Review: Mimic and the X-Men #5

Mimic successfully beat his record for appearing in issues as a member of the X-Men, then promptly quit. Oh sorry, SPOILERS. No wait, I’m not sorry! I’m angry! I’m angry that writer Christos Gage would make all my dreams come true by putting Mimic back on the X-Men after nearly 50 years, then went ahead and spent a bajillion stupid, boring issues on Rogue being transported to another planet to join a war between stupid, boring aliens who don’t have anything to do with anything! And I’m angry at Marvel NOW!’s stupid decision to take Gage off of X-Men: Legacy and completely change the title, forcing him to wrap up his personal storylines and take Mimic out of the series before his time!

And yet Mimic isn’t on the cover

And what I’m angry at the most is that Gage did this by giving us the greatest Mimic adventure of all time!

Comic rating: The square root of sadness/5: Terrifisad.

Do you want deep Mimic introspection and character development? BAM! You got it! Do you want Mimic mimicking all the powers in the world and then single-handedly holding off a super-villain prison riot? BAM! You got it! Do you want hot Mimic on Rogue action? BAM! You got that too – sort of! This is the Mimic we have always wanted! He’s handsome, he’d badass and, most importantly, he’s a hero. I would even go so far as to say he’s the greatest hero the Marvel Universe has ever seen! Not only that, but he’s hip, as you’ll see in the synopsis. This is one awesome guy. I mean, I suppose there is a large portion of this issue dedicated to Rogue. But nobody cares about that, right? That would be like watching The Matrix and caring more about Neo than Switch. And Switch was awesome.

If Mimic had to go out – though I think he would have been awesome as new leader of the X-Men – he probably couldn’t have gone out any better way. Rest well, gentle soldier. This review will sing you to your sleep.

So what’s the big deal, you may be asking? Why is this idiot writing a review called ‘Mimic and the X-Men #5’ when no such comic exists, and in reality he’s talking about X-Men: Legacy #275 Well aren’t you just a little stinker.

Lo! Now shall appear the Mimic!

And that’s your lesson in old school exposition

The Mimic is one of my all-time favorite comic book characters, but he’s just so incredibly obscure. If Kathy Griffin is on the D-List, Mimic would be on the W-List. The Mimic is Calvin Rankin, a man with the super-power to copy and use other people’s super powers. All he has to do is stand near them. And there’s no limit of the number of super-powers he can have at one time. Mimic could, arguably, be the strongest, most powerful character in the entire Marvel Universe! Buuuuuut, like I said, he’s incredibly obscure and rarely used.

Mimic debuted in 1966 as an enemy of the original X-Men, whose obvious gimmick was that he simply had all of the powers of the original X-Men combined. He has Angel’s wings, Cyclops’ optic blasts, Beast’s agility, Marvel Girl’s mind powers and Iceman’s ability to make an unlimited number of ice cubes. After first appearing as a villain, Mimic later re-appeared and switched sides, becoming a member of the X-Men – a membership that lasted all of three issues. He was kicked off the team, lost his powers, and spent the next 40 or so years making random, pointless cameo appearances here and there. We’re talking the bottom of the barrel here. The Mimic couldn’t get arrested in this town.

Hench-Trivia: The Mimic was the first ever new member of the X-Men, after the original team. The X-Men now have dozens upon dozens of different members, but Mimic was the first – for about three issues.

Flash forward to a few years ago, when the Mimic is plucked from obscurity, given a makeover and added to the lineup of the Dark X-Men. But that, again, lasted only a short time, and Mimic was back in comic book limbo. Until writer Christos Gage decided he wanted to make Mimic part of his cast on X-Men: Legacy, because he was a fan of the character and had some stories to tell about Mimic. So in X-Men: Legacy #265, Mimic rejoined the X-Men for the first time since the 1960s. You may recall my joy.

Something like this

Mimic appeared in the next two issues, which were tie-ins to Avengers vs. X-Men. Mimic fought on the X-Men’s side.

Then Gage promptly lost his mind.

After a couple of issues where Rogue battled Ms. Marvel, Gage eventually sent Rogue into outer space, where she took part in a war between two different alien races. This was…insane, to say the least. I didn’t read it, because the idea of Rogue out in space interacting with aliens who we’ve never heard of before and would likely never hear of again held less than Absolute Zero interest for me. Rogue may have even been a Braveheart-esque hero in this war, but I just don’t care. No Mimic = no caring!

Then when Avengers vs. X-Men ended, it was revealed that X-Men: Legacy would change writers and characters and instead star Legion, the insane son of Professor X. I care even less about Legion than I do strange alien wars, so consider me out. Gage is moving on to some other comics, so with one final issue of X-Men: Legacy, he’s decided to wrap up the Mimic’s story, at least, rather than leave the character hanging. For that I’m grateful. We Mimic fans are used to the character being lost in comic book character limbo.

Or losing his powers

So let’s get to the issue, shall we? It starts with the absolutely insane premise of Rogue being recruited to suppress a riot in a super-villain prison, where all the villains have escaped and are attacking the guards. But we’re not talking about guys like Doctor Doom or Doctor Octopus or Doctor Bong. Oh no. We’re talking characters even more obscure than Mimic, like Ruby Thursday, Quicksand and Silk Fever. So basically the prison of no-name super-villains. Why Rogue is recruited for this task is anyone’s guess. She’s around, she needs something to punch, and now we have a comic.

Rogue races off to find a ride, and randomly comes upon Mimic wandering the hall in full costume. Not only that, but Mimic is clearly rocking out to his iPod.

Perhaps some classic Beatles, or maybe Aerosmith

That’s what I meant by hip. In his free time, the Mimic just wanders around the Jean Grey School in full uniform and jamming out to tunes. He’s my kinda guy.

Rogue can’t find anyone else in an entire school full of X-Men and X-Students, so she and Mimic head off to stop the prison riot. I’m not complaining. The last thing the world needs is another issue of Wolverine doing something. Mimic and Rogue are an alright team by me! They grab a Blackbird and head for the prison. The flight gives Mimic a chance to talk about some stuff that’s been bothering him. He asks Rogue if she was serious when she said she was no longer hooking up with Magneto.

Because yeah, Magneto and Rogue were a couple. She’s into old dudes.

Rogue quickly launches into a speech where she totally ‘friendzones’ Mimic, but he reveals that he wasn’t actually asking her out.

But he totally should

Our boy Mimic has got game! You know Rogue was thinking about him like that, why else would she have a speech prepared letting him down nicely? She knows that she’s as crazy as a bag of cats, so she’s falling on her own sword by not letting Mimic date her. No matter how much she wants that stud.

Anyway, it turns out that Gage is completely rushing through everything he’d set up for Mimic. His best pal, Weapon Omega, is going to be cured completely off panel. Whatever Gage had planned for that story will never happen, so he’s just going to quickly write that Weapon Omega is fine and is going to awaken from his coma. Huzzah. But Mimic thinks this means he should quit the X-Men. After doing literally nothing for them but get beat up during the Avengers vs. X-Men tie-in, Mimic says it’s time to go. He’s learned a lot (which we never saw), and he’s ready to move on because he feels like he’s losing himself in a school full of such strong personalities (which we also never saw). He doesn’t know if he wants a beer, or if he’s mimicking Wolverine’s desire for a beer.

Rogue totally blows off Mimic’s deep, psychological question by pointing out that they’ve arrived at the prison. The two heroes then leap into battle and kick so much ass that they’re going to need to double the size of the prison infirmary.

Rogue is copying Mimic’s copied powers, it’s an Inception of super powers

Rogue apparently has great PR, because all the prisoners know that she can only absorb their powers if she touches them. So they don’t let her get close. Mimic has no problem, however. All he has to do is stand near the villains and he has their powers, though he’s starting to feel overwhelmed. Rogue won’t hear any of his whining though, and tells Mimic to man up! She has to go off and do something else, so Mimic has to hold the line! It’s all up to Mimic! Can he do it? Hells yeah he can!

Mimic is all out of bubble gum!

For some reason, Gage spends the next several pages not watching Mimic take on an entire super-villain prison by himself. No doubt it’s a thrilling fight. Why can’t we watch that instead? What the heck were you thinking, Gage?

Anyway, so Rogue wanders off to another wing of the prison, where there isn’t a riot. She takes her time giving some hokey speech to the prisoners about believing in themselves, and letting others believe in them so that they can be better people. Suffice to say, Rogue should never become a guidance counselor. Eventually, Rogue convinces three nobodies, Equinox, Armadillo and Man-Bull, to donate their powers to her. No doubt the three of them are now going to get shanked in the shower the first chance their fellow inmates get. Heck, the other inmates don’t even hide it. The trio are threatened for helping Rogue, and while she threatens retaliation, that’s not going to make those three feel any better when they’re naked and bleeding out on the floor of the cell block while Rogue is back at the school hooking up with Gambit.

Thankfully, we go back to find that Mimic is totally holding his own in the riot!

You have all just been served!

That’s my guy! Even when he’s freaking out on the inside, and his powers are pushed to new extremes, the Mimic mans up, holds on and saves the day.

But what’s that? Rogue has turned into a goddamn she-behemoth? Well bring it on, comic book!

That’s the spirit!

Now that looks freakin’ awesome! The art by David Baldeon is stellar in this issue, and I love his design of Super Rogue. Whoever thought that Man-Bull could be put to such good use? His non-powered Rogue is adorable. His Mimic is young and handsome. And his art is just generally clear and detailed, which is how I like my superhero art. He also definitely draws a great pair of angel wings.

So Mimic cleans house with the rest of the offending prisoners. Rogue helps, I guess. They destroy Silk Fever, crush the Griffin and even smack the ever-lovin’ bejesus out of Schizoid Man. Because he was apparently the Big Bad for the issue. And if that wasn’t enough, how about some hot Mimic on Rogue flirting?

She’s got a nice butt too

Too bad we don’t get to see that next issue.

So with all the asses kicked and Mimic a bonafide hero, he and Rogue fly back to the Jean Grey School. Do they make out a little on the plane ride home? Well they don’t show the ride, so I’m going to have to assume they do. And then finally, after all of that, Rogue gets around to answering the question Mimic had asked earlier about whether or not he should stay with the school and the X-Men. In the second big Rogue speech of the issue, she tells Mimic that he’s stronger than he gives himself credit for, and that he already knows what he’s going to do. It’s a pretty fluffy speech, about finding the right place for yourself, and that it doesn’t get easier, because that’s just how life works.

Once on school grounds, Mimic thanks Rogue for her advice (though sadly, not with a kiss), and he flies off, as if he forgot that Omega Weapon won’t be released for a few more days. Maybe he’s just flying off to get coffee.

Either way, Rogue calls out to him before he leaves and then arranges all of the other X-Men and X-Students around herself to give Mimic a nice send-off.

I guess they all just happened to be standing around outside

Or maybe herself a nice send-off, considering this is the last issue of the series. Who really knows? But I’d like to think that the final issue of this long running comic was used as a send-off to the Mimic.

So there you have it. If we count the issue where he rejoined the team, and we don’t count the issues where Mimic didn’t appear, then he was an X-Man again for roughly four issues. He beat his old record by one.

And then quit. We probably won’t see him again for a few more years, when he’ll either be killed or become a villain again.

Damn you, comics. Damn you all to hell.

About Sean Ian Mills

Hello, this is Sean, the Henchman-4-Hire! By day I am a mild-mannered newspaper reporter in Central New York, and by the rest of the day I'm a pretty big geek when it comes to video games, comic books, movies, cartoons and more.

Posted on November 2, 2012, in Comics, Marvel, Reviews, X-Men and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. As one of Mimic’s biggest (okay, ONLY) fans, I loved this. Great, great post. He is the most fascinating, underutilized character in comics. Thanks for this. Looking forward to the next aborted, partially-realized Mimic storyline 40 years from now!

  1. Pingback: A Completely Biased Review: Mimic and the X-Men #6 | Henchman-4-Hire

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