- Everything is Language. I am Language. I am Everything.
- -- Cypher src
Doug Ramsey was born to Philip and Sheila Ramsey. Doug's father was a lawyer in Salem Center who had helped Xavier sort out the legal aspects of setting up the School for Gifted Youngsters years before, though he was unaware that Xavier was a mutant, nor that any of his students were either. Doug grew up in Salem Center and became friends with Kitty Pryde, the X-Man Ariel, who he met after she moved to Westchester County to join Professor Xavier's school. Both shared an interest in computers and video games which brought them closer together.
Professor Xavier believed (for reasons unknown) that Doug was a mutant, but took no action to recruit him for the school. Emma Frost made the same discovery and did attempt to recruit him, offering him a scholarship to the Massachusetts Academy in hope of inducting him into her adolescent Hellions, to serve the Hellfire Club's sinister needs. Doug began spending time with Kitty and together they hacked Project Wideawake files. Pryde accompanied Ramsey on a trip to the Academy for his final interview. Believing Emma to be in a coma, Kitty still didn't trust Frost at all due to past experiences and this time was no different. The White Queen captured Kitty and she was later saved by the New Mutants. Ramsey ended up not attending the school, for reasons that were never elaborated on.
While Douglas became a friend to the New Mutants children, they kept their mutant powers and costumed personas from him. However, one night when the New Mutants were alone in the mansion, the techno-organic alien, Warlock, arrived and battled the New Mutants in the confusion that erupted. The mutants asked Ramsey for help in communicating with the alien, and revealed their secrets to him. Douglas succeeded in talking with Warlock, and both the alien and Ramsey soon joined the team. Ramsey chose the code-name Cypher, as his mutant ability allowed him to decipher codes and languages. In the School for Gifted Youngsters, the New Mutants were tutored by Professor X and trained in the use of their powers in the Danger Room. Warlock and Cypher shared a close bond, often sticking close together in battle. Doug often felt useless in battle, even though his powers often came more in handy then others.
Doug's first mission with the New Mutants was saving the life of international rock star Lila Cheney from the Vrakanin, where Doug single-handily saved the Earth by deciphering the instructions to a damaged stargate before an overload. After Kitty and Colossus returned from Murderworld, Doug and Kitty created a program, together, that would alter the Murderworld computers.
Later, Amora the Enchantress kidnapped the New Mutants to Asgard. Doug ended-up in Vanaheim and after reuniting with his team, Warlock began forming around Doug to become a suit of armor to protect Doug.
After their adventure in Asgard, the New Mutants found themselves under the guidance of a new teacher, Magneto. Magneto was very protective of Doug, a fact that infuriated Doug, because he believed Magneto thought him inferior.
The New Mutants rescued Psylocke from Mojo and Spiral. After finding that Psylocke was being mentally controlled by Mojo, Doug found himself capable of merging physically and mentally with Warlock, so that they could operate as a gestalt. This developed a danger of permanently infecting Ramsey with the Transmode Virus and permanently merging the two so that they would not want to revert to normalcy. After Pyslocke was freed from her mind control, she freed the others as well. Psylocke accompanied the New Mutants back to the school where Doug developed a crush on her.
Warlock's father, Magus, attacked. Illyana quickly teleported them all to Limbo and shortly after, Magus also appeared on Limbo. When Merging their forms once more, Cypher tapped into Warlock’s own DNA in order to learn how to "re-code" it. While the rest of the New Mutants distracted Magus, Cypher and Warlock re-wrote the Magus' DNA, effectively reducing him to infancy. Doug began to show slight signs of becoming infected by the Transmode Virus, due to prolonged use of Warlock and himself merging for protection.
At a Hellfire Club event, where Doug was approached by Tarot to comfort his loneliness, but sent her off crying. Doug was approached by Roulette and asked if he was a geek or a player. Doug, wanting to impress Roulette, answered a player and won a game of poker, by using his mutant powers, for the first time, to read facial expressions. After winning a nice amount, Doug was found by the New Mutants drunk and in bed with Roulette. While the tensions arose, Doug believed that Roulette had used her mutant power to win the poker games and struck her, a fact that raised tension between the two groups.
Death by the Ani-Mator
After hearing of an animal creature that was being mistreated after capture, the New Mutants abducted Bird Brain in a contest with the Hellions. Initially jealous of the attention that Wolfsbane showed Bird-Brain, Doug refused to communicate with the creature, until Magneto threatened to return him to the authorities and Doug began to speak with Bird-Brain, to save Rahne Sinclair the loss.
Bird-Brain decided to return home. The New Mutants followed and were captured, by the Ani-Mator and his Ani-Mates. During the battle, Doug wanted to help his friends, but felt that his powers could not help and if he tried to fight with his hands, he would get in the way. When the Ani-Mator aimed a gun at Wolfsbane, Doug couldn't stand still and hurled into the way, getting shot twice by the Ani-Mator. Un-noticed by Wolfsbane, she asked him not to dive into battle like that and Doug's last words were "Don't be mad Rahne... I'll never... do it... again.", before falling into endless sleep. After the battle, Doug's body was found, while the Ani-Mator confessed he was responsible. Wolfsbane blamed herself. Magik, in anger, threw Ani-Mator into limbo, where he was eaten alive by demons. Doug's death and noble sacrifice, saving the Ani-Mates and Rahne Sinclair, also drove Magneto far away from his students, as he blamed himself for his death as well as Homo sapiens.
After watching the movie Night of the Living Dead and hearing that Doug would be buried underground, Warlock was bewildered by the mixed messages he was getting from his friends about death and "animated" Doug’s corpse with his shape-shifting and took him to see his mother and then Wolfsbane, hoping to remind Doug what it was like to be alive and convince him to come back. The New Mutants explained that they had to put Doug’s body back, so it could be buried and they said goodbye to their friend at his funeral.
Eli Bard, a servant of Selene, tracked down the body of Douglas with the aid of the reanimated Caliban and reanimated him as well, with the aid of the Transmode Virus. Alongside the resurrected Hellions, Cypher infiltrated Utopia and, while the Hellions went after Emma, he targeted Magma, as commanded by Selene. After successfully beating Magma comatose and a lengthy battle involving the New Mutants and the Hellions, Douglas was freed from Bard's control by Warlock wielding Magik's Soulsword and rejoined his former teammates. Amara Aquilla was initially scared of the sight of Doug, until he whispered a language he created, just for her to understand, in her ear and she hugged him.
After the return of the mutant messiah, Hope Summers, and Cable to the mainstream timeline, Bastion and the his members of the Human Council attacked her tirelessly. Cyclops ordered the New Mutants to attack one of Hodge's Right facilities, where Doug convinced Warlock to absorb Cameron Hodge and his soldier's lifeglow to save his friends, and then to aid Cable and a group of X-Men from William Stryker and his Purifiers. After Bastion systematically eliminated all of the X-Men's teleporters, he encased the entire island of Utopia in an impenetrable dome and, at the center, opened a portal to his original timeline, where Sentinels ruled and mutants and superhumans were outlawed, that poured out wave upon endless wave of Nimrod-Series Sentinels. Doug was sent into the timestream with X-Force and Cable, using Cable's final energy in his time machine, to stop the Master Mold Sentinels that were producing the Nimrods. Cypher was successful in interfacing with the Sentinels and Cable sacrificed his life to return them to their timeline.
After the attack from Bastion, the team took a vacation and Illyana sensed that Pixie had been captured. Illyana sent Warlock to warn the X-Men and the rest of the team battled the Inferno Babies, where Doug was placed under the influence of Trista. After being beaten, they were taken to Limbo. Doug was ordered to learn a machine that Trista and the others could not understand and he used it to magically erase her mouth, ending her influence over him. After surviving the attack in Limbo by demons and the Elder Gods, it was revealed that Illyana brought Legion back into the mainstream reality to use against the Elder Gods that General Ulysses and Project Purgatory were planning to unleash. Doug was later asked, by Cyclops, to monitor police feeds around the world for crimes that were above the efforts of the local police, but under the radar of heroes such as the Avengers.
When Kuurt attacked San Francisco, Cyclops sent Dani Moonstar to meet with Asgardian death-goddess Hela, in the hope that she can explain what happens. However, on the way to Las Vegas, Dani was forcibly moved to Hel.
Discovering that Dani was gone, the New Mutants sought the assistance of Magik and she explained to them, what happened with Dani and told Cypher how he can bring the team to her. However, Doug made a spelling mistake, and instead of Hel, he teleported the team into a Hell where they met Mephisto. Mephisto offered New Mutants a deal, he would send them out of hell, and even teleport them straight into the Hela's domain, in exchange for a date with Magma. Amara agreed, and Mephisto teleported the team to Hel where they almost immediately clashed with the Draumar. To frighten and defeat them, Hela showed the Draumar Nate's memories about his life and a world about which they knew nothing. After the Draumar gone, the team returned to Utopia.
Omnilingual Translation: Cypher is a hyper-linguist, and has a superhuman facility for translating any languages, spoken or written, human or alien in origin. His superhuman skill also extends to his great facility in deciphering codes and computer languages as well as understanding hidden intentions and body language. Cypher's skills are such that he was once able to make great headway in translating the written language of an extraterrestrial race in a matter of minutes. Cypher's mutant talent for translating differs from the translating ability that a human who is a genius in this field, yet not a mutant, possesses, even though both people might achieve the same results with any given translation problem. Cypher's mutant talent is an intuitive one which works on a subconscious level, and which may in part be related to telepathy. A non-mutant human, even a genius, will have to work out a translation consciously, step by step. Rather than working the problem out step by step, in his conscious mind, Cypher instead subconsciously solves the problem. Hence, Cypher can reach the correct solution by means that appear to be leaps of logic, and he himself may not have been consciously aware of the entire process by which he reaches the right answer.
- His recent return from death has abnormally widened his perspective. Everything he sees is now interpreted into information, everything is language to him now. He can read the information flow from technological components emitting such.
- Training in hand-to-hand combat - Since his resurrection, his language power has extended to combat, making him able to interpret his opponents moves as language. This has vastly increased his combat effectiveness, to the point where he was able to defeat the rest of the New Mutants by himself.
- Gifted intelligence
Cypher possess the normal human strength of a young man of his age, height, and build who engaged in regular physical exercise.
- Warlock also perished a while after Cypher's death, but was resurrected with Ramsey's memories as the mysterious Douglock.
- Cypher is shown as a Professor at the Jean Grey School in Savage Wolverine #13.
- 184 Appearances of Douglas Ramsey (Earth-616)
- Media Douglas Ramsey (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 63 Images featuring Douglas Ramsey (Earth-616)
- 13 Quotations by or about Douglas Ramsey (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Douglas Ramsey (Earth-616)
- Characters killed by Cypher
- Marvel Directory
- uncannyxmen.net Spotlight On... Cypher
- Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition #3 (February 1986)
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