Love him, hate him, Wolverine is dead, and one of the characters who’s loved and hated Wolverine more than anyone is the shape-shifting Mystique. And in December, Mystique’s feelings and actions on Logan’s death will be shown in Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #6. This one-off story by Batman alums James Tynion IV and Andy Clarke takes place in both the past, present and future thanks to Mystique deceased companion Destiny, who gives Raven Darkholme a look into the intertwined lives of her and Wolverine. Of course, we now know as well that Mystique will be included amongst the new weekly series Wolverines, so her story with Logan is unlikely to end in this issue.
Newsarama spoke with Tynion about this one-off issue, and how he’s exploring Raven’s multivalent position in the Marvel U as well as his thoughts on a Mystique solo series. This interview was conducted prior to the announcement of Wolverines and the conclusion of Death of Wolverine.
Newsarama: James, what can you tell us about this Mystique-centric Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #6?
James Tynion IV: I’m not sure how much I can say, because it’s based very heavily on the main Death of Wolverine series and the first issue of The Logan Legacy. Big picture, this series is about the effect Logan had on people over the course of his life. For this issue it’s Mystique, who’s been an interesting figure in Logan’s life and has been around for a very, very long time. The first time they interacted was in the dawn of the Twentieth Century, and all these years they’ve both been around, been aware of each other, and crossed paths numerous times. So we’re diving into the past a bit here, and dealing with how their relationship has worked and how it’s changed over the years.
Although this is about Mystique and Wolverine, this issue also gave me a chance to dive into a relationship I’ve always been fascinated by – the one between Mystique and Irene Adler – Destiny. Even though Destiny has passed away in the comics, she’s still such a powerful, dominant figure in Mystique’s story. Their relationship is so interesting because Raven doesn’t care for most people, but Irene was a super powerful relationship for her. She’s probably the only person Raven’s ever really loved in her life, and that’s special. So I wanted to lean into that, and also have the ability to play with Destiny’s powers to see a bit beyond where they are in the past and looking forward into the future.
When I was first approached with this, I jumped at the chance to write Mystique because she’s one of my favorite characters of all time. Her power set, her goals, her story, etc.; she’s one of the best X-villains ever created. It’s a great issue to be able to write, and I’m thrilled to be working with Andy Clarke.
Nrama: Wolverine and Mystique have a long history – a kid even. In writing this, how’d you get the best vantage point on her feelings for Wolverine?
Tynion: I will say that I don’t get much into their son together, Raze.
The story I’m doing here is playing with their relationship and the fact that they have this back-and-forth where Logan has been showing up and stopping her for decades, even in the brief period where he didn’t remember their history together – he’s always stopping her.
Mystique has always been about shaping the world, especially with Irene’s abilities to see into the future. The fact that Raven has such a long lifespan and doesn’t seem to be gaining like a regular person gives her an oversized opportunity to shape the world. But Logan also has that ability, and he’s been around for a long time, but instead of shaping the world he’s gone about stopping others who would try to shape the world such as Raven. Even in the midst of the most self-centered rages, he still went out there and did the right thing. He may have not done the right thing in a nice way, but he’s done the right thing.
That relationship between the two has always captivated me, even more so than their various romantic entanglements here and there.
Nrama: Some might be concerned that Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy might be a morose dirge and requiem for Wolverine. Not to say that’s a bad thing, but what would you say to that expectation some have?
Tynion: I would say that this isn’t wrapping up anything; it’s not a requiem. It’s looking to the future and a lot of the plans that exist for all these characters moving into next year. I’m not in a position to say what exactly, but these issues aren’t just a code but also a prologue for what’s to come and is designed as such. Once again, it’s nice to have a character like Destiny here who can peek into the future. When you’re writing about something that sets up some other pieces on the table in terms of upcoming stories, it’s nice.
These aren’t a bunch of issues of people standing and moaning by Logan’s graveside – it’s much bigger.
Nrama: Mystique has been very prominent as of late, appearing in numerous X-Men titles and of course stealing the show in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Do you think there’s a place for more Mystique stories, possibly a solo series, or do you think she’s best used as an antagonist or guest star?
Tynion: I think there’s absolutely a place for a Mystique solo series. She captivates a lot of people, especially in the wake of her betrayal in X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: First Class. I think she is one of the most complicated and interesting villains in the mythos; and she’s a villain who doesn’t always fall so completely on the villainous side. She’s always in it for herself, and that’s an interesting character to write. I can’t speak to what Marvel’s plans might be, but if I heard a Mystique series announced I would be excited to read it.
Nrama: Working with you on this story is Andy Clarke, whom you’ve worked with numerous times over at DC in Batman and Batman Eternal. I know this issue is still a ways away, but what’s it like having Andy onboard with you for this story?
Tynion: It’s been great. Andy did the art for one of the favorite stories I wrote, “Tomorrow,” from Batman #0; the piece with all the different Robins seeing the Bat-Signal for the first time. Ever since then, he’s been one of my favorite people to work with in comics. Andy’s work is just incredible, and in the planning of Batman: Eternal I jumped on the chance to write the issue Andy was to draw, #5. Now it’s fun to see him drawing another universe with another cast of characters. It’s great to be working with him again, and I hope to do so again as many times as humanly possible.