MYSTIQUE: Page 7 of 12

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5th August 2011

BIOGRAPHY - Page 6

To get her revenge on Sabretooth, Mystique returned to a prior identity of hers: Mallory Brickman, the wife of Senator Miles Ralph Brickman, Graydon Creed's former running mate. Mystique orchestrated her return as Mallory who had “disappeared” some time earlier. Federal agents received a tip and discovered the bound Mallory in the trunk of a car. She claimed to have been kidnapped and held captive by Sabretooth. While her husband was overjoyed to have his “wife” back, their adopted daughter, Gloria, grew suspicious and tried to sic an FBI agent on her. Mystique dealt with him by implying to her husband that the agent was a pedophile, taking an unhealthy interest in little Gloria. The agent was soon reassigned to the Arctic. As Mallory, Mystique had her tracking implant removed by the family doctor, claiming that Sabretooth had put it in her to keep track of his hostage. However, the doctor’s curiosity was aroused and she couldn’t risk him telling anyone and exposing her cover, so she later killed him by cutting the brakes of his car. [X-Factor (1st series) #138-139] In the meantime, her protégé Trevor Chase, was abducted by the government’s Hound program and his parents were murdered.

Shortly afterwards, a group of underground fighters from Bishop’s and Shard’s alternate future called the X.U.E., blackmailed Mystique into helping them fight the Dark Beast by threatening to reveal her Mallory Brickman identity. They apparently got this information from their leader from the future, who was implied to be Forge. After aiding them, Mystique returned to her Mallory Brickman identity. [X-Factor (1st series) #143-144]

As Mallory Brickman, Mystique joined her hubby and Agent Gyrich in overseeing a new procedure developed by Dr. Agee that intended to “cure” mutants of their powers. Mystique was dismayed to see that the mutant volunteer was none other than her foster daughter, Rogue. Diverting the doctor, Mystique had a discussion with Rogue. Naturally, she was furious that her daughter would betray her species for something as fleeting as the touch of a man. This device could result in genocide for mutantkind. Finally, Rogue absorbed Mystique in order to determine if Mystique was telling the truth. She later infiltrated the Agee Institute in the guise of Mallory Brickman with Mystique's psyche “talking” in her head. The two argued with each another and Mystique was clearly influencing Rogue’s behavior as she acted very violently. Eventually, Mystique herself appeared and Rogue absorbed Agee in order to find out if his machine really worked. Amazingly, his cure would have worked without any unwanted side-effects. In the end, Rogue realized that she had to dismantle the device as it could too easily be used to 'cure' mutants against their wills. [Uncanny X-Men #359]

Mystique abandoned the Brickman identity for undisclosed reasons. It is also unclear whether or not she was ever able to save Trevor Chase. Some time later, Mystique was hired by the Hellfire Club along with her newly-formed Brotherhood of Mutants to find the head of Machine Man at a government junkyard. She ordered new member Post to shoot their hostage, Agent Kubrick, only to find out that Kubrick was Machine Man. He took the head to become whole once more. Machine Man found that he was infected with Sentinel programming and battled the Brotherhood. Mystique finally realized that Sebastian Shaw – who had a role in manufacturing Sentinels - hadn’t been honest with her. He hadn’t intended to pay her and had simply used her and the Brotherhood as guinea pigs to test Machine Man’s capabilities. Angered, Mystique shot Shaw but Machine Man prevented her from killing him. In the ensuing melee, she escaped. [X-51 #1-2]
Mystique spent the next three months in Europe, living it up as a supermodel named Ronnie Lake. However, she soon found herself under attack by some generic ninjas who were actually agents of the Japanese government. Escaping them in the guise of Sabretooth, she asked Rogue and Shadowcat, who had just separated from the X-Men, for help. She let them in on one of her many useful identities - that of wealthy recluse B. Byron Biggs. Mystique had been the victim of foul play. Several Skrulls had framed her for the murder of Japanese agents because they feared she could be a threat to their “master’s” plans. While investigating the matter, Rogue ran into Sunfire. After the obligatory battle, Rogue was quickly able to prove Mystique’s innocence as Ronnie Lake had been in Switzerland during the murders. The pair then attacked 'Mesmero' and 'Mastermind' (actually disguised Skrulls), who blew up their base rather than confess. Sunfire and Rogue figured it was they who had framed Mystique for the murders. After this brief encounter, Rogue and Mystique parted amiably. [X-Men (2nd series) #93-94]
While infiltrating a government spy agency in the hopes of learning who had been compromising many of her secret identities, Mystique, like all mutants worldwide, fell victim to the High Evolutionary's mutancy-negating energy field. Raven suddenly found herself powerless and exposed. She uncontrollably morphed back to her true form and then slowly began to lose all of her anomalous physical traits. She was soon an ordinary-looking, human woman with red hair and hazel-colored eyes. Caught red-handed, she was taken into custody. [Uncanny X-Men #379]

Days later, Rogue pretended to be a lawyer in order to visit Mystique in prison. She found her adoptive mother desperate to get out. All of her real lawyers had abandoned her when they discovered her true identity. Panicked and frustrated by the loss of her powers and having to maintain one single "face," Mystique demanded that Rogue help her escape. Meanwhile, the X-Men had decided to attack the satellite responsible for removing their powers and Rogue had to make that her priority over helping Mystique. Raven was furious at her for again choosing the X-Men over her real family. Once the X-Men achieved their goal and all of mutantkind’s powers had been restored, Mystique escaped from jail, vowing revenge on everyone who had taken advantage of her "recent vulnerabilities." [X-Men (2nd series) #99, Uncanny X-Men #380]

While posing as a PR-Man for Senator Robert Kelly’s presidential campaign, Mystique, along with several others, was contacted by Prosh (who had once been X-Factor’s sentient Ship) for a mission of great importance that he claimed would have a great impact on the future of humanity. Each of those chosen represented something. Mystique was supposed to represent "the mystery and fear humans have of mutants". Prosh sent the minds of this odd assemblage back through time to inhabit their past bodies. For Mystique, the first jaunt to the past was to the day that Graydon Creed was assassinated. Mystique‘s future-self activated the weapon prepared by her past-self. This explained why Mystique didn’t recall killing her son immediately after his death. Another time jump confronted Mystique with the day of Destiny’s death where she learned the real reason behind Irene’s death. The precog had sensed the future destruction Legion would cause (during the Age of Apocalypse) and the boy had telepathically picked up her vision. In shock and denial, he had lashed out against Destiny, killing her. Legion offered to let Mystique kill him for this, but despite her grief and anger she couldn’t bring herself to do it as she knew that history had already taken a different course. [X-Men Forever (1st series) #1-2]

After the team of time-travelers returned from their journey, Mystique realized that Prosh himself was the threat that he had warned them about. Prosh had been programmed by the Celestials to attack humanity and he assaulted the team he had brought together. They fought him off and Toad discovered that the true driving force behind the events had been the Stranger, who had been manipulating everyone for his own gains. The group quickly realized that the severely-wounded Toad was the key to defeating the Stranger due to his extensive knowledge of the Stranger's technology. Mystique grudgingly accepted that she’d have to help save Toad if she wanted to escape this situation, so she went with him to Prosh's medical bay and oversaw his care. When the conduit which provided the cellular regeneration for his body came loose, she was forced to repair it, in spite of the danger to herself. As she reluctantly did so, she was doused by the energy. As a result the Toad's mutant potential was fully expressed for the first time and Mystique's body was drastically altered by the energy. Her default form was now covered with scale-like patterns.

The entire group escaped after Toad re-programmed Prosh. Prosh and the Stranger were sent into exile, thwarting the Stranger’s cosmic scheme. The time-travelers had each been given insights about themselves and the future of humanity and decided to use this knowledge instead of fighting each other. However, Mystique seemed to have become somewhat unhinged by those events. A few weeks later, she huddled in a corner and worriedly rambled about the things Prosh had shown her. She wondered what to do next until she noticed a newspaper article about the anticipated presidential victory of Senator Robert Kelly.[X-Men Forever (1st series) #5-6]

Mystique became convinced that she had to kill Kelly, as she had once attempted, because of his anti-mutant agenda. She created and trained a new Brotherhood of Mutants, among them Blob, Sabretooth, newcomer Sabre II and Toad, who had impressed her with his newfound powers and audacity. Meeting with Senator Robert Kelly at one of his fund-raisers in the guise of Val Cooper, she discussed his anti-mutant agenda with him. Clutching one of Destiny’s diaries, she decided that Kelly had to be stopped as the future depended on it. [X-Men (2nd series) #104-106]

She then impersonated Moira MacTaggert several times to gain access to her Legacy Virus research data. Apparently, Mystique understood enough of it to create a human-specific strain of the disease with the apparent goal of eventually eradicating baseline humanity. In accordance with Destiny’s prophecies, Mystique and her new Brotherhood infected a shipload of people with the virus and then went to Muir Isle where they encouraged the X-Men to investigate her activities. When Rogue and two others arrived, they were caught in an explosion on the island. Meanwhile, the rest of the Brotherhood attacked Senator Kelly during one of his speeches. [Uncanny X-Men #388] The plot to kill Kelly was foiled by ex-Brotherhood member, Pyro who was himself dying of the Legacy Virus. [Cable (2nd series) #87]

Meanwhile, the rest of the Brotherhood was engaged on Muir Island. In the scuffle, Mystique shot Wolfsbane with the Neutralizer gun she had stolen from Forge during her stay with him. She was confronted by Rogue and revealed that she planned to use the weapon to keep other mutants in line once all the humans died from her modified Legacy Virus and mutants ruled the world. When Rogue tried to convince her that she needed help, Mystique stabbed her daughter in the abdomen. Mystique then threatened to use the "destabilizing agent" in her possession, which would allow her to spread the Legacy strain. Unexpectedly, Rogue stabbed her with her newly-acquired bone claws. [Bishop: The Last X-Man #16]

Afterwards, the X-Men hurried home to save the life of Moira, who had been gravely wounded in the explosion at Muir. They brought along the injured Mystique. She was left unconscious and strapped down in a back of the jet. Wolverine decided to kill her for her attempt to kill Rogue and intention to release the human-specific Legacy Virus. He had concluded that the woman he once knew and respected was "dead." He was interrupted by Wolfsbane, who was furious at everything Mystique had taken from her. Rahne quietly vowed that she would be the one to kill Raven, after she had made her suffer. Ironically, Mystique’s tampering with the Virus caused Moira to rethink her approach to curing it and set her on the right path towards a cure. She telepathically informed Xavier of it before passing away. [X-Men (2nd series) #108]
Mystique was taken to a prison hospital, where Gambit intended to kill her as revenge for causing Rogue so much pain. He was prevented from doing so by Storm. Meanwhile, Rogue and Wolverine were shocked to discover that they were seeing these events unfold in one of Destiny's diaries, which contained drawings and almost word-for-word dialogue from the hospital room. Destiny had predicted all of this when she was a still teenager. Her other diaries foretold a dire future for mutants, which Mystique had struggled to prevent. This was her motivation for her attempt to kill all humans. She believed that mutants could only survive the future Iren had seen if humans were already gone. Mystique decided to bequeath the five diaries in her possession to Charles Xavier, so he could figure out what all the predictions mean. Or, possibly, be destroyed by them. [Uncanny X-Men #389] Eventually, a team of X-Men, including Rogue, split off the main teams to explore the threats prophesied in the diaries.

When members of the X-Corps - a borderline fascist organization founded by Banshee to police mutants - tried to recruit Mystique, they discovered that she was no longer in her high security prison cell. Actually, Mystique had infiltrated the X-Corps in the identity of newcomer, “Surge”. She pretended to have electric powers by wearing a pack which generated electricity and gave the impression of electrical powers. [Uncanny X-Men #401-402]

Mystique quietly manipulated X-Corps behind the scenes. The villainess Mastermind, who was meant to control the other villainous “recruits” such as Blob and Avalanche, was actually in cahoots with Mystique and the others. After one mission, “Surge” quietly snuck off to the headquarters of an anti-mutant group and electrocuted all of them. She then took the place of Jakob Eisen, the leader of the anti-mutant group whom she had killed. As Eisen, she claimed to have executed Surge. X-Corps retaliated with an attack on the anti-mutant group’s headquarters. Mystique then freed Mastermind and hinted at a secret scheme which had only just been actively put into motion. She ordered Blob, Avalanche and other reluctant mutants under X-Corps control to attack the X-Men and other X-Corps members, so her plans could go undisturbed. Among the fatalities was the young mutant Sunpyre who served as a research assistant for X-Corps. [Uncanny X-Men #403-404]

As this conflict came to a head, Mystique's various schemes went into motion. She launched an attack to destroy Paris with the intention of starting a mutant revolution. Raven then got close to Banshee by impersonating Jamie Madrox and, triumphantly, slit his throat. Leaving Banshee to die, she monitored all the action from a control room. When there was a security breach, she went to investigate and was confronted by the young mutant called Abyss, one of the X-Corps’ possible recruits. He was enraged by the senseless murder of Sunpyre, which he had helplessly witnessed. Abyss sucked Mystique into his inter-dimensional void to stop her rampage. [Uncanny #405-406]