Mystique #5

Issue Date: 
October 2003
Story Title: 
Dead Drop Gorgeous - part 5

Brian K. Vaughan (writer), Jorge Lucas (artist), Virtual Calligraphy’s Randy Gentile (letterer), Studio F’s Daniel Perez Sanchez (colorist), Joseph Michael Linsner & José Villarubia (cover), Stephanie Moore &Cory Sedlmeier (assistant editors), Teresa Focarile (editor), Joe Quesada (chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

Mystique takes out the soldiers in the army complex before reverting to her true form and showing the pro-mutant protesters that she is on their side. However, one of the officials is still conscious and launches the Sentinels, which proceed to fly toward Havana. Mystique and the protesters’ leader, Lazaro, go in search of the central processing unit in order to destroy it before the robots reach Havana. On their way, they find imprisoned mutant children and, to save them, mystique shortly shifts into a nearly impossible form with two faces and four arms. Forge’s device eventually leads her to the central processing unit, Lazaro’s sister, Evangelina, whose mutant power controls the Sentinels. However, the military made sure that she is no longer in control of her power. Evangelina tells Mystique that the only way to stop the Sentinels is to kill her.

Full Summary: 

A classified military installation, Bayamo, Cuba. 7:45 P.M. CDT:

What is this? the armed officials are wondering as they find themselves face-to-face with the angry, armed, pro-mutant protestors. Story of my #@%*ing life, Mystique, who has infiltrated the military complex in the guise of General Diosvil, mutters under her breath. This is one complication she did not need.

Lazaro Rivera, spokesmen of the rebels, tells them that they are part of Humans for Genetic Equality. They have all lost mutant relatives to scum like them. Either the soldiers will tell them what they have done with their loved ones or they will be killed where they stand.

The captain dares them to do it, as his men go for their guns, but their worthless cause, he threatens, will die with them the moment they pull that trigger.
Suddenly, “General Diosvil” trains his firearm at the captain, shouting that they are to drop their weapons or the captain is a dead man. Rivera asks if he has gone mad. Why should they care? She’s talking to the soldiers, Mystique tells him. What does he think he’s doing, the captain protests angrily. “Diosvil” holds his gun against the captain’s head, ordering him to shut it or he’ll do the same thing to him that his people did to JFK back in ’63. Fine, the captain accedes and orders his men to stand down. She knew she was right about Kennedy, Mystique mutters and, as a reward for the captain’s cooperation, she shoots his men. The captain accuses her of murder and she tells him those were only tranks, as she knocks him out too and changes to her true form a moment later.

The revolutionaries who have followed this spectacle don’t get it. The general is a mutant? one young woman exclaims. Clearly flirting with the girl, Mystique explains who she is and what she was here to do. And she would have gotten away with it… “if it weren’t for you pesky kids,” she jokes.

Lazaro Rivera apologizes for interfering with her plan, but those monsters stole his sister, Evangelina. She never harmed anyone; she just moved toys with her mind.
Unfortunately, the captain is still awake and rasps the voice authorization for the Sentinel launch before the others can stop him. Furious, Mystique grabs one of the young people’s guns and shoots the man... But she is too late, the Sentinels are launched and fly away from the base.

“Dammit!” Mystique curses impotently as she watches them launch. Why didn’t the Sentinels harm her? Rivera wonders. Mystique reasons that they were programmed to initially strike the Cuban city with the largest population of mutants… Havana, which is on the other side of the island. That should buy them a few minutes at least. Those Soviet era bots are controlled by a remote processing unit. They have to find it and destroy it. She looks at the modified Gameboy Advance Forge gave her. A game? Rivera asks incredulously. An electro-magnetic pulse device, she explains which should be able to short out—

Before she can finish her sentence, they are under fire again as more soldiers storm into the room. Mystique orders the rebels to hold them off while she finds the C.P.U. Rivera tells her he’ll accompany her. Whatever, she snaps, as she grabs the firearm of a fallen soldier, but he better come heavy. She’s done playing good guy.

Sub basement D, ninety seconds later:

Rivera and Mystique run through the subbasement, following the tracking device in Forge’s toy that zeroes in on mutant. Suddenly, they hear a timid voice crying, “help us,” in Spanish. It’s coming from a cell. Lazaro shouts at the people inside to move away from the door as he prepares to shoot open the locks over Mystique’s protest that they haven’t got the time.

“Oh,” Mystique exclaims as they see the prisoners. A group of young, forlorn-looking children are inside, clearly mutants all. We just want to go home, a small girl with pointed dears and clawed feet begs. Lazaro tries to calm them and asks where the other children are. His sister is not among their number. A boy with glowing eyes explains that the soldiers took them away. They said they were taking them to their parents, but they knew the men were lying. Even after their friends were gone, she could still hear them screaming upstairs, the girl with the big ears adds.

This is exactly what her sources where afraid of, Mystique states. Those animals are using children as guinea pigs for their Sentinels. Lazaro isn’t listening. Instead, he asks the children about his sister Evangelina. The boy with the glowing eyes remembers her. Her dreams smelled good. Maybe that’s why they took her first. The news hits Lazaro as Mystique touches his shoulder in sympathy.

They hear the voices of soldiers outside coming closer, clearly looking for them.
Mystique orders Lazaro to stay with “the ankle-biters.” She’ll handle this. She can’t take on a whole army, Lazaro protest. That’s not what she learned in Panama, she replies and tells him to give her his extra weapons. She’s going to do something she hasn’t tried in almost a decade. Last time she pulled the stunt, it nearly killed her. But she figures she can hold this form for about two minutes before it rips her brain in half.
With that, she transforms into a muscular form, with an impossible, two-faced Janus-head, one face on each side, along with four muscular arms. Both faces ask the others simultaneously to ‘wish them luck.’

Outside, the soldiers are getting ready to move in and kill anything that moves: Uno, dos…

Tres, Mystique shouts as she storms outside, shooting with four arms.
She finishes most of them, but eventually her ammo runs out. One of the few men still standing orders the others to “cut its face off”. Mystique simply uses her weapons as clubs and keeps on fighting. Exhausted and clearly in pain, she finally sinks down to her knees and takes on her default form – after having finished everyone. She is even worse than the mongrels, one soldier protests. She is a demon! “Sí,” she agrees and takes a gun from a fallen man. “Enjoy your stay in my hometown” are the last words the man hears.

As she gets up, the tracker in the “Gameboy” goes off again. Muttering, “no rest or the wicked,” Mystique follows its signal and finally kicks in the door to another cell.
Within it, she finds a young, pretty girl with no clear outward mutation. She’s tied to a chair and there are strange wires attacked to her head. Strangely unafraid, she greets Raven with, “Hola.”

Mystique apparently sees a resemblance as she blurts out that the girl is Lazaro’s sister. She promises Evangelina to take her to her brother, but first she has to find a computer. Does she know where it is? She’s the computer, Evangelina tells her sadly.

When Mystique doesn’t understand, Evangelina explains: when she sings songs, she makes toys dance. And the soldiers’ toys need help dancing. They’re not very smart. Mystique realizes that she means the Sentinels. She urges the girl to stop helping the robots They are bad.

Evangelina knows that. They only want to hurt people. But the soldiers did something to her head. The robots can hear her song now, even when she doesn’t sing out loud. Mystique takes out Forge’s EMP device hidden in the gameboy, telling the girl that this should stop them. It won’t work, Evangeline tells her. Sometimes machines sing to her. And that machine sounds sad. It says there’s nothing it can do. There’s only one way Mystique can stop the songs and make the robots fall down. By using the machine in her other hand. It says it can make Evangelina quiet. It says Mystique knows what to do. Horrified Mystique stares at the gun she is holding…

Characters Involved: 


Lazaro Rivera and other Cuban pro-mutant activists

Evangelina Rivera and other abducted mutant children

Cuban military

Story Notes: 

Evangelina is the girl who was abducted by the Cuban soldiers in issue #3.
There are many theories that the assassination of President Kennedy wasn’t caused by one deranged man, Lee Harvey Oswald, but that there was a conspiracy behind it. One of the theories was that the Cuban government was behind it (possibly in retaliation for the Bay of Pigs invasion, an attempted coup d'état sponsored by Kennedy’s administration).

Mystique’s joke, “And I would have gotten away with it, too… if it weren’t for you meddling kids,” is a standard line spoken by foiled villains from the Scooby-Doo cartoon.

Issue Information: 
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