CYPHER: Page 2 of 2

Publication Date: 18th May 2023
Alternate Versions


A number of alternate Cyphers appeared on Battleworld, the first being in the Manhattan Domain. Here, Cypher was working for Gambit, stealing precious artifacts using a group of techno-organic versions of the New Mutants. When Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde came looking for Gambit, they encountered Cypher and destroyed his New Mutant-bots. Cypher soon gave up Gambit’s location, but he suddenly recognized Kitty as one of God-Doom’s enforcers. As she was going against Doom’s wishes, Kitty killed Cypher before he revealed her betrayal.

In the Domain of Apocalypse, Doug lived in the Savage Land with Destiny, but soon found himself to be the target of Apocalypse’s forces, who were keen to understand his mutation and make it work for them. Kidnapped and tortured by Apocalypses' henchmen, he refused to tell them what they needed to know and was eventually saved by the X-Men. A modified version of the Legacy Virus was soon unleashed, which killed a number of mutants including Apocalypse himself. The virus was eventually purged by the Phoenix, saving Doug’s and everyone else’s lives.

Another Battleworld version was found in the mystical Domain of K’un Lun, a realm that was ruled by castes and martial arts schools. Cypher had attended a school and had fallen in love with Rahne, who went to a rival one. This was forbidden and Rahne’s master attacked her, forcing Cypher to save her life, losing an arm in the process. The two were cast out of their schools and forced to live as rejects within the sewers, under the leadership of Callisto. When the group saved Shang Chi, exiled son of the Emperor, they believed that he would help overthrow the regime. The Emperor’s forces soon found them and Cy was killed when he went to defend Rahne.

In the pocket reality of the Age of X, Doug was handed over to the Exonim forces by his father, who later underwent sterilization. Doug was imprisoned in a low security prison due to his seemingly benign powers, but he managed to convince a security guard to let him out. Making his way to New York, Doug was at ground zero when a meteor struck, becoming infected with a technological virus. When Exonim forces arrived to apprehend him, he hacked into their bodysuits and forced them to attack each other. Taking on the name Warlock, Doug joined up with Magneto in Fortress X and became part of the Moonstar squad. He had both his legs severed by Captain America, but seemingly grew them back due to the techno-organic virus within him.

In the main reality, Doug encountered an inter-dimensional alien that opened his mind up in ways he could have never imagined. Over time he became more unstable and eventually used his powers to take over Warlock and use his techno-organic components for himself, naming himself Truefriend. As well as integrating the TO system into new suits for the New Mutants, Truefriend used it to take control over much of the planet, bringing out an enforced peace. Naturally, some of his teammates didn’t like being under his total control, with Cannonball and Karma travelling back in time to stop Doug ever interacting with the alien. When the Truefriend realized what was happening, he used the Warlock-tech to send his mind back in time to put a stop to the duo’s schemes. The New Mutants from the past stood up to him and severed the link, forcing him to come up with a different plan. He resurrected the Hellions as techno-organic zombies and had them apprehend the past version of Cypher long enough for Truefriend to physically take over his past self’s body. This would be his undoing, as the past-Cypher proved to be too strong, regaining control of his own body long enough for Moonstar to kill him. With Truefriend trapped inside Cypher’s body as he died, he was killed entirely, causing reality to reset as if nothing had happened.

In the ninth life of Moira MacTaggert, a strange version of Cypher existed that had seemingly merged with the island of Krakoa itself. Taking on the form of a plant-like humanoid, it seemed that Krakoa had absorbed Cypher into itself at some point to preserve his memories and powers. Now operating as Famine, one of Apocalypse’s Horsemen, he was one of the last mutants alive, with the rest falling to the forces of the robotic Nimrod. Knowing about Moira’s power of resetting the timeline upon her death, the group made a last-ditch attempt to get as much information on Nimrod’s creation, so she could use it in the next life. With the abilities of both Krakoa and Cypher, Famine was able to open portals into Nimrod’s base as well as hack into the computer systems. The team were successful, getting the information they needed to Moira, before Wolverine killed her, resetting the timeline.  

In the reality featured in New Mutants Forever, Cypher and Magma were kidnapped by the Red Skull and taken to Nova Roma. Doug was injected with a serum that turned his body into a clone of the Red Skull's, and he was subsequently brainwashed into believing the Skull's views. The New Mutants tracked down their missing teammates and launched a rescue attempt, with Warlock trying to reach Cypher personally. Cypher severely damaged Warlock's body but during the fight he began to overcome his brainwashing. When Doug tried to take down the Red Skull later on, he was easily overpowered and brought back in line again. The Red Skull transformed him into an even more monstrous version than before, leaving Doug a shell of his former self. The Red Skull was eventually stopped and Doug was rescued, but the physical transformation wasn't so hard to fix. Warlock used a significant amount of energy re-writing Doug's genes to fix him again, leaving only the mental scars of the Skull's tampering. 

In another dystopian reality shown in X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic #63-67 where Apocalypse rose to power, Cypher was one of the few X-Men left to oppose his rule. Their luck changed when the Charles Xavier from the main universe arrived in their timeline, bringing with him knowledge of how to resurrect any mutant. In this world, Cypher had bonded with a spore from Krakoa, and the two lived in a symbiotic relationship. After explaining the nature of Krakoa to Doug, he allowed the spore to be rapidly aged by Tempus so that it could eventually be used as a base as well as creating teleportation gateways. Doug and the X-Men managed to gather the five key mutants needed for the resurrection process, as well as eliminating the threat of Apocalypse, with the help of Xavier. Soon enough Xavier was transported back to his own reality, leaving Doug and the X-Men with some hope in their future for the first time.