Tuesday, April 25, 2017

X-Men Issue 19 - Lo! now Shall Appear -- The Mimic!


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The X-Men have recovered from their last couple of difficult battles, and are back in training with Cyclops ensuring they are serious about their skill development and on the constant path to improvement, when Professor X brings training to a halt.  He expresses his gratitude for the X-Men's hard work, and tells them they have all earned a vacation!

Woohoo!  Oh wait, I won't celebrate yet because every time this team gets to go on vacation bad stuff happens.  I mean, we're almost 20 issues in, maybe we should hold up hope that this crew of kids will actually get to unwind for a bit (minus Cyclops, his 2nd special power is the power of always being too concerned about danger).

The kids don their civilian clothes and head out to their vacations (which, when you read the panels, is really just like the afternoon off work).  Jean Grey goes shopping at the mall, Bobby Drake and Hank McCoy have dates, The Angel is rich, and Scott "Slim" Summers reverts back to his favorite past time...brooding.

Hank and Bobby meet their date at the library, where Hank quickly gets into an argument with his date about books.  As they walk down the sidewalk, Hank's date is accosted by another young man whom she had rejected.  When Hank intervenes the man suddenly seems to be able to use all the same powers of The Beast, and he quickly knocks Hank out.

Not pleased to see his fellow X-Man in trouble, Bobby Drake steps in and tosses a snowball in the man's face.  The man then creates an ice shield and escapes an unruly mob that has formed as the fight on the sidewalk progressed.  The man finds his way on top of a roof ecstatic to see that he has acquired these powers.

This young man is Calvin Rankin and he has the power to mimic other mutant's powers while he is in their vicinity.

As Calvin explores his new powers he realizes that he has just discovered the identities of two X-Men, Beast and Iceman.  Sadly for Calvin, his excitement with these new powers is short lived.  Though he may take full advantage of other people's power when he is around them, he does not retain the power when the leave.

Upset, Calvin decides to go to the mall for a bite to eat, when he bumps into another of the X-Men, Marvel Girl.  Suddenly, Calvin can teleport sugar containers to his table, and he realizes right away who the mutant is...that's when he starts hatching his master plan.

Calvin follows Jean Grey back to the mansion, where he introduces himself under the guise of wanting to apologize to those whom he got into altercations with earlier that day.  He introduces himself to everyone on the team, including Professor X, and then is allowed to roam freely through the mansion.

Professor X can sense that he is dangerous, but decides not to poke the tiger since Calvin has a leg up on them, knowing their secret identities and where the mansion is.  What he doesn't yet realize is just what Calvin is up to.

In a room by himself, Calvin slips out of his civilian gear and admires his new mutant body.  Since he is in such a close vicinity to the X-Men, he has acquired all their powers.  He now has large feet like Beast as well as has sprouted large wings from his back like Angel.  A pair of dark sunglasses keeps the energy power that Cyclops harnesses at bay, he even has acquired Professor X's powers!

When he emerges from the room, he is dressed in his costume and is now referring to himself as The Mimic, and plans on defeating the X-Men with their own powers.  However he is quickly overcome by having so many mutants gang up on him at once.

When the X-Men think they have won the day and let their guard down, Mimic kidnaps Marvel Girl and drives her to an old abandoned mine.  This is where we learn exactly what the Mimic is.

Professor X was surprised with the Mimic since Cerebro did not alert him to another mutant's presence.  That is because Mimic, though he can copy mutant powers, is not himself a mutant.  He is a product of science gone awry.  His father was a scientist performing experiments in his house.  Mimic aka Calvin went messing around in his lab and spilled a beaker - now he can copy not just mutant powers, but any attributes which are deemed good. So all through school Calvin was the best, because he could mimic the teacher's knowledge, or the best football players skill.

Eventually though, people got tired of Calvin being good at everything, so they ran him out of town, where he and his father converted this old mine into a lab.  However again, the people didn't like that they were doing so many experiments in that lab, so they blew it up, killing Calvin's father, and burying the invention they were working on...a machine that would make the mutant abilities that Calvin got permanent.

That's when Marvel Girl figures out Mimic's plan, to bring the X-Men to the cave so he can make their powers permanent and become an all powerful being.

Mimic comes close too!  He manages to find and activate the machine his father built, but Professor X short circuited the machine and caused an explosion in the cave.  Professor X also tells the team that the machine he was building with his father wasn't one which would make his powers permanent, but would take away his power of mimicking forever.

Then Professor X mind-wipes Calvin's memory and he goes off to live a normal life.

Here is my one big gripe with this.  If Calvin could absorb the good parts of people's personalities, he obviously was able to mimic his father's powerful knowledge of science, because Calvin was helping him build the machine.  Why on earth didn't Calvin realize that he was building a machine to take away his powers?

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