Even with her status as a member of the Quiet Council and being one of the iconic X-Men characters Mystique has had very few comics dedicated to her story during the Krakoa era. Now during the Fall of X direction we are finally getting a spotlight on Mystique. This one-shot comic book is spinning out of the developments in Uncanny Spider-Man where Mystique has been shown to have gone rogue. Her actions have been of great concern to Nightcrawler, who has first hand witness account of Mystique’s behaviour. Let’s see how things go next with X-Men Blue: Origins #1.
Writer: Si Spurrier
Artists: Wilton Santos and Marcus To
Inker: Oren Junior
Colorist: Ceci De La Cruz
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
“THE DEFINITIVE NIGHTCRAWLER ORIGIN STORY! This is the one you can’t miss, True Believer! You think you know how the beloved blue devil came into this troubled world? You think you know the tale of his mendacious mamma Mystique? You don’t! Mother and son reunite in a mold-shattering tale that exposes secrets held for decades and redefines both characters forever. A collector’s item in the making.” – Marvel Comics
X-Men Blue: Origins #1 is one of those comic books that has all the elements it needs to be one of the more memorable single issues of the year. Unfortunately there is one narrative choice made that derails X-Men Blue: Origins from achieving that status. It only speaks to the quality of the story that Si Spurrier, Wilton Santos and Marcus To deliver that they are still able to overcome the creative misstep that they make.
This creative misstep is seeing at the very beginning of X-Men Blue: Origins #1. The misstep comes from choosing a random Bamf to act as a narrator talking directly to the reader. This is narrative device that is established from the beginning and pops up randomly throughout the issue. Spurrier tries to be cleaver about the Bamf usage but every time it shows up it takes you out of the moment. Spurrier fails to make the Bamf a unique plot device and ends up making it an extension of himself as a writer trying to be clever but just sticks out as trying to ruin the comic book.
Luckily Spurrier does such a great job at exploring Mystique and Nightcrawler’s history that the Bamf doesn’t ruin the story. Spurrier makes sure that he does not try to create something new with the characters. Instead, Spurrier did his homework on what Mystique and Nightcrawler’s history was to make sure past creators work is honored.
The biggest key to this is how Spurrier uses the events of the Hellfire Gala as the motivator to unlock the true history of Nightcrawler’s origin as Mystique and Destiny’s son. With how powerful the mental attack Xavier committed on Mystique during the Hellfire Gala any past manipulations can believably be reset. Add in the impact of the massive fall that even with Mystique’s healing factor would find it tough to fully recover from.
It explains why Mystique has been acting in such an irrational way over in Uncanny Spider-Man. She was taken back to the moment where she lost her baby son. This gave way for Nightcrawler to learn Mystique’s true history with Destiny. In turn we get confirmation that Mystique isn’t a shapeshifter but actually a gene-shifter. Its only because of the previous mental blocks Mystique and Destiny asked to forget about Kurt Wagner’s birth because of the vision of their son’s future Destiny had. Now that this is done away with we Mystique character is able to evolve and future writers can explore her as an Omega-level mutant that she has always had the potential to be.
This also places an even greater interest in what will be next for Mystique and Destiny. Obviously this was a major turning point in their relationship that was interfered with because of Destiny’s vision. Now that Mystique knows the truth there is a new layer that can be added to what their relationship is. Which can be key to what we will see happen for both of them coming out of Fall of X.
The story also works well to create a stronger link between Nightcrawler and his two mothers. Obviously the strongest is with Mystique as their bond is what we see explored. Nightcrawler learning his true parentage was something he didn’t know he needed to know given how complex it has been. Adding in how in all her vision Destiny saw that her son would overcome all his trials to become a hero was a cool note. This shows that no matter the continuity Nightcrawler is always destined to be a hero who protects others. Which adds to his current heroic narrative over in Uncanny Spider-Man.
X-Men Blue: Origins #1 delivers a story that builds a stronger connection to Mystique, Destiny, and Nightcrawler’s family bond. Si Spurrier, Wilton Santos and Marcus To add new layers to all three characters, with Mystique once again showing why she should be a lead of her own comic book. Hopefully we see Mystique, Nightcrawler, and Destiny’s story continue to be followed up on post-Fall of X.
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10