sorry about all the xmen



This is a super deep cut, a story in Marvel Fanfare #40, published October 1988. (This story written by Chris Claremont, penciled by Craig Hamilton, inked by Rick Bryant, lettered by Jim Novak, and coloured by Petra Scotese, with editor Allen Milgrom and EIC Tom DeFalco). Marvel Fanfare was never a huge title for Marvel, more a collection of “between the lines” style, slower, character-based stories for individual issues around the Marvel Universe, which was a much smaller place in the 80s than it is today.

This specific story takes place just prior to Uncanny #185, published a little over a year before this issue. In #185, Storm tracks down Rogue, who is Going Through Some Shit, and winds up taking a hit intended or her and losing her powers for the next … five years, or something. It was a long time. Anyway, this story in Fanfare answers the question of how Storm knew where to find Rogue.

And that answer is that Mystique sent her right the fuck there, knowing that the government was after Rogue, knowing that they had this weapon and planned to use it on her, and entirely not caring so long as her daughter was safe.

THIS IS JUST A FRACTION OF WHY I LOVE MYSTIQUE SO FUCKING MUCH. She’s not a good person. She kills. She’s a mutant terrorist. And not one bit of that makes her love her adopted daughter a single drop less.

Then we have Irene, the love of Mystique’s life and partner in crime, who never seems quite cut out for the life she leads with Raven, but who never once hesitates to be at her side. Who, as we see here, knows that what they’ve condemned Storm to wasn’t right, but who makes the choice anyway, even as she feels the weight of it in a way Raven never will.


This issue is the most concrete canonical YES THEY ARE LESBIAN LOVERS IN LOVE WHO ARE ALSO LESBIANS as they were able to get for a very long time. Claremont never shied away from confirming they were as much as he possibly could, both within the comic and in interviews. But it was the 80s, and as always, the times were what they were. I still remember some pushback about this at the time, from people claiming that because Mystique turned into a man to dance with Destiny, that they lived as a het couple and BLAH BLAH YOU CAN IMAGINE.

It was never anything of the sort. This female form was always Mystique’s default. They lived their lives exclusively together for untold years (implied to be most of Destiny’s adult life from youth to senior, and that as a shapeshifter Mystique simply doesn’t age the same). They adopted and raised a young girl together, and loved her, and the three of them were a family.

This short story is one of my all-time favourites, up to and including how Mystique transforms at the end into a dapper old man to match Irene’s eternal sense of class, and managing still for the two of them to be, by appearances for the time, more “socially acceptable”, but still completely outlandish and drawing every eye for being an aging couple of implied wealth and class in a shitty punk dive bar.