X-Men Black: Mystique #1
Writer: Seanan McGuire
Artist: Marco Failla
Colorist: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
A review by Greg Brothers
Over the last few weeks the X-Men Black series has shown how complicated some of the X-Men enemies are. Two weeks ago we got Magneto and his desire to advance the needs of Mutant kind. Then last week we got Mojo and his goal of getting rid of diversity, while telling good stories. Now this week we get Mystique. To say that Mystique is a complex character would be an understatement. Much like Magneto she wants to see the advancement of the Mutant race, while she looks at the flat scan humans has a nuisance. She has been a hero and teamed with the X-Men before to save the world. She is the adoptive mother of Rogue, and the birthmother of Nightcrawler. But more than anything Mystique is about helping herself and getting rich.
In X-Men Black: Mystique #1, Raven Darkholme is out to dinner with a junior Senator. Unfortunately for the young Senator, he is just a cog in the plan that Mystique has developed. As she finishes up with the Senator, she moves on making her way across the country for two specific reasons. One of those remains a bit of a mystery, while the other is to free a young mutant who has been taken prisoner by Trask Industries.
Immediately after finishing X-Men Black: Mystique #1 one thing stood out more than anything. How well McGuire shows off how smart Mystique is. She is always several steps ahead of whoever it is that might be pursuing her. Besides focusing on her cunning smarts, we are also reminded the Mystique is always about advancing herself. Even when she seems to be helping others, she has laid out a plan that in the end, she will be the one who benefits from those actions. McGuire’s dialogue and plotting allow the story to flow easily. Each panel peels back another piece of the onion until the end reveals what was Mystique’s plan from the beginning.
The mid-panel changes are really a thing of magic. The brilliant use of various objects is something that would be seen in movies. The character designs are classic with sharp lines. It feels very much like a classic Marvel art style. That is saying that while the art isn’t innovative, it is done in a way that nothing feels off.
If you are a fan of Mystique, then you need to pick up X-Men Black: Mystique #1. The story feels like a love story to the character that highlights how complex Mystique is.