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Quote1 Everything is language. I am language. I am everything. Quote2

Doug Ramsey, alias Cypher,[7] is a mutant with the cerebral ability to understand all languages, be it written or spoken on an unconscious level.[8] He was considered to be one of the weakest New Mutants due to his lack of offensive abilities. He was best friends with the alien Technarch shapeshifter Warlock, who he was able to merge with to go into battle.[9]

Doug was killed while defending Wolfsbane in battle from the Ani-Mator.[5] He was forcibly resurrected during Necrosha via the Transmode Virus, and soon returned to the X-Men as a brilliant strategist. Everything he sees is interpreted into information, everything is language to him now.[10] He can read the information flow from technological components emitting such.[11]

When Professor X wanted to establish the mutant island nation of Krakoa, he had Cypher communicate with the sentient island. He built an interface system on Krakoa to allow the mutants to inhabit the island. He was also granted a seat on the Quiet Council of Krakoa, the Krakoan supreme government.[12]


Early Life[]

Doug Ramsey was born to Philip and Sheila Ramsey. Doug's father was a lawyer in Salem Center who had helped Xavier sort out the legal aspects of setting up the School for Gifted Youngsters years before, though he was unaware that Xavier was a mutant, nor that any of his students were either. Doug grew up in Salem Center and became friends with Kitty Pryde, the X-Man Ariel, who he met after she moved to Westchester County to join Professor Xavier's school. Both shared an interest in computers and video games which brought them closer together.[13]

Massachusetts Academy[]

Professor Xavier believed (for reasons unknown) that Doug was a mutant, but took no action to recruit him for the school. Emma Frost (the White Queen) made the same discovery and did attempt to recruit him, offering him a scholarship to the Massachusetts Academy in hope of inducting him into her adolescent Hellions, to serve the Hellfire Club's sinister needs. Doug began spending time with Kitty and together they hacked into files from Project Wideawake. Pryde accompanied Ramsey on a trip to the Academy for his final interview. Believing Emma to be in a coma, Kitty still didn't trust Frost at all due to past experiences and this time was no different. The White Queen captured Kitty and she was later saved by the New Mutants. Ramsey ended up not attending the school, for reasons that were never elaborated on.[14]


While Douglas became a friend to the New Mutants children, they kept their mutant powers and costumed personas from him. However, one night when the New Mutants were alone in the mansion, the techno-organic alien mutant, Warlock, arrived and battled the New Mutants in the confusion that erupted. The mutants asked Ramsey for help in communicating with the alien, and revealed their secrets to him. Douglas succeeded in talking with Warlock, and both the alien and Ramsey soon joined the team. Ramsey chose the code-name Cypher, as his mutant ability allowed him to decipher codes and languages. In the School for Gifted Youngsters, the New Mutants were tutored by Professor X and trained in the use of their powers in the Danger Room. Warlock and Cypher shared a close bond, often sticking close together in battle. Doug often felt useless in battle, even though his powers often came more in handy than others.[9]

New Mutants[]

Doug's first mission with the New Mutants was saving the life of international rock star Lila Cheney from the Vrakanin, where Doug single-handedly saved the Earth by deciphering the instructions to a damaged stargate before an overload. After Kitty and Colossus returned from Murderworld, Doug and Kitty created a program, together, that would alter the Murderworld computers.[15]

Doug tracked Karma to Madripoor. After Karma was released from the Shadow King, who was controlling her, the Shadow King possessed Doug next and Karma defeated him on the Astral Plane.[16]

Later, Amora the Enchantress kidnapped the New Mutants to Asgard. Doug ended up in Vanaheim and after reuniting with his team, Warlock began forming around Doug to become a suit of armor to protect him.[17]

After their adventure in Asgard, the New Mutants found themselves under the guidance of a new teacher, Magneto. As their teacher, Magneto was very protective of Doug, a fact that infuriated him, because he believed Magneto thought him inferior.[18]

The New Mutants rescued Psylocke from Mojo and Spiral. After finding that Psylocke was being mentally controlled by Mojo, Doug found himself capable of merging physically and mentally with Warlock, so that they could operate as a gestalt. This developed a danger of permanently infecting Ramsey with the Transmode Virus and permanently merging the two so that they would not want to revert to normalcy. After Psylocke was freed from her mind control, she was able to free the others as well. Psylocke accompanied the New Mutants back to the school where Doug developed a crush on her.[19]

Ultimately, Mojo reentered the New Mutants' lives and de-aged Psylocke, as well as Colossus, Shadowcat, Wolverine, Rogue, Magneto, Storm, Nightcrawler and Longshot into the X-Babies. During the battle between the New Mutants and the brainwashed X-Men as they returned to their proper ages, Betsy got the drop on Doug, only for Doug to reveal his feelings for her via telepathy, which broke Psylocke free. While she did return his feelings, nothing came out of it as Doug was underage at the time.[20]

Warlock's father, Magus, attacked. Illyana quickly teleported them all to Limbo and shortly after, Magus also appeared on Limbo. When Merging their forms once more, Cypher tapped into Warlock’s own DNA in order to learn how to "re-code" it. While the rest of the New Mutants distracted Magus, Cypher and Warlock re-wrote the Magus' DNA, effectively reducing him to infancy. Doug began to show slight signs of becoming infected by the Transmode Virus, due to prolonged use of Warlock and himself merging for protection.[21]

At a Hellfire Club event, where Doug was approached by Tarot to comfort his loneliness, but sent her off crying. Doug was approached by Roulette and asked if he was a geek or a player. Doug, wanting to impress Roulette, answered a player and won a game of poker, by using his mutant powers, for the first time, to read facial expressions. After winning a nice amount, Doug was found by the New Mutants drunk and in bed with Roulette. While the tensions arose, Doug believed that Roulette had used her mutant power to win the poker games and struck her, a fact that raised tension between the two groups.[22]

Death by the Ani-Mator[]

After hearing of an animal creature that was being mistreated after capture, the New Mutants abducted Bird Brain in a contest with the Hellions. Initially jealous of the attention that Wolfsbane showed Bird-Brain, Doug refused to communicate with the creature, until Magneto threatened to return him to the authorities and Doug began to speak with Bird-Brain, to save Rahne Sinclair the loss.[23]

Bird-Brain decided to return home.[24] The New Mutants followed and were captured, by the Ani-Mator and his Ani-Mates. During the battle, Doug wanted to help his friends, but felt that his powers could not help and if he tried to fight with his hands, he would get in the way. When the Ani-Mator aimed a gun at Wolfsbane, Doug couldn't stand still and hurled into the way, getting shot twice by the Ani-Mator. Un-noticed by Wolfsbane, she asked him not to dive into battle like that and Doug's last words were "Don't be mad Rahne... I'll never... do it... again," before falling into endless sleep. After the battle, Doug's body was found, while the Ani-Mator confessed he was responsible. Wolfsbane blamed herself. Magik, in anger, threw Ani-Mator into limbo, where he was eaten alive by demons.[25] Doug's death and noble sacrifice, saving the Ani-Mates and Rahne Sinclair, also drove Magneto far away from his students, as he blamed himself for his death as well as Humans (Homo sapiens).[26]

After watching the movie Night of the Living Dead and hearing that Doug would be buried underground, Warlock was bewildered by the mixed messages he was getting from his friends about death and "animated" Doug's corpse with his shape-shifting and took him to see his mother and then Wolfsbane, hoping to remind Doug what it was like to be alive and convince him to come back. The New Mutants explained that they had to put Doug's body back, so it could be buried and they said goodbye to their friend at his funeral.[27]


Eli Bard, a servant of Selene, tracked down the body of Douglas with the aid of the reanimated Caliban and reanimated him as well, with the aid of the Transmode Virus. Alongside the resurrected Hellions, Cypher infiltrated Utopia and, while the Hellions went after Emma, he targeted Magma, as commanded by Selene. After successfully beating Magma comatose and a lengthy battle involving the New Mutants and the Hellions, Douglas was freed from Bard's control by Warlock wielding Magik's Soulsword and rejoined his former teammates. Amara Aquilla was initially scared of the sight of Doug, until he whispered a language he created, just for her to understand, in her ear and she hugged him.[28]

After the return of the mutant messiah, Hope Summers, and Cable to the mainstream timeline, Bastion and the his members of the Human Council attacked her tirelessly. Cyclops ordered the New Mutants to attack one of Hodge's Right facilities, where Doug convinced Warlock to absorb Cameron Hodge and his soldier's life-glow to save his friends, and then to aid Cable and a group of X-Men from William Stryker and his Purifiers.[29] After Bastion systematically eliminated all of the X-Men's teleporters, he encased the entire island of Utopia in an impenetrable dome and, at the center, opened a portal to an alternate timeline, where Sentinels ruled and mutants and superhumans were outlawed, that poured out wave upon endless wave of Nimrod-Series Sentinels.[30] Doug was sent into the timestream with X-Force and Cable, using Cable's final energy in his time machine, to stop the Master Mold Sentinels that were producing the Nimrods.[31][32] Cypher was successful in interfacing with the Sentinels and Cable sacrificed his life to return them to their timeline.[33][34]

After the attack from Bastion, the team took a vacation and Illyana sensed that Pixie had been captured. Illyana sent Warlock to warn the X-Men and the rest of the team battled the Inferno Babies, where Doug was placed under the influence of Trista. After being beaten, they were taken to Limbo. Doug was ordered to learn a machine that Trista and the others could not understand and he used it to magically erase her mouth, ending her influence over him. After surviving the attack in Limbo by demons and the Elder Gods, it was revealed that Illyana brought Legion back into the mainstream reality to use against the Elder Gods that General Ulysses and Project Purgatory were planning to unleash. Doug was later asked, by Cyclops, to monitor police feeds around the world for crimes that were above the efforts of the local police, but under the radar of heroes such as the Avengers.[35]

Fear Itself[]

When Kuurth attacked San Francisco, Cyclops sent Dani Moonstar to meet with Asgardian death-goddess Hela, in the hope that she can explain what happens. However, on the way to Las Vegas, Dani was forcibly moved to Hel.[36]

Discovering that Dani was gone, the New Mutants sought the assistance of Magik and she explained to them, what happened with Dani and told Cypher how he can bring the team to her. However, Doug made a spelling mistake, and instead of Hel, he teleported the team into a Hell where they met Mephisto. Mephisto offered New Mutants a deal, he would send them out of hell, and even teleport them straight into the Hela's domain, in exchange for a date with Magma. Amara agreed, and Mephisto teleported the team to Hel where they almost immediately clashed with the Draumar. To frighten and defeat them, Hela showed the Draumar Nate's memories about his life and a world about which they knew nothing. After the Draumar gone, the team returned to Utopia.[37]

Hunt for Wolverine[]

Cypher isolated himself after he set out to decode the entirety of the Internet. However, once he started, his powers wouldn't let him stop. He became a hermit living in a filthy shack in New Jersey, starving himself in front of several devices. Daredevil, Misty Knight and Frank McGee sought his help when they started investigating the disappearance of Wolverine's corpse from his grave. Douglas was initially unresponsive, and tried to kill Frank when he cut off his Internet access. He eventually snapped back to his senses and assisted Daredevil's investigation,[38] but he suffered from his abstinence.

When the investigation took the team to Saskatchewan, Canada, the team encountered Wolverine's cyborg clone Albert, who slashed Cypher's throat.[39] Despite being left for dead, Cypher barely survived, and McGee healed him using the medical suite in his Inhuman ship.[40] One of the team's leads took them to a facility run by a mysterious corporation named Soteria. Cypher managed to recover some of the information Soteria's operatives started deleting. After finishing the investigation and finding information on Wolverine's whereabouts, Douglas finally admitted his problem, and asked Daredevil for help with his addiction to the Internet.[41] Ever since then, his situation stabilized.[42]

Dawn of X[]

Joining Moira MacTaggert's long-term plan to guarantee the future of mutantkind, Charles Xavier and Cypher traveled to Krakoa, allowing the omnilingual mutant to enter in contact with the true entity of the island. Cypher conversed deeply with Krakoa, learning about its language (called "Krakoan") and some of its history. Charles then tasked Cypher with building an interface system on Krakoa to allow the mutants to inhabit the island. Also, Cypher helped creating four different systems, involving transit, monitoring, defense and observation.[43] Moira and Charles Xavier then tasked several technopath mutants such as Cypher, Sage, and Trinary, with creating a system called "Sleeping Giant" to monitor for Nimrod technological thresholds being reached and/or the attempted creation of a "Mother Mold," a replicating, adaptive Sentinel factory that was self-aware and capable of creating other Sentinels.[44]

Distrustful of Xavier, Cypher partially fused with Warlock. Convincing everyone the fusion was permanent, he had Warlock terraform the planet for him while also fusing with Krakoa and becoming its biosphere, allowing him to hear everything in the island and eavesdrop on Xavier. Cypher also created a secret flower for Xavier used to build Moira's No-Space, a secret place for Moira MacTaggert to live and she, Xavier, and Magneto could talk in private without even Krakoa hearing, but it was secretly accessible to Warlock.[45] Douglas was later seen amongst the other Quiet Council members at the assembly's initial gathering. Both Cypher and Krakoa represented the interests of the entity itself and the needs of the nation as a whole. The Council established three new core laws of Krakoa, one of which forbids the murder of humans.[12]

Cypher took part in the Ten of Swords tournament and its challenge by facing off against his opponent, Bei the Blood Moon, who can't seem to be understood by him. Instead of a fight as expected, he was to wed Bei, in which they both earned a point for their respective teams for their completion of the marriage.[46] When Annihilation went forward with her plan to invade Krakoa he convinced Bei to betray Arakko and help them fight of the invasion,[47] after Arrako was defeated, Doug returned to Krakoa with his new wife.[48]

After Sabretooth was sentenced to the Pit of Exile by the Quiet Council,[12] Krakoa and Doug started to wonder if he was judged to harshly, so he made mental contact with him in the pit through Krakoa. They had several meetings that all ended with Victor trying to kill him and Krakoa erasing his memories, eventually Victor agreed to his offer and was given his own mental world.[49]

After spying on her for some time, Doug and Warlock found out Mystique and Destiny were planning on attacking Moira in her secret home, depowering her so she couldn't resurrect and then killing her. Since he knew she was plotting against mutant-kind, he allowed them to depower her but before they could kill her, he, Warlock and Bei broke in and stopped them, siting the fact that now that she's depowered the first law of Krakoa "Murder No Man" falls into effect. They then forced Mystique and Destiny to give Moira a chance to escape before making good on their threat to hunt her down.[50] Warlock would later start sitting in with Cypher at council meetings.[51]

After the events of the Sins of Sinister timeline, the majority of the Quiet Council was revealed to be possibly under the influence of Mr. Sinister. They voted to dismantle the current council and the Five until a solution could be found. For so-far unknown reasons, Krakoa acted quickly and used its vines to trap Cypher into the prison Pit, possibly to protected him from upcoming danger. Hope Summers tried to use her powers to copy Cypher's powers to try to talk to Krakoa and convince him to release Cypher, but without luck.[52]

Krakoa would eventually release Doug during the X-Men's counterattack on the terrorist organization Orchis, with Cypher using a binary code received from Sebastian Shaw to deactivate some of Orchis' Sentinels.[53]


Power Grid[63]
:Category:Power Grid/Fighting Skills/Experienced Fighter:Category:Power Grid/Energy Projection/None:Category:Power Grid/Durability/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Strength/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Intelligence/Super-Genius


  • Omnilingual Translation: Cypher is a hyper-linguist,[8] and has a superhuman facility for translating any languages, spoken or written, human or alien in origin. His superhuman skill also extends to his great facility in deciphering codes and computer languages as well as understanding hidden intentions and body language. Cypher's skills are such that he was once able to make great headway in translating the written language of an extraterrestrial race in a matter of minutes. Cypher's mutant talent for translating differs from the translating ability that a human who is a genius in this field, yet not a mutant, possesses, even though both people might achieve the same results with any given translation problem. Cypher's mutant talent is an intuitive one which works on a subconscious level, whereas others will have to work out a translation consciously, step by step. Rather than working the problem out step by step, in his conscious mind, Cypher instead subconsciously solves the problem. Hence, Cypher can reach the correct solution by means that appear to be leaps of logic, and he himself may not have been consciously aware of the entire process by which he reaches the right answer.[1]
    • Structural Linguistics: His return from death during the Necrosha event abnormally widened his perspective. Everything he sees is now interpreted into information, everything is language to him now.[10] He can read the information flow from technological components emitting such.[11]
Douglas Ramsey (Earth-616) from New Mutants Vol 3 6 001

Reading body Language

    • Body Language: Since his resurrection, his language power has extended to combat, making him able to interpret his opponents' moves as language. This has vastly increased his combat effectiveness, to the point where he was able to defeat the rest of the New Mutants by himself.[54][55]
    • Binary Code: He is capable of "speaking" binary; giving verbal commands in machine code that can reprogram the machine.[33]
Douglas Ramsey (Earth-616) from New Mutants Vol 3 14 001

Speaking Binary Code

  • Telepathic Immunity: He is immune to psychic reading. Cypher has invented his own extremely complex language in order to think, thereby preventing any psychic from being able to understand his thoughts.[56]
  • Spell Casting: Doug was taught by an imprisoned Magik how to cast a mystical teleportation spell which allowed him to transport himself and others to Hell.[57]
Douglas Ramsey (Earth-616) and Warlock (Earth-616) from New Mutants Vol 4 13 001


  • Warlock-Merger: Doug is able to merge with the Technarch alien Warlock becoming "Douglock". When merged he has access to his Techno-Organic shapeshifting powers. Warlock later formed into a sword for a weapon for combat.[58]
  • Krakoa-Merger: Doug while fused with Warlock had him fuse with Krakoa. He had Warlock terraform the planet becoming its biosphere, allowing him to see and hear everything on the island and eavesdrop on the Professor and others.[45]


  • Gifted intelligence: Even without his powers, Doug possessed a gifted intellect. He is an expert in translating and designing computer software. He took university level courses in languages and computer science. Doug can hack some of the most protected computer systems.[citation needed]


  • Internet Addiction: After trying to use his powers to decode the Internet, Cypher became addicted to being online. He let himself go and almost starved himself because he couldn't stay away from the numerous devices he was using to surf the web.[38] He acted like an addict, and even pilfered a corpse once to get a phone with internet access.[39]
  • Incapability of understanding Bei the Blood Moon: Doug's powers over language conflict with his wife's psionic ability to communicate without language.[46] Unable to converse conventionally, they instead utilize writing,[59] physical cues, and interpretation from witnesses.



Warlock: While merged with Warlock, Cypher could use him to form armor, blasters and connect to machinery.[60]




  • Warlock also perished a while after Cypher's death, but was resurrected with Ramsey's memories as the mysterious "Douglock."
  • Cypher was shown as a Professor at the Jean Grey School in Savage Wolverine #13.


  • Cypher's death in New Mutants #60 was heavily influenced by the fan reception of the character. According to Louise Simonson, "[Marvel] would get letters from fans about how much they hated him. [Marvel] never got any letters from people saying they liked him until he was dead." There had also been "a write-in campaign from lots of readers who hated him and thought he was boring and wanted us to get rid of him. Preferably... they wanted him dead." Simonson has also cited that artists disliked the character because he wasn't "fun to draw" and "just stood around and hid behind a tree during a fight."[61]
  • In a possible continuity error, Doug and Bei managed to understand and converse with one another in X-Terminators #4; it has not been explained how they were able to do so.

See Also

Links and References


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 X of Swords Handbook #1
  2. Marauders #14
  3. New Mutants #37
  4. Secret Wars II #9
  5. 5.0 5.1 New Mutants #60
  6. X-Necrosha #1
  7. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #3
  8. 8.0 8.1 Marvel Fact Files #2
  9. 9.0 9.1 New Mutants #21
  10. 10.0 10.1 New Mutants (Vol. 3) #9
  11. 11.0 11.1 All-New X-Factor #6
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 House of X #6
  13. New Mutants #1316
  14. New Mutants #1417
  15. New Mutants Annual #1
  16. New Mutants #3334
  17. New Mutants Special Edition #1
  18. New Mutants #35
  19. New Mutants Annual #2
  20. X-Men Annual #10
  21. New Mutants #4650
  22. New Mutants #5354
  23. New Mutants #5657
  24. New Mutants #58
  25. New Mutants #5960
  26. New Mutants #61
  27. New Mutants #64
  28. New Mutants (Vol. 3) #69
  29. New Mutants (Vol. 3) #12
  30. X-Men: Legacy #235236
  31. X-Force (Vol. 3) #27
  32. Uncanny X-Men #525
  33. 33.0 33.1 New Mutants (Vol. 3) #14
  34. X-Force (Vol. 3) #28
  35. New Mutants (Vol. 3) #1521
  36. New Mutants (Vol. 3) #29
  37. New Mutants (Vol. 3) #3032
  38. 38.0 38.1 Hunt for Wolverine: Weapon Lost #1
  39. 39.0 39.1 Hunt for Wolverine: Weapon Lost #2
  40. Hunt for Wolverine: Weapon Lost #3
  41. Hunt for Wolverine: Weapon Lost #4
  42. Daredevil #606
  43. Powers of X #4
  44. House of X #3
  45. 45.0 45.1 Inferno (Vol. 2) #3
  46. 46.0 46.1 Excalibur (Vol. 4) #14
  47. Excalibur (Vol. 4) #15
  48. X of Swords: Destruction #1
  49. Sabretooth (Vol. 4) #1
  50. Inferno (Vol. 2) #4
  51. Legion of X #1
  52. Immortal X-Men #13
  53. X-Men: Forever #3
  54. New Mutants (Vol. 3) #6
  55. All-New X-Factor #16
  56. X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic #46
  57. New Mutants (Vol. 3) #30
  58. New Mutants (Vol. 4) #13
  59. X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic #42
  60. Giant-Size X-Men: Storm #1
  61. Cronin, Brian (11 May 2018) The X-Men Equivalent of Fans Calling in to Kill Jason Todd Retrieved on 11 May 2018.
  62. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #3
  63. X of Swords Handbook Vol 1 1