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Mystique

Real name: Raven Darkholme
Other aliases: Mallory Brickman
Identity: Secret
Occupation: (current) Special operative for Germany and the United States governments, (former) German Freedom Fighter, special operative in the Weapon X Project Team
Legal status: Citizen of the United States with no criminal record
Place of birth: Unknown
Marital status: Married
Known relatives: Rogue (unofficial foster daughter), Ralph Brickman (husband), Gloria Brickman (daughter), Graydon Creed (son, deceased)
Base of operations: Arlington, Virginia
Group affiliation: (former) Founder and leader of the third Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, now known as Freedom Force; X-Factor
First appearance: (as Raven Darkholme) MS. MARVEL #16, (as Mystique) MS. MARVEL #18

History: Little has been revealed about Mystique's past. Indeed, since she can eliminate the outward signs of aging with her shape-changing power, it is not known exactly how old she is. She apparently learned to use her shape-changing power at a very early age, for there is no evidence known to the public or the United States government that Raven Darkholme ever looked like anything but a normal human being. Years ago Mystique had an affair with the mutant Sabretooth and they had a son, Graydon Creed, the recently assassinated presidential candidate. Mystique has also claimed to be the mother of Nightcrawler, a member of the X-Men, as the result of a liaison with another, unnamed man. Mystique is known to be a longtime friend of the mutant Destiny who is now deceased. At some point in recent years Mystique became the protectress of the young mutant named Rogue, and looked upon Rogue as a surrogate daughter.

At the same time she maintained another identity, that of Mallory Brickman, the wife of U.S. Senator Ralph Brickman. They even had a daughter, Gloria.

Mystique had concealed her superhuman powers and criminal intentions so well over the years that, as Darkholme, she was able to rise rapidly through the United States Civil Service to the trusted position of Deputy Director of the Defense Advanced Research Planning Agency (DARPA) in the United States Department of Defense. This position gave her access to military secrets and to advanced weaponry, both of which she used for her own criminal and subversive purposes.

To help her in her criminal activities, Mystique organized the third incarnation of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, which originally consisted of herself, Avalanche, the Blob, Destiny, and Pyro. Mystique named her group after the original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, a subversive organization founded by Magneto in his criminal days.

The third Brotherhood first became notorious when it attempted to intimidate the public by assassinating Senator Robert Kelly, who was investigating what he perceived as the possible menace posed by the existence of superhuman mutants and other superhuman beings. The X-Men thwarted the assassination attempt, and the Brotherhood later clashed with the X-Men on other occasions, as well as with the Avengers and Dazzler. Rogue was a member of the Brotherhood for a time, but finally left to join the X-Men, in order to find help in learning how to deal with her superhuman powers.

Recently, anti-mutant sentiment among normal human beings has greatly increased, and the federal government has launched its own covert anti-mutant program, Project Wideawake. Believing that the times had thus become too dangerous for the Brotherhood to continue its criminal activities, Mystique went to Dr. Valerie Cooper, special assistant to the head of the National Security Council, and offered the Brotherhood's services to the government. Cooper agreed to convey the offer to the President, on the condition that the Brotherhood pass a test she imposed: the capture of Magneto. The Brotherhood, now renamed Freedom Force, succeeded in bringing Magneto to the authorities (although, in fact, they did so only because he voluntarily surrendered to them), and soon afterwards officially entered the government's employ.

In return for entering the government's employ as Freedom Force's leader, Mystique received a presidential pardon for all criminal charges against her, but the pardon would be revoked if any member of Freedom Force was found committing a crime.

Recently, Mystique fled X-Factor and hid from them by returning to her secret identity as Mallory Brickman, the Senator's wife.

Height: 5 ft. 10 in.
Weight: 120 lbs.
Eyes: Yellow (no apparent pupils when she is in her true form)
Hair: Red-orange (black in her usual human form as Raven Darkholme
Other distinguishing features: Grey-black skin in her true form

Strength level: Mystique possesses the normal human strength of a woman of her physical age, height, and build who engages in regular exercise

Known superhuman powers: Mystique is a mutant metamorph. She can psionically shift the atoms and molecules of her body and of whatever clothing she is wearing so as to change her and its appearance. As a result she can cause herself to look and sound like an exact duplicate of any human, humanoid, or semi-humanoid being of either sex, wearing virtually any kind of clothing. Her control is so exact that she can precisely duplicate another person's retina pattern in her own eyes, finger, palm and skin-pore patterns on her own hands and skin, and vocal cords to match voices to the point of corresponding voiceprints.

Mystique, however, is limited by her inability to diminish or increase her own mass at will. As a result, while she can make herself look exactly like a person who is physically bigger than herself, she will not weigh as much as the real person does. Although she can maintain the form of a person of her height, weight, and build indefinitely (as with her own appearance as Raven Darkholme), the longer that she maintains the form of a person physically bigger than herself, the greater the strain she feels. If she maintains that bigger form for too long a period, the length of which is directly proportional to the difference in size between that form and her normal one, she will collapse and automatically revert to her normal form.

Mystique cannot duplicate the powers of the person she imitates: for example, when she turned herself into a duplicate of Nightcrawler, she did not gain the ability to teleport.

As yet Mystique has not demonstrated any ability to adopt the form of non-humanoid beings, animals, plants, or non-living objects. It is conjectured that she could not imitate any of these without interfering with the proper functioning of her internal organs and possibly dying, but the truth, like much regarding Mystique, remains shrouded.

NOTE: Rebecca Romijn-Stamos played her in X-Men the movies.

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