Destiny and Mystique: A Mutant Love Story
Mystique and Destiny's romance has influenced the X-Men for decades and continues to be more critical than ever in the Krakoan era.
Long before Charles Xavier dreamed of the X-Men, Mystique and Destiny were shaping the future of Marvel’s mutants. The relationship between the shape-shifting Mystique and prophetic Destiny has been a crucial part of the X-Men’s most epic adventures, and it has changed the course of mutant history more than once.
After years apart, Destiny and Mystique have been reunited on the mutant island nation Krakoa, and they’re reshaping the X-Men’s future again in Kieron Gillen and Lucas Werneck’s IMMORTAL X-MEN. To celebrate Pride month and prepare for the X-Men to jump into JUDGMENT DAY later this summer, let’s take a closer look at the relationship between Mystique and Destiny and how their love set the mutant world on fire.
How Mystique and Destiny Met
Destiny and Mystique were both born in the late 19th century, ahead of the massive mutant population explosion that would follow in the 20th. While the details of Mystique’s early life remain largely unknown, Destiny was born Irene Adler, the daughter of a well-off family in Austria. When she was 13, Irene’s precognitive mutant powers activated, overwhelming her with visions of futures and potential timelines. As her physical eyesight faded, Irene recorded many of her visions in a cryptic set of books that came to be known as Destiny’s Diaries.
While trying to foster the development of favorable timelines, Destiny met Mystique, who was working as consulting detective Raven Darkhölme, in the early 20th century. The relationship between the two evolved into romance and eventually marriage.
Despite the intensity of their relationship, Raven and Irene eventually wandered out of each other’s lives as their respective destinies led them elsewhere. While Destiny worked in early mutant research at the Black Womb Project, Mystique had the children who would grow up to become the X-Men’s Nightcrawler and the anti-mutant firebrand Graydon Creed.
Mystique and Destiny’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants
Eventually, Mystique and Destiny reunited and took in a young Rogue, who was known only as Anna Marie at the time. After raising Rogue together in an isolated part of Mississippi, Destiny and Mystique formed a new incarnation of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. During Destiny’s debut in Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s UNCANNY X-MEN #141-142, she made an unsuccessful attempt on the life of anti-mutant politician Robert Kelly in the seminal storyline “Days of Future Past.”
Embittered by Mystique and Destiny’s influence, Rogue joined their Brotherhood and semi-permanently absorbed the mind and powers of Carol Danvers. After a short stint with the Brotherhood, Rogue eventually left her adoptive parents for the X-Men as the lingering influence of Danvers’ mind and powers tortured her. Destiny foresaw this as a necessary step for Rogue, but it became the heart of a bitter rivalry between a reluctant Mystique and Xavier.
As the Brotherhood battled foes like Dazzler, the X-Men, and Avengers, Mystique and Destiny’s relationship remained the quiet backbone of the team. After a deal between Mystique and government operative Val Cooper, this incarnation of the Brotherhood evolved into the legally sanctioned team Freedom Force. With their teammates Avalanche, Blob, and Pyro, Destiny and Mystique had their criminal records wiped clean and began working for the government. Most of Freedom Force’s missions revolved around their attempts to capture mutants or otherwise enforce the Mutant Registration Act, still guided by Mystique’s leadership and Destiny’s visions.
After the apparent deaths of the X-Men in “Fall of the Mutants,” Freedom Force was ordered to help Forge defend Muir Island from the cybernetic Reavers. In Chris Claremont and Marc Silvestri’s UNCANNY X-MEN #255, that mission turned deadly for Destiny. As Freedom Force took on the Reavers, Destiny was murdered by Legion, Charles Xavier’s powerful son who was under the control of the malevolent Shadow King.
Thanks to her powers, Destiny predicted her death to the moment and allowed it to happen as part of her larger schemes, which included saving Mystique from a similar fate. As she drifted closer towards and away from the X-Men in the following years, a devastated Mystique eventually fulfilled one of Destiny’s visions by romancing Forge, her teammate on the government-sanctioned X-Factor team. Years after Irene’s death, Destiny’s visions remained a guiding force for both Mystique and the X-Men, with 2001’s X-TREME X-MEN following a team formed to recover all of Destiny’s Diaries.
Mystique’s Inferno and Destiny’s Return
As revealed by Jonathan Hickman and Matteo Buffagni in 2020’s X-MEN #6, Destiny left Mystique with explicit instructions to resurrect her after Krakoa was established and to burn the nation down if she couldn’t be revived. As Xavier and Magneto took steps to build Krakoa in HOUSE OF X, they brought Mystique into their plan with the promise of Destiny’s resurrection. After using her skills to spy on the development of Mother Mold and Nimrod Sentinels, Mystique was chosen as a member of the Quiet Council, Krakoa’s official 12-member ruling body.
Despite their promises, Xavier and Magneto refused to revive Destiny at the direction of Moira MacTaggert, who used knowledge from her previous lives to encourage the creation of Krakoa and to secretly plan the eradication of the mutant gene. So, in 2021’s INFERNO, Mystique took matters into her own hands and covertly orchestrated the resurrection of Destiny herself.
Although Destiny returned in a younger body, she was struck by an onslaught of prophetic visions upon her resurrection. After nursing her wife back to health, Mystique set Destiny up to be elected to fill a vacant seat on the Quiet Council, much to the chagrin of Xavier and Magneto. With help from Emma Frost, Mystique and Destiny exposed Moira’s actions to the rest of the Council and attacked her, which resulted in Moira losing her powers and being exiled from Krakoa.
Now, Mystique and Destiny have been reunited and are currently playing an active role in building the future of all mutants as Quiet Council members in IMMORTAL X-MEN. While the morality of Mystique’s actions has caused debate among other mutant leaders, Destiny’s ominous visions hold troubling teases of days to come. While both formidable on their own, Destiny and Mystique share a deep love that makes them one of Marvel’s most influential power couples, even in the face of an uncertain future.
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