Greetings, True Believers! Do you ever feel lonely, singled out, or out of place? Let me introduce you to a Mort who never had to feel that way. (Except for that last one.)
Writers warning: You may not know any of the character referenced here. I implore you to read about them at your local Wikipedia.
Real Name: Whitman Knapp
Abilities: A mutant ability to manifest three separate versions of himself from throughout history.
Debuting in Marvel Comics’ Alpha Flight #44 (March 1987), Whitman Knapp was an intern at a hospital in Canada. He was a colleague of Lionel Jeffries, who would become the monster, Omega.
Omega used his powers to distort poor Whitman’s DNA, which triggered his latent mutant ability to manifest three other versions of himself:
- Proto, a semi-sentient glob of primeval goo capable of corroding substances by secreting acid
- Ape-Man, a neanderthal with “great strength”
- Highbrow, a future descendant of humanity, who was really smart and could teleport
So, this guy could call past and future versions of “himself”. I understand the future version, but why would he choose the primordial ooze and caveman? Talk about the strangest family reunion ever. His only real skill was as a Doctor. And, to top it all off, he called himself “Manikin”, get it “Man-i-kin”, something about being a man and having family… Manikin spent the majority of his career in Alpha Flight, at a time when only die hard fans were buying those issues. (Read: 1990’s) During this, he spent some time questioning his own existence. He believed he was a fictional character and had conversations with his creator. These were later discovered to be machinations of the DreamQueen. After Alpha Flight recruited some better members, Manikin was demoted to Beta Flight, which was apparently better than Gamma Flight, and, hopefully better than Omega Flight. (If they existed.)
After a fight with the Spider-Man villain Jackal, Manikin’s powers were changed to only allow him to change into one of his manifestations at a time. Kind of like the lamest version of Ben 10. “Whit-3”. Also, for some reason, his manifestations changed their appearances slightly, Ape-Man became more ape and less man.
Why he’s a “Mort”: If you were able to call reinforcements to battle, would they be your grandparents and future children? This guy is the superhero equivalent of that guy who always threatens to call his dad on you.
Rating: 4 out of 10 useless manifestations.