Born of Dorothy and Burt Carlysle, Vanessa Carlysle was a young mutant metamorph from New Jersey who ended up in a life of prostitution in Boston, Massachusetts. It was there that she met and fell in love with the mercenary Wade Wilson (later Deadpool) after he saved her from a time-traveling agent of Landau, Luckman & Lake (although who they had actually been targeting was Wilson himself).
Due to the shady nature of Copycat, it is difficult to determine who actually created her. Copycat first appeared, in her disguise as Domino, in The New Mutants issue 98 (1991). Her first appearance as Vanessa, her true form, was in X-Force Volume 1 issue 11 (1992).
When the Domino persona was introduced in New Mutants Vol.1 issue 98 it is unknown if it was planned all along for the person to be a fake or if the character of Copycat was invented further along the way to add a twist to the X-Force drama. The reason the creation credit is sketchy is because Fabian Nicieza was the writer from the start while Rob Liefeld was plotter and artist from the start of the Domino persona, but Liefeld's position at Marvel was ending (as he and other writers began the publisher Image), so it is unknown if Liefeld actually had this idea all along or if Nicieza changed some things when Liefeld was leaving.
Major Story Arcs
In love with Deadpool
After her parents kick her out for being a mutant, Copycat becomes a prostitute in Boston. She begins a fling with the then Wade Wilson, a mercenary. She fully believes that the two are meant for each other and anticipates the day that she can take all her savings and run away together. Unbeknownst to her, Wade is being tested for a program within Landau, Luckman, and Lake. The firm believes Copycat to be a distraction for Wade. Zoe Culloden, a woman with a keen interest in seeing Wade succeed, attempts to scare her off. Zoe shows up and acts as a new girl for Copycat to train. Despite her best efforts, Copycat stays madly devoted to Wade. Zoe finds that her cause is lost when the firm tries to kill Copycat for a lesson to Wade after he botches a mission. The women try to escape from an assassin down an alleyway be get stuck at a deadend. The man questions Copycat and learns that she will stay loyal to Wade. He is shot in the head by Zoe when she sees that Copycat truly deserves a life with Wade.
Copycat returns home and finds that this victory will be short-lived. Wade can't stay with her anymore. She pleads with Wade to reconsider, but Wade refuses. He's learned that he has contracted cancer and doesn't want to subject her to the pain of watching him die. Copycat is powerless to stop him.
Joining Cable's Team
After Wade leaves her, Vanessa takes on the life of a mercenary herself. She gets interested in Deadpool's employer, Tolliver. As a form of research, she morphs into a woman named Cheryl Marks and spends the summer with Tolliver's butler, Mr. Foley. After her snooping around Tolliver's affairs is sufficient she leaves Foley. She morphs back and gets hired by Tolliver. He wants her to blow up the headquarters of the mutant team X-Force to kill Cable. Copycat takes on the persona of Cable's old friend Domino and joins the team. Nobody suspects that Copycat is not the real Domino, not even Cable.
As Domino, Copycat becomes a motherly figure to the New Mutants and, subsequently, to X-Force. She takes the role of second-in-command. Though not a big player in the events that transpired as a member of Cable's crew, Copycat did take her role seriously as Cable's closest friend. She even goes so far to chew him out for a misstep in tactics when the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants attacks.
After various situations (fighting Proteus, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and seeing Cannonball "resurrected"), Copycat comes to think of X-Force as her friends and is not able to go through with the plan to kill Cable. Tolliver dispatches Deadpool in order to force her to bomb the team. Instead, X-Force learns some truth; they learn about the bomb plan but they still think Copycat is Domino. Cable allows the base to be blown up so that Tolliver will think X-Force is history. This lets Cable take the fight to Tolliver with Copycat/Domino in tow without Tolliver guessing the plan.
At Tolliver's, Cable discovers the real Domino has been a prisoner all along still without realizing that the Domino he had been recently working with was Copycat. While Cable is distracted with freeing Domino and chasing Tolliver, Copycat slips away.
Copycat goes into hiding to avoid any further fallout with Tolliver or Deadpool. She takes on the appearance of one of her closest friends, Tina Valentino. She lays low for some weeks before hitting the town one night done up as Tina's twin sister. Unfortunately, especially for Tina, the girls are found by Deadpool. The ladies run away but Tina is killed from by a blast from her former boyfriend Sluggo's gun. Deadpool arrives on the scene and Copycat escapes while Sluggo tells Deadpool about Tolliver's will.
Back at Tina's house, Copycat tries to get packed and out of town before Deadpool catches back up with her. Too late. Deadpool and Sluggo manage to find Tina's house and are about to kill her when Domino shows up with Hammer and Grizzly. They handily take out the two mercenaries and recruit Copycat to help them find Cable's X-Force (Domino's promise to Cable when they last split up). Despite Domino constantly threatening to kill her, Copycat is honest in leading the trio to X-Force, first by taking them to the old base in the Adirondack Mountains and from there (following a lead gained from the abandoned computers) to Camp Verde. There, the group meets up with Cable. Copycat, spurred on by her time with Cable, rushes to him for an embrace. He is confused, as he never knew Copycat wasn't Domino in their time together with X-Force. As Cable leads the group away, Copycat slinks out the back and escapes. Upon noticing, Domino's group goes after her.
When she hears that Tolliver has died, Copycat becomes involved in the hunt for his will. She, as well as Deadpool and Garrison Kane, collide with Slayback during the hunt. Slayback cruelly impales her to slight Deadpool, his old nemesis. As she lays dying, Deadpool chooses to save her by exposing his skin/healing factor to her touch. Her mutant power of absorbing the likeness of others is enough to grant her a temporary healing factor, which ultimately saves her life.
The Past Comes Back to Haunt Her
Copycat decides that she's had it with the life of a mercenary and moves to San Francisco with Garrison Kane. They join a local theater troupe and attempt to settle down. Deadpool tracks the two down, however, and attacks in an attempt to win his girl back. A fight ensues in the theater and Copycat gets knocked out. Deadpool hurls a sword at both Kane and Copycat. Copycat is discouraged when she learns that Kane - who could have saved her from the sword with a simple shot - chooses to deflect the sword coming at him instead of gallantly saving her. Fortunately, Wolverine (who had been tracking Deadpool) shows up and saves Copycat. Deadpool sees he is outmatched and drops a grenade on the party. The next day, Copycat expresses her displeasure at Kane's decision to Wolverine. Wolverine explains that Kane knew what he was doing; if he had stopped her sword then Kane would have been hit and unable to continue helping her wounded self. She takes small comfort in this.
[update], Cable, and Domino again. She got into a fight with Domino who was still angry for the time Copycat had impersonated her. Vanessa fought back claiming that no one cared enough about Domino to even notice.
She was then captured by the Psycho Man in the microverse had had to be saved by Cable and Domino. After all was said and done the two women made peace and Copycat and Kane went on to live a normal life.
Copycat and Kane eventually broke up and she would come back into Deadpool's life. Wade, however, had began to intensify his feelings for Siryn and wanted nothing to do with her. Copycat even went as far as to impersonate Siryn and attack Wade as a means to destroy their relationship.
Seeking revenge on Deadpool, Taskmaster and the Wizard hired Carlysle to impersonate the super-strong Titania and gain Deadpool’s trust,so they could set him up. though he would later claim he always saw through her disguise. She went on to join the subversive Weapon X project alongside Kane, and was sent to recruit Deadpool into the program; however, the power enhancement provided by Weapon X began to affect her memory, and she lost track of her mission. Her powers also began to fluctuate to the point where she couldn't even hold her own form. Deadpool was subsequently recruited by the project to eliminate her, but he refused and instead tried to escape with her. Weapon X would then send Kane ato kill both of them as he still held a grudge. Copycat would assist him on his mission to take down the Kane even with her fluctuating powers. Carlysle was left in a safe place while Deadpool had a final battle with Kane, but when he returned he found Vanessa dead. It would appear that Kane had been a diversion to keep him away while they sent their top killer to deal with Copycat: Sabretooth. Deadpool frantically attempted to give her his healing factor, but she was unable to hold onto life long enough to copy his power. She died in Deadpool's arms, confessing her eternal love for him.
Wade in believing he had poured his blood into Copycat's wounds and saved her had a psychotic episode where he believed he was married to a sock puppet that shared her likeness. On a mission in San Antonio "Vanessa" was killed by a troublemaker named Firebrand. Wade was devastated but it finally allowed him to come to terms with Vanessa's death saying "it wasn't gonna work out anyway." Unbeknownst to him, Copycat had actually survived the ordeal in the events Wade had remembered and taken up the identity of an owner of a chimichanga stand to watch over him for a short period of time. After seeing that he was okay again she went her own way.
Powers & Abilities
As a mutant metamorph, Copycat was able to alter her physical appearance at will. She could change the colour of her skin in order to camouflage herself in nearly any environment. She could also copy the appearance of other individuals, or even animals of different species. In order to accomplish the impersonation of complex individuals however, she required previous knowledge of the subject. Her ability was so great though that she could even replicate the abilities and attributes of others after maintaining physical contact over a certain amount of time. This ability allowed her to impersonate others down to the genetic level by copying their genetic templates, this included brain patterns, thus making it very difficult for even those with psychic powers to distinguish her from the original individuals that she had impersonated. Her powers of mimicry were also modified against her will by the Weapon X program in order to speed up the time she needed in order to copy people. The side-effect of that process left her unable to retain memories, or even to maintain any one shape for extended periods.
- Hair: White (variable)
- Eyes: Red (Variable)
- Height: 6' (Variable)
- Weight: 148 lbs.
- Known Relatives: Burt and Dorothy Carlysle (Father and Mother, deceased)
- Citizenship: U.S.A.
- Marital Status: Single
- Occupation: Terrorist, Former mercenary, actress, adventurer, prostitute
- Education: Unrevealed
- Place of Birth: New Brunswick, New Jersey
Earth 295 - Age of Apocalypse
In the alternate universe known as the Age of Apocalypse, Copycat was a member of a group called the Brotherhood Of Chaos. They were a fanatical religious group associated with the Church of the Madri and included members such as Spyne and Madison Jeffries. In this timeline Copycat serves as an undercover agent posing as a human. Discovering that the remaining humans hope to escape from Apocalypse´s empire, she confronts the X-Men alongside the others members of the Brotherhood during the human evacuation in Maine, impersonating Scarlet Witch to confuse Quicksilver and managing to escape. She died in battle against Weapon X and Jean Grey, after she posed as a human in order to infiltrate in arrival in Europe along with Box.
X2: X-Men United (2003)
Copycat's name is listed in William Stryker's files on Lady Deathstrike's computer.
Vanessa Carlysle plays a vital role in the Deadpool movie. In the film she is portrayed by Morena Baccarin. There are a few changes to the character, the most notable being that Vanessa doesn't exhibit any powers, and lacks a codename. She does retain the role of prostitute, and that is how she and Wade Wilson meet.
X-Men: The Animated Series
Copycat made an appearance in X-Men: The Animated Series, in the episodes entitled "Sanctuary" and "Secrets Not long Buried".