Mystique #6

Issue Date: 
November 2003
Story Title: 
Dead Drop Gorgeous - conclusion

Brian K. Vaughan (writer), Jorge Lucas (artist), Virtual Calligraphy’s Randy Gentile (letterer), Studio F’s Daniel Perez Sanchez (colorist), Stephanie Moore & Cory Sedlmeier (Assistant Editors), Teresa Focarile (editor), Jospeh Michael Linsner & Studio f (cover art), Joe Quesada (editor-in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

Mystique is faced with a choice: kill young Evangelina Rivera, as the girl asks her to, or do nothing, while the Sentinels slaughter all mutants in Havana. The choice is taken out of her hands, luckily, as Evangelina’s brother, Lazaro, does the deed. He then intends to commit suicide, but Mystique knocks him out. She and Lazaro’s fellow rebels shoot their way out of the military complex and save the mutant children, seconds before the retuning Sentinels crash into the complex. Later, after she’s debriefed her fieldhandler, Shortpack, a pensive Mystique tries to get drunk. A mysterious man named Shepard, who seems to know a lot about her, offers her the chance to brcome a double agent with the possibility of becoming free later. He leaves her a pendant she can use to contact him. Back in New York, Xavier personally congratulates Mystique and offers her the choice to either stay in his service or go to jail. Mystique decides to stay, while touching her new pendant. Elsewhere, Shepard tells his mysterious leader that he has contacted Mystique and that she has no clue what this is about.

Full Summary: 

74 miles outside Havanna, Cuba, 8:11 CDT.

The Sentinels are closing in.

At the same time, at a classified military installation, young Evangelina Rivera asks Mystique to stop the Sentinels from slaughtering all mutants in Havana the only way possible, by killing her. Mystique is horrified at the thought of shooting the little girl. There has to be another way. Maybe if she can unhook her from the computer… She is the computer, Evangelina insists. The only way to turn the robots off is to turn her off. Suddenly changing the subjects, she asks if Mystique’s father is still alive. Taken aback, Mystique answers that she doesn’t know. They stopped talking a long time ago. He was a bad man. Her father was a good man, Evangelina explains. Before he died he told her that if you give your life for others, you never really die. She once more appeals to Mystique to kill her.

Slowly, reluctantly, the shapeshifter raises her weapon. However, before she can shoot, somebody else does: Evangelina’s brother Lazaro. Looking at the ground, he tells Mystique that she didn’t know his sister. She could not have lived with so may souls on her conscience. He did it because only blood should spill blood. His sister is with their father now, in a better place, and he intends to join them. He raises his gun to his mouth, but Mystique has had enough of this. She knocks the young man out with her own gun.

The other rebels join them. Seeing the unconscious Lazaro on the ground, they get suspicious. Mystique explains the situation. One of the rebels quickly catches on: the Sentinels are now on a collision course with this facility. They have to get the other mutant children out. But there are still dozens of soldiers. Mystique grabs one of the kids and tells him to close his eyes, while another rebel grabs Lazaro. Mystique tells the woman in charge that they have to get out now as fast as they can. If someone gets tagged, they’ll have to be left behind.

The soldiers catch up to them, intending to kill everything that moves. ‘My plan exactly’ Mystique snarls as she starts shooting. The rebels and children join her Mystique spearheading the attack. Finally they make it out of the complex moments before the Sentinels collide with it.

Mystique tells the rebels that the government will deny that any of this existed. Blame will be shifted to the general she impersonated. The kids should be safe with their families now. If the government still won’t leave them alone, then the rebels will have to act… unless they’d rather request political asylum in the States. They refuse. They intend to stay and fight for mutant rights. ‘Better dig in for a long stay then,’ Mystique states cynically. Before she leaves, she asks them to look after Lazaro. When he comes to, they should tell him that he did the right thing.

Later at the motel, Mystique debriefs Shortpack and tells him of her doubts. She admits that she doesn’t know if she would have gone through with killing Evangelina. The diminutive mutants urges her not to think like that. She has to, she shoots back. Isn’t that why Xavier really picked her for the job? Because she’s willing to spill a little innocent blood if need be? Absolutely not, Shortpack insists. In fact, before Steinbeck killed her, Prudence always used to say that a good agent—

Mystique rudely interrupts him, telling him that she really doesn’t want to hear about Xavier’s first spy. If they love Prudence all that much, they should stop digging up her corpse every five minutes and let her rest in peace.

Shortpack angrily points out that Prudence wasn’t Xavier’s first operative, just the best. And how are they supposed to let anything rest when her murderer is still free… He breaks off. He apologizes and tells her that this is about her right now. He reminds her that she saved hundreds of lives today. So what is she going to do now? Shifting into the form of a sexy, young, Cuban woman, Mystique tells him that she’s going to get drunk. Panicked, Shortpack protests, telling her they have to meet that hydrofoil pilot before the sun comes up and… She’s already gone.

Barely an hour later, Mystique sits at a beach café nursing her drink while people are partying around her. A blond bearded guy appears before her, stating that she looks as though she could use a little company. Mystique gives him the brush-off. Undeterred, he begins quoting Oscar Wilde: ‘Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry…”

“…their passions are quotation,” Mystique finishes the quote. How did he know Oscar Wilde was her favorite writer? Oh, he knows a great deal about her, the man states adding “Raven.”

Suddenly, there’s a clicking noise under the table and Mystique states that he then probably knows what that sound was, right? So who is he? Still relaxed, he introduces himself as Shepard, telling her he has a job offer for her. Well, he’s too late then, she states sardonically. She’s already under exclusive contract. With Xavier, right? he asks. He’s surprised to see her on the side of the angels. He’d heard tat she once slit a fellow mutant’s throat just to watch him bleed… Who, that Irishman? she scoffs, adding he shouldn’t believe everything he hears.

Either way, Shep continues. He’s not asking her to leave Xavier’s service. As a matter of fact, his offer is contingent on her remaining his agent. She is to continue Xavier’s little errands, but every now and then Shepard will contact her about a counter-mission. So, he wants her to be a double agent, she inquires. Just until he has what he needs, Shep assures her. Afterwards, he’ll give her a surefire way to hide from all the people who want her dead. Unlike Xavier, he’s not going to ask for a lifetime of indentured service. So what’s his agenda? she asks. His motives will have to remain his own, until he is sure he can trust her, Shep answers evasively.
And how can she trust him? Mystique snarls. How does she know this isn’t a test of Xavier’s?

Shep gets up and asks her to listen to her instincts. And if she wants her life back, she should let him know. How? she inquires. Shepard hands her a giftbox, with a beautiful gem set in a gold necklace. If she holds it and says his name, he explains, he’ll come running. Sapphire is her birthstone, isn’t it, he adds. Admiring the gift, Mystique asks how he knows when she was born, but he is already gone.

Unknown location, two minutes later.

Shepard steps through a kind of energy portal announcing to a person he calls “beloved” that he is back. The person he addressed sits on a kind of throne and is hooded; even the gender is unclear. Did he have any luck with their little bird, he or she inquires in a low voice. Shepard is optimistic that Raven will bite. Still whispering, the hooded figure thanks Shepard. Does he think Mystique has a clue whom Shepards is working for? Not a clue, the other man replies and the hooded one smiles announcing that vengeance is close at hand.

Mystique’s safehouse, Avenue X, Brooklyn The next morning:

Mystique strolls in to find Xavier waiting for her and welcoming her back. She tells him to leave. If he wants to chat with her, he should talk to her in person like a man. Xavier touches her arm: he is here in person. He states that he realizes that he needed to make a personal appearance this morning. Why, she inquires. So he could shake her hand, he replies. Shortpack has informed him of her first mission and that it was a success. If he knew the whole story, he might not be so quick with the congrats, she replies.

Xavier unexpectedly states that her service to him is no longer mandatory. If she wishes he will release her. And then homeland security will hunt her down and execute her the second Xavier stops shielding her, she points out. Xavier suggest that she might surrender herself. He’s confident that he could persuade them to commute her sentence to life. So she either keeps spying for him or spends the rest of her life in a cell? Not much of a choice. Perhaps not, he admits, but he felt it was one she earned. But if she does decide to continue their partnership he hopes she will do so for the right reasons, to make this a better world for mutantkind.

Fingering her necklace, Mystique tells Xavier not to worry about the future of their relationship. She only has eyes for him…

Characters Involved: 



Professor X

Lazaro Rivera

Lazaro’s rebels

Evangelina Rivera

Other mutant children

Cuban soldiers


Shepard’s mystery employer

Story Notes: 

Mystique slit Banshee’s throat in Uncanny X-Men #406. She claims that it was someone pretending to be her.

Issue Information: 
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