A look at the history of X-Men's queer power couple Mystique and Destiny

Mystique and Destiny's relationship will be spotlighted in one of Marvel's upcoming Pride comics, X-Men: The Wedding Special.

Cover image of Marvel's upcoming Pride comic X-Men: The Wedding Special. It shows characters Mystique and Destiny about to kiss at their wedding ceremony.
Image: @DiscussingFilm via X

This June sees Marvel’s queer mutant power couple, Raven Darkholme (Mystique) and Irene Adler (Destiny), renew their wedding vows. David Ferguson takes a look at some of their long history.

I saw a meme recently that summed up the Marvel universe for me. It went along the lines of: “The Avengers are co-workers, the Fantastic Four are family and the X-Men are a messy queer network of found family units that all sleep with each other, turn looks and fight.”

For queer fans of X-Men, this aspect of the team, along with the concept of a group of individuals being feared and hated for being different, is what attracts us to them.

The X-books have also always been at the forefront of queer representation at Marvel. The mutant Northstar was Marvel’s first queer superhero, a fact that was hinted at by his creator John Byrne in the pages of Alpha Flight long before the character came out.

And while there have been a number of queer mutants since then, in my opinion, the number one queer mutant power couple is Mystique and Destiny.

Mystique has an interesting (read: messy) family history. She had a child with Wolverine’s nemesis Sabretooth, Graydon Creed, who turned out to be human and an anti-mutant bigot and who she later assassinated. She, along with Destiny, adopted future X-Men, Rogue, after Destiny, a precog, foresees that she will be important to them.

However, the most intriguing (read: very messy) history relates to another X-Men, Nightcrawler. Mystique had claimed for a long time to be the mother of Nightcrawler. This was not writer Chris Claremont’s original plan. His original idea was that Mystique would be Nightcrawler’s father rather than mother, with Destiny being his mother.

Editorial policy and the Comics Code Authority prevented such a storyline. It also meant that for many years their relationship could only be hinted at.

However, Claremont’s original story idea has recently been revealed to be fact, albeit with some, again, messy continuity clean-up. The new continuity is that Mystique, who appears to identify as female, shapeshifted into a male form down to the genetic level, replicating the genetics of some men. She then impregnated Destiny, fulfilling her wife’s wish to have a child with her.

The couple have a long history but, for brevity’s sake, I will focus on more recent events.

Their relationship has been much more prevalent in the recent “Krakoan Era” (where all mutants, hero and villain alike, live on the island of Krakoa), in which both are an important part of the storyline.

The new era also brings in the concept of “the resurrection protocols” where deceased mutants can be returned from the dead. Mystique agrees to help other mutants on the promise that Destiny be added to the list (Destiny had been murdered by Xavier’s mentally disturbed son Legion many years ago, something that drove Mystique mad for a time).

She was also given a place on the island’s ruling body, the Quiet Council. However, Xavier and Magneto, now working together, had no intention of living up to their promise of resurrecting Destiny as precogs are not allowed. Xavier and Magneto used the excuse that Mystique had failed in the mission she had been sent on and they planned to remove Mystique from her position of power.

However, Mystique sees that she is being set up, and cunningly uses the protocols to bring Destiny back herself. The couple manage to not only keep Mystique’s place on the Quiet Council, but also convince other council members to add Destiny as a replacement for the departing Apocalypse. Power couple move!

As a part of this year’s Marvel’s Voices: Pride special, X-Men: The Wedding Special, Marvel plans to show the renewal of their previously unseen marriage vows. Mystique and Destiny’s story will be written by X-Men architect Kieron Gillen, who wrote some of the stories I mentioned above as a part of the Immortal X-men title, which largely covers the Quiet Council.

Gillen shared, “They’ve been through hell, mainly at my pen. Finally, giving these two a happy day? How can I say no.”

It will be a trip through Raven Darkholme (Mystique) and Irene Adler (Destiny)’s breathtaking hundred-year or so history and we will learn when and how they committed to each other in matrimony.


Like previous instalments of Marvel’s Voices: Pride, this special will also feature an incredible line-up of stories written and drawn by LGBTQ+ talent, including Tini Howard and Wyatt Kennedy, plus the Marvel Comics debuts of acclaimed writers Tate Brombal (House of Slaughter) and Yoon Ha Lee (Ninefox Gambit, Machineries of Empire). The stories will spotlight characters like Betsy Braddock and Rachel Summers, Loki, and many more.  

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