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Exiles #4: Review

Jun 2018
Saladin Ahmed, Javier Rodríguez

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Exiles #4 Review by (July 7, 2018)
It's misleading cover time again. Blackbeard/Thing never threatens the Exiles.

As usual this alternate reality is bristling with analogues of regular characters, even though it's set in the wrong century. Thing, Sam Wilson, Misty Knight and Juggernaut are obvious. Admiral Gyrich is of course based on Henry Peter Gyrich, bureaucratic bugbear of the Avengers and a big cheese in the Commission On Superhuman Activities and other organisations.

Next issue concludes this 1st arc.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Exiles #4 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Exiles (Blink, Iron Lad, Khan, Valkyrie and Wolvie) are hurtling through alternate realities with a broken Tallus, one step ahead of the Time-Eater who swallows the realities behind them. In the latest reality they helped Captain America (Peggy Carter) save New York from Red Skull's atomic bomb, but the bomb blew anyway and the Exiles only just escaped to elsewhere. (But at least the Time-Eater didn't get that reality - or we don't know he did.)

The Unseen (ex-Nick Fury) has been watching proceeding's from Earth-616's Moon. He sees the Exiles waking on a Caribbean beach on a new Earth. And Blink finds the broken Tallus isn't even on her wrist anymore. But Iron Lad can detect it somewhere nearby. They should be able to recognise it by its prismatic side-effects.

But their plans are interrupted by an African slave Cassius. The year is 1760 and he's being pursued by Redcoats in the pay of Admiral Gyrich. Valkyrie and her winged stallion Elendil leap to the attack, and by the time Blink can teleport into the fray the foe have become a fleeing rabble.

Cassius says he's a spy on Gyrich's island and he escaped to meet his Captain here. And the Captain appears in a rowboat from a nearby ship - and he's Blackbeard, better known to us as Thing. He's from an alternate version of Fantastic Four #5 where Dr Doom sent the team back in time and Thing became Blackbeard. In this version he decided to stay when the others went home. And he joined up with an anti-slavery group.

Thing takes them back to his ship. When he hears what they're looking for he tells them of the Rainbow Whirlpool that has recently appeared. Iron Lad figures the Tallus is at the bottom of the sea. Blink asks Blackbeard to take them there, but Thing has a prior engagement. Cassius has brought them info about Admiral Gyrich's secret weapon that sinks their ships, and they're sailing direct to wreck it.

Ben Grimm gives them 2 choices. He'll give them a small boat and food and they can go to the Whirlpool on their own. Or if they fight alongside him now he'll do whatever he can to help them afterwards. Blink has to consult her team, which Thing approves of.

But meanwhile they are joined by Captain Sam Wilson the Scarlet Falcon who flies in with his falcon companion. Introductions are made and it transpires they are waiting for the 3rd Captain of their triumvirate. First Mate Becky Barnes shows them all to their cabins. Valkyrie is pleasantly surprised that Becky is the spitting image of Peggy Carter's sidekick of the same name, and they continue the flirtation they had on the previous world. But Iron Lad sees this as evidence that realities are collapsing into each other.

The Exiles discuss what they should do. If they help foil the slavers then the Time-Eater may consume this world anyway. And without the Tallus they won't be able to escape. But Blink persuades them that they should do what's right and trust to fate that it will all work out. (They're supposed to be finding out how to defeat the Time-Eater and reverse what it's done, but so far all they've done is recruit each other and keep escaping the TE.) They tell Blackbeard they're in.

Becky Barnes spots the good ship Misty approaching with Captain Mercedes Knight and her hook-tipped metal arm. Captain Wilson slips off to ensure he looks his best for her arrival. With all this pairing up going on young Nate Richards admits he never knows how to talk to girls. Valkyrie gives him pointers.

All too soon they come in sight of Gyrich's ship, the Shield. Blink teleports herself and Blackbeard and Scarlet Falcon onto the Redcoat ship. Gyrich unleashes his secret weapon, the Juggernautical. It rises out of the sea - a huge man(?) encased in wood like an early submarine. 1 hand fires cannonballs and the other delivers smashing blows. And his metal helmet is impervious to Iron Lad's repulsors and Valkyrie's Asgardian sword.

Everyone else boards the Shield and joins in the fight. Khan and Wolvie free the slaves in the hold. 1 of them tells them that Admiral Gyrich controls the Juggernautical with a book. (Khan asks Wolvie how he spoke with the African in his own language. Knowing(?) he's a comic-book character, Wolvie says he just surrounded his speech with the comic-convention brackets.) Blink ports over to Gyrich and throws his book in the sea. And Juggernautical collapses. And the pirates have won.

Ben Grimm is as good as his word. Some hours later they are at the Rainbow Whirlpool (which is actually more like a waterspout). Iron Lad says he'll transport his team into the object inside an air bubble created by his amour's air vents and repulsors. (When Ben learns that IL's surname is Richards he understands why he's a scientific genius.) They go inside the waterspout and then down into the whirlpool. Blink sees the Tallus and teleports everyone to it ...

... and then they're in yet another reality, inside a huge castle on a version of the Moon. The walls are covered with mirrors, windows, paintings and open books. Iron Lad posits that they are portals to other realities, all the ones that Time-Eater has consumed. Khan discovers the dead bodies of the Watchers who attacked the Unseen in #2. Nate Richards finds a book which says that the perpetrator killed an alternate Galactus and stole his power. They find a dead Galactus head (which is how the Time-Eater appeared in #1). Nate says the baddie has killed loads of Galacti and is using their combined power to eat realities. And IL says this bad guy is none other than his future self Kang.

And Kang confronts them bursting with power.

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. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

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

> Exiles: Book info and issue index

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