Fifty Greatest X-Men Characters #45 and 44: Cypher and Warlock

cypher-and-warlock

For my next choice I pick two characters who are completely different from each other but together became one of the best super hero tandems ever. I’m talking about Cypher and Warlock from the New Mutants.

At first glance, they aren’t necessarily the most exciting characters. Cypher was a nerdy friend of Kitty Pryde’s and it was eventually revealed that he had a fairly non-threatening mutant power: the ability to comprehend, speak and interpret any form of communication. Warlock is a techno-organic mutant from a far off alien home world. Needless to say, the two wound up as students at the Charles Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters and eventually as members of the New Mutants team.

The two became inseparable and soon were best friends. Thanks to Cypher sharing his own life’s energy to save Warlock, they even share memories. Needles to say, Warlock had an extremely difficult time dealing with Cypher’s death.¬†The alien robot wound up being killed by Cameron Hodge during the X-Tinction Agenda storyline.

Like they say, death in comics is only a relative condition and a hybrid Warlock/Dough Ramsey (Cypher’s civilian identity) showed up called Douglock. This reincarnated character looked like a techno-organic recreation of Cypher, but had both character’s memories. Eventually it was revealed that Douglock was really just Warlock having rebooted himself from Doug’s memories. Once Warlock was aware of that, he deactivated the copy of his fallen friend’s memories.¬†Eventually Cypher was resurrected and Warlock (along with the rest of the now adult New Mutants) was able to break him from the evil Selene’s control.

Warlock and Cypher are just two great characters because of their friendship. The fact that we’ve been reading it about it for almost thirty years only adds to its awesomeness.

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New Mutants Annual #2–Why Do We Do These Things We Do?

It’s kind of easy to see how Cypher wound up on the short end of the stick in New Mutants.

Everyone else has some sort of cool power, but he gets saddle with the mutant ability to speak and communicate in any language. Like that’s going to help pick up chicks.

New Mutants Annual #2 is Cypher’s time to shine.¬†This annual is a fun story by Chris Claremont and Alan Davis which has some historical significance, as it’s the first appearance of telepath-turned-martial arts expert Psylocke in the Marvel Universe. Technically, she had been around for a while in the Marvel UK Captain Britain comics but this was her proper introduction.

So how does Cypher–along with his best friend, the technarcic Warlock wind up saving the day? The plot was a little confusing, so bare with me.

In short, Mojo has kidnapped Psylocke in order to use here telepathic abilities in an effort to take over the planet. After failing to rescue his sister, Captain Britain is de-aged. The New Mutants are incapacitated. It’s up to Cypher to free Pyslocke.

Claremont does a good job of making the character likable as he grows in confidence through the story. The friendship between Cypher and Warlock is very natural, so its only appropriate that the two literally merge to stop Mojo.

There was a bit of an odd plotline towards the end of the story, with Psylocke being awkwardly flirty towards her teenaged savior.

See, it’s not so bad to be Cypher