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Old July 10 2014, 08:50 AM   #1
Vanyel
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The limits of Mystique's powers

So how far can Mystique shape shift into another person. I know she can do the voice and body perfectly. But are mannerisms, the way a person walks, or talks or personality quirks a part of her powers or does she learn those through careful study. Since her power allows her to be a near perfect infiltrator, what she can naturally shape shift into and what she can't are important.

For example, as in the first two X-Men movies, she had everyone fooled into thinking she was Gyrich and then Senator Kelly. So did she watch Gyrich for a while learning how he moves, the way he speaks - not his accent because she seems to be able to do that through her powers or is just really good with accents - and his other personality quirks in order to fool Kelly. Then by watching Kelly, she could then take his place without his staff noticing any difference. I think that if she is going to replace a person she does do a lot of homework on the person, shadowing them or befriending them in an altered shape to get down all the idiosyncrasies she needs for a long term infiltration.

We know her shape shifting extends to being able to make clothing, is that clothing a part of her or can she just alter what she is wearing. The comics and the movies contradict each other on that point. Just being able to alter the clothes she is wearing seems to make slightly more sense than making fabric out of her body.

Mass, can she alter hers and by how much. Can she shape shift into the Blob or Puck? If she can would she be a really light Blob and a heavy Puck? Or can she alter her mas within limits. I think she alter her mass within limits; just my opinion but perhaps she can alter her mass to within 20 to 30% of her own, anything beyond that and she'd be too light or too heavy. And if she is hiding as Blob so would just shift into her true self should she need to fight.

Finally, we know she can't reproduce the powers of the person she's changed into. I can accept her producing replicas of Wolverine's claws but not their Adimantium make up. But what about a character like Angel (before he became Archangel). Could she reproduce his wings and fly? That I can see happening, she may not be as good, fast, or agile as Angel, nor do I think she could she fly as far because she doesn't have the training. But with a person whose ability, like Angel, is just a set of wings, could she then also use their power? This I think is well within the realm of possibility for her powers because of how near she is to his mass.

So, what do you all think?

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Old July 10 2014, 10:27 AM   #2
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Re: The limits of Mystique's powers

The problem with all that, is that Bruce Davison decided to play Mystique playing Senator Kelly as an effeminate girly girl, when Mystique has almost never been played as a frilly princess by anyone else, especially Rebecca.

Maybe it was his choice, or maybe it was direction from Singer, but it just made Mystique look like a shite mimic.
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Old July 10 2014, 11:15 AM   #3
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Re: The limits of Mystique's powers

Guy Gardener wrote: View Post
The problem with all that, is that Bruce Davison decided to play Mystique playing Senator Kelly as an effeminate girly girl, when Mystique has almost never been played as a frilly princess by anyone else, especially Rebecca.

Maybe it was his choice, or maybe it was direction from Singer, but it just made Mystique look like a shite mimic.
From memory, I think everyone who played Mystique playing their character did so with a flirtatious flourish, which I'm pretty sure was Singer's direction.

The way I interpret that is that while Mystique is a stone cold killer, she takes a very sadistic pleasure in flaunting her powers. She likes toying with people, she likes playing the wolf in sheep's clothing and she likes kicking five blokes in the head and giving the rest the finger as she slides on out of there.

As for the whole clothes thing...I tend to chalk that up to the needs of the story overriding how it's strictly supposed to work. Honestly, I'm just impressed at her physical robustness. I mean even as a child she was walking around outside at night in the altogether. A human child would probably have died of exposure after just a few nights. Makes you wonder what her tolerances to heat and cold really are.

I wouldn't sweat the details regarding mass and density too much since very few superpowers pay much attention to the laws of thermodynamics. Where does Hulk's extra mass come from and where does it go? Where does Cyclops get the energy for his optic blasts? How the hell does telepathy even work? None of it really makes sense and that's just fine.
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Old July 10 2014, 11:19 AM   #4
Alidar Jarok
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Re: The limits of Mystique's powers

The movies strongly suggest she's just mimicking clothing, not causing clothing to change too. To me, that's far more realistic. While plenty of mutants can project their powers beyond themselves, there's no reason to think Mysique can.

I suspect there probably are limits to the extent she can change size, but I doubt Blob or Puck exceed those limits. I would have to imagine she could change weight to a certain degree as well or else she wouldn't be as effective in imitation.

Mannerisms, to me, shouldn't be more difficult to imitate than accent. Whether she needs careful study, I suppose, depends on the extent her change is conscious vs. subconscious.
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Old July 10 2014, 03:03 PM   #5
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Re: The limits of Mystique's powers

^Well yeah, that's the whole point of her being naked in her true form. Unless I'm misremembering, I think they only time it's in question is a scene or two in First Class (not sure about DoFP) where it looks like she's wearing actual clothes while in her "normal" Raven form and changes into someone else, clothes and all.
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Old July 10 2014, 04:00 PM   #6
kirk55555
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Re: The limits of Mystique's powers

Well, in one of the cartoons (X-Men Evolution, I think) she could turn into animals, and even fly if she turned into a bird. I'm not a fan of that, but when it comes to people, I'd say she should easily be able to do children, so Puck isn't out. She's probably mimicked children in the comics, and I'd say size changing, to a point, is part of her power. Blob might be too big, if for no other reason that she could mimic the size but not his mutant ability, so becoming that big would basically mean she'd be too big to walk or even stand up, like a normal human would be if they managed to become the size of Blob. That's assuming she could become that big, which I'm unsure of but can't really dispute just based off the comics.
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Old July 10 2014, 04:53 PM   #7
Anwar
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Re: The limits of Mystique's powers

IIRC, Mystique being able to turn into animals was when her powers were being augmented by Apocalypse. She can't do it on her own.

She can appear to copy powers, but she really can't. This is shown when she turned into Wolverine and screamed when he chopped her "claws" off and how she retained the scars he gave her.
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Old July 10 2014, 04:53 PM   #8
DarthTom
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Re: The limits of Mystique's powers

Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
The movies strongly suggest she's just mimicking clothing, not causing clothing to change too. To me, that's far more realistic. While plenty of mutants can project their powers beyond themselves, there's no reason to think Mysique can.
In other words she has basically the same abilities Odo did in ST?

However, we never see if Mystique eats or not do we? Odo of course did not.
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Old July 10 2014, 06:05 PM   #9
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Re: The limits of Mystique's powers

When Xavier first meets her in First Class, she's stealing food from his family.
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Old July 10 2014, 06:20 PM   #10
Trekker4747
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Re: The limits of Mystique's powers

Anwar wrote: View Post
IIRC, Mystique being able to turn into animals was when her powers were being augmented by Apocalypse. She can't do it on her own.

She can appear to copy powers, but she really can't. This is shown when she turned into Wolverine and screamed when he chopped her "claws" off and how she retained the scars he gave her.
But this opens up the question of what did Wolverine chop-off in terms of her body when he removed the "claws."

At the very least, using the movies, we can assume the limits to Mystiques powers extend to her smell. Apparently she cannot alter how she smells which is one of the ways Logan knows she's not Storm during the battle in the SoL museum in the first movie. (Logan sniffs the air, quips something, then stabs "Storm.")

With what we're presented with in the movies at least I guess the question we need to ask is if Mystique's changes are physical or simply illusions? She's able to alter her mass, her height, produce clothing and other gear on her person and I'm sure there's some suggestion in the movies that some of the stuff she produces when she's morphed has a tangible presence when not in contact with her. (For example she can produce, say, a pen and leave it behind and it remains a pen. For an actual in-universe example. What would have become of the "claws" Wolverine removed.)

So then are her changes illusionary rather than physical while ALSO holding some magical element that can produce stable matter. (Perhaps at some cost to her in the form of energy/calories, blood, or something.)

I think this is more likely than her physically changing her size, her skin producing clothing, claws, etc. It's largely an illusion. She's able to "spend" some of her energy to create things like clothing and other items and can re-absorb it when she wants to morph back to her natural state. If she leaves behind a piece of this created manner it remains as it is and Mystique remains slightly hungrier than she would be otherwise.
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Old July 10 2014, 06:25 PM   #11
DarthTom
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Re: The limits of Mystique's powers

Mister Fandango wrote: View Post
When Xavier first meets her in First Class, she's stealing food from his family.
Ah, thanks - forgot about that. I wonder if she can turn into fog as Odo's friend did?
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Old July 10 2014, 06:36 PM   #12
Alidar Jarok
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Re: The limits of Mystique's powers

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post

I think this is more likely than her physically changing her size, her skin producing clothing, claws, etc. It's largely an illusion.
I would think the implication of the Sentinels in DOFP is that it's a physical change, not an illusion.
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Old July 10 2014, 07:04 PM   #13
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Re: The limits of Mystique's powers

Yep, her powers have always been portrayed as physical mimicry rather than a visual illusion.
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Old July 10 2014, 07:13 PM   #14
Vanyel
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Re: The limits of Mystique's powers

So could she become Angel and fly?
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Old July 10 2014, 07:28 PM   #15
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Re: The limits of Mystique's powers

Nope, because she wouldn't gain hollow bones or any of the other mutant changes Angel has that allows him to fly. She could look like him, maybe even with the wings, but they'd be vestigial at best.
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