We've finally gotten our first look at the long awaited [X-Men: Apocalypse](tag:1194267) trailer, coming out riding hot on the heels of Civil War and the most recent Batman V Superman trailers.
Reaction towards it has been fairly mixed so far, but that's perhaps partly due to fan's reservations over the odd aesthetic choice made for titular villain Apocalypse (Oscar Issac), although the first official poster goes some way towards allying our fears over his weird purple look.
Apocalypse aside, the trailer was the first time we got an eyeful of our new team of young X-Men. Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Evan Peters and Lucas Till are reprising their roles as Raven Darkhölme (Mystique) Hank McCoy (Beast), Peter Maximoff (Quicksilver) and Alex Summer (Havok) respectively, and they're joined by some impressive newcomers this time around:
Tye Sheridan: Scott Summers (Cyclops)
Sophie Turner: Jean Grey (Phoenix)
Olivia Munn: Elizabeth Braddock (Psylocke)
Alexandra Shipp: Ororo Munroe (Storm)
Kodi Smit-McPhee: Kurt Wagner (Nightcrawler)
Ben Hardy: Warren Worthington III (Angel / Archangel)
Lana Condor: Jubilation Lee (Jubilee)
We saw all the new faces in the trailer to varying degrees, but it was an old face that really caught our attention.
Mystique Stands With The X-Men
Raven, better known in the world of the X-Men as Mystique, is a prevalent force in the trailer, rivaling even Charles Xavier / Professor X (James McAvoy) for screen-time. She pops up throughout, in conversation with Beast...
Beast: "The world needs the X-Men."
Mystique: "That's why I'm here... to fight."
...and is seen giving advice to newbies Cyclops, Jean and Nightcrawler in what you would assume to be the place of Professor X as team leader.
X-Men: Apocalypse producer and co-writer Simon Kinberg spoke to Collider recently regarding Mystique's character arc from [X-Men: Days Of Future Past](tag:203942) to X-Men: Apocalypse, and this goes a long way towards clarifying her presence in the trailer:
"I think the movie explores [Raven's] struggle, which is sort of the result of Days of Future Past. If you think about the end of Days of Future Past, in front of the entire world she stops Magneto and saves the President and cabinet, and so this movie certainly explores 10 years later what it is to wear the mantle of that responsibility."
According to Kinberg Mystique will be taking a more leadership focused role during X-Men: Apocalypse as she returns to the group alongside her childhood friend Charles Xavier. So she's back, and after Days of Future Past she's placed herself back within the sphere of the "good guys", something that we assume will be touched on over the course of the film itself.
Whilst Mystique is usually placed as an antagonist to the X-Men as part of the Brotherhood she does have her moments where she's worked with them as part of the group in the comics; so there's a precedent for that here even if it does negate some of the importance of her changing sides at the conclusion of [X-Men: First Class](tag:3567490).
Mystique's Got Her Own Mission
As a side note, we know at the beginning of the film that Raven / Mystique is out of her own mission, rescuing mutants who are "oppressed or enslaved". One of these mutants is Kurt Wagner / Nightcrawler, which could be a nice nod to the fact that she is Kurt's biological mother in the comic books.
She's also the adoptive mother of Anna Marie / Rogue, but we doubt we'll see that cropping up in the films, especially given how badly Fox has hashed up Rogue's character (sorry Anna Paquin).
She reportedly returns from her mission to join up with the X-Men as a direct result of Magneto (Michael Fassbender) falling under Apocalypse's control. Maybe she's feeling guilty about shooting him at the end of Days of Future Past, or maybe we'll finally see a resolution to the Magneto/Mystique subplot that's been teased since First Class...
Lawrence Looks Suspiciously Non-Blue
Finally, did anyone else find it odd that Raven looks very much like Jennifer Lawrence, and very much unlike this?
Whilst we will surely see Mystique in her mutant form during X-Men: Apocalypse, it is a little strange that we don't see her appearing as such in the trailer, especially since we see more of Beast than we do Hank.
Given that First Class showed Raven supposedly coming to terms with her identity and shedding her shame over the way she looks naturally this seems like an odd choice of representation; likely this has something to do with Lawrence having become such a bankable star since she signed on for X-Men back in 2010.
X-Men: Apocalypse will reportedly be Lawrence's last turn as Mystique / Raven, so the more face time Fox can get for her before she leaves the more bang they get for their buck, but does this best serve the story?
Time will tell, and so will we when X-Men: Apocalypse releases on May 27th 2016.