> X-Men Masterworks Volume 2

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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"I hope our training session doesn't end soon - - I'm really enjoying this issue!

-- Jean Grey, reading the latest issue of the Monsters Unlimited comic, pg. 1

The Mimic faces off against the X-Men!

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X-Men #19
April 1966 20 pages

Script: Stan Lee Letters: Artie Simek
Pencils: Werner Roth (credited as Jay Gavin)
Inks: Dick Ayers

Title: "Lo! Now Shall Appear - - The Mimic!"

First Appearance: The Mimic/Calvin Rankin, Vera, Dr. Rankin (in flashback)

Villain/Origin: Mimic/Calvin Rankin

Guest Appearance: Zelda, Vera, Dr. Rankin

Death: Dr. Rankin

Synopsis: After the X-Men enjoy a fun-filled time battling obstacles in the Danger Room, Professor X delivers a message to them: they're all going on a little vacation! Hank and Bobby set out to hook up with Zelda and her blind date for Hank, a librarian named Vera. As the double-dating kids walk down the street, they come across a boy named Calvin Rankin who sets in on Vera, accusing her of dropping him for a date to go out with a loser like Hank. A fight breaks out between Hank, who pulls his punches against the red-faced Rankin in order not to show off his powers, but Rankin starts to leap and bound around the scene just like the Beast would, landing a blast with his feet to Hank's skull, knocking him down to the ground.

Construction workers nearby see the scene and figure Rankin to be a "mutie" and they chase him down with sledgehammers and bricks. Rankin tosses up a wall of ice to protect himself, and then scales the wall, running away to the rooftop. Rankin deduces that he's stumbled onto the X-Men Iceman and the Beast, since he unsuspectingly adopted their powers using his mutant power to mimic mutants. He is excited about this until he realizes he loses their powers after being out of range of them for a brief time. Later, Rankin bumps into Jean Grey who is out shopping. After treating her very rudely, he realizes he can float a container of sugar to his table. He realizes he's just bumped into Marvel Girl!

Hank and Bobby tell the Professor all about Rankin, and just then, the man in question knocks on the door, asking to join the team. Xavier senses trouble, and tells his X-Men to be wary, as Rankin has surely adopted all their powers. In the Danger Room, they all convene to hear Rankin profess his real reason for coming- to defeat them all! He now has all the X-Men's powers, including a wide expanse of wings just like the Angel. He lashes out at the team as the professor instructs them to approach him as a team. Once they start to work together, they overwhelm the Mimic, but he breaks free and grabs Marvel Girl, holding her hostage as he races out to his waiting car.

Xavier explains to the team that he let the Mimic escape so they could track him to his destination. They trace him in their X-Copter, and the Mimic makes it to his cave hideout and explains his history to an anguished Jean Grey. Rankin explains that when he was young he interfered with his scientist father's experiment and had a chemical spill give him the powers to adopt the strengths of anyone near him. He became tops at every pursuit he tried, academically and athletically, until people thought he was a freak of nature they needed to destroy. His father built a cave hideaway for him, where they could live without suspicion, and buy time for his father to develop a machine that Rankin said would grant him permanent powers. But one day, their safety of obscurity was lost, and the townspeople came to burn him out of his cave. His father died while trying to set off explosives that would seal the cave entrance, and bury the machine his father was working on. Rankin buried his father, promising to make the world pay for his death.

Jean figures out that Rankin wanted the X-Men to follow him, so he could sucker them into coming near, so he could begin accessing the machine that's still buried in the cave so he could get permanent powers. As the X-Men draw close to the cave, the Mimic gets their powers. With Cyclop's optic blasts he tunnels through the rubble, reaching the giant machine deep below the cave. As the X-Men try to stop him from flipping the switch, Professor X warns them not to stop him. He hooks himself up to the machine and turns the power on, but he collapses to the ground.

As Xavier explains to his X-Men, the machine was not a power to grant him permanent powers, as the Mimic thought. In fact, his father was working on a machine to strip him of his powers permanently, so that his son would not be hounded by those who feared him. As the boy walks away, Xavier mentally strips all memory of this from his mind.

--synopsis and panel images by Gormuu

Issues Reprinted
X-Men #11-21

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.

XMEN #11 XMEN #12 XMEN #13 XMEN #14 XMEN #15 XMEN #16
XMEN #17 XMEN #18 XMEN #19 XMEN #20 XMEN #21


All cover images are courtesy of the Silver Age Marvel Comics Cover Gallery.

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