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I have always wondered how Mystique's transformation works.

If Mystique has never seen a person, but gets his/her photo with only face visible (passport sized). Can she still replicate him/her? If Yes, how does she recreate the body, by her own imagination and assumption?

  • I don't have a source to cite at the moment, so adding a comment instead of an answer. YES, Mystique can imitate a person's appearance using only a photo. The body is mostly guesswork based on the person's height/weight. She rarely does this, however, since most situations require imitating the person's voice & mannerisms as well. – Omegacron Jan 30 '15 at 15:13
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    Can we assume you're asking about comic book Mystique, and not the movie version? The answer will be different depending on which Mystique you're asking about. – Zibbobz Jan 30 '15 at 15:58
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    Any canon would do... – GuruGulabKhatri Feb 2 '15 at 4:59
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    There’s a scene in X-Men: First Class where Mystique replicates Xavier’s mother based on a photograph on the wall. I don’t think it’s a head shot, and that’s obviously not comics canon. But would that be an acceptable answer? – alexwlchan Mar 29 '15 at 10:38
  • I felt that my answer to this one was pretty solid, given the examples provided. Is there anything else you'd like me to add before considering an acceptance? – Valorum Jul 2 '16 at 12:21
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The answer would seem to be a qualified yes.

In 'X-Men: First Class' Mystique impersonates Charles Xavier's mother, seemingly from the image she's seen in a photo. The fact that she's able to reference her accent, but sticks with the clothing (and jewellery) that she's wearing in the photo would imply that she's heard her, but not seen her in the flesh.

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In 'X2: X-Men United' she perfectly impersonates a cleaner after having merely glanced at him from a distance of around 30 feet. This strongly suggests that her powers of observation and guesswork are extremely heightened, possibly superhuman.

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  • h/t to Alexwlchan's comment above – Valorum May 12 '15 at 19:37
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    For the accent, she might just be reproducing Charles's accent in her own (female) voice. – Martha May 12 '15 at 19:47
  • @Martha - I like to think I'd instantly notice if my mother walked into the room and put on a completely different accent. – Valorum May 12 '15 at 19:48
  • Why would Charles and his mother have completely different accents? – Martha May 12 '15 at 22:12
  • @Martha - you mean ignoring the fact that they've lived their lives in completely different parts of the world? – Valorum May 12 '15 at 22:44
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As I have mentioned in other materials here, Mystique's powers allow her to replicate anything she can see, hear and touch.

  • Her powers will allow her to work from photographs, but she won't necessarily know the voice of a person she has not heard. She is very alert to the tiniest of clues. If there is anything that can be gathered from a picture; including period, styles of clothing, location, she is perfectly capable of attempting to mimic regional dialects if she knows them.

  • She can imitate voices she has heard perfectly, including pitch and tone. If she can listen for a minute or more, she can even fool machines which use vocal biometrics.

  • If she can touch a person, she can even replicate their fingerprints and other biometric information such as retina patterns. Her body's mimicry powers sample their DNA and reproduce every aspect of them except their cultural and social programming. If she has seen them live and interacting with other people, she can create a near-perfect replica, lacking only their memories to draw from.

See Also: Can Mystique Make Objects

See Also: How does Mystique Change Height

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In First Class, assuming that older Mystique isn't a real person in that universe, Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique is able to transform into Rebecca Romijn, her "future self". This implies that Mystique has full control over her looks. She is not limited to copying someone, but can create new appearances by imagination or observation alone.

First Class and Days of Future Past are in continuity with the original X-Men trilogy as far as cast/basic looks, as noted by the end of DOFP. In X3, Mystique is depowered by the Cure, and reverts into her normal human unaltered form (Romijn), not just what she thinks her original human form looks like.

In universe, this shows that her younger self could transform into a person that does not yet exist.

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  • I won't vote to delete this answer myself, but if you don't offer references or expand on what you've written, it will be deleted by others. – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Jul 14 '15 at 2:36
  • Reference was the first class movie... – user16696 Jul 14 '15 at 2:46
  • I wasn't criticizing, I was just letting you know that your answer was nominated for deletion as being "low quality". I voted to leave it alone. – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Jul 14 '15 at 4:45
  • Since the choice of actors is an out of universe decision, this doesn't address the question directly. – Valorum Jul 14 '15 at 5:33
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    @Richard it's not just a recast, because it happens in universe. Young Mystique shifts into "someone older", which we know is Old Mystique. So either there is a woman walking around that happens to look like Mystique will look like in a decade or two, or she's able to arbitrarily change shape. Given movie and comic history, its the later, and can be explained in universe – user16696 Jul 14 '15 at 7:47

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