30 Days of Marvel Day 2: Favourite Villain
Remember how I said how my childhood was steeped in Marvel? Mystique is probably the funniest part of that. I found a trading card of her as a kid and spent the next ten years completely infatuated with her without having ever actually read a comic book with her in it. Overall, I have to say that I’m pretty happy with that decision but I still do want to dig into Claremont’s X-Men to read the bits with her and Destiny because they are adorable. As a result, the vast majority of my feelings about Mystique have absolutely nothing to do with anything that has ever actually happened in a comic. Instead they’re mostly based around voluminous fan art and daydreaming over the course of the last sixteen years, but somewhere in there is the lost Claremont tale in which it was supposed to be revealed that Destiny, not Mystique, was Kurt’s mother and in a brilliant twist Mystique fathered him.
I feel pretty justified about being picky and snobby about what Mystique appearances I allow into my head canon because she is basically the Talia Al Ghul of Marvel. A fierce and independent character in her own right, but rarely gets written that way. I first started to venture out from Daredevil and into Marvel proper in 2004, which is when Chuck Austen was writing X-Men. The Draco arc specifically. Yeah. That time that Nightcrawler’s dad was a demon, but demons weren’t really demons they were a subspecies of mutants that… I’m really not going to get into that. The point is that it was a really awful time to be a fan of Raven because when Peter Milligan took over she infiltrated the school as a jailbait runaway with a bad stripper name to seduce Gambit in order to prove to Rogue that he is not right for her. That’s real. It happened.
But pretty much at the same time as that Brian K. Vaughan- whose Y: The Last Man I was reading over at Vertigo- came over to Marvel to launch two titles in Marvel’s short lived Tsunami line: Mystique and something called The Runaways. Obviously I was pumped for Mystique but I gave the other one a shot too because Joan Jett as a superhero is an awesome idea but she wasn’t even it it so what the fuck ever, Brian K Vaughan. The point here is that she had her own series and while BKV was writing it, it was awesome. When I met him at the 2006 SDCC, I thanked him for writing that series. He looked up at me, blinked, and then said “No one’s ever thanked me for that before.” This is what being a Mystique fan is, gals. I choose to look back on it as him writing that series for me and me alone. I’m pretty sure that in light of our exchange, he sees it the same way.
Things have been pretty decent since then, though. I lost my shit completely when she was revealed as being one of Mike Carey’s X-Men and if I had time to get my shit back by the time the cover of her making out with Bobby was solicited then I would have lost it again. But I didn’t, so I didn’t. These days I mostly squeal and fangirl over her and Daken who are the hottest couple in the history of Marvel. She’s a pansexual shape shifter and he’s bi. They pretty much have all the sex. What needs to happen next is that Marjorie Liu has to get her paws on Mystique in a bigger way than co-writing her appearances in Daken. I would also accept a Jen Van Meter mini (if not an outright ongoing series) now that Black Cat has wrapped. Or even her husband, because you know sexy queer redhead who has a bad history with the DOJ and has a thing for black vinyl is not a foreign concept to him. Wink wink, nudge nudge.