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Calvin Rankin (Earth-616)


Calvin Rankin (Earth-616)

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Calvin Rankin (also known as Mimic) first gained his mimicing abilities after a lab accident involving one of his father's dangerous experiments. He was a villain-turned-hero-turned-villain who joined the X-Men, and for a short time, was the deputy leader of the team[6]. Mimic's main quest had always been to find a way to make his abilities permanent. On this quest he had battled the X-Men, the Hulk, Super-Adaptoid, Puppet Master and Factor Three, as well as serving Onslaught and briefly joining Excalibur. He retained his powers after M-Day and was held prisoner by the Thunderbolts for his past crimes until being offered a place on Norman Osborn's X-Men. After receiving help from the Jean Grey's School X-Men, Calvin was offered a spot on their team which he accepted.

Quote1 Okay, X-Men! There's no need for anymore pretending! I intend to defeat you all! And, rest assured -- the Mimic has the power to do it! Quote2
-- Mimic src
X-Men Vol 1 19

(First appearance)


Calvin Rankin was the son of a scientist who was working on various dangerous experiments. As a child, he was not allowed into his father's quarters where the experiments took place. However, at a young age, curiosity got the best of him. While inside his father's lab, he accidentally knocked down a beaker filled with gas. The experiment his father was working on altered his body. As the months and years passed, more frequently would Calvin be able to mimic the abilities of others while near them[1].

Calvin soon became the best at any sport, mimicing abilities of the best players and without anyone knowing. He started to become hotheaded and arrogant as his powers grew, but soon all of his friends and classmates started to dislike and distrust him, referring to him as some kind of robot. Calvin eventually lost all of his friends, but blamed it on their jealousy, noting that he didn't need any of them and was better then all of them.[1]

When his father found out what was going on, he knew eventually everyone would turn on Calvin, so he moved them into an abandoned cave in the hopes of curing his son. For months, Calvin's father worked on a machine that would remove Calvin's mimicking powers in the hope of giving him a normal life. However, he never told Calvin what the machine really did, instead telling him it would make his mimic'd powers permanent. Unfortunately, the town's people eventually found out about the machine being built in an abandoned mine, and a mob set out to attack Calvin and his father in their base. To prevent them from reaching the machine, Calvin's father set off an explosion to close the mine before the mob would find their way in. The explosion proved to be too strong and killed Dr. Rankin[1]. Calvin managed to dig himself out of the mine and swore that he would get his revenge on the people who forced this all to happen.[7]

The Mimic

Calvin first ran into the X-Men when he was trying to get a date with Vera Cantor, who, at the time was dating Hank McCoy. Being the hot-head that he is, he pushed Hank to attack him. Beast was quickly surprised by Calvin's Beast-like defenses. When Bobby tried to help Beast, Calvin retaliated by throwing a snowball he had created in his hand against Bobby's head. Some nearby construction workers saw the battle and quickly assumed that Calvin was a mutant who was attacking two normal teenagers. Calvin quickly used his new-found powers to escape from them with ease. He then realized that he had been fighting two of the X-Men, and became frustrated when the powers he'd picked up began to fade. He decided to find the rest of the X-Men so that he could gain all of their powers forever using his father's buried machine.[1]

Some time later on, Calvin happened to run into Jean Grey by chance and followed her back to the X-Men's mansion. He returned to the institute the next day, and although Xavier correctly guessed his intentions, the X-Men didn't kick him out, since they had little choice but to confront him sooner or later. Calvin engaged the X-Men in combat and was able to best them all at first, but their teamwork eventually helped them get the better of him in the end. Just as he was apparently losing, Calvin managed to kidnap Jean and escape back to the mine. Hoping the others would come after him, he took the time to tell Jean his origins. As the X-Men arrived, Calvin gained their powers once more and used them together to reach, excavate and activate his father's machine. The X-Men managed to reach and attack him before he could enter the machine, but during the fight Calvin quickly took Xavier hostage. Flying into the machine after it had been activated, it stripped Calvin of his powers, and Professor X managed to short-circuit it so that it would overload. The X-Men dragged Calvin and Xavier to safety just before the whole mine exploded, and Xavier removed Calvin's memories of these events, hoping that Calvin would finally be able to live a normal life.[1]

During the following summer, Calvin began attending Metro College, which happened to be the same school Jean Grey had recently been transferred to from the Xavier Institute. They were re-introduced by their common friend Ted Roberts. Calvin claimed that he felt like he had seen her somewhere before, and while Jean tried to deny it, Calvin decided to himself that he won't rest until he remembered where he had seen Jean before.[8]

X-Men Member

Very soon afterward, Calvin got caught in an explosion on the school grounds, and the blast brought back his memory. When Ted and Jean came to see if he was alright, his old persona and powers resurfaced so he once again became arrogant and egotistical. During this time, Professor Xavier was learning of Factor-Three, and knew the X-Men weren't enough to stop them. He asked Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch as well as Spider-Man to join the X-Men to fight the new Mutant Menace, but all declined. When the X-Men had a meeting at Jean's school where Xavier was going to tell them about this new threat, Calvin interrupted the meeting with the plan to join the X-Men.[6]

Despite only joining in hopes of getting the X-Men's powers somehow forever, Xavier let Calvin join as he knew that the X-Men needed all the help they could get to stop Factor-Three. As Cyclops was feeling guilty for accidentally using his powers on Angel, he stepped down as deputy leader of the X-Men and Xavier appointed Calvin to take the position, as he was the most powerful. During their first training mission, the Puppet Master took control over Calvin in hopes of using him as his ultimate soldier. When the X-Men came to rescue Cal, he was forced to fight his new team-mates. When the Puppet Master ordered Mimic to kill the X-Men, Cal used all of his willpower to fight the control of his new master, long enough for the very hurt Angel to enter the battle field and destroy the Puppet Master's hold on Cal. While the X-Men rejoiced in their victory against the Puppet Master, Calvin was struck by sadness, as he was finally coming to terms with the fact that he would never be anything but a man condemned to live in the shadow of other people's abilities, strengths and powers.[6]

Still, as deputy leader of the X-Men, he did his best in order to train himself to be ready to fight Factor Three. Even though he had proven himself loyal to Xavier's cause, he did not mingle well with the rest of the team, Cyclops especially, who, as the former leader of the team, didn't like Calvin's recklessness. They soon battled the Ogre and Banshee from Factor-Three, and mimicking Banshee's sonic screams, Mimic was able to defeat both of the new enemies. When the Ogre escaped, it was Mimic who had to fight him and using all of the powers he could mimic at the same time, he was able to defeat the Ogre once again.[9]

Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 513 page 23 Calvin Rankin (Earth-616)


A couple of days later, Mimic was pushed by Xavier for his biggest exercise yet. Tired and not understanding the point of it, Calvin noted that he didn't transfer to the Xavier Institute just to jump hoops for Xavier and began questioning Xavier's dream and why he should care if any mutants want to take over the world. When Cyclops told Cal to back off, a brawl started with the five original X-Men and Calvin. While hoping that the six of them would work it out, Xavier did put an end to the fight and told Calvin that he can't look past his arrogance and overwhelming ego and told him that it would be best that he left the school. Calvin got the picture that he was indeed not wanted there by anyone, and decided it was time for him to leave.[10]

He did return a couple of hours later in hopes of telling off the X-Men, but instead he noticed that the entire team had been beaten by the Super Adaptoid. Just as soon as the Adaptoid was about to destroy the X-Men for not wanting to join him on his quest to rule the world, Calvin entered the fight, claiming that he wanted the power, in hopes of holding of the Adaptoid long enough for the X-Men to regroup. When he felt that his will was fading by the Adaptoid's beam, he attacked with all of his might, using all of the X-Men's powers at once. However, the powerful Super Adaptoid had all the powers of the Avengers, and eventually got the upper hand. However, when the Adaptoid was going to use his beam to change Calvin into a robotic slave, the power rebounded into the Adaptoid because of Calvin's power being borrowed, just like he was hoping for. The Super Adaptoid weakened, his last act in the battle was to throw Calvin down who was now too weak to fly. While the Adaptoid fell into the sea hoping to resurface, the Angel was able to save Calvin from a mighty fall. After the battle, the X-Men thanked Calvin for saving their lives and apologized for their past actions, Calvin told them that there was no need to apologize and, thinking that his powers might once again be gone forever, he stated that it was worth it, for him to learn the true value of the emotion called friendship, and for Calvin Rankin to finally become a man.[10]


Unfortunately, Calvin's powers resurfaced again, this time, more powerful then ever. His mimicking powers were in fact, draining people and killing them. As the Beast was trying to find a way to cure him, Calvin, Vera and Hank were attacked by the Hulk, Calvin was rendered comatose absorbing the Hulk's energy in order to protect the people around him.[11]

Hank and Vera believed him to have perished due to the radiation he absorbed from the Hulk, but days later Calvin recovered by duplicating the healing factor of Wolverine. Unfortunately, he duplicated the looks, claws and even Adamantium of Wolverine as well. With his powers seeming to be permanent, and the pain of having claws being unbearable, Calvin crossed the country breaking into pharmacies to try to calm his rage.

Eventually he ran into the Hulk again (now in his Mr. Fixit form), and explained why he looked exactly like Wolverine. The real Wolverine eventually located Cal, hoping he could help Calvin because he felt partially responsible for his pain. Calvin and Logan jumped onto the Hulk and found themselves back at the cave where Calvin's father had died. Apparently the machinery continued to work long after it's initial overload, and used it's last remaining power to bring all three of them there and explain that it had been putting out a pulse that kept Calvin's powers at bay. Then, with the last of it's power used up, it was destroyed. With the machine gone, Logan taught Calvin some Asian Zen meditation techniques that would continue to help him suppress his powers.[12]


Although the mediation helped calm Calvin, his powers remained uncontrollable, bringing back all of the original X-Men's powers permanently. He relocated to a small research station in Siberia where friends of his late father and Charles Xavier tried to analyze his powers. While Rankin was away, Onslaught sent agents to attack the base.X-Force responded to the distress call the station sent out and found only bodies and a furious Calvin,who blamed X-Force for the deaths of other researchers. After causing an explosion while mimicing Sunspot's powers, he was kidnapped by Onslaught.[13]

After helping him stabilizing his powers and helping him reform his mind, Mimic became one of the few servants of Onslaught, unbeknown to Rankin that Onslaught had brought down the chaos in Siberia. Members of X-Force later encountered Mimic again, along with his comrade Blob, who had also joined Onslaught's ranks.[14][2][15]

One of his missions was to protect the Mutant Risque from Mr. Sinsiter and to make sure that she complied on a mission to have Warpath join them. However during the mission, Onslaught was taken down by a combination of Avengers and X-Men while Mimic and Risque were captured and imprisoned by Operation: Zero Tolerance for their terrorist activities with Onslaught. Locked in a secret Peruvian S.H.I.E.L.D. base, Rankin was regularly tortured and beaten.


Because he retained Professor X's telepathic signature, he was detected by Excalibur. They traveled to his location hoping to find Xavier, but found and freed Rankin instead. He briefly joined Excalibur, and even attended Captain Britain's wedding.[16]

While he was a member of Excalibur, he became good friends with Dr. Moira MacTaggert who was interested in his behavior. In her study, they made the discovery that a lot of Calvin's anger issues where from a bipolar disorder he didn't know about.[7] He stayed with the team until they disbanded and Rankin left on good terms.[16]

Brotherhood of Mutants

With Professor Xavier still in jail for his crimes as Onslaught, Mimic joined Mystique's Brotherhood of Mutants to assist them in freeing him alongside members of the X-Men.[17][18] After Xavier had been saved, Calvin decided to remain with the team in San Fransisco, aiding them in their fight for Mutant rights.[19] During one of their missions, Mimic was captured and taken into custody by the Commission on Superhuman Activities but he was pardoned by Valerie Cooper.

Alongside his teammates, Mimic lost his templated powers due to the High Evolutionary's use of a device that halted the use of all mutant powers. When that device was halted and mutants regained their powers, Mimic did as well. This version of the Brotherhood would later disband and everyone in the group went their separate ways.[20]


Calvin Rankin decided to stay in San Fransisco and continued his vigilantism. Because of his activities and past history, he was captured by Baron Zemo and Songbird alongside his old comrade The Blob who put them in the Folding Castle's Detention Quadrant. After this incarnation of the Thunderbolts was disbanded and the events of Civil War, Calvin was freed alongside other prisoners and registered as a super human working out of San Fransisco.[21].

While chasing down some criminals, Calvin's powers again went haywire and he accidentally killed a pedestrian with his optic blast. Instead of facing time in prison, he was offered a new position by Norman Osborn, who had recently taken over as the new head of H.A.M.M.E.R. as a member of his own personal X-Men. Rankin eventually agreed.[7]

Dark X-Men

After joining Osborn's X-Men, he got a new costume as well as had his long hair and beard shaven off in order to look good for the public image. Being seen on various Television screens and being praised by the public aided Rankin in his belief that he was finally becoming the hero that he was always meant to be but that didn't make it any easier to work with his other teammates. While trying to interrogate a former human who had been transferred to a nano-sentinel by Simon Trask, the creature was smashed by Weapon Omega who yelled at Calvin telling him that this was their own personal hell.[22][23]

Though most of his teammates were unstable, a lot of them were able to get along with Mimic who did not see things as clear as his enemies and was sure that he was doing the right thing. After a week of protecting San Francisco from various dangers, Osborn's team of X-Men were attacked by the actual members of the X-Men. When members Dark Beast and Weapon Omega were down for the count, Emma Frost revealed to everyone that she was a traitor by knocking out Daken. When Mimic began to question what was going on, obviously confused over everything that was happening, he too was knocked out by Namor, who also betrayed Osborn. While he was unconscious, two of his other teammates, Cloak and Dagger, joined the X-Men. It was speculated that Namor felt that the Mimic was too far gone into Osborn's lies to be able to be convinced on the short time they had and was too powerful to fight against while Cloak and Dagger were already unhappy with their decision of joining the team.[24]

When the X-Men left for Asteroid M, now known as Utopia, Mimic joined the rest of Osborn's group to take them down. Mimic was outmatched by the share amount of mutants and was beaten down by a group of them. Osborn later retreated with his team after it became clear that he could not win without murdering them in cold blood on live television. However, Osborn and America took this as a victory as the 'mutant terrorists' had left US Soil. Osborn re-presented his X-Men team that were going to stay on and Mimic was still a member, smiling to the public and working for the government to take down any possible threats.[25]

Dark X-Men The Beginning Vol 1 1 page 6 Calvin Rankin (Earth-616)

Dark X-Men: The Beginning #1


Under the power of Norman Osborn, and the leadership of Mystique once again, Mimic continued being a member of the "X-Men", but his depression was becoming a problem.

During one of their missions, the team was sent to a small town in California and eventually found X-Man who was trapped in various different consciousness. During their conflict, Mimic copied his abilities by accident, and was able to see a vision of his own future where he killed his wife, Vera and their newborn child with his optic blasts. His teammate, Omega also got overpowered by X-Man's telekinetic energy and Mimic had to take him down. Despite the damage done to the town, Osborn's people were able to make it look more like a victory and the town had statues of both Rankin and Omega.

But these events turned the depressive Calvin into even more of an unstable mess, and even though X-Man attempted to show him how to use his new precognitive ability, Cal was still unable to tame his demons. During X-Man's attack on Osborn and his Avengers, Rankin found himself unable to move, as he was given his recent life choices some serious thought, mumbling the words "I was an X-Man once..." to himself. In the end, Cal's ability was used by Osborn to duplicate Omega's, and together, they drained X-Man until he could be taken into custody. They immediately regretted their cooperation, since X-Man could have given them exactly what they were looking for.[26]


During the Siege of Asgard, Calvin escaped with Omega who had become his only friend. Feeding off his powers, Omega had become weak. Rankin carrying his friend decided to go to Hank McCoy for aid as he had helped him in the past. He met Hank and Bobby at Wolverine's new school with a troubled Omega.[27]

Omega had been unsuccessfully trying to ween himself off of leeching mutant powers and was on the verge of death when Cal brought him to the X-Men for help. Many methods were tried to cure him, including having Mimic and Rogue absorb the energy from Omega in an effort to reduce it. The result however was that all of them became living bombs, ready to go off at any second. After trying one last time to cure themselves by absorbing each others powers, Omega reabsorbed the energy from them with the plans to sacrifice himself for the greater good. Calvin forbade him asking him to live on for him if not for himself. Omega volunteered to be placed in an artificial coma to prevent him from exploding. Mimicking Rachel Grey's telepathic powers, Mimic put his best friend to sleep so the energy could gradually leave his body.

Mimic, who contemplated that all his happiest memories were of the School and wanting to keep an eye on Omega asked to stay. Rogue agreed, thinking he'd make a great teacher and Calvin joined the X-Men. Beast continued to work on finding a cure for Weapon Omega's problem.[28]

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 was next seen with Omega, whose condition was getting better after the Phoenix restored the mutant race, in Montana helping with the cleanup made by a hurricane. They were approached by X-Man ForgetMeNot who wanted Omega to remove his powers so people would be able to know that he existed. While they tried to explain to him that there was a risk he could be killed. They were interrupted by Cyclops' X-Men group who tracked down Omega and Mimic to see if they would join their cause.

Turning down their offer, a battle erupted them until ForgetMeNot made himself noticed and asked Omega and Mimic to copy his powers so they would become unseen and then unforgettable to Cyclops and the others. They teleported away without remembering their entire encounter. Omega then explained to ForgetMeNot that he can take his powers away, but that would just make him a regular person with no history. Convinced by their speech he decided not to go through with it as he turned around which made Mimic and Omega forget about it, he then watched as they flew off into the sky.[29]


Calvin admitted to believing he had some latent powers since birth, due to his father experimenting on himself before Cal's birth.[30] Caliban could sense Cal as Like a mutant.[31]

  • Power Mimicry: Mimic is able to copy the knowledge, skills, and powers (if any) of every individual within a certain range of him; different sources list this as anywhere from several feet to a mile radius. This applies to both superpowered and "normal" abilities, as shown when he duplicated athletic skill on the football field in high school[1]. He has shown the capacity to manifest numerous powers at the same time, and since he also absorbs knowledge, he can immediately use copied powers with the same skill level as the original owner. However, he occasionally shows difficulty in juggling multiple powers, and his body can be overloaded by absorbing too many at once. Usually the Mimic loses his duplicated abilities once out of range of the owner, but theoretically due to the length of time spent with them, his body permanently retains the powers he mimics.

Over time, he permanently gained the ability to use the powers of the original X-Men and Professor X:

When interacting with normal humans, Mimic was able to duplicate their skills, personality traits, and intelligence. Thus, when in the vicinity of athletes, he gained superior athletic ability, and when in the presence of a scholar, not only did his knowledge expand, but so did his potential to learn.


Calvin is a self-taught biochemist.[1]

Strength level

Superhuman, able to lift at least 1 ton.


Calvin has a bipolar disorder.[7]


Ruby-Quartz lenses.


Usually wings, under his own power.

Calvin Rankin (Earth-616) from X-Men Legacy Vol 1 300 002

Emma questions Calvin's doubt about not being a mutant

Mutant or mutate?

Mimic being a mutant is controversial in many ways, and has been stated to be or not many times.

  • The original Mimic as created by Stan Lee and Werner Roth was not a mutant, but received his powers after breathing gas in his father's laboratory.[1]
  • Later, is was suggested the accident merely awakened Mimic's latent mutant powers, but this was never confirmed.[12]
  • Calvin admitted to believing he had some latent powers since birth, due to his father experimenting on himself before Cal's birth.[30]
  • Caliban could sense Cal as "Like a mutant, but not".[31]
  • He was stated to be able to "mimic other mutant's abilities".[2]
  • Steve Rogers considered him as a mutate.[4]
  • He seems to consider himself not a mutant because of Beast[36], but Emma Frost highlighted the fact that there was some doubt about that theory.[29]
  • He was stated to be a "Non-mutant" in Marvel Fact Files #1, and a "superpowered man who can copy mutant powers" in Marvel Fact Files #19.

In the end, he appears to be a mutate, with his power-duplication making him appears as a mutant.

Discover and Discuss


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 X-Men #19
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 X-Force #60
  3. All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #7
  4. 4.0 4.1 Heroic Age: Villains #1
  5. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #14
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 X-Men #27
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Dark X-Men: The Beginning #1
  8. X-Men #26
  9. X-Men #28
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 X-Men #29
  11. 11.0 11.1 Incredible Hulk #161
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Marvel Comics Presents #56-61
  13. X-Force #45-46
  14. X-Force #52
  15. X-Force #65
  16. 16.0 16.1 Excalibur #122-125
  17. Uncanny X-Men #363-364
  18. X-Men Vol 2 #83
  19. X-51 #1-2
  20. Uncanny X-Men #379
  21. Thunderbolts #103
  22. Dark Avengers #7
  23. Uncanny X-Men #513-514
  24. Dark Avengers #8
  25. Dark Avengers / Uncanny X-Men: Exodus #1
  26. Dark X-Men #1-4
  27. X-Men: Legacy #264-265
  28. X-Men: Legacy #265
  29. 29.0 29.1 X-Men: Legacy #300
  30. 30.0 30.1 Marvel Comics Presents #59
  31. 31.0 31.1 X-Force #45
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 X-Force #46
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 Excalibur #123
  34. Uncanny X-Men #364
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 Dark X-Men #1
  36. X-Men: Legacy #264
  37. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #14
  38. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 7

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