As we near the end of June and Pride month, I wanted to call attention to one other Marvel book that puts their queer characters at the forefront. Last week I talked about Hulkling & Wiccan; this week, it’s the romantic partners Mystique and Destiny.
Though their romance wasn’t initially part of my original introduction to the characters, way, way back during the Fall of the Mutants, there was always a closeness between the duo that inevitably became a canon romance. And, when the mutants nation of Krakoa was established, Destiny’s death and Mystique’s desire to bring her wife back to life, became a key component for the first few years of Jonathan Hickman-led storytelling. You see, the architects of Krakoa – Professor X, Magneto, and Moira MacTaggert – didn’t want any precogs being resurrected and revealing the truth about mutants – that they always lose.
However, through multiple machinations, Mystique managed to resurrect her lover, which has led to lots of political intrigue throughout the first three issues of Immortal X-Men, the latest of which arrived last week, courtesy of writer Kieron Gillen and artist Lucas Werneck. This is an interesting title for me because, quite frankly, there are moments where I feel a little lost – specifically during a wonderfully illustrated, seemingly astral-plane type confrontation between Mister Sinister and Exodus where I really had no clue what was going on. I was so confused that I had to put my iPad down and walk away for a moment, because these pages came after a wonderful history of the relationship between Raven Darkholme (Mystique) and Irene Adler (Destiny). Thankfully, this issue of Immortal X-Men didn’t dwell on that confusing moment, and instead focused on the duo, their love, and what seems to be its inevitable failure.
As I mentioned last week, representation is exceedingly important in today’s society where the fight for equality and equity is never ending, and having a high profile X-book like Immortal X-Men not only be anchored by a lesbian relationship, but be unafraid to depict clearly is progress that hopefully will continue. I can’t say I’m sold on every aspect of the book, but I’ll gladly keep reading because the core of it, the love between Mystique and Destiny, is exciting and compelling.