We Rank Your Favorite Superhero… Or Villain
Round 1: Match-Up #25, we have Iron Man alias Tony Stark vs Rogue alias Anna Marie.
The Avengers and the X-Men are at war. The Phoenix Five are five god-like X-Men that have decided to better the world. Ms. Marvel comes to seek Rogue in order to help her see the truth about the Phoenix Five.
|MS. MARVEL AND ROGUE HAVE A FIGHT!|
Enter the two contestants in New Orleans. On the left side is Ms. Marvel, and on the right side is Rogue.
Let’s look at the stats.
Ms. Marvel seeking to help Rogue see through the current menace, is drawn into a fight. Will the past be repeated?
The battle to decide who is the true X-Man!
‘Marvel Super Heroes’ (1968) #13, marks the first appearance of Ms. Marvel in Marvel continuity. The issue features Carol Danvers as new security officer of the Cape, an army station as Mar-Vel goes undercover as Dr. Walter Lawson.
The issue was created by Don Rico and John Romita.
|MS. MARVEL’S FIRST FEATURE ISSUE|
|THE X-MEN ARE UNDER ATTACK! AND COLOSSUS HAS BEEN HEATED AND COOLED INTO A STATUE!|
In ‘Uncanny X-Men’ (1984) #177, Mystique sends the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in order to kill the X-Men. At the beginning of the issue, Mystique is fighting X-Men duplicates. The training simulation starts with Mystique fighting a Wolverine duplicate. Mystique defeats him by slashing his jugular. Next, Kitty Pryde phases onto the battle scene and sees Wolverine bleeding. It is Mystique. She has metamorphed into Wolverine and kills Kitty. With an attack that destroys the scene, the Colossus duplicate exclaims “Murderer!” Mystique defeats him with a flare skull.1
Suddenly, an optic blast hits Mystique behind her back. Mystique takes Cyclops and Colossus into the circus with mirrors. She feigns to shoot Colossus with a gun only for Cyclops to respond with an optic blast that reverberates through glass, killing Colossus. Cyclops cries “No!!”1 Sneaking up behind him, Mystique murders him by choking him with a rope. Then, she faces Storm. Responding to Storm’s attack, Mystique blows up a fuel truck behind Storm, incinerating her. Stepping into the circus like a trapeze, she meets Rogue who means to avenge her friends. As she incinerates Rogue with her gun, she howls “like a mad dog.”1 The last enemy is Nightcrawler. After he teleports her, she hesitates to kill him with her dagger. He does not. He knocks her out.
Kurt, Amanda Sefton, Kitty, and Peter go to see the Royal Ballet at Lincoln Center. Peter and Kitty drop Kurt and Amanda. Then, they go park the car. On their walk in the parking, there is an explosion. Peter asks Kitty to summon the fire brigade while he attempts to save people. Changing into Colossus, Peter springs into action. Colossus notes the building is derelict and that there must be squatters.
Running up the stairs, he reaches the top floor and sees Blob. The fire was a trap set by the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Blob slaps outside the building. Then, Pyro creates of bird of living fire. Colossus is heated red-hot then “white-hot, to incandescence and beyond!”1 As Colossus wonders if he can melt, he falls to the ground “like a meteor”.1 He attempts to gather his wits but then he is cooled to absolute zero cold by Avalanche.
In ‘Uncanny X-Men’ (1984) #178, the X-Men are under attack by the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants led by Mystique. As the X-Men battle the Brotherhood, Mystique infiltrates the X-Mansion. The X-Men manage to defeat the Brotherhood though Blob reveals the mission objective: kill Professor X and recruit Mystique’s adoptive daughter Rogue, back into the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
At the X-Mansion, Mystique metamorphs into Rogue and offers Professor X some herb tea. Professor X is struggling to maintain contact with the X-Men. He notes something is scrambling his psi-scan. As he identifies the psionic scrambler used by Mystique to inhibit his psi-probes, Rogue fires a shot at Professor X. As Professor X lies on the floor, Mystique states that Professor X was able to identify her psionic scrambler and alter her shot at the last moment so that it may only wound him and not kill him.
Rogue enters the room and an argument between mother and daughter ensues. Mystique metamorphs back into her form. She reveals her mission was to get Rogue back into the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and orders her to pack her things while she finishes killing Professor X. Rogue says her powers are out of control and Professor X is her chance to have a normal life.
Appearing before the X-Men over a hologram, Mystique gives the X-Men an ultimatum. The freedom of the Brotherhood of Mutants in exchange for the life of Professor X. Storm, the leader of the X-Men, agrees to let the Brotherhood go free. Then, we see the bloodied body of Kitty Pryde on the floor.
In ‘Uncanny X-Men’ (1984) #179, Rogue helps resurrect Colossus from the attack by the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Kitty Pryde has to marry Caliban the Morlock. However, she gives her word to no longer resist her promise and marry Caliban if the Healer can help resurrect Colossus. Kitty’s plan is for Rogue to absorb Colossus’ powers and for the Morlock healer to heal Colossus wounds as he becomes human.
Rogue agrees to Kitty’s plan. She begins to absorb Colossus’ powers enduring unimaginable pain. As Colossus reverts to his human form, “he has seconds to live.”2 Immediately, the Healer heals his wounds. Once the process is complete, Rogue has been turned into a statue. Storm laments that Rogue may have finally earned her place with the X-Men. In the end, Kitty is released from her promise and no longer has to marry Caliban nor live with the Morlocks.
|Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 177 in Marvel Database.|
Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 178 in Marvel Database.
Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 179 in Marvel Database.
Today, we talk about Mystique’s uncanny super power. I speak of Mystique’s metamorphing.
Mystique was once the leader of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Mystique is a mutant that is said to be over a hundred years old. Her specific mutation is the ability to metamorph, that is, Mystique can psionically alter her cells and her tissues in order to change her physical appearance. In fact, using this super power, Mystique can create perfect duplicates of any human, humanoid or semi-humanoid of any sex. Moreover, Mystique is usually naked and uses her metamorphing ability to create clothing on her duplicate physical appearance.
Metamorph: Mystique can psionically alter the formation of her biological cells at will. As a result, she can cause herself to look and sound like an exact duplicate of any human, humanoid, or semi-humanoid being of any sex, wearing virtually any kind of clothing. Her control is so exact that she can precisely duplicate another person’s retina pattern in her own eyes, finger, palm and skin-pore patterns on her own hands and skin, smell to overlap the original being, and vocal cords to match voices to the point of corresponding voice prints.
Mystique was once exposed to dangerous levels of radiation in order to save the life of Toad. The process dramatically morphed Mystique’s appearance, causing her skin to become reptilian, and boosted her powers so that she could now morph her body into taking certain desired physical traits depending on her situation at the time (note: this reptilian form was quickly discarded, whether it was because of retcon or if she simply shape-shifted back to her previous form remains to be seen).
Examples of this new ability included: night vision, wings on her back, talons in her fingers, sharp fanged teeth, natural body armor, mermaid-like tail, and she could even compress into a nearly two-dimensional state to glide on air currents (similar to Mr. Fantastic), which she used to survive an explosion.
Since her resurrection by The Hand, her powers have been enhanced to a higher level than they were before, to the degree that she could fool super-humanly acute senses such as Wolverine’s sense of smell, something she couldn’t do before her death. Other new facets of these abilities include tentacle generation, animal shifting and partial liquefaction.– Raven Darkholme (Earth-616), Marvel Database
Mystique is able to enhance her strength, speed, endurance, senses and agility. Mystique’s metamorphing retards her aging process enabling her to live for an extended life span and is said to be over a hundred years old.
There are limitations to Mystique’s metamorphing super power as she is not able to duplicate the powers of the person she imitates. For example, though she can metamorph into Nightcrawler’s physical appearance she cannot duplicate his teleportation ability.
Let’s look at some battles in comics where Mystique used this uncanny super power.
In ‘Uncanny X-Men’ (1984) #177, Mystique is at the time the leader of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Mystique faces X-Men duplicates created by the nefarious Arcade.
The game begins as the Wolverine duplicate faces Mystique. Mystique manages to evade Wolverine’s attack partially as he wounds her right side. Evading another attack, Mystique slices Wolverine’s throat with her blade where there is no bone to stop it. Wolverine bleeds to death.
On the following page, a Kitty Pryde duplicate finds Wolverine sitting on the ground against the wall. Kitty Pryde notes he is not bleeding and is startled. Because of her inexperience, she does not react to the attack from Wolverine. As Kitty Pryde lies in a pool of blood on the ground, Wolverine metamorphs into Mystique.
Mystique goes on to take on the rest of the X-Men.
In ‘Uncanny X-Men’ (1984) #178, the X-Men are under attack by the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants led by Mystique. As the X-Men battle the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Mystique infiltrates the X-Mansion. The X-Men win the battle though Blob reveals the mission objective: to kill Professor X and get her adoptive daughter Rogue, back with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
Mystique uses her uncanny super power. Mystique is metamorphed as Rogue and brings Professor X some herb tea. Professor X is struggling to maintain contact with the X-Men as they face the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. He notes that there is interference scrambling his psi-scan. As he identifies the psionic scrambler used by Mystique to inhibit his psi-probes, Rogue fires a shot at Professor X. As Professor X lies on the floor, Mystique states that Professor X was able to identify her psionic scrambler and alter her shot at the last moment so that it may only wound him and not kill him.
Rogue enters the room and an argument between mother and daughter ensues. Mystique metamorphs back into her form. She reveals her mission was to get Rogue back into the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and orders her to pack her things while she finishes killing Professor X. Rogue says killing Professor X is wrong. Mystique asks her to stand aside.
In ‘Sabretooth and Mystique’ (1996) #1, Mystique and Sabretooth infiltrate a S.H.I.E.L.D. base. Mystique disguised as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Cameron Bisset and Sabretooth are headed to the morgue to look for an A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) called James Hedrickson. They are looking for a device implanted into his corpse. As Mystique looks away, Sabretooth dissects the man’s body and finds the device.
Suddenly, A.I.M. operatives erupt on the scene, breaking the roof. They identify the device as a capsule and engage Mystique and Sabretooth in combat. During the battle, Mystique uses her uncanny super power. Mystique metamorphs into a gargoyle. As Sabretooth engages Karl Steiner, an A.I.M. operative, Mystique holds one of the A.I.M. operatives in a choke hold and retrieves the capsule.
The A.I.M. operatives open fire while Mystique takes flight carrying Sabretooth. Mystique warns Sabretooth to not struggle and reveals the limits of her super power. She states her strength does not change with her appearance. Mystique reveals the gargoyle she duplicated is from the Defenders.
|Raven Darkholme (Earth-616) in Marvel Database.|
Mystique in Comic Vine.
Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 177 in Marvel Database.
Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 178 in Marvel Database.
Sabretooth and Mystique Vol 1 1 in Marvel Database.
Wolverine Vol 2 302 in Marvel Database.
Thoughts? Sound off in the comments!