Patron Mutant of Linguists


So, there is a mutant (of the X-Men variety) named Cypher. He was killed off when first introduced but has later been brought back in a slightly different setting. I haven't read any of his comics, but it's pretty obvious why he got killed off in the first place. He has one of the lamest mutant powers EVER. According the Marvel Directory:

Cypher was a mutant with a superhuman facility for translating languages, spoken or written, human or alien in origin.

How, exactly does that help in battles? Especially when coupled with the knowledge that "Cypher possessed the normal human strength of a young man of his age, height, and build who engaged in regular physical exercise." I mean, the following were the best I could come up with (if you imagine them in a British accent, they just get better. Sadly, Doug Ramsey is from Upstate New York.):

"You seem to have shot flames from your hands at me. In retort, I will now insult you in Classical Latin."

"Well, you may be able to fly and lift large boulders, but I can read Tocharian B!"

"Yes, Magneto, you may have just wiped all the computers in a 20 mile radius of all their programs. But the joke's on you! I can just reprogram them with my super-C++ skills."

I would feel like I've got the seriously short end of the genetic stick if I were him. Don't you think the other mutants would pick on him? I guess it's somewhat explained that he didn't know that the others living in Xavier's mansion were mutants. Really? I mean, how do you miss something like that? Didn't the freakish acts of strength, odd abilities and general superhumanity of the atmosphere give it away?

Cypher, we are told, is a Mormon (see My first thought upon learning this was: Is crime fighting one of those situations in which it is ok to remove garments? I then it came to me that the real questions to ask are, Does he even wear garments, i.e. Can you be an active Latter-day Saint and a superhuman crime fighter? What are the theological implications of such divisions in the children of God? Discuss.

Apparently, he gained his faith when he was reincarnated as Ultimate Cypher. Now, here's where it gets really bizarre. Said reanimation is based on Ken Jennings. Yeah, the Jeopardy guy and poster boy for Mormon geeks and geeks of other faiths. I think that's the real definition of celebrity: you get a superhero (regardless of his lameness) created based on your life. The fact that he is from Upstate New York and has a knack for languages has led him to be compared to another boy from that area known as a translator (I think it goes without saying who I mean here).

And here's where we have a perfect example of some well-intentioned members/comic fans doing a bit too much likening the scriptures and finding types. All we need now is for someone to point out chiasmus in Cypher's monologues and really seal the deal.


Petra said...

So what we learn from Cypher's experiences is this: dead languages only lead to a linguist's death.

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