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Mystique runs from left to right, mouth open in a scream, streaks of live fire in the background, on the cover of X-Men #6, Marvel Comics (2020). Artwork: Leinil Francis Yu, Sunny Gho/Marvel Comics

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Mystique wants her wife back

And Charles Xavier is a jerk

Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Every mutant is welcome on the X-Men’s island paradise — unless they can see the future. Professor X, Magneto, and Moira MacTaggert have a secret pact to keep any precognitive mutants from setting foot on the island.

This is a jerk move, to be sure, but wouldn’t necessarily be so big of a problem if not for Mystique, the dangerous mutant criminal whose one true love is the oracular mutant Destiny, who died of the Legacy Virus back in 1989. In X-Men #6, Xavier and Magneto keep promising they’ll bump Destiny to the top of the resurrection list in exchange for Mystique’s help fighting mutantkind’s enemies, and Mystique finally realizes that they’re toying with her.

X-Men #6 doesn’t give us any further sense of why Krakoa has an anti-precog sense. Is it because pre-cogs will break Moira X’s plan? Is it because she, Xavier, and Magneto know their plan is so horrifying any precog would try to stop it? Is it just because Moira is big mad at Destiny for killing her in her third life?

All we know is that Mystique wants her wife back, and she’ll burn all of Krakoa to get it.

What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. If you missed last week, read this. Let’s get started!

X-Men #6

Mystique shouts “I want my wife back!” in X-Men #6, Marvel Comics (2020). Image: Jonathan Hickman, Matteo Buffagni/Marvel Comics

It took almost 40 years for Mystique and Destiny’s relationship to be acknowledged in Marvel canon, despite it being the original intention of their creators. Chris Claremont wanted to depict the two as a queer couple but was prevented by Marvel policy and the Comics Code. Claremont even originally wanted to reveal that Mystique and Destiny were Nightcrawler’s parents, conceived while Mystique was in a male form.

So what I’m saying is, I’m all in for queer-rage Mystique. Burn it down, baby.

Tartarus #1

A space station explodes in Tartarus #1, Image Comics (2020). Image: Johnnie Christmas, Jack T. Cole/Image Comics

This new Image series from Johnnie Christmas and Jack T. Cole has big Akira energy, although Christmas cites Star Wars, Blade Runner, The Fifth Element, and Breaking Bad as inspirations. The first issue kicks off in a promising way and, boy, the art is gorgeous.

Harley Quinn & the Birds of Prey #1

As Harley Quinn beats up some gun-wielding toughs with a baseball bat with nails in, she shouts “The ‘F’ stands fer” but is interrupted, “Fuck!” in Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey #1, DC Comics (2020). Image: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti/DC Comics

Harley Quinn & the Birds of Prey is a DC Black Label miniseries from the creative team behind the 2013 series that made her one of DC’s best-selling characters. And, because it’s Black Label, they get to do all the sexy, cussing, violent stuff they couldn’t do in her main series. It’s delightful, and this is the comic to read if you saw Birds of Prey and want more.

Batman: Pennyworth R.I.P.

Damian Wayne orders a ginger ale and lifts it in toast to Alfred Pennyworth in Batman: Pennyworth R.I.P., DC Comics (2020). Image: James Tynion IV, Peter J. Tomasi, Eddy Barrows/DC Comics

You might think that Damian is ordering a ginger ale because he’s underage, but it’s actually learned behavior from his father, who drinks ginger ale in champagne flutes to maintain his playboy cover without getting drunk because he can’t afford to dull his wits, not even once, no sir, he is the Batman.

Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy #6

“You were the only one who gave me hope for humanity [...] You were the reason I ever gave them a chance,” Poison Ivy tells Harley Quinn in Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy #6, DC Comics (2020). Image: Jody Hauser, Adriana Melo/DC Comics

There are some lovely moments in this issue, but I was not expecting Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy to end on a downer? Mods? Can we get Mystique in here to sort things out? Or at least a sequel series?

Superman: Heroes

Booster Gold excitedly tells Superman that every school kid from his future knows the name of Clark Kent, in Superman: Heroes, DC Comics (2020). Image: Brian Michael Bendis, Mike Perkins/DC Comics

Of all the people to have known Superman’s secret identity (because he’s from the future, where it’s common knowledge), Booster Gold is absolutely the last one I would have expected to have been able to keep it.


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