Silver Apples of the Moon (silver_apples) wrote in raven_darkholme,
Silver Apples of the Moon

Mystique in X-Men

Anyone else following the Adventures of Mystique in the current X-Men run? I've been enjoying it, but the way the team reacts to Mystique annoys me.

In X-Men 192, Mystique asks Cable how history will remember her.

Cable: Your name does survive in the databases of my time. It's a generic term for a traitor--as Judas is now. Does that help?
Mystique: A traitor? To who?
Cable: It was two thousand years in my past. It's just a folk legend.

I have several problems with this conversation. It feels like heavy-handed foreshadowing, which annoys me. Using foreshadowing to say "Mystique will betray someone" is like using it to say it might snow this winter. Also, Cable's arguments are weak.
1. Judas was 2000 years ago, and we all know who he betrayed.
2. Mystique has already betrayed many people. For all anyone knows, it's her past actions that connect her name with betrayal, and it just hasn't entered the vernacular yet.
3. There are people who may consider her joining the X-Men a betrayal.
4. She may go undercover and betray someone to help the X-Men.
5. And the biggest objection: the future has been changed! Even if Mystique isn't familiar enough with time travel to realize this, Cable certainly should be. So there's no guarantee this betrayal will happen at all.

It's possible this won't go anywhere, and was just thrown in there to remind readers that Mystique isn't trustworthy, or it was Cable's way of telling Mystique he wasn't going to let his guard down around her. I hope that's the case. Not that I object to Mystique betraying the X-Men. I like her evil. I just don't like the "OMG, Mystique's going to betray them!" conversation.

Another, and far more important subject: Mystique/Bobby. I'm sure you've all seen this cover. For those who didn't read the issue, no, they didn't kiss, but she did give him mouth to mouth in the same pose used on the cover, after he saved her from insane Aurora and then collapsed. I'm pretty sure that's not the proper position to resuscitate someone. There's also a scene in a later issue where Bobby catches a falling Mystique, and a rather cute scene where the two banter a little. It could just be friendship, but the subtext is pretty heavy. I had almost convinced myself I was so used to looking for slashy subtext that this flirtation seemed huge, and then I found this preview image from Comic Book Resources. I'm hoping she's warning him off in that last panel. Although I have to say, I'm loving the art on this title.

One more subject to babble about: Everyone else's treatment of Mystique

I've already posted Cable's attitude. Rogue has said Mystique is just on the team so Rogue can watch her, and that Rogue has no desire to repair their relationship. This just seems stupid to me. Not trusting her is good. She's not a trustworthy person. She's also vindictive, violent, and short-tempered. She's one of those people you should never tick off. And the X-Men are practically asking her to shoot them while they sleep. If Mystique doesn't kill them all, it will be because she's willing to put up with a lot of grief to be close to her children, and/or because she wants to prove them wrong.

In the Annual, Aurora was friendly enough when Mystique saved her, in a "wait, you're on our side now?" way, and Jean-Paul did encourage Rogue to try and forgive Mystique, but Rogue made it clear she wasn't ready to do that, and I can't see Northstar pushing the matter. The twins have, as far as I know, no reason to hate Mystique, but no reason to trust her either. I suspect Jean-Paul spoke up for Mystique to help his friend Rogue deal with her anger and hurt, not from any desire to help Mystique.

Mystique and Karima bicker a little. I can't remember any scenes with her talking to Cannonball, Lady Mastermind, or Sabretooth. I get the impression that Sam is siding with Rogue and Cable, though. Mystique and Sabretooth have too much history to get along. I'm not sure about Lady Mastermind, but she seems pretty antagonistic to everyone.

The thing is, Mystique is really trying, and she is helping. She helped stop the giant flying ship from crashing into the mansion, and she helped the X-Men keep said ship. She's saved both Rogue's and Bobby's lives. She hasn't hit or yelled at any of her teammates (a commendable act of self-control), and the only insults are when she tells Bobby he looks better in subdued lighting (which feels more like friendly teasing than an insult), and when she's rude to Karima, and she's worried about Rogue then.

What's more, Mystique is taking orders from her daughter, someone who used to follow Mystique's orders on missions. That can't be easy, but she doesn't question or argue. I'm sure it helps that she joined willingly and that this team has a rather relaxed attitude towards killing and blowing stuff up, but Mystique has never been a team player. She's usually in charge, going solo, or being forced to help and resenting every second of it. Following orders is not her strong suit.

I don't think anyone is out of character here. It is, of course, perfectly reasonable not to trust Mystique and to hate her for the many things she's done. I just think it's stupid to act on that hate and distrust, and a good way to make her change sides again.

I kind of hope she stays an X-Men. I don't want her reformed, but I think she can stay herself and work for the good guys, although I'm sure there will be some conflicts. I don't believe the writers will let her stay good though. Carey hinted that Mystique has an agenda beyond making amends with Rogue, but gave no other clues. Still, evil Mystique with elaborate plans is fun too.

Thoughts? Discussion? Fannish squeeing?
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