by Bevan Thomas
The next installment in the Name Game, where I take the name of some DC or Marvel comics character, and construct a totally new entity from it (for either Universe-D or Universe-M, respectively), with the final result illustrated by some talented artist I know.
In this whole “Name Game” project, I find one of the funnest parts is to take a name and then apply it to not only a different thing, but a different kind of thing. For example, giving a person the name of a team, an object the name of a species, or an organization the name of a person. “Cloak & Dagger” as the name of a spy organization is so intuitive, as is giving its top agent some stylish alliterative name. With Marvel comics, you’re spoiled for choice for alliterative names; I decided to go with “Susan Storm” because “Susan Storm, Agent of Cloak” sounds cool and I always like female secret agents. And then adding “Mystique” as her call-sign just made sense.
Real Name: Unknown. Possibly “Susan Storm,” though it seems unlikely.
Aliases: Susan Storm, Invisible Woman, Greer Nelson, Alicia Masters, Janet van Dyne, and many more.
Occupation: Super spy
Group Affiliation: Cloak & Dagger
People stare at all the very public metahuman battles, at the Sentinels of Liberty confronting the Masters of the World in the New York skies, at the Fantastic Four facing down the Ex-Men, and they forgot that so much of the most important battles are fought behind the scenes. Cloak & Dagger is a secret spy force with a global mission to destroy the enemies of freedom. Cloak is the division that uncovers information, Dagger is the one that makes certain the problems are dealt with, or as one agent quipped: “Cloak aims the gun and Dagger pulls the trigger.”
Susan Storm is one of the agents with a foot in both divisions. Often she engages in Cloak activities of investigation, but also carries out Dagger missions with ruthless efficiency. A master of disguise, it is highly unlikely that Susan Storm is her real name, and in fact she has various dummy identities set-up that she can easily shift to when necessary. Sometimes she is journalist Greer Nelson, other times master thief Alicia Masters or jet-setting socialite Janet van Dyne. Though her call-sign is “Mystique,” she is commonly also known as “Invisible Woman,” due to her ability to sneak into and out of anywhere utterly unnoticed.
Entirely dedicated to her job, her organization, and making the world a safer place by any means necessary, she will do whatever it takes to get the job done: theft, betrayal, assassination, torture – her only loyalties are to her organization and to the greater good. In the service of these two, any sacrifice is justified.
Though Cloak & Dagger has declared the terrorist organization Iron Fist to be Mystique’s greatest priority, she has developed a personal hatred towards the Spider-Man and his Sinister Six. She takes personal pleasure in disrupting his plans and assassinating his agents, even when she’s on a Cloak mission with a totally different target. This has occasionally gotten her in trouble with her superiors.
She has often clashed with the Human Torch. Though they both are nominally on the same side, Susan Storm’s remorseless utilitarianism is in opposition with the heroine’s idealism. Both have a grudging respect for the other, but also are willing to take the other down if they deem it necessary.
Mystique takes various “booster” drugs that increase her strength, speed, reaction time, ability to think quickly, and dexterity to almost superhuman levels. She is also high skilled in numerous areas, including many formers of combat, both weapon and unarmed, as well as being a master of stealth and disguise.
Whatever is needed to get the job done. She generally wears a “smart suit” that is both flexible armour and able to change its colour and appearance. She also has various disguise tools, as well as an arsenal of weapons, including dagger, garrotte, collapsible baton, electrified knuckles, laser rifle, and her personal favourite: two silver-plated pistols she’s named Judgement and Charity. She often affectionately calls her ammunition “spider-slayers,” in reference to her war with the Spider-Man.
By far her strangest piece of equipment is the Tentacle Vest, formerly bonded to the science-pirate Dr. Octopus. After Mystique gunned-down the good doctor when he attempted to unleash an Atlantean doomsday machine upon New York, the Vest slithered on to her, attaching itself to her back. As near as Cloak & Dagger scientists have determined, the Vest feels Mystique deserves to wear it by right of conquest. It is hard to say, for the Vest is one of the numerous things Dr. Octopus plundered from the sunken ruins of Atlantis and thus is beyond the comprehension of modern science. Normally the tentacles of the Octopus Vest are retracted, resembling nothing more than pink tattoos resembling an octopus’ suckers. However, on a mental command, they unfurl as eight immensely strong tentacles that can be used to climb, leap, swim, and, of course, fight with amazing ability. Though usually the tentacles are under Susan Storm’s command, they sometimes act without her volition, such as attacking people that it perceives as a threat either to itself or its host. The tentacles’ intelligence disturbs the organization, but as it cannot be removed from Susan’s body, there is nothing they can do about it other then keep it watched.
Occasionally her booster drugs have reacted to elements in strange ways or the tentacles have shown personal initiative. Otherwise, Mystique has no limitations save an intense thrill addiction.