Marvel killed off a classic X-Men character, just not the one that fans thought.
SPOILERS for Extermination #5 by Ed Brisson, Pepe Larraz, and Marte Gracia follow.
Extermination has been all about bringing the original five X-Men’s journey to the present day to a close. Ahab, the mutant-hunting cyborg from the future, has been hunting the original five. He knows that if he can kill just one of them he’ll be able to alter the timeline completely. A younger version of Cable, after murdering his older self, has been trying to kidnap the original five X-Men to send them back to their own era before Ahab can pick one of them off.
Part of Cable’s plan involved kidnapping Mimic as well. Mimic, aka Calvin Rankin, isn’t a mutant, but an accident gave him the ability to temporarily copy the powers of those nearby. He was the first new member to join the X-Men after the original five and spent so much time around the original X-Men that became able to duplicate their powers permanently.
That’s why Cable needed Mimic. In order for the X-Men to go back to their own time, they have to look and act just like they did at the moment from which they left. During his time in the present day, Angel’s birdlike wings turned into wings of cosmic flame. To fix this problem, Cable captured both Angel and Mimic, cut off both of their wings, and attached Mimic’s wings to Angel’s body. Once he was awake again, Mimic noted that he would have been willing to help if Cable had just asked.
At the end of Extermination #4, it seemed like Ahab has succeeded in his mission after impaling young Cyclops on a harpoon. Extermination #5 reveals that isn’t quite what happened. It turns out Mimic had switched places with Cyclops, using his own abilities to copy Cyclops’ optic blasts so that Ahab couldn’t tell the difference. He sacrificed himself to preserve the timeline.
This is a big moment for Mimic and something of a poetic ending to the original five’s trip to the present. Despite a version of Mimic having been one of the leaders of the original Exiles, many fans look at him as a weird outlier from the Silver Age, before the X-Men came into their full potential. He’s not more integral to X-Men history than ever before.
What do you think of Mimic’s sacrifice? Let us know in the comments!
Extermination #5 is on sale now.