Friday, September 25, 2015

X-men Supreme Reflections: Mystique PREVIEW and Pics!


When it comes to villains, the X-men have more than their share of iconic characters. A big part of what makes X-men so special and so relevant is that their villains never come off as wholly evil. Sometimes, they even come off as painfully rare, as is often the case with characters like Gryadon Creed or Cameron Hodge. The X-men Supreme fanfiction series has used a number of major villains such as Magneto, Sinister, Hodge, and Creed. I've made it a point to capture the essence of what makes them so compelling as villains in the X-men mythos. But there's one X-men character whose villainous past is much harder to capture and that character is Mystique.

Of all the great X-men villains that have emerged over the past 50 years, Mystique holds a special place for me personally. It's not just her shape-shifting cunning or her natural sexiness that appeals. She's another one of those X-men characters who likes to navigate that gray area between good and evil. Sometimes she favors one side more than the other, as is often the case when she has to deal with her children in Rogue and Nightcrawler. I always had plans to use her in the X-men Supreme fanfiction series. However, it wasn't until X-men Supreme Volume 2: War Powers that I came up with a plan that would set Mystique completely apart from her Marvel Comics counterpart.

There's no quesiton that Mystique is an iconic X-men character. But as iconic as she is, she's somewhat of an anomoly in the X-men mythos in that Marvel hasn't really made much effort to refine her character. Whereas the background story for Magneto, Sinister, and Graydon Creed are all well-documented, there's absolutely no story for Mystique. There's no clue as to where she grew up, where she came from, what her family was like, and what led her into a life of deviance. Despite decades of clashing with the X-men, Marvel has not really answered any of these burning questions. With X-men Supreme, I dared to try and answer.

It began with a subtle hint in the Overlord arc that Mystique knew Wolverine from a previous life. Through numerous volumes of X-men Supreme that followed, I dropped more and more hints that there was a connection. Then, in X-men Supreme Issue 120: Sinister Revelations, the secret finally came out. Mystique wasn't always Raven Darkholme. In a life she no longer remembers, she was Rose, who was Wolverine's first love. That revelation completely shook her world and Wolverine's as well. It was, by far, the biggest revelation to date in the X-men Supreme fanfiction series. And of all the major twists I've done in this fanfiction series, this revelation with Mystique is something I'm very proud of.

Right now, the Mystique in Marvel Comics is not a very deep character. Since the mid-2000s, she hasn't had any real depth. She's just been an unapologetic sociopath whose only purpose is to torment the X-men. Well in X-men Supreme, she now knows her true past. She knows how she became Mystique and how she ended up on her current path. The question is where will she go from here? What will she do? That makes the next and final entry of X-men Supreme Reflections Volume 5 one of the most important entries to date. For fans of Mystique who aren't getting anything out of the comics, you won't want to miss this. I've prepared a preview into the mind of the X-men's most famous shape-shifter.

During one of my first missions, I infiltrated a small town in Italy where Nazi spies were passing freely through safe-houses. They were relying vital intelligence on the North African front for the Axis. I went in undercover and got the locations of the neighborhoods where these networks were based. Team X came in and rather than weed out the spies, they torched every town. James led the charge, lining up the civilians and shooting them with Creed. There was this one woman who tried to attack him with a kitchen knife. He decapitated her and looked like an animal doing it.

When I first saw this I was disgusted. I know I had been hardened to this sort of thing, but I couldn’t help it. For a time I kept my mouth shut. Then for reasons I’m still not sure of, I found myself drawn to James. He was the one who conducted my Team X training and it was during that time I gained insight into this man. He was a battle hardened killing machine. However, I didn’t sense that he took the same satisfaction in it that others like Victor Creed had done. That resonated with me. So against Team X protocol, I reached out to him. I’m not sure if that was a mistake or a blessing.

We would talk for hours, sometimes getting into heated arguments. James would talk about the atrocities he committed and the people he killed. I would try to convince him that it bothered him more than he let on. He was so hardened by his work in Team X that he accepted that he had become a monster. I didn’t believe him. I remember looking into his eyes and seeing a different person from the man who committed those atrocities. I’ve never been known for my empathy, but as Rose I had a knack for reading people. The more I read James Howlett, the more I was drawn to him. The more I reached him, the more he was drawn to me. It quickly escalated from there.

We continued to conduct missions. I would spy and Team X would do the fighting. Yet over time, I noticed James pulling back a bit. He wouldn’t commit the same level of atrocity that he once did. He would actually show mercy, something that did not go over well with Victor Creed. It began the epic falling out those two would undergo. It also began a much deeper relationship between me and James.

We came to trust each other so implicitly that I don’t think it’s possible to quantify. I was showing him that he wasn’t a monster. He was showing me that I was more than a deceiver. He saw through all my deceptions. He knew the real me. He and I would fight side-by-side, carrying each other through the horrors of war. The bonds formed on a battlefield are unlike those formed anywhere else. To hell with idealistic notions of true love. A love that’s formed on the battlefield is one that defies classification.

It’s not romantic and it’s not the sort of thing Hollywood makes movies about. That doesn’t make it any less profound. I remember after Team X was part of the Normandy invasion, James and I made love for the first time. That was a powerful moment. That was the first time I gave myself to someone without any deception. It was…different. I think that sealed our fate together. We committed a cardinal sin in the eyes of Team X. We fell in love. It’s because of that love we ended up committing the ultimate act of betrayal…one that would haunts us for multiple lifetimes.

And in the spirit of giving Mystique the development and story that the comics won't, I've given her pics section an overdue update. I know I've been negating that section lately. I hope to change that because I have been collecting plenty of pics on the side. So for Mystique fans, I hope this makes your week.

Mystique Pics

Mystique's story is one of the major details that sets the X-men Supreme fanfiction series apart from the current X-men comics. It's a story you can't get anywhere else and one Marvel will likely never tell. This means I have even more incentive to make it as awesome as possible. Since I have decided to continue X-men Supreme into Volume 6, expect to see more of Mystique in this new role. And I want to make her awesome in a way that can't be found in the comics either. To do that, I still need feedback from readers. So please take the time to contact me with your kind words or post your comments directly in the issues. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Excelsior!

Jack

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