Norman Osborn’s recruiting drive: Mystique

Norman Osborn’s X-Men team completes its roster today — a team assembled full of morally ambiguous, lied to, and unwillingly-forced-into-servitude superheroes/supervillains.  The full group led by Emma Frost consists of Namor, Mimic, Dark Beast, Cloak, Dagger, Weapon Omega, Daken, and finally our wildly unpredictable shapeshifter Mystique.  Y’see, recently Wolverine and Mystique settled some differences (bloody, explosive differences) and the encounter left Mystique dying and abandoned in the desert.  She survived.  Let’s not worry about how.  Now that she’s unemployed, Osborn figures she could use a gig obeying his every command as part of his pseudo-PR-stunt X-Men.  At least he doesn’t have to manipulate Mystique — there’s a respect/open rudeness between supervillains of their caliber.  Today, we’ll take a look at a scene from Dark X-Men #3, written by Jason Aaron and drawn by Jock.



Makes sense Mystique would want to sully Wolverine’s reputation after the hell he put her through (and he does eventually come back to finish the job he left a few years after this).  But how much more damage could Mystique inflict?  Wolverine’s mental state holds up about as well as tissue paper in a rainstorm.  He snaps and massacres groups of innocent people at least once a solo series, blaming everything on mindwipes or memory repression or no more beer.  The superhero community just accepts that all the good Wolverine does is worth him flying off the handle and killing bears with his bare hands while he runs around the woods naked every once in a while.



It’s almost impressive how long Osborn held onto his sanity during Dark Reign.  The dude handled nonstop problems and issues — the same issues that undid Iron Man’s rule — and yet until Siege he never reverted into his Green Goblin crazy pumpkin-chucking persona he triggers as quickly as stepping on Bruce Banner’s foot turns him into the Hulk.  Well, I don’t think he Green Goblin’d publicly.  I mean, not around cameras and stuff.  So Mystique, who battles foes mainly by immediately detecting and hitting all the right emotional nerves, now gets to argue with a man as uncaring and vindictive as herself.  In a sick way, it’s refreshing to see a completely honest Osborn.



Y’know how I mentioned earlier that Mystique defeats her opponents with emotional manipulation?  I’m sorry, I meant kung fu.


The problem with an extended lifespan, like Mystique possesses, is that after her hundred plus years of life, not much is left on her bucket list.  She reverts back to a teenager whose iPad broke: she just sort of wanders around, joins random groups of dubious people, and finds out what trouble she can get into.  Her current goal?  Totally murdering Wolverine for leaving her for dead in the desert tops the list. And what’s the best way to get to Wolverine?  Besides free back hair waxes?  His family, of course.


To be fair to Mystique, Wolverine has lots of sons.  Most he doesn’t know about.  But the Japanese name could only indicate the mother’s identity being Itsu, the woman Wolverine loved with all his heart and soul.  Osborn just uttered the magic words.



With Osborn’s team now complete, it’s time for him to begin the mission: annoy the real X-Men.

2 Comments on “Norman Osborn’s recruiting drive: Mystique”

  1. art.the.nerd says:

    I really enjoyed reading the Dark Reign stories of Norman Osborn the Magnificent Bastard, although I have read only a few of them. They were hugely more interesting than his Green Goblin personality. I’m enjoying the hell out of your series about him. More, please!

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