Calvin Rankin was born in Passaic, New Jersey. After an accidental mixup of chemicals from his father Ronald's experiments, he gained the ability to temporarily copy the skills, physical traits, knowledge, and superpowers of any person within close range (approximately ten feet). When his father found out about this, he retreated with Calvin into a mine where he worked on a machine which, as he claimed, would make the abilities his son absorbed permanent. But his experiments with the device caused several power outages in the vicinity; in order to hold off the mob which was tracking these disturbances, Ronald Rankin blasted the mine entrance, but he was accidentally caught and killed in the explosion, and his device sealed deep inside the mine. Taking the name Mimic, Cal decided to seek out the X-Men in a plot to get to the machine and make their powers his permanently. Initially he gained the upper hand, but his powers were removed by Ronald Rankin's device, as Professor X had expected. Xavier then wiped his memory and let him go.
It was while attending the same college as Jean Grey that his memory returned. In another attempt to gain the X-Men's abilities, Mimic set his sights on joining their ranks, becoming deputy leader in the process when he blackmailed his way into joining the X-Men. As a member of the team, he soon began to antagonize the other X-Men with his arrogant behavior and ended up expelled after a fight with Cyclops. He later realized his potential when he saved his team-mates from the Super-Adaptoid. This battle robbed him of his abilities, and he left powerless but a better person. Eventually he regained his powers, but they were enhanced to also absorb people's life forces, killing them. As the Beast tried to work out a solution, Calvin seemingly perished in a self-sacrificial fight against the Hulk after absorbing the Hulk's gamma radiation.
For a long time the X-Men believed him to be dead. In actuality, Mimic was in a coma which lasted for years. This ended only when the regenerative mutant Wolverine came near him. Mimic's power copied Wolverine's healing ability and he woke up. Mimic's powers soon began to drain the life energy of those around him again. He fled to a remote Siberian village, where he soon encountered X-Force, who were investigating a distress call. X-Force arrived to find a number of dead scientists and an enraged Mimic, who illogically blamed X-Force for their deaths. During the fight, Mimic copied the power of Sunspot, and their identical charge caused a large explosion, after which Mimic was no where to be found.
Mimic was later recruited by the entity Onslaught and his powers stabilized. Along with the Blob he confronted X-Force member Warpath, but with the assistance of Risque, Warpath was able to subdue them. Soon after, Onslaught himself was defeated and Operation: Zero Tolerance imprisoned Mimic. Later, Excalibur tracked his telepathic signature and thinking that he was Professor Xavier, freed him. Mimic became friends with the entire group, and was even invited to Captain Britain's wedding. Mimic later joined Mystique's Brotherhood of Mutants and assisted in freeing the real Xavier. That group eventually disbanded, and Mimic was not among later groupings.
Mimic became a member of the Dark X-Men where it was revealed that his unstable behavior was caused by his previously undiagnosed bipolar disorder which is now being treated with medication. Mimic is later left behind when Emma Frost and Namor defect to the X-Men taking Cloak and Dagger with them. The only remaining Dark X-Men besides Calvin are Daken, Weapon Omega, Dark Beast, and Mystique.
Powers and Abilities
Mimicry: Mimic constantly emits invisible, psionic waves that perform a full-spectrum genetic scan on anyone within a 10 foot radius of him, allowing him to imprint the personal enhancements of unlimited number of other superhumans/mutants onto his genetic code and retain them until the person he mimicked the power from is over a mile away. This was however until his ability was 'upgraded' and he was then able to retain any and all abilities he mimicked within a matter of seconds.
These abilities were supposedly further enhanced by Onslaught when Rankin and Blob encountered X-Force.
In his first appearance he permanently gained the ability to use the powers of the original X-Men and Charles Xavier:
- Angel's wings
- Beast's physiology including enhanced strength and agility
- Cyclops' optic blasts
- Iceman's cryokinesis
- Phoenix's telekinesis
- Professor X's telepathy
When interacting with normal humans, Mimic will imitate their skills, personality traits, and intelligence. Thus, when in the vicinity of athletes, he gains superior athletic ability. Also, when in the presence of a scholar, not only does his knowledge expand, but so does his potential to learn (I.Q., E.Q. etc...)
Calvin is a self-taught biochemist.
Superhuman, able to lift at least 1 ton.
- Skrull-X has the powers of the original X-Men, making him similar to the Mimic.
- The original Mimic as created by Stan Lee and Werner Roth is not a mutant, but receives his powers after breathing gas in his father's laboratory. Later, X-Men writer Scott Lobdell claims it merely awakens Mimic's latent mutant powers, but this point is never made in the comics themselves and remains a point of discussion.