Manikin first came in contact with Alpha Flight while interning at the New Life Clinic under the supervision of Lionel Jeffries. Jeffries' brother, Madison, was the machine-smith for Alpha Flight and the team had previously encountered Lionel. Their team-mate, Box had developed the Bends on a mission and therefore could not safely phase out of his robotic armour. Whitmann had contact with Alpha for some time after that as they often turned to the New Life Clinic for medical help. He and the Purple Girl developed a relationship.
Eventually, Scramble revealed that his insanity had never been cured and he attempted to destroy Alpha. He also revealed why he had chosen Knapp as an intern. Knapp had a latent power which Scramble activated when he transmutated him. Knapp was then able to help Alpha defeat Scramble who was now known as Omega after joining with Bochs. Due to his efforts in defeating Omega, Alpha offered Knapp membership in Beta Flight which he accepted. He served in Beta Flight until, after the Alpha Inquisition the team disbanded. He chose to go back to being a doctor as he had been feeling uncomfortable in the role of the hero.
Once back to his routine as a doctor, he began to think that he was a fictional character and even had 'conversations' with his creator. It was soon revealed that this was the work of the Dreamqueen who was using members of Alpha and Beta Flight to gain a foothold on this world.
When Alpha Flight once again re-formed, Whitman chose to remain as a doctor until much later, re-joining shortly before the Consortium attacked, possibly because Alpha needed another opinion in diagnosing Diamond Lil's cancer. He eventually became the Beta Flight advisor and, during Beta's first full mission, he was injected with poison by the Jackal. While his body recuperated on its own at Department H, it was attacked by the Hardliners. In order for him to live, his other selves, Apeman, Proto and Highbrow gave up their lives. He soon discovered that he could change his physical form to those of his "other selves."
Along with Night Nurse, Cardiac, and Excalibur, Manikin was recruited to a medical superhero team by Valkyrie and Doctor Strange with the purpose of saving Death. During the mission, Manikin transformed into his Proto form and was accidentally killed by Cardiac. Doctor Strange was able to save his other forms, but now Manikin, Apeman, and Highbrow all appear to be in separate bodies.
Manikin was a mutant that originally had the ability to generate three alternate super-human forms; each one extrapolated from a different point in human evolution:
- Proto: An amoebic life form capable of floating and dissolving matter. Proto died while in the Realm of Death.
- Apeman: A "caveman"/homo erectus who had enhanced strength and agility.
- Highbrow: An advanced human whose body was combined with technology who could float, had enhanced sense and the ability to teleport.
After Manikin was severely injured, his powers evolved so that he could change himself into his other forms.
- Medical Training: Dr. Knapp was a skilled physician.
- 44 appearance(s) of Whitman Knapp (Earth-616)
- 2 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Whitman Knapp (Earth-616)
- 1 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Whitman Knapp (Earth-616)
- 25 image(s) of Whitman Knapp (Earth-616)
- 1 quotation(s) by or about Whitman Knapp (Earth-616)