Uncanny X-Men Issue #19 (April 10, 1966)
Story By: Stan Lee Art By: Werner Roth
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Brief Description: He’s got all of the X-Men’s powers but none of their sanity: the Mimic! He’s out to join the team or destroy it, and he doesn’t really care which!
Characters Introduced in This Issue:
Mimic (Calvin Rankin): Calvin Rankin’s father Ronald was a scientist who did experiments with dangerous chemicals. One day, Calvin accidentally mixed some chemicals together and he gained the power to mimic other people’s abilities.
This power made him an outcast at school and he and his father retreated to a cave before people would have the chance to discover Calvin’s abilities. In their cave lab, Ronald told his son that he was building a machine that would make Mimic’s powers permanent. One day, one of Mimic’s father’s experiments caused a power outage in the surrounding cities and an angry mob formed outside their cave. Ronald Rankin blew up the cave entrance to stop the crowd, but he died in the explosion.
Mimic is sometimes a villain and sometimes a member of the X-Men.
-Powers: Mimic is able to copy the knowledge, skills, and powers of any individual within a certain range of him.
Recurring Characters in This Issue: Professor X, Iceman, Beast, Angel, Jean Grey, Cyclops
This issue begins with the Professor telling the X-Men that they get to have a vacation. With their free time, Iceman and Beast go on a double date. However before their date can begin Mimic picks a fight with them because he is in love with Beast’s date. Beast and Iceman are amazed to find out that this stranger has the same powers that they do.
Mimic follows the X-Men back to the mansion and tells the Professor that he wants to join the X-Men. While in the mansion, Mimic gains the powers of all of the X-Men and reveals that his true intentions were never to join the team. Mimic kidnaps Jean and heads back to his father’s old cave base. (See character bio above).
The X-Men follow Mimic to his base and find out that his intentions are to use a special machine to make his newfound powers permanent. The X-Men battle Mimic, but are unable to stop him from using his machine. However, it turns out that Mimic’s father’s machine was made to get rid of his son’s powers instead of making them permanent.
Mimic loses his powers, Professor X wipes his memory, and the X-Men let him go.
This issue was a step in the right direction after a couple lesser issues. Mimic is a very interesting villain and his backstory was also intriguing. Mimic has the potential to be extremely overpowered, but in this issue he has just enough power to be a worthy enough adversary for the X-Men without being unbeatable.
One thing I especially liked about this issue was Iceman and Beast’s double date. It was very amusing and it gave the reader some very human moments for the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed how awkward Beast is around girls.
Unfortunately in this issue, the comics revert back to some semi-sexist tropes when it comes to Jean Grey. When Jean hears about vacation the first thing she thinks about is shopping. And once again, a villain kidnaps Jean, probably just because she is the X-Men’s only female member.
This is Stan Lee’s final issue writing the X-Men for a while and it is solid. It is funny and introduces a great new villain/future team member. The issue didn’t blow me away, but I did enjoy it.
A few final notes:
1. Mimic sure looks angry here.
3. Professor X continues to have powers that he shouldn’t have. This is shown when Mimic is able to locate an inanimate object by using Professor X’s mind powers.