X-Men Black Mystique #1
Released: October 17th 2018
I confess now and say that I don’t read a ton of X-Men. I’m working through the backlog, but it is a long and slow process (seriously, have you ever looked at just how much is there?). Still, I can safely say that I’ve never read a comic from Mystique’s perspective. I loved the idea of it – how often do you get to hear the other side of the story? And best of all – the whole thing was written by one of my favorite authors, Seanan McGuire. So there was no doubt in my mind that I’d be reading this issue.
I love all the comparisons to art and acting that came up in this issue. I can totally see Mystique looking at how she behaves and what she does as art. Not only does it make everything seem more challenging – fuller of intent and purpose, but it allows her to distance herself from her actions as well. Win-win.
Everything was really well done in this issue. There’s lots of Mystique changing form whenever she gets a chance, but it’s also made very clear that there’s a purpose to each change (even if it’s only to mildly screw over one unnamed character’s life). Her character makes no apologies for her actions or the way she is…and I kind of love that. She is unapologetically enjoying what she does, and she owns that. No, more than that, she’s actively working to enhance her skills in the process. It’s certainly not the actions of a hero…but it’s hard not to respect her on some level.
I really enjoyed the artwork for the series as well. The artist went out of their way to make countless interesting characters that were basically thrown away after a page or two (if that). That takes work. Additionally they’d throw in hints to help us figure out which one was Mystique (though it was easy when she was the only one on the page). I love that they used bold and bright colors too – nothing like what you’d expect in a traditional villains comics.