From Douglas Ramsey to Cypher
The teenage Douglas “Doug” Ramsey becomes a close friend of Katherine “Kitty” Pryde, AKA Kate Pryde, of the X-Men, sharing an interest in computers and video games. Ramsey also befriends the New Mutants and remains unaware that he and they are mutants. He even gets tricked by Emma Frost, the White Queen of the Hellfire Club, into thinking he and Kitty are in love and together as she captures Kitty and holds her against her will for nefarious means.
When the techno-organic alien Technarch, AKA Warlock, arrives on Earth, confused and terrified, he finds himself battling the New Mutants. Seeking to communicate with the alien, the New Mutants summon Ramsey and reveal their costumed identities to him. Ramsey succeeds in initiating communications with Warlock, and both join the New Mutants. Ramsey receives the codename Cypher, after his ability to decipher languages.
Cypher is a master at translating languages, spoken or written, human or alien in origin, including deciphering codes and computer languages. Cypher can 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 of a human who is a genius in this field, even though both might achieve the same results with any given translation problem. Cypher’s mutant talent is an intuitive one that works on a subconscious level, and may in part be related to telepathy. A non-mutant human, even a genius, would have to work out a translation consciously, step by step. Cypher, however, can subconsciously solve the problem. Hence, Cypher can reach the correct solution by means that appear to be leaps of logic, and he himself may not be consciously aware of the entire process by which he reaches the right answer.
Cypher is an expert in the translating and design of computer software. As a member of the New Mutants, Cypher receives a good deal of athletic training, and is a fair hand-to-hand combatant.
Mutant Allies and Deadly Enemies
Douglas becomes close friends with Kitty Pryde of the X-Men, and joins the New Mutants as a language translator using his omni-linguistic powers. He also forms a close bond with Warlock, and merges with the techno-organic alien to form a gestalt—an organized whole made up of its parts. While adventuring with the New Mutants, he faces many enemies including that of Warlock’s father, the Magus, and the Ani-Mator who ends up killing him as Douglas saves his New Mutants teammate, Rahne Sinclair, AKA Wolfsbane. Douglas is then resurrected by Selene, the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club, and her servants who use the Transmode Virus to control him, forcing him to go against his teammates, until Warlock comes to his rescue.