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Exiles #2: Review

Apr 2018
Saladin Ahmed, Javier Rodríguez

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Exiles #2 Review by (May 5, 2018)
The Valkyrie here is obviously based on the 1 in the Thor: Ragnarok film. The cover says she's just stopped Ragnarok, which makes it sound like an alternate reality ending to that film. Indeed inside she drives Surtur away. But this would be a *very* alternate reality in that she claims to be the *only* defender of this Asgard.

The Valkyrior are a group of Asgardian female warriors. The main Valkyrie in the prime Marvel timeline is Brunnhilde. She rode a winged horse Aragorn which she 'inherited' from the Avenger Black Knight. Elendil here continues the Lord of the Rings horse naming convention.

In the fragments of the Tallus we see Red Skull and Peggy Carter as Captain America who will feature in next issue. And the Thing as Blackbeard for #4.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Exiles #2 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Time-Eater is swallowing alternate realities. (And after Reed Richards & friends only recently rebuilt the multiverse after Secret Wars III.) The Tallus (see previous Exiles series) is now following its own agenda to stop him, and is recruiting a new team of Exiles led by the earlier leader Blink of the Age of Apocalypse. Last issue it led her to pick up Khan (a much older Kamala Khan (Ms Marvel) in a future where the few remaining Inhumans are hunted) and Iron Lad (an alternate version of the young Kang the Conqueror who founded the Young Avengers) just before the Time-Eater devoured their realities. And we saw that it appears to be a zombie head of Galactus.

From Earth-616's Moon the Unseen (ex-Nick Fury) watches all this unfold. His narration suggests that the Time-Eater is actively chasing the new Exiles. As the Tallus whisks the trio away Blink comes to the same conclusion, and Iron Lad detects that their foe is a transdimensional being simultaneously matter and energy.

The Tallus deposits them in a world of snow and ice. Blink thinks they may be here to find their next team member. Khan is angry that Clarice Ferguson doesn't *know* what's going. But really she's angry that her world and friends are dead (and Iron Lad's too). But Nate Richards says his armour can detect remnants of his world's energy. He thinks the timelines haven't really completely gone, and they may be able to get them back if they defeat the Time-Eater.

But they are suddenly interrupted by an eruption of demonic warriors led by a fiery giant wielding a massive sword. They are opposed by a woman on a flying horse with a spear and sword ... who's obviously enjoying the combat. She announces herself as Valkyrie and the giant is Surtur. And she is the only thing stopping him from destroying Asgard.

The Fire Demons attack our 3 who fight back. Blink asks for experienced Khan's tactical advice. They concentrate on shooting the ground forces (with energy javelins, a big gun and gauntlet blasts) leaving Valkyrie to deal with Surtur. They drive them all back to their home dimension.

Valkyrie comes down from her horse Elendil to thank our trio for their aid. Blink explains about the Time-Eater and that Val is probably their next Exiles member. The Asgardian is all for going on an epic adventure but explains that she is the only defender of her realm. But once again the decision is taken out of their hands as the Time-Eater arrives and the Tallus takes them elsewhere.

That elsewhere is the gates of Xavier's Playtime Fun School for Gifted Youngsters (the home of the cartoon-like X-Babies). Khan enlarges her ear and detects the approach of Wolvie who's looking for stolen pies. His super-scent leads him to Li'l Magneto whose ability enables him to levitate Iron Lad. But Blink grabs Magneto and tells him off. Li'l Magneto is immediately repentant and makes friends with Wolvie again. But they don't have time to enjoy the pies before the Time-Eater catches up with them.

The Tallus takes them all back to the Earth-616 Moon and the Unseen who tells them that this reality is safe for the moment. He puts forward a new idea of the multiverse - that there is a conservation of realities. Timelines are always dying, but new ones are born to replace them. But the Time-Eater is destroying them much faster than the replacement rate.

Nate proposes a theoretical physics explanation via a metaphor. The enemy swallows realities whole like a python and then starts to digest them. But of they cut open the belly of the beast they can rescue undigested timelines. Valkyrie leaps on this - slaying serpents is something she's familiar with. And if they fail then it is good to die with friends facing overwhelming odds.

Khan despairs of this rag-tag band being able to achieve *anything*. Wolvie's mood swings violently in response to every speech. Iron Lad is concerned about tampering with timelines. And a new voice agrees with him.

This is Acitua leading a group of Watchers. Their policy of non-interference means they aren't going to do anything to stop the Time-Eater. In fact they are here to accuse the Unseen (who they condemned to replace the Watcher he killed in Original Sin) of just such interference. They intend to annihilate him.

Blink argues for the defence. The Unseen didn't do anything - the Tallus is responsible. (But maybe he was somehow responsible for an alternate Nick Fury bringing the Tallus to this reality last issue.) Non-interference itself is doing something. And anyway by killing the Unseen they will *be* interfering.

None of this sophistry sways Acitua. As she fires her weapon Wolvie dives into its path. But Blink knocks both him and the Unseen out of the way. Unfortunately this means the Tallus takes the blast and shatters into pieces.

Javier Rodríguez
Alvaro Lopez
Chris O'Halloran
David Marquez (Cover Penciler)
David Marquez (Cover Inker)
Matthew Wilson (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Wil Moss.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Acitua, Blink (of Age of Apocalypse), Exiles, Iron Lad (of Exiles), Khan (Kamala Khan), Surtur (Surtur the Fire Demon), Time-Eater (Kang), Unseen (Nick Fury), Valkyrie (of Exiles), Watchers, Wolvie.

> Exiles: Book info and issue index

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