How Mystique is very different in the comics

Make no mistake: Mystique is an absolute badass when it comes to the world of X-Men. The blue shapeshiftter has become a cornerstone of villainy throughout the mutants' comic book existence. But the X-Men films starring Jennifer Lawrence have started to paint the femme fatale in a more inexplicably positive light. History 101 is in session at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, so let's learn about how different Mystique is in the comics compared to her big screen counterpart.

The costume

Mystique appeared in six of the nine X-Men films released so far, usually depicted as a gorgeous shapeshifter whose true form is covered in blue skin, scales, and slicked-back red hair. This trend started in the 2000 original X-Men film, back when she was portrayed by actress and former supermodel Rebecca Romijn. We're guessing director Bryan Singer's team wanted to flaunt Romijn's perfect frame and make her mutation look more biological. So they dropped the character's iconic white dress, boots, gloves, and skull decorations in favor of scales covering her otherwise naked body. In the comics, Mystique occasionally wears other outfits, but she's best known for her white ensembles and skull belts. Jennifer Lawrence finally wore something similar at the end of X-Men: Apocalypse, but it's been a long time coming.

One of the X-Men's greatest villains

Though she first debuted in the Ms. Marvel series during the late 1970s Mystique soon transitioned over to the X-Men books and became a regular mutant menace. She's a Machiavellian schemer who uses her powers of shapeshifting, agility, and healing to assassinate anyone in her way. Whether she sides with Magneto, Apocalypse, Mr. Sinister, or even (sometimes) the X-Men, she almost always has ulterior motives that cater to her own interests. While we got to see some of this come out, especially during X-Men, X2, and Days of Future Past, there's a lot more to her than Hollywood has led viewers to believe.

Mommy dearest

Mystique's familial ties were almost entirely cut from the X-Men movies. Remember that red teleporter in X-Men: First Class, Azazel? In the comics, he's the father of Mystique's son, Nightcrawler. She had another son, Graydon Creed, with longtime Wolverine antagonist Sabretooth. Creed despises his parents for abandoning him, resulting in Graydon hating everyone with an X-gene and the formation of his anti-mutant group of hatemongers, the Friends of Humanity. Mystique is also the adoptive mother of Rogue, who permanently steals Ms. Marvel's powers and psyche at Mystique's command before eventually joining the X-Men. While she does try to make amends with her children, many times it's too little too late. And if you only know Mystique from the movies, then all of this is news to you, huh?

Romantic interests

Mystique's plotting, powers, and shifting loyalties have resulted in her romancing and knocking boots with plenty of surprising characters in the comics over the years. She's gotten with all kinds of folks throughout her past, and some of the names might surprise you. Besides the aforementioned Sabretooth and Azazel, she's also gotten with the likes of Magneto, Forge, and even Wolverine. She even once turned into Rogue and tried to seduce Gambit into sleeping with her, saying it wouldn't be considered cheating. Creepy! Mystique is also the longtime lover of the precognitive mutant, Destiny, and their romance is one of the earliest lesbian relationships in comic book history.

An expert assassin

Just like in the movie of the same name, the Days of Future Past comic focuses on preventing a dystopian future where mutantkind is hunted down to the brink of extinction by the Sentinel program. At the center of this whole fiasco is Mystique and her own Brotherhood of Mutants group. She poses as Gambit to make it look like he was actually the one who killed Senator Robert Kelly, triggering the apocalyptic future. Of course, this makes the X-Men's prevention of Kelly's death much more complicated, and it's just one of many times Mystique causes something extraordinarily bad to happen.

An occasional X-Men member, but never leads

Throughout the movie X-Men: Apocalypse, Mystique plays the hero for saving the president and Bolivar Trask's lives at the end of the previous film. By the end of Apocalypse, Mystique is pretty much the squad leader of the young X-Men team. But in the comics, Mystique's allegiances change almost as often as her looks. She does try to join the X-Men a few times to get closer to her children in the books, but she regularly flip-flops between helping the team and fighting against them. Mystique's cinematic heroism and leadership seems as a likely result of the widespread popularity of actress Jennifer Lawrence, who is pretty much guaranteed money when it comes to box office numbers. But with Lawrence supposedly being done with the franchise, here's hoping the character shifts back into the snarling and sultry deceiver we all love and hate.