A NetHack monster that ambushes unsuspecting players inside shops. It assumes the form of other items that are around it, so it is nearly impossible to detect before you stumble over it and it tries to kill you. Comes in three varieties: normal, large, and giant. The large and giant versions exude a sticky glue that makes escape impossible once the creature is engaged.

Mimics can occasionally be identified prior to the ambush by looking at the shop's merchandise carefully. An item that seems out of place (for example, a potion inside an armor dealership) is probably a mimic.

And yes, the shopkeeper will charge you for the corpse, as well as any items you break during the struggle.

Hokey but enjoyable 1997 movie directed by Guillermo del Toro, starring Mira Sorvino.
Manhattan entomologists create a genetically modified insect to kill cockroaches which are spreading a deadly disease. Three years later they discover these new critters have evolved the ability to mimic and hunt their only enemy, man.
I thought I'd add a couple of things about the film Mimic.

I watched it, by coincidence, around the same time as I was reading The Mole People and was struck by parallels between the book and the film.

The Mole People is about homeless people living in tunnels underneath New York City, while Mimic is about giant insects who pass for human in the subways. There are some extraordinarily powerful scenes in the film, like when the insects' colony is found, all these creatures that look like men in overcoats are seen hanging from the ceiling of a densely crowded cave.

The most memorable aspect for me is the other bit of mimicry in the film: a little boy becomes obsessed with the creatures, who pass into and out of the world above through a portal located in a building opposite the boy's house. He has learned how to mimic the sound the creatures make and has christened one of them Mr. Funny Shoes.

A villain published by Marvel Comics. The Mimic first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #19 in 1966.

Calvin Rankin was the only son of Ronald Rankin, a genetics researcher. The nature of the elder Rankin's experiments has never been fully revealed, but they were such that when Calvin was accidentally exposed to some of the chemicals being used, he gained the ability to duplicate the skills of others when within 10 feet of them. Upon discovering his son's new ability, Calvin's father took him to an isolated cave far from anyone else to protect his son from the obvious hysteria that would ensue when an 8 year old was discovered to be able to touch type, balance his check book, and change the oil in a Buick. Why the elder Rankin chose a cave instead of a double wide on an isolated piece of land was also never fully explained.

Ronald Rankin then set about creating a machine for the stated purpose of allowing Calvin to permanently retain the abilities that duplicated. As Rankin was a genetics expert and not an electrician, his machine shorted out the power grid for the entire county. An angry mob gathered and went to the cave, which calls into question what other social factors were at play in this community that a power outage is considered reason enough to break out the pitchforks and torches. One does not envy the little league coach in this community. The short circuit caused the machine to become unstable and explode, sealing the cave and killing the elder Rankin. Calvin escaped and fled, in fear for his life.

Later, Ranking began to encounter members of the original group of X-Men and found that his ability allowed him to duplicate their abilities. He was invited to become one of the team and did for a time under the name Mimic, becoming the only member of the X-Men to not actually be a mutant. His stay as a member was short, because after absobing all the abilities of all of the members, he betrayed them and fled back to the cave, hoping to use his father's machine to permanently give him the powers of the X-Men. But Calvin discovered that the machine was actually designed to permanently remove his powers.

Soon, Mimic's powers began to grow and he began to be a danger to himself and others. He contacted Hank McCoy, the Beast, and sought his help in controlling his powers. The two were interrupted by the Incredible Hulk and Mimic began to absorb the radiation from the Hulk in an attempt to kill himself. After a brief time, he seemingly died and was left there by the Beast and the Hulk.

It was later revealed that Rankin's power had locked on to the signature of the mutant hero Wolverine and duplicated his healing ability. After being healed, Rankin continued to mimic Wolverine eventually taking on his appearance down to his retractable claws. The two along with the Hulk in his grey persona met and battled and eventually, Rankin was able to return to "normal." In recent years, Rankin has surfaced on a number of occasions. He was one of the agents of the villain Onslaught for a time and later joined other villains as the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Also, the same character, albiet from an alternate reality, is part of the dimension hopping team known as the Exiles.


Thanks to Korgath for the Exiles addendum.

Mim"ic (?), Mim"ic*al (?), a. [L. mimicus, Gr. , fr. mime: cf. F. mimique. See Mime.]

1.

Imitative; mimetic.

Oft, in her absence, mimic fancy wakes To imitate her. Milton.

Man is, of all creatures, the most mimical. W. Wotton.

2.

Consisting of, or formed by, imitation; imitated; as, mimic gestures.

"Mimic hootings."

Wordsworth.

3. Min.

Imitative; characterized by resemblance to other forms; -- applied to crystals which by twinning resemble simple forms of a higher grade of symmetry.

Mimic often implies something droll or ludicrous, and is less dignified than imitative.

Mimic beetle Zool., a beetle that feigns death when disturbed, esp. the species of Hister and allied genera.

 

© Webster 1913.


Mim"ic, n.

One who imitates or mimics, especially one who does so for sport; a copyist; a buffoon.

Burke.

 

© Webster 1913.


Mim"ic, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Mimicked (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Mimicking.]

1.

To imitate or ape for sport; to ridicule by imitation.

The walk, the words, the gesture, could supply, The habit mimic, and the mien belie. Dryden.

2. Biol.

To assume a resemblance to (some other organism of a totally different nature, or some surrounding object), as a means of protection or advantage.

Syn. -- To ape; imitate; counterfeit; mock.

 

© Webster 1913.

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