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Real name: Raven Darkholme
Powers: A mutant metamorph, Mystique can psionically shift the atoms and molecules of her body and clothing so as to mimic the appearance of any human, humanoid or semi-humanoid being of either sex. Her control is so precise she can exactly replicate another person's retina, finger, palm and skin-pore patterns; even vocal cords are not beyond her ability to duplicate.
Mystique is limited by her inability to diminish or increase her mass, and she cannot duplicate the powers of other mutants. As yet, she has not demonstrated an ability to imitate non-humanoid beings, animals, plants or inanimate objects. Doing so likely would interfere with the proper functioning of her internal organs and possibly result in her death.
Weapons: Mystique wields various-caliber handguns. Also, her influence
as Raven Darkholme has afforded her access to advanced weaponry, military
secrets and other assets she has exploited for her own subversive
History: Mystique's origins are shrouded in mystery. Because she can eliminate the outward signs of aging, it is impossible to determine her true date of birth. Apparently, she learned to use her mutant ability at a very young age, as there is no known evidence that Raven Darkholme ever resembled anything other than a normal human being. As an adult, she put her powers to practical use as a covert operative.
Mystique has concealed her mutant ability and criminal intentions by assuming an endless string of cover identities. As Darkholme, she rose rapidly through the U.S. Civil Service. In short order, she ascended to the trusted position of deputy director of the Defense Advanced Research Planning Agency in the U.S. Department of Defense. During this time, Mystique lived with her closest friend, the blind mutant seer called Destiny, and helped raise the power-stealing spitfire known as Rogue. The youngster later defected to the X-Men, the outlaw band of heroic mutant adventurers that has stood most often between Mystique and her extremist ends. Mystique also has impersonated Mallory Brickman, wife of U.S. Senator Ralph Brickman, and Dr. Valerie Cooper, special assistant to the head of the National Security Council.
To facilitate her criminal activities, Mystique established the second incarnation of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants -- a subversive organization founded by the genetic terrorist known as Magneto, self-anointed Master of Magnetism. Mystique's Brotherhood gained notoriety when it attempted to terminate U.S. Senator Robert Kelly, an anti-mutant provocateur investigating the perceived menace posed by superhuman beings. The X-Men thwarted the Brotherhood's assassination agenda, as well as several other acts of terrorism perpetrated by Mystique and her cohorts.
As anti-mutant sentiment increased, Mystique feared that the climate had become too dangerous for the Brotherhood to continue its subversive activities. The sinister shapeshifter offered the squad's services to the government, then sealed the deal by bringing Magneto to justice. The newly rechristened Freedom Force officially entered the government's employ shortly thereafter, and Mystique received a full presidential pardon. Later, she fell in with X-Factor, another government-sanctioned squad of mutant operatives. Forced to wear an inhibitor collar to prevent her escape, Mystique nonetheless managed to flee.
Inadvertently, Mystique's most ambitious terrorist initiative led
to the eradication of the lethal mutant plague known as the Legacy
Virus. The metamorphic mutant reassembled the Brotherhood and released
a new, virulent strain on the deadly disease targeting normal humans.
The Brotherhood then descended upon the Muir Island research facility
of bio-geneticist Moira MacTaggert, seeking to destroy the scientist's
work in pursuit of a cure. MacTaggert was able to divine an antidote
to the virus based on Mystique's modifications, though she sustained
fatal injuries in the attack.