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Exiles #1: Review

Apr 2018
Saladin Ahmed, Javier Rodríguez

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Exiles #1 Review by (April 21, 2018)
Javier Rodriguez colours page 4 with the multiple images of past Exiles.

The splash page repeats the cover illo but with Blink's companions only in silhouette with embedded question marks. But since it *is* a copy of the cover it's not really making them any more difficult to identify than that.

We only have 2 of Blink's cover recruits so far. But a 3rd 1 is obviously Wolvie of the X-Babies. The 4th is identified in the solicit and on the back text page as a new Valkyrie. And they should both show up next time.

The Earth-616 timeline's own Blink was introduced in Uncanny X-Men #317 during the Generation Next part of the Phalanx Covenant crossover. She supposedly died then and was seen in the afterlife in Incredible Hercules #129. But Selene brought her back in the Necrosha event. Clarice declined to become an X-Man but later did ally herself with the New Mutants. She has been seen in the post-Secret Wars III universe, mainly in the latest issues of Cable as 1 of his Newer Mutants.

Iron Lad's early history as described here was laid out in Young Avengers #2. He is named Nathaniel Richards in honour of Reed Richards' father who played an important part in the history of his alternate timeline. But there was obviously a reality-split after his 1st encounter with Kang, and this version decided not to become the time-travelling hero who founded the YAv.

This zombie Galactus could have been seen before. Maybe he's 1 of the zombie Galacti created in Marvel Zombies. Or maybe the Cancerverse Galactus Engine from Thanos Imperative.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Exiles #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Blink was a mutant in the Age Of Apocalypse. She survived the destruction of the world in that timeline and joined the reality-hopping Exiles team, which she led more often than not. But eventually she left them to pursue her own life (#6 of the 2009 series). Since then versions of her showed up in several Secret Wars III mini-series, and she was glimpsed in the Age Of Apocalypse in X-Men: Blue #19.

Nick Fury killed Earth's Watcher during Original Sin, and for that sin the Watchers made him Uatu's replacement now called the Unseen. He is chained in place on the Moon, observing everything that happens on the Earth but unable to interfere. He also watches the Earth across the multiverse and now we learn he has seen whole timelines being destroyed by something he calls the Time-Eater. (Has the Anti-Monitor escaped from the DC multiverse?)

Now an alternate Nick Fury comes through a portal from another timeline. With his dying breath he drops the Tallus at the Unseen's feet. The Tallus (containing a piece of the M'Kraan crystal, the heart of the multiverse) allowed the Exiles to travel between realities. Now it seeks out Blink (as Fury seems to have known it would). We see snapshots of her and various other ex-Exiles.

Clarice Ferguson is in Earth-616's Bahamas where she's having lunch with this world's version of her Aunt Sandra, who doesn't seem to be fazed by meeting an alternate reality version of her niece. (Well, she's already used to her being with the X-Men.) But then the Tallus forms a mental link with Blink, and she teleports to the Moon.

The Unseen explains about the Time-Eater. He says that *he* didn't organise this, but the Tallus needs her to help save the multiverse. Clarice points out that her old Exiles dealt with much smaller problems than that - he should call the Avengers or Dr Strange. But that doesn't stop her putting the Tallus on her wrist. And it takes her away.

She arrives in a devastated Jersey City, and is immediately shot in the back by people who claim to be some of the last Inhumans. There are apparently very few mutants left either but now that they've detected her as 1 they suspect her of being a spy for the humans. They prepare to shoot her again so Blink teleports to the attack, but gets blasted anyway.

She awakes in chains facing a big gun held by the Inhumans' leader. Her greying hair and lightning bolt tunic tell Clarice she's looking at an aged Ms Marvel (Kamala Khan). But she just goes by the name Khan now. Blink tries to explain about the Tallus and the Time-Eater. Khan confirms her Inhuman identity by extending her malleable arm and biggening her hand so her fingers can check Clarice's vital signs, which suggest that Blink at least *believes* what she's saying.

Evidence arrives as reality starts to dissolve around them. Khan accuses Blink of doing it but Clarice thinks it must be the Time-Eater. The Tallus takes the 2 away despite Khan not wanting to abandon her people.

They find themselves this time in a techno-future city, complete with flying cars. Clarice guesses that the Tallus is putting together a team, and at least for now it won't obey her wishes. She tries to reassure Khan by suggesting that if they do what it wants they may find a way to restore her reality (and all the others).

But now they hear cries for help, and see an Iron Man figure carrying 2 youths through the sky and then he drops them on a rooftop. Blink teleports our duo to the rescue and they try to talk the armoured figure down. He calls himself Iron Lad and claims that the 2 boys bullied him so much they nearly put him in hospital. Now that he's got this armour it's time for payback.

The Tallus light up and Clarice deduces that Iron Lad is their next recruit. IL is intrigued enough to let his nemeses go, partly because his armour has classified the new arrivals' energy signatures as time-travellers. He removes his helmet to reveal a 16 year old boy called Nate Richards.

Nate explains his familiarity with time-travellers because Kang the Conqueror built the armour for him. Kang claims to be his future self and in *his* timeline the bullies *did* hospitalise Nate. But Kang came back in time and stopped them in this timeline, and gave him the armour hoping that it would enable Nate to start Conquering earlier and become an even more successful Kang.

But Nate didn't want to be an empire-builder and he stranded Kang in another timeline. He thought about becoming a hero but decided that wasn't him either. (The version of Nate that *did* want to become a hero founded the Young Avengers.) He just wanted revenge on his tormentors.

Blink explains (again) about the Time-Eater and says the Tallus wants him to help save the multiverse. Nate tentatively agrees that losing the multiverse would be a bad thing. Kang returns and attacks them all. But then *this* reality, including that Kang, dissolves as the Time-Eater arrives. The Tallus presumably protects them and they see it is a zombified head of Galactus.

Javier Rodríguez
Alvaro Lopez
Jordie Bellaire
David Marquez (Cover Penciler)
David Marquez (Cover Inker)
Matthew Wilson (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Wil Moss.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Kang the Conqueror)

Plus: Blink (of Age of Apocalypse), Exiles, Iron Lad (of Exiles), Khan (Kamala Khan), Time-Eater (Kang), Unseen (Nick Fury).

> Exiles: Book info and issue index

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