All this month we’re posting up articles about LGBT culture in comics as part of LGBT History Month. Today’s article we’re looking at the long and complicated relationship of classic X-Men characters Mystique & Destiny.
Mystique & Destiny
Mystique and Destiny, just two gals in love, trying to bend the world to their evil whims.
Mystiques backstory is unknown – she has lived so long that she herself has forgotten most of it along with any human name if she ever had one. She has never cared to find out much about her early life and instead is literally a self-made woman who is always facing the future. Mystique is a shapeshifter of uncommonly high skill and she is able to replicate a person down to the cells in their body and the clothes on their back. For most of her appearances in the comics she has been a villain, using her shapeshifting ability to carry out assassinations, thefts, government wetworks operations, and at one point was head of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
Currently Mystique sits on the Quiet Council, the ruling body of the new mutant nation of Krakoa.
Born Irene Adler in Austria in the late 1800s, the young mutant who would go on to be known as Destiny first manifested her powers at an early age and the sudden influx of future sight led her to fill 14 volumes with highly detailed descriptions of what the 20th century would look like, leave her with vast precognitive abilities, but rob her of her mortal sight. Destiny is extremely adept with he future sight and able to see specific and detailed events with clarity. Her powers are limited by geography and temporal distance however, so the closer she is to a space physically the easier it is to see the future there and the closer she is in time to the event happening the more clear it is too. Adler shares her wife’s goals of using their powers to change the world into one that suits them, and while at times she would be less proactive in committing criminal acts she was still just as much of a threat as Mystique was.
Death and Denial of Resurrection
Destiny was killed in a battle with Legion, the reality-warping son of Professor X. She has remained dead despite death itself no longer being a factor on Krakoa – the Five have perfected resurrection and no-one need ever die again. However there is a secret law known only to Professor X, Magento, and Moira Taggert that no mutants with precognitive abilities can ever be brought back as they would be able to see the fate that awaits Mutants at the end of the Moira’s current lifetime. Destiny knew this would happen, and although she could not explain precisely why to her wife she has left instructions as to what to do should they continue to refuse her return.
Mystique & Destiny are unlike the other couples on our list this month, mostly because Destiny is dead, however, when you are one of the most powerful precognitive mutants who ever lived that’s less of an issues – especially if you made plans for it…
They met in the early 1900s where Destiny was someone to help her on a mission to unravel her visions and what was seemingly a hired a private detective from London – who would soon be revealed as Mystique playing a role. If you hadn’t spotted it already, Destiny’s real name is Irene Adler and with Mystique presenting as a male detective at the time, they are indeed supposed to have been the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler from the books. The two women realised that they shared a dream of using their gifts to change the world to their liking and quickly became lovers. They embarked on a long career of social manipulation where Destiny would foresee the required events that would bring about the world they wanted, and Mystique would infiltrate governments and organisations to make it happen.
The two would be forced apart at several points over the century but they were always sure they would return to each other because Destiny knew their futures lay together.
While either of them could really be called great parents (being more often than not international terrorists), Mystique has had several children and Destiny has been involved in their lives.
Rogue is the adopted daughter of both women and was raised by them from a very young age. With her gift for stealing the memories, life force, and powers from both humans and mutants Rogue was brought up in the Brotherhood of Evil Mutant, however after a fight with Carol Danvers (Ms. Marvel) where she permanently absorbs her psyche and powers, Rogue is overcome with the sense of duty and joins the X-Men. Rogue and her parents loved each other deeply, with the bond between Destiny and Rogue especially strong. Mystique and Rogue have had a more adversarial relationship since Rogue switched sides. Mystique is immensely proud of her powerful daughter but has fought her head on at times, yet at others has gone to extreme lengths to protect Rogue from harm. Currently Rogue is on the Excalibur Team with her husband Gambit (of whom Mystique thoroughly disapproves) and Mystique is on the Quiet Council. It is obvious that the women care for each other but Rogue has stated that two mush has occurred between them now and she does not involve her mother in her life unless necessary for Krakoa.
Another famous X-Men member, Nightcrawler is also Mystiques son. Intended to be the biological child of both Mystique and Destiny, through Mystique taking on a male form, this was stopped by Marvel who felt that it was not be appropriate at the time, it was later announced that he was the child of Mystique and Azazel. Nightcrawler was abandoned shortly after his birth by Mystique when a mob came to kill the child and she hid him in a well. He was found by travellers and ended up being raised in the circus. In the current era, both mother and son serve on the Quiet Council on Krakoa; though their relationship is strained at best.
Graydon Creed is the son of Mystique and Sabretooth. Despite having two powerful mutants as parents, Creed was born with the X-Gene and therefore was baseline human. Mystique didn’t want Sabretooth to know he was a father, nor did she have any interest in raising a human child, so she gave him up for adoption. This led to a resentment and hatred for mutants that Creed would feel all his life, culminating in him founding the mutant hate group Friends of Humanity. Almost getting elected President while running an anti-mutant platform, Creed is eventually killed by Mystique herself after Creed attacks the young mutant Trevor Chase – one of Destiny’s grandchildren.