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Posted by TheTrueBarryAllen (12843 posts) - - Show Bio

Respect Douglas Ramsey

Douglas Ramsey is Cypher, the omnilingual mutant who, in his early days, joined the New Mutants. Cypher appeared in the New Mutants before he knew he had mutant powers, but when Warlock came to Earth and came face to face with the New Mutants Cypher was informed of his mutant power and was enlisted to help them translate what he was saying. Douglas succeeded in this and both he and Warlock became members of the New Mutants.

It wasn't all that great for Douglas though, as his power was considered the lamest of the bunch. He had no combat practicality and his power for translation wasn't needed much during their down time. Cypher's inability for combat proficiency led to his death against the Ani-Mator when he was shot trying to protect Wolfsbane.

Cypher was eventually resurrected by Selene and Eli Bard to be used against the X-Men; however, he was freed from their control and joined up with the New Mutants once more. Upon being resurrected his powers took on a wider scope and he was able to read everything as a language.

Without further adieu lets translate his feats.

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Table of Contents

  1. Original Cypher
    1. Body Language
    2. Computer Hacking
    3. Language Translation
  2. Resurrection Cypher
    1. Body Language
    2. Codes and Patterns
    3. Computer Hacking
    4. Emotional Translation
    5. Language Translation
    6. Magic Translation
    7. Misc. Translation

1.0 Original Cypher

The original Cypher was certainly the weakest of the New Mutants, but he does have some feats that seemed worthy of mention.

1.1 Body Language

Cypher can read body language to come to a conclusion of what someone is thinking or feeling, similar to Cassandra Cain.

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Issue: The New Mutants #53 - Seduced & Abandoned

Context: Playing Poker he reads the body language of his opponent who had thought his hand was going to beat Doug, he was wrong. Tough luck, buddy.

1.2 Computer Hacking

Doug wasn't much for combat and would often be the one running the Danger Room due to his proficiency for programming. It is due to the fact that Doug can read code as if it were any other language, and often used this to his advantage when dealing with technological systems.

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Issue: The New Mutants #50 - Father's Day

Context: Merged with Warlock, Cypher rewrote the genetic code of Magus (Technarchy) to defeat him. While he was merged with Warlock, it was Cypher's powers that allowed him to understand the code and manipulate it.

1.3 Language Translation

His core ability; Cypher can translate foreign languages, human or not, without having any prior understanding of the language itself. In his earlier days (original Cypher) he sometimes needed to hear a certain amount of samples from the language to begin conversing in it.

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Issue: The New Mutants #21 - Slumber Party!

Context: The first time Cypher worked with the New Mutants. This was when he began communicating with Warlock and he did so by creating a common basis for language using light and sound.

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Issue: The New Mutants #39 - Pawns of the White Queen

Context: A simple showing of him understanding and responding in a foreign language, here it is Arabic.

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Issue: The New Mutants #55 - Flying Wild!

Context: Cypher overhears two aliens speaking in their native language while at a party.

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Issue: The New Mutants #57 - Birds of a Feather

Context: Cypher wasn't happy that the New Mutants wanted him to try to speak to Bird-Brain as Cypher believed he didn't speak a "real" language. He sent a squawk his way and to his surprise found that Bird-Brain responded, the two then became quick friends.

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Issue: The New Mutants #59 - Fang and Claw

Context: Cypher and the New Mutants went to Bird-Brains "home" and discovered more animals like him. He translates their really basic language to discover that BB's old friends view him as an enemy now.

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Issue: The New Mutants Annual #1 - The Cosmic Cannonball Caper

Context: On an alien planet Cypher begins translating some foreign symbols. We never learn what they mean but he was sure excited about them.

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Issue: The Uncanny X-Men #200 - The Trial of Magneto

Context: Another simple showing of Cypher understanding and speaking a foreign language. This time it's French.

2.0 Resurrection Cypher

Now, this is where Cypher becomes the real deal. His power becomes greater upon his resurrection and he can understand everything as a language. This leads to some interesting usages of his power which make him far more useful than he was in his original state.

Some of the scans show him under the control of Selene and Eli Bard; he eventually breaks from their control and his powers stay the same, so he isn't any more or less powerful when under control.

2.1 Body Language

Cypher can now apply his knowledge of body language to combat, expanding upon his original usage of the ability.

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Issue: New Mutants #6 - Necrosha: New Mutants Chapter 1: Dead Language

Context: Under the control of Selene and Eli Bard he attacks his old team, the New Mutants, and wipes them out with ease. The roster includes Cannonball, Magik, Sunspot, Karma, and Moonstar. Cypher retreats after Karma uses her power to possess the minds of the others rendering him unable to understand their body language because they're no longer in control of it.

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Issue: New Mutants #38 - Re:Ani-Mator

Context: Cypher examines how X-Man and Moonstar are acting towards each other and states that she's clearly attracted to him, leaving the rest of the group with a sarcastic remark about his understanding of body language.

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Issue: New Mutants #47 - Fight The Future, Part 1

Context: After an encounter with their future selves (in which Cypher was pretty evil) he reads Moonstar's micro-expressions to see that she doubts he'll be able to change his future to prevent himself from becoming who they previously fought.

2.2 Codes and Patterns

Cypher can use his language to understand certain codes or figure out patterns by reading data. This gets more complex when he begins using this ability to understand reality and we discover he can use his power to 'translate reality' and he can acknowledge when reality is being warped.

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Issue: New Mutants #26 - Unfinished Business , Part 2

Context: While searching for missing children the New Mutants come to a seemingly abandoned building. The Avengers also were there and dismissed it, but Cypher translates the graffiti code on the wall to decipher it's message and then tells the rest that reality around them is false, meaning reality warping is going on to conceal something. They eventually discover it was Nate Grey being used by Sugar Man to try and access different realities. The important thing is Cypher understood reality warping was happening when others couldn't.

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Issue: New Mutants #34 - Blink and You Miss Her

Context: Using information from various reports around the globe, Cypher deduces that Blink is a common denominator in all the storms that are randomly popping up and then figures out where her next location is going to be so they can confront her and figure out exactly what is going on.

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Issue: New Mutants #42 - Exiled Part 3 of 5; Cannibal Time Bomb

Context: A spell has changed reality and made all the Asgardians (Loki, Thor, etc.) believe they are average humans. Cypher realizes this when talking with Loki and Nate Grey, and utilizing the 'True Language' deduce that reality has indeed been altered. Cypher also can hear the language of reality.

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To add to the above; Cypher directly states that he can see that reality has been rewritten. This is from Journey into Mystery #637 - Exiled Part 2 of 5; There Goeth The Neighborhood which tied in with the above issue.

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Issue: New Mutants #47 - Fight The Future, Part 1

Context: Cypher had felt sick and thought something was "off" but everyone told him he was just hungover from the night prior. It turns out that they had been transported to a timeline that shouldn't exist. Cypher's knowledge of reality cued him off and then he was able to pick out all the small differences between this timeline and the actual timeline.

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To add to the above; Doctor Strange mentions that only a rare few who are sensitive to the vibrations of reality could tell the difference. Cypher was one of them, Doctor Strange was another.

2.3 Computer Hacking

Just like before, Cypher can easily translate and remake code. In his resurrected state he can do this simply by speaking with technology, he doesn't need to have a keyboard/computer/etc.

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Issue: All-New X-Factor #6 - Do Not Disturb Me

Context: Cypher had a piece of Warlock embedded into him. He then uses his power to read the information flow to figure out where the data from the piece is being transmitted to. I believe this is how he can interface with technology simply by speaking to it/reading it.

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Issue: All-New X-Factor #16 - Fall Back! Get Back Behind the Shield!

Context: Uses his power to disrupt advanced technology and gives himself a force field to shield himself from enemy fire.

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Issue: New Mutants #9 - Tinderbox

Context: Explains that he eliminated the hostile T/O infection inside of him by talking to it. This was the virus that put him under the control of Selene and Eli Bard.

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Issue: New Mutants #14 - Second Coming, Chapter Eleven

Context: Talks to a mech occupied by a hostile soldier and gets the mech to eject him.

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Issue: New Mutants #33

Context: A simple showing compared to others in this category. He's just speaking in binary with Warlock in his day to day.

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Issue: X-Men: Legacy #237 - Second Coming, Chapter Twelve

Context: Cypher was sent with the X-Force to try and defeat Nimrod and Master Mold. Cypher lets himself become one with Master Mold and used computerized language to override MM's instructions. The result was the death and destruction of Nimrod's Advanced Sentinels. This is easily one of his most impressive hacking feats.

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Issue: X-Necrosha #1 - X-Necrosha

Context: Resurrected by Selene and Eli Bard he and the rest of their pawns planned an attack on Utopia. Cypher was used to get through their security which required him to hack through Quantum Computing.

2.4 Emotional Translation

Cypher can read emotions to determine what people are feeling, it's like a low-grade empathy ability.

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Issue: New Mutants #6 - Necrosha: New Mutants Chapter 1: Dead Language

Context: During the attack on Utopia Cypher sought out his old team member Magma to kill her. He uses his knowledge of emotions to manipulate her and knock her out.

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Issue: Savage Wolverine #13 - Come Conquer The Beasts, Part 2: Death in its Eyes

Context: Uses his powers to read the world the way these Elephants were reading it; through emotion.

2.5 Language Translation

His core ability, is isn't much changed from it's original state, but still worth mentioning.

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Issue: New Mutants #6 - Necrosha: New Mutants Chapter 1: Dead Language

Context: While observing Professor X talk with the New Mutants he deciphers the "true meaning" or intent behind the words they're speaking.

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Issue: New Mutants #9 - Tinderbox

Context: Creates his own language to apologize to Magma for trying to kill her when he was under Selene's control.

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Issue: New Mutants #35 - Sole Survivor

Context: Talks with an extraterrestrial life form that communicates with chaos energy.

2.6 Magic Translation

While not a magic user himself, Cypher can understand and read magic like any other language.

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Issue: New Mutants #29

Context: Cypher reads magical incantations to try and teleport the group to Hel but accidentally sends them to Hell because he added an extra L.

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Issue: New Mutants #44 - Fear the Future, Part 1: Out of Season

Context: Reads magical energies to try and reverse their effect. When Doctor Strange arrives he is impressed that Cypher can understand the magic.

2.7 Misc. Translations

Cypher has a variety of things that he's translated that don't really fall under a specific category, or aren't seen enough to demand an entire section be dedicated to them. They're still really interesting; however, and shows the scope of his understanding.

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Issue: Journey into Mystery #637 - Exiled Part 2 of 5; There Goeth The Neighborhood

Context: By eating a muffin Cypher can pick up on the recipe and emulate it.

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Issue: New Mutants #32 - Fear Itself Tie-in, Part 4: The Halls of Hel

Context: Reads a storm, hears it speaking to him, saying various names from Asgardian history.

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Issue: New Mutants #38 - Re:Ani-Mator

Context: Can read his own dreams and explains it's easy, as dreams are the language of the subconscious.

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Issue: New Mutants #45 - Fear the Future, Part 2: Start the Clock

Context: Reads the harmonics of the force fields being used by the future New mutants and uses this knowledge to disrupt them.

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Issue: X-Necrosha #1 - X-Necrosha

Context: Reads the architecture of Utopia and exploits a weakness in it's structure/design to infiltrate it.

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Issue: New Mutants #40 - Share Ware

Context: Rewrites a virus made by the Ani-Mator and reverses it's effects to save the New Mutants and all life on the island.

Conclusion

Cypher is a pretty unique Mutant with an interesting power that I've personally used in several tournaments. He's best paired with more aggressive characters as his combat showings are lacking, but his powers are very good for any sort of mission or scenario type tournament.

I hope you enjoy, if there's a character you want me to tackle next, let me know!

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#1 Posted by Kevd4wg (12699 posts) - - Show Bio

Cypher? What the hell? I didn't know anyone liked Cypher

This is awesome

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#2 Posted by TheTrueBarryAllen (12843 posts) - - Show Bio

@kevd4wg: I love me some Cypher; I've always been upset that he's often relegated to being the "computer guy" when involved with any team, particularly during his run with the New Mutants.

I know he showed up recently in Weapon Lost & Daredevil as someone who got addicted to the internet when trying to translate ALL of it to figure out what it meant. Hoping this gives him some more time to shine. It'd be cool to see some more combat specific feats of his.

Glad you like it!

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#3 Posted by Kevd4wg (12699 posts) - - Show Bio

@thetruebarryallen: Yeah, Warlock is probably my favorite of the new mutants so just his relationship with Cypher makes him interesting to me.

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#4 Posted by PenguinDust (8913 posts) - - Show Bio

Honestly, I don't have much use for the Battles forum, however I respect the passions of those that do. Having said that, Cypher has been in my Top-5 Marvel characters of all time for a long time. I am happy to see someone show the guy some love.

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#5 Posted by TheTrueBarryAllen (12843 posts) - - Show Bio

@Penguin-Dust: Glad to get a seal of approval from a fellow Cypher fan!

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#6 Edited by AllStarSuperman (43136 posts) - - Show Bio

Cypher from Bibleman is better

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#7 Edited by TheTrueBarryAllen (12843 posts) - - Show Bio
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#8 Posted by Vertigo- (17723 posts) - - Show Bio

Neat RT. Good to see you back though TTBA. Seems like you've been gone a while

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#9 Posted by TheTrueBarryAllen (12843 posts) - - Show Bio

@vertigo- said:

Neat RT. Good to see you back though TTBA. Seems like you've been gone a while

It's been about 2 years, hoping to get back into it though!

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#10 Posted by cattlebattle (17681 posts) - - Show Bio

I dislike Doug's amp post resurrection. It seems like Abnett didn't know how to write characters with peripheral powers and just went ham with it.

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#11 Posted by TheTrueBarryAllen (12843 posts) - - Show Bio

I dislike Doug's amp post resurrection. It seems like Abnett didn't know how to write characters with peripheral powers and just went ham with it.

Interesting, I like it because it gives the character something to do. He never seemed over-powered with it and finally became something more than the Danger Room Operator.

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#12 Posted by cattlebattle (17681 posts) - - Show Bio

Interesting, I like it because it gives the character something to do. He never seemed over-powered with it and finally became something more than the Danger Room Operator.

Not true. Doug, despite being always mocked for having such a "useless" power, was the lynch pin to many victories in the OG New Mutant days. In battle he used to just merge with Warlock. I don't know, Claremont used to find interesting ways for him to use his power in an unforeseeable way. Just giving him the ability to "read" body language to learn karate and stuff like that just always seemed like puerile lame shit to me.

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#13 Edited by TheTrueBarryAllen (12843 posts) - - Show Bio

@cattlebattle said:
@thetruebarryallen said:

Interesting, I like it because it gives the character something to do. He never seemed over-powered with it and finally became something more than the Danger Room Operator.

Not true. Doug, despite being always mocked for having such a "useless" power, was the lynch pin to many victories in the OG New Mutant days. In battle he used to just merge with Warlock. I don't know, Claremont used to find interesting ways for him to use his power in an unforeseeable way. Just giving him the ability to "read" body language to learn karate and stuff like that just always seemed like puerile lame shit to me.

Having just gone through every single one of Doug's appearances he didn't really merge with Warlock all that much. Prior to his death he spent a good majority of the fights hiding because he himself felt that if he were to join the action he'd be a liability. When Magneto took over as headmaster he literally kept Doug from joining in on the Danger Room simulations because he figured it a waste of time since Doug's mutant power was mental and couldn't be utilized in a physical victory. His biggest accomplishment would probably be his reprogramming of Magus, aside from that he didn't really do too much for the crew nor was he featured much.

Different strokes for different folks I suppose.

EDIT: On the note about learning karate via body language. He has one showing of reading body language in combat. The rest of his showings are just more impressive showings of reading computer code/binary, magic, etc.

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#14 Posted by cattlebattle (17681 posts) - - Show Bio

Having just gone through every single one of Doug's appearances he didn't really merge with Warlock all that much. Prior to his death he spent a good majority of the fights hiding because he himself felt that if he were to join the action he'd be a liability. When Magneto took over as headmaster he literally kept Doug from joining in on the Danger Room simulations because he figured it a waste of time since Doug's mutant power was mental and couldn't be utilized in a physical victory. His biggest accomplishment would probably be his reprogramming of Magus, aside from that he didn't really do too much for the crew nor was he featured much.

Different strokes for different folks I suppose.

He merged with Warlock in some capacity quite often, whether it was forming some weird mech like being or him or actually merging his biology with the alien exposing himself to a potential TO virus (Claremont had intended for Doug to become permanently merged with Warlock, or at least his Technarch biology)

As for the key to victories, he was detrimental to the New Mutants victories in every single Annual he appeared in, whether it was deciphering alien languages, deciphering Enchantress's spells, merging with Warlock to basically "see" binary code to rescue the other New Mutants from Mojo etc. He was also key in breaking down language barriers and understanding the patterns of Legion's personalities and helping him in their first encounter. I think he was the most consistent in saving the day up until the time of his death. I think it's that Claremont would get negative criticism of the character's not so flashy powers and was determined to demonstrate that a mutant could get by without being able to shoot lasers out of his body.

As for his Danger Room participation, the first time Magneto trains the New Mutants he is a dickhead to all of them, then after Dani almost gets raped he becomes more affable towards them and Doug was active in the Danger Room since that.

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#15 Posted by TheTrueBarryAllen (12843 posts) - - Show Bio

@cattlebattle: Well, you like the original more, I don't. We'll have to agree to disagree. I'd rather not have an argument or debate on a respect thread unless it's disputing how some of the feats are portrayed and their accuracy.

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#16 Posted by MICKEY-MOUSE (36711 posts) - - Show Bio

I always wanted a respect thread for Sage, but I’m way too lazy to do it myself.

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#17 Posted by TheTrueBarryAllen (12843 posts) - - Show Bio

@mickey-mouse: I'll keep that in mind, finishing my Solomon Grundy one right now!

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#18 Posted by The_Badman (2725 posts) - - Show Bio

I never thought I'd see a respect thread for Cypher. RTs always seem to be about powers to be used in battle. I also never thought anyone cared about him enough to create a respect thread for him. This is unique stuff Barry.

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#19 Posted by TheTrueBarryAllen (12843 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_badman: I decided he deserved one after I used his power(s) for a character I used in a scenario/RPG style tournament; plus, I'm all about using characters that may not seem inherently useful unless combined with specific strategies.

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#20 Posted by The_Badman (2725 posts) - - Show Bio

@thetruebarryallen: Hmm....... you know what, tag me when you create a respect thread next time.

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#21 Posted by TheTrueBarryAllen (12843 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_badman: Will do, working on it right now actually, doing a comprehensive thread for Wally West!

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#22 Posted by The_Badman (2725 posts) - - Show Bio