As a child, a nosey and curious Calvin Rankin accidentally exposed himself to one of his father's experiments. Altering his body and triggering latent mutant powers, Calvin soon discovered he was able to mimic the abilities of others who were in his close proximity. Calvin's new-found powers made him reckless and arrogant, attributes which meant he had no friends, although he believed everyone was jealous of him.
Calvin's father soon discovered his son's powers and wished to cure his son before everyone would turn on his son. Relocating to a cave, Calvin's father developed a machine that would remove Calvin's powers. Calvin, however, didn't want to part ways with his parents and his father had to lie claiming the machine would help his mimicked powers remain permanently. However, before anything could be done, Calvin and his father were attacked by an angry mob. Calvin's father died saving his son and Calvin swore revenge.
Mimic was created by Stan Lee and Werner Roth and first appeared in The X-Men #19 in 1966.
Mimic was originally introduced as a superhuman with an origin more akin to Captain America than any of the X-Men. A lab accident gave Mimic his powers unlike a mutant who would discover their powers typically sometime in their youth or as they hit puberty. However in the 90s, writer Scott Lobdell revived the character and retconned the nature of his powers so that he was a mutant all along and the accident which we were told gave him his powers actually just triggered his latent mutant abilities. This has never been referred to again but as likewise never been discounted, combined with Mimic frequently being referred to as a "mutant" in comics, it presumably remains the canon.
Another well known and well liked version of Mimic was from Earth 12 where he joined the dimension-hoping team of heroes known as the Exiles. This version of Mimic first appeared in Exiles issue 1 (2001).
Major Story Arcs
Enter The Mimic
Calvin's first appearance saw him hitting on Vera Cantor, unbeknownst to him, she was actually dating Beast. After discovering this, the arrogant Calvin wound up fighting Beast, and soon Iceman, in the process mimicking their powers. Realizing the two were actually members of the X-Men, Calvin wished to and began a quest to acquire and mimic the powers of all 5 members of the X-Men.
Calvin found the X-Men's Mansion by following Jean Grey there and was surprised when Xavier welcomed him. Although, Xavier was aware of Calvin's intentions to acquire the X-Men's powers, he didn't stop Calvin who began battling the X-Men. Eventually defeated by their teamwork, Calvin ran off taking Jean captive and took her to the location where the machine his father had built years ago remained. Hoping that Jean would act as bait to entice the other X-Men to track him down so he could permanently copy their powers with the use of his father's machine, the X-Men showed up and after a fight, Calvin discovered the true nature of his father's invention as it robbed him of his powers.
No longer having any of his mimicking abilities, Professor X thought it would be best to remove Calvin's memories of the events and let him live a normal life.
The Sixth X-Man
Calvin's "normal life" wasn't to last, however, as his memories came screaming back to him following an explosion at the college he was enrolled at (where he coincidentally also met Jean Grey who was a fellow student). Professor X was looking to recruit new members for his X-Men to battle Factor-Three and after the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and Spider-Man declined membership, Calvin proposed he join the team.
Although as a member of the X-Men, Mimic didn't get along too well with his fellow team-mates, he was certainly a powerful asset to them and was responsible for a few of the team's victories. Cyclops resigned as leader shortly after Calvin joined and in a rather odd move, Professor X opted to make Mimic the team's leader! After Mimic and the X-Men fought against the Puppet Master, Factor-Three, Ogre and Banshee, Calvin began to show signs of depression with regards to his powers making him feel as if he would only ever be copying other people and living in their shadows.
His depression soon began to interfere with his concentration and after failing a training exercise, Cyclops began scolding and arguing with Mimic. Escalating into a fight between the two, Mimic ended the scuffle by storming out on the X-Men.
Returning later in the hope of patching things up, Calvin discovered that in his absence the X-Men had fought and been defeated by the Super-Adaptoid. Mimic swooped in to defend his former allies and after an intense fight between the two, the Super-Adaptoid attempted to replicate Mimic's powers which due to the similar nature of Mimic's powers caused a backlash which "shorted out" both their respective mimicking powers. With the X-Men now reawakening, it wasn't much trouble for the six of them to defeat the Super-Adaptoid. Afterwards, the X-Men apologised for how they treat Mimic and offered him to come back to the team, however Calvin refused and, with his powers seemingly diminished following the fight, he wished to pursue his "normal life" once more.
Although briefly parting ways with the X-Men, Mimic found himself joining with the team again when his powers resurfaced. Now at a heightened and more dangerous level, Beast and the X-Men began looking for a way to help Calvin control his powers. Not long after rejoining the team, Mimic and the X-Men wound up battling against a rampaging Hulk. In the heat of the battle, Mimic attempted to absorb the Hulk's power to help fight off the behemoth. His plan backfired as the energy from the Hulk was simply too much for Calvin to handle and he was gravely weakened and then beaten to death by the Hulk.
On the Road
Calvin returned some years later, his dead body apparently having duplicated the healing factor of Wolverine when Wolverine just happened to be in the area Calvin was buried. As well as the healing factor, he also wound up with his claws in the process. Believing and fearing the powers to be permanent, Calvin began crossing the country and breaking into pharmacies to steal medication to ease the physical pain he was enduring from the claws he now had. His journey eventually led to an encounter with the Hulk again whom he battled with his Wolverine powers.
The Onslaught Saga
Calvin soon settled down in Siberia. His peace again wasn't to last as Onslaught soon attacked and a responding X-Force were instead blamed for the chaos by Calvin. Following the misunderstanding, Onslaught captured Calvin and convinced him to become one of his allies with revenge on X-Force as the incentive. Following Onslaught's defeat at the hands of the Avengers and the X-Men, Calvin was imprisoned by SHIELD where he was tortured and beaten for his terrorist acts. He was later freed from the prison by the superhero group Excalibur whom he then joined with upon on his release. While working with Excalibur, Moira MacTaggert diagnosed Calvin as having a bipolar disorder which explained his depression and mood swings over the years. Following the disbanding of Excalibur, Calvin joined the X-Men again briefly to help them free Professor X from jail (he was imprisoned for his crimes as Onslaught). He remained with the team for a short while afterwards until he was taken into custody by the Commission on Superhuman Activities. Although he managed to escape that time, he was later captured by Baron Zemo and Songbird for being in breach of the Super-Human Registration Act.
Calvin was freed after becoming registered as a super human and began working out of San Fransisco. However, while attempting to stop a crime, Calvin's powers once again became out of control and he accidentally killed a bystander. Instead of facing time in prison, he was offered a new position by Norman Osborn as a member of his own personal X-Men. Now operating under Osborn's order, and among a team led by Emma Frost and Namor, Mimic began to be treat by the media as if he was the hero he always sought to be. However, his new-found confidence was absolutely shattered when Osborn's X-Men went to battle with the real X-Men, and his team-mates Emma Frost and Namor betrayed Osborn's team to side with the real X-Men giving Cloak and Dagger a chance to join them but treat Mimic like he was just another far-gone villain.
Soon afterwards, Mimic began receiving counseling from Karla Sofen who had no interest whatsoever in actually helping the clearly damaged and distraught man, instead just writing him more and more prescriptions.Later the remnants Osborn's X-Men, lead by Mystique, were sent on a mission to investigate the revival of the mutant known as Nate Grey. While attempting to apprehend him, Mimic accidentally copied Nate's abilities and saw a vision of his future where he was married to Vera and had a son. In his precognition, his powers again became out of control and he wound up killing his future wife and son with out-of-control optic blasts. With an insight to his disastrous future, and regularly having precognitive visions, Mimic's depression only worsened and he began to truly loathe what he had become. When a captured Nate began an escape attempt and battled against Osborn's Avengers, Mimic refused to intervene, lamenting "I was an X-Man once".
Mimic and his team-mate Omega opted to desert Osborn's X-Men sometime before Osborn's Siege. Going into hiding, Mimic began attempting to help Omega deal with his need to absorb others powers by allowing him to feed on his powers regularly. The two grew close and offered each other sorely needed friendship. However, Omega's power withdrawal combined with feeding on Mimic's perceived non-mutant powers worsened Omega's state which led to Mimic rushing to the X-Men in hope of aid.
After various attempts to cure Omega, realizing that he was a danger to everyone around him, Omega opted to sacrifice himself by willingly being put into a psychically induced coma. Mimic, heart-broken to lose his only friend, initially denied his friend's request but ultimately agreed and even induced the coma himself using mimicked powers from Rachel Grey.
Following Omega's placement into a coma, Rogue offered Mimic sanctuary and a place among the X-Men and Mimic realized that, despite all his mistakes, the X-Men were always willing to be his friends.
Avengers vs. X-Men
Now among the X-Men, Mimic unfortunately found himself instantly thrust into the ongoing war with the Avengers. Mimic didn't hesitate to side with his new friends in the X-Men, considering he didn't know any of the Avengers. Mimic offered to attempt to absorb She-Hulk's powers, even though the last time he absorbed Hulk powers it nearly killed him, but ultimately wound up fighting against the Falcon.
Mimic considered leaving the X-Men again shortly after the climax of the feud with the Avengers, as he and Rogue helped defend The Vault during a breakout attempt. With Omega now recovering, Mimic was unsure whether or not to stick around with the team any longer. Given words of encouragement from Rogue and an offer to return if he ever wants, Mimic flew off into a generic metaphorical sunset.
Powers & Abilities
Earth-616 Mimic can copy powers, abilities, and skills of anyone within close range. Also, he often takes on the unique physical characteristics, and to some degree the appearance of those he copies. Mimic's ability to copy abilities however is limited to 5 different powers at a time and they are only half as powerful as the original power.
Mimic is best known for copying the abilities of the five original X-Men, and his appearance generally involves Cyclops head and facial characteristics, Angel's wings, and Beast's figure (body, hands, and feet). While copying their powers, he has access to Beast's agility and strength (and because of his altered body structure Beast's prehensile feet), Iceman's ice manipulation, Jean Grey's telekinesis and telepathy (he has also mimicked Professor Xavier's telepathy), Cyclops' optic blasts, and Angel's ability to fly. Other powers he has copied include Hulk, Banshee, Marrow, Gambit, Rogue, Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, Feron, Meggan, Kylun, Micromax, Marvel Girl ( Rachel Summers), Wolfsbane, Pete Wisdom, Psylocke, Risque, Siryn, Warpath, Sunspot, Cable, Caliban, Domino, Boom-Boom, Rictor, Cannonball, Shatterstar, Post, Blob, Mystique, Toad, members of the Crazy Gang, and numerous others.
Mimic has full power level of those he mimics and he often exhibits a finer degree of control over his ability than his targets. For example, he is able to turn off certain powers such as Cyclops' optic blasts. This, however, could be more related to the psychological block that prohibits Cyclops from fully utilizing his powers rather than Mimic's level of control, but may also have to do with the level of control and understanding he has over his own powers.
An alternate reality version of Mimic first appeared in Exiles number 1. He was born Calvin Rankin on Earth-12. His power is the ability to copy up to five other mutants' powers, but the powers are only about half as effective. This Mimic is a mutant and he started his career as a member of the Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants. He ended up in jail, but was freed by Professor X on the condition that he join the X-Men. He reluctantly agreed, and soon discovered that he liked being a super-hero. He quickly gained everyone's trust, and became the leader of the X-Men, and enjoyed both fame and celebrity status. Mimic played a key role in the positive relationship between humans and mutants in his home reality.
Sometime later Mimic was pulled from this reality by the Timebreakers and informed that he had become unhinged from time and would now be a member of a team of five other mutants from other realities, who became known as the Exiles. He was told that his reality was broken, and as a result the kidnapping of Senator Kelly in his time line went wrong, causing Kelly's death along with 47 civilians. The Exiles mission is to correct errors that occur in alternate earths, otherwise they would be sent back to their home realities (and in the case of Mimic this would mean losing his entire existence and spending the rest of his life on death row). The repair of time lines can range in difficulty and pleasantness from buying a danish to killing a whole lot of people.
Mimic developed a romantic relationship with their team leader, Blink. After Blink was sent back to her home reality Mimic became the Exiles' leader, coming into possession of the Tallus, the device that allows the Exiles leader to communicate directly with the Timebroker.
Mimic was with the team on many missions. He spent four years alone on a Brood planet where he was infected by the Brood. When Mimic met Weapon X, he was a little freaked out. After Blink met Sabretooth, Mimic told Sabretooth that Weapon X and the Exiles move to different realities and almost like going to the same boat. When Blink and Sabretooth told their teams, Weapon X and Exiles about their missions Mimic was on his way to defeat the Sentinels with the other Exile and Weapon X members while Blink and Sabretooth to go find a boy named David Richards. After Mimic and others defeated the Sentinels and Blink and Sabretooth rescued David Richards, Blink told Mimic about killing David Richards is their mission. Sabretooth was worried because if Blink told Mimic about it, Vision will hear it and it won't be good. When Vision heard it, he told Deadpool about it and went his way to Sabretooth and Sabretooth killed him. Mimic was okay with Sabretooth about going to The Exiles side, but Weapon X are going after them. Mimic told Sabretooth that Sabretooth can't be telling Blink to keep doing her transportation too much, that she will get tired. But Sabretooth told Mimic that Mimic is not Blink's boyfriend....yet.
When the Timebroker told Mimic and the Exiles what will happen if they or Weapon X does not kill David Richards. When Weapon X reached the Exiles and had a fight, the Spider: who is a member or Weapon X and is a psychopathic killer, tried to kill Sabretooth but Mimic hit Spider with a big blast and asked Sabretooth if he's okay. After that, Mimic went on his way to defeat Iron Man who is also a Weapon X member. Mimic gave him bad punches until Iron Man escaped with his hits. After the battle is over had to go somewhere else because the Sentinels came and defeating the two teams, Mimic was making sure of everybody was here and The Exiles and Weapon X went to different realities. On the next reality, Mimic and the Exiles went to Doctor Doom's reality. Mimic told Blink that Blink, the Exiles, and Doctor Doom to beat the soldiers while Mimic goes to Doctor Doom's laboratory. The problem with the mission is the prince of Atlantis, Namor aka (Submariner) wants to kill people and take over Laveria. Mimic went there and it was a complete surprise. After Mimic defeated the Doombots, Namor came and the first thing he done is beating Mimic and throwing him of the laboratory. Mimic ran away and went crashing the place. Namor came and told him if Atlantis wins, Mimic and his buddies will be serving them as dogs. Mimic tried to convince Namor, but he refused. Mimic had enough and him Namor with hard bloody attacks in the lava which presumably killed Namor, plus with Mimic's attacks. When Mimic came back to the place where the Exiles are done beating the soldiers, Mimic told Blink that he's fine, but Blink was not sure of that. When Mimic and the Exiles went to the Lizard's reality, Mimic was acting a little strange with his bad mood. Blink asked him if he was alright. Mimic told Blink that he is fine. Blink was really asking Mimic lot's of times. When the Exiles reached the Lizard, Dr. Connors told everyone to get away. Dr. Connors is the Lizard! Mimic lied to Dr. Connors that they are the Avengers. After Mimic convinced him to not blow the bay, Dr. Connors was crying to tears and he won't blow up the bay, but Dr. Connors killed himself with a shot of a bullet. Mimic confesed to Blink that his problem was that he wanted to keep Dr. Connors to be safe and get out of this bay. And then Mimic and the Exiles teleported to the next reality. On the next reality, Doctor Strange kidnapped Sunfire and Mimic was held captive prisoner. Blink and the other Exiles rescued them and beat Doc Strange.
After that, Blink sense something from the Tallus. The Tallus then teleported Mimic and the Exiles on a reality so mysterious and very familiar. It was soon discovered that it was Mojo who did all this. Mojo teleported Mimic and the Exiles to his Mojoverse. Mojo had captured Morph and Nocture. Mimic and the remaining Exile members escaped the activity place and went to the central city of Mojoverse. Mimic grabbed a person sneedly and told the man where is Longshot. The man told him that he is in the Mojoverse jail. They defeated the Soldiers and freed Longshot. Longshot told the Exiles that he can't escape. Mimic tried to convince him but it was no use. So Mimic told Blink to tell Sasquatch to grab Longshot and get out of here. After they reached Mojo's enterprises, they saw Morph and Nocture. Morph was not harmed, but they tortured Nocture. Mimic told everyone to get out, but Morph went to Mojo and hit all of Morph's strength. The Timebroker came to get the Exiles and went to the next reality. The healing factor he copied from Wolverine suppressed the infection, and after being reunited with his teammates he chose to keep it a secret. After sustaining an injury in battle, his healing factor (which was only working at half of Wolverine's capacity to begin with) was not able to heal him while continually keeping the Brood infection at bay. Mimic began to transform into a Brood. During the ensuing battle with his teammates, Mariko Yashida was buried under a ton of rubble and killed attempting to protect the nearby civilians. While Calvin already blamed himself for Sunfire's death, Morph lashed out. He pointed out that it was Mimic's disregard for his teammates that lead to Sunfire's death. Mimic recovered physically, but because of this incident, Mimic swore never to allow himself to kill again.
Some time later Mimic was possessed by the reality warping mutant Proteus. Because of his vow not to take another life, Calvin hesitated in dealing the killing blow, giving Proteus the chance he needed to possess his body. After choosing Mimic, Proteus realized that his copied healing factor would allow him to remain in the body without exhausting it for longer than a normal person. This eventually completely drained Mimic's life energy away and left his body an empty shell. His body was put into stasis in the Panoptichron, and later the Exiles returned him to his home reality for his burial.
Mr. Sinister Formed the X-Men (Earth-956)
Little is know of this Mimic's origins. It is know that he was recruited by Professor X to join his X-Men team (Marvel Girl, Beast, Banshee, Angel,and Mimic) to oppose Mister Sinister's X-Men (Cyclops, Sabretooth, Havok, Malice ( Madelyne Pryor), and Sauron).
During one mission with the other X-Men were sent to retrieve Ororo Munroe to join their team. Defeating Sinisters X-Men, he chased after Cyclops only to find Mr Sinister dying from an attack by Magneto and his Brotherhood. Respecting Sinister's last wish Cyclops and Havok join the X-Men.
Mimic has the powers of Xavier's X-Men (Marvel Girl, Beast, Angel, Banshee, and Xavier).
The Big M (Earth-5423)
Another Mimic is called The Big M, and was his worlds greatest criminal and leader of his worlds Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants. Finding the Exiles' Mimic on his world he struck out, believing that Mimic to be good and honest because of a charmed life and happy upbringing. Using his telepathy, The Big M read the Exiles' Mimic's mind and realized that the only difference between the lives they lead is that while one of them accepted Xavier's offer of training and help, the other rejected and sought a darker path. This realization that the Exiles Mimic was able to fight for good while not living the charmed life that The Big M was jealous of allowed The Big M to stop his self-pity, and he reformed the Brotherhood as his world's X-Men.
Days of Future Now (Earth-5700)
On Earth-5700, which is an alternate future Earth twenty-four years into the future, Mimic is seen as a member of Creed and his Brotherhood, along with Sabretooth, Blob, Avalanche, Scalphunter, Caliban, and an unknown woman. Creed and his Brotherhood are seen when Magneto assembles super-powered teams, among them the Avengers and the X-Men, and asks them all to put aside their differences and band together in the face of a common threat: the Sentinels.
Captain America had Formed the Avengers (Earth-6871)
Not much is know about this Earth's Mimic, other than resided at the Magnus Academy for Gifted Youngsters. When this Earth's Captain America and his Avengers went to the Academy to recruit one of it's members, they found that all of the members of the Academy were killed, including the Mimic.
On Amalgam-Earth two comic universes came together when the incarnations of their respective universes (referred to as "the Brothers") became aware of each other after aeons of slumber. To prevent the Brothers from destroying each other, characters from each universe battled to determine which universe would survive. To prevent total destruction, the Spectre and the Living Tribunal created a merged universe, in which only Axel Asher and Dr. Strangefate knew the truth. Each struggled against the other to reverse or preserve the change. Meta Mimic is the combination of two characters: Mimic ( Marvel Comics) and Metamorpho (DC Comics). Meta Mimic's past is unknown to himself. Magneto and the Magnetic Men arrived on the island of Genosha to defeat his evil brother the Sinistron and free thousand of captured mutants. Five mutants were brainwiped and order to destroy Magneto and his Magnetic Men including Meta Mimic. Failing in his task, Magneto freed the captured mutants and saved the day.
The All-New Exiles (Earth-33629)
This Mimic is a member of an alternate team of Exiles. In this reality the Grandmaster decided to created a team of Exiles identical to the original team of Exiles. After the "classic Exiles" fight "the all-new Exiles" (in the words of Morph), it is later revealed that the whole thing was a scheme orchestrated by the Grandmaster, seeking revenge on the Exiles for freeing Professor X on their first mission and ruining a bet. The Exiles, past and present, join forces with the Wrecking Crew of that Earth to defeat the Grandmaster.
House of M (Earth-58163)
Mimic is a member of Bucky's strike team that is sent to Genosha. Upon arrival Cal gains the powers of the mutants on Genosha, going by the code name the Mimic. Mimic and Nuke fight Magneto's guards, as Bucky fails to kill Magneto and kills Xavier instead before the entire team is taken out. Mimic battles Magneto and is killed by the mutant.
In Other Media
X-Men: the Animated Series
Mimic appears in the alternate reality fighting a quadruple robot. He has Beast's muscular body and Angel's wings. He also fires an optic blast.
Although not appearing in the cartoon, Mimic appeared in the tie-in comic.
Attending Bayville High School, along side the rest of the X-Men Evolution team. Cal makes friends with Evan Daniels, ditching class to try out a dangerous skateboarding tricks. Cal gets distracted and falls off the side of a cliff, but is saved when he creates a bone spike from his arm. Evan notices and informs Professor Xavier about a possible new mutant.
Xavier speaks with Calvin's mother Nasya Ehrlich formerly Mrs. Rankin.
Cal mimics Xavier's telepathic powers and tells him about his father scientific experimenting on him, leaving them to whereabouts unknown.
Xavier invites Cal and his mother to visit the academy. Unfortunately they arrive at the wrong wing and Cal mimic's the X-Men's powers unable to control them. Attacking the X-Men, as each one is clear out of the room reducing the number of powers he can mimic. Xavier helps Cal regain control and uses Cerebro to examine Cal's powers.
Shocking Cal is not a mutant, but a human who can mimic mutant's powers. The X-Men debate whether to accept a human into their school, but Cal is insulted that they would reject him. Storm welcomes his departure as Spyke tries to get him back. Cal wants Evan to come with him and be like him, but Spyke isn't ashamed of them and is accepted by just being himself.
Cal's mother switches him into another school district hopefully with less mutants. Calvin Rankin has mimicked the powers of Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Xavier, Wolverine, Spyke and the rest of the X-Men Evolution team.