mystique with a gun over a white background

It seems that Azazel rescued the baby from the waterfall and placed it with Margali Szardos, a skilled magician, who was working at a nearby circus. Despite his strange looks, she took Kurt in and Margali raised him like her own child.

Kurt got along well with her kids, Jimaine and Stefan, though decades later, when Stefan had become an insane killer, Kurt accidentally caused his death, trying to prevent him from harming more people.

Jimaine created the cover identity of Amanda Sefton and, like before as Jimaine, she became Kurt’s girlfriend. After being with him for a while, she was convinced that it had been an accident and she revealed herself to help Nightcrawler and the X-Men convince Margali of Kurt’s innocence.

Destiny

Mystique and Destiny were hinted at being a gay couple for a long time. In Uncanny X-Men #265, the word “leman”  is used; it is an ancient term for mistress or lover. Finally, the opening text of X-Men Forever #5 fully establishes them as lovers.

The couple took in Rogue after she had run away from her father, with whom the girl did not get along. For years, they acted as Rogue’s family and even helped her as best as they could when she started to manifest her mutant power.

One of Mystique’s many aliases is that of senator wife Mallory Brickman. It is unknown if there ever was a real Mallory Brickman but the couple’s daughter, Gloria, is an adopted child.

Unknown to most, Destiny too had a child, whose father has not been established so far. Irene’s daughter, Justine, married a man named Cole Chase and, together, they had a kid named Trevor. Living near Washington, Mystique befriended the Chases as Raven Darkholme and had been watching over them after Irene’s death.

However, to get revenge on Mystique, Sabretooth killed the parents, while young Trevor was kidnapped and taken into the Hound Program because of his reality warping powers.

Azazel

Years later, Azazel made a return. As it turned out, Azazel is one of several ancient mutants who were perceived as demons and, therefore, were banished from Earth by a group of “angelic” mutants.

Apparently, only capable of leaving his prison for brief instances, Azazel was desperate to find a means to escape and hoped to father a mutant with the power to set him and his friends free from the realm they were trapped in.

Mystique was only one of many women he had impregnated and, eventually, all his offspring were entranced to come to the Isla des Demonas, from where they performed special ceremony to meet their father in his realm.

Raven Darkholme turns into Mystique

The X-Men followed, leading to a big confrontation between those loyal to Azazel and others opposing him, not wanting to be exploited by him. While the dimensional breach was closed again, several of Nightcrawler’s half-siblings were killed. The only ones remaining are Genoshan mutate Abyss and a Maori named Kiwi Black.

Nocturne

In the alternate reality called Professor W’s X-Men, Nightcrawler got together with the Scarlet Witch and they had a daughter, Talia Josephine, who later joined the X-Men as Nocturne. Due to a ripple in time, she became unhinged from her reality and is now part of the dimension-hopping Exiles.

When the team visited the main Marvel Universe, she even met her father’s counterpart and, ever since, Nightcrawler is somewhat intrigued by the idea of dating the Scarlet Witch.


Powers and Abilities

Mystique’s mutant ability is to be a metamorphic shape-shifter with a perfect cell memory able to rearrange the formation of her cellular structure in order to do a number of things:

  • She can take on any human appearances she wishes, even those somewhat deviating from her size (in DC Heroes terms, Chameleon Power) and acts as them (Actor Subskill)
  • She can adapt specific genetic traits such as night vision (Ultra Vision Power), finger talons (Claws Power), or body armor (enhanced BODY)
  • She can heal surface tissue damage (Regeneration Power)
  • She can suppress her natural aging process (Slowed Aging Advantage)
  • She can reboot her genetic template to withstand many pathogens and poisons (Systemic Antidote Power)
  • Her constantly changing brain makes her hard to mind-read, mind-track etc (Iron Will Power)
  • She is always naked ; apparent clothing is all camouflage
  • As a rare stunt she can double her brain and limbs so that she becomes two joined characters (special Split Power), allowing her two Dice Actions each round.
  • Mystique occasionally secretes small, useful items from her body using Fabricate. A classic example is Fabricating a key. It is presumed that she replenishes the lost body mass via eating.

Also, after decades of adventuring, she has learned a number of useful skills, including piloting, acrobatics, martial arts, climbing, pick-pocketing, stealth, melee combat, marksmanship and driving.


Description

Mystique is a vision of unique and remarkable beauty. She has blue skin, red hair, yellow eyes and is usually clad in dark colors. Her clothing is, in fact, camouflage created by her powers as she normally is naked at all times. This is how she can change from form to form apparently immediately, thus including her size and clothing.

She usually appears to wear dark tights with a toga or other loose clothing in red or similar colors on top. Whatever she wears while in her ’game face‘, she usually incorporates one or more small skulls (physical or pictorial ones) on a headband, necklace, belt and so on, which is, sort of, her trademark.

In the field, she can appear as anyone and anywhere, so watch out!


Personality

Mystique has often been described as a heartless terrorist. She has gained this reputation from being an intense fighter for mutant rights. One could in fact say that Mystique lives the life of the stereotypical mutant outlaw, rebel and freedom fighter.

She feels that all mutants are oppressed and hunted by mankind, and that the mutants have to strike back for their own protection. She is a capable and confident leader as long as her goals are clear, and as long as her leadership position is not threatened. She will easily resort to extreme, questionable tactics.

Thus, leading the Brotherhood or the Freedom Force, all the members being of low morale fiber, was ideal for her. For these reasons, she thinks of Professor Xavier’s school as a cult, the X-Men being misguided individuals.

Needless to say, her actions leave few friends behind, but lots of enemies. She is, of course, wanted in many countries around the world.

She believes in staying emotionally cold and physically hard on her missions, to better do the job at hand. She is driven to extremes by her own inner anger and pain. She trusts no one, and is herself very untrustworthy; she is bound to turn against you in the end (if for no real reason then just for the heck of it).

With her strong opinions, she prefers to lead or to work as a free agent. She seems to believe in the adage that doing the thing yourself is the best way to get the thing done.

She will kill to get the job done, but she has a hard time hurting people when she recognizes some of herself in them (hinting at deep personal issues). Pleading to her sense of nostalgia might work.

She does not enjoy killing other mutants, but will do so if they are considered beyond ’rescue‘ or working for the ’other side‘. Having been adventuring for several decennia, Mystique is more than a little paranoid ; it is easy to convince her that someone is after her.

Offering her freedom and protection or even amnesty, like the government did or Xavier does, seems to make her really interested in working with anyone. She is not beyond working as a double agent either, just for the heck of it.

She may alter her appearance a million times a day, but she never really changes. She is rarely seen in her true form. The reason for this is, in fact, that she hates her own real looks. She has several common aliases that she uses, complete with their own personality quirks, and which are known by well-informed authorities.

She often reveals her true self before her opponents in the field, even more often so before combat, and considers this revelation to be her ’game face‘; she appears to like the confusion and surprise that this causes.

In any threatening situation, she is prone to change form and bluff her way out, or interrogate people while being their best friends. She seems to gain pleasure from exhibiting behavior that indicates a marked decrease in her mental stability; it is unclear when she really is mentally ill and when she is only playing at being ill.

In her free time she likes to read (particularly Oscar Wilde ), and club around in one guise or another. The saying goes, she can be anything you want her to be, except predictable.


Quotes

“Forge, I don’t think I can be any better… because I already know I’m the best. I’m sorry you have a hard time comprehending my morality, but I don’t. I’m proud of the hard decisions I’m strong enough to make. I’m proud of what I’ve done for people like us.”

Special Magistrate: “You led a terrorist group called the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants!”
Mystique: “The name was supposed to be ironic, moron. We weren’t fighting people’s perception of mutants, we were fighting our oppression and systematic extermination.”


DC Universe History

Mystique in the DC Universe would be the great-great-grandmother of the Durlan race, or at least Chameleon Boy of the Legion of Super-heroes. Chameleon Boy would thus be inspired to do good to clear his family’s tarnished name (Mystique Daggle?) or to show the world that Mystique was a misguided hero.

Given Mystique’s longevity, she might still be alive on Durla in the Legion era.

As these things go, she would certainly have cooperated with other proposed Legion forefathers/mothers, such as Magneto (before Cosmic Boy) and the White Queen (before Saturn Girl), in the modern era.

Note also that there interestingly is an evil counter-part to each of these legionnaires: Cosmic King, Saturn Queen and Chameleon Chief; each of these individuals are fighting for the other side of the coin.

Being very old, Mystique might make an appearance as an enemy agent during World War II, the Korean War or in ’Nam. She would have made a great opponent of the Unknown Soldier, Christopher Chance, etc.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Mystique

Dex: 06 Str: 04 Bod: 07 Motivation: Mercenary / Thrill-seeker
Int: 06 Wil: 07 Min: 05 Occupation: Assassin, Mercenary, Agent of Prof X
Inf: 07 Aur: 06 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 021 HP: 060

Powers:
Chameleon 11, Claws: 05, Fabricate: 02, Invulnerability: 05, Iron Will: 08, Power Reserve: 04, Regeneration: 02, Systemic Antidote: 04, Ultra Vision: 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Power Reserve is a Serious Marginal Power (-2)
  • Power Reserve represents her changing into weird, uncommon or ’mythological‘ forms thus temporarily giving her higher than usual stats: Power Reserve is only useful with STR, BODY, Martial Arts and Weaponry (+5 HPs)

Skills:
Acrobatics: 06, Artist (Actor): 08, Charisma: 07, Martial Arts: 07, Thief: 07, Thief (Concealment): 10, Weaponry: 08, Vehicles: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:
Thief (Concealment) is a Powered Skill (-1)

Advantages:
Attractive, Languages (German, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, plus 6 more unrevealed languages), Iron Nerves, Leadership, Scholar (Impersonating male characters : with this Scholar, Chameleon has no penalties for impersonating characters of the opposite sex since Mystique has been doing so for so long that it is no longer any difficulty for her), Slowed Aging

Connections:
Forge (aka the Maker, High), Former Freedom Force (Low), Professor Xavier (Low), Rogue (Low), Shortpack (Low), Val Cooper (Low)

Drawbacks:
MIA (Being somebody else), Strange Appearance

Equipment:
Various ’spy stuff‘; for example, she has used:

  • Minilaser [BODY 02, Energy Blast: 06, Range: 03, Ammo: 03, R#2]
  • Magnesium Bombs [BODY 01, Flash: 08, R#2, Grenade drawback]
  • Mystique is nowadays likely to carry equipment adapted to her current assignment. Such gadgets might be handled as C-Omnigadgets [BODY 3, C-Omniability 7 APs, R#2]

Mystique, leader of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants

While Mystique was the leader of this mutant terrorist group, she had a High Level Connection to the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants III (members: Mystique, Destiny, Avalanche, Blob and Pyro). This group later became Freedom Force, a government led organization (members: Mystique, Val Cooper, Destiny, Pyro, Avalanche, Blob, Spiral, Spider-Woman, Crimson Commando, Stonewall, Super Sabre).

She had a personal High-level Connection to Destiny until her death. She has also held Connections to the X-Corps (Low), the Brotherhood (High), X-Factor (High), the Mossad (Low) and Cataclysm Keys (High). Her current status with these organizations is unknown.

Additionally, during her earlier adventures, she only had a total of 50 HPs, her BODY was a 05 only, while her STR was a 03 only, her Skills were all 1 AP lower, she did have no Fabricate, Invulnerability or Power Reserve Powers, and her Occupation was Mutant Terrorist.

Throughout her career she has also appears to have had various levels of greater psychological problems, ranging from a Minor Psychological Instability to Catastrophic Psychological Instability ; she no longer has the Drawback in any form.

By Peter S Piispanen

Source of Character: X-Men Comics

Helper(s): Pufnstuff, Danielle Mendus, Eric Lagendorff, Sébastien Andrivet, Max Maloney, Roy Cowan.

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