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Exiles #8: Review

Sep 2018
Saladin Ahmed, Joe Quinones

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

3 stars

Exiles #8 Review by (September 28, 2018)
Joe Quinones is guest penciller for this issue, and also helps Joe Rivera with the inking. He's also 1 of the 4 colourists with Jordan Gibson, Chris Sotomayor and Muntsa Vicente.

Marvel Wiki says Captain America, Becky and T'Calla join the team here. This issue seems to be just an excuse to gather them all together and recap their origins (even though they've all been described in the previous 7 issues).

It was previously established that Nocturne's hex bolts *don't* have the probability properties of her mother Scarlet Witch's hexes. But now it seems that they do, and the 'lucky' result of casting 1 here is par for the course for Wanda's hexes.

Of course it could be that Nocturne doesn't want to tell *her* origin because she isn't the Nocturne we think she is, which could also explain why her hex bolts are different. But Blink was *sure* last issue that Morph and Nocturne were the ones she knew.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Exiles #8 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue some rogue Watchers abducted the 4 Exiles (Blink, Iron Lad, Valkyrie and Wolvie) from the Wild West reality they were in. Now Blink recalls snatches of her past:- Her childhood as a purple-skinned mutant in the Caribbean and then America. Being looked after by Sabretooth after Apocalypse took over (making this the Age Of Apocalypse timeline). Meeting Morph and Nocturne for the 1st time after they were brought together in the 1st-ever Exiles issue.

A Watcher comes to take Blink to her trial, reminding her that her powers have been neutralised. She joins her 3 companions alongside Nocturne who they went to the Western timeline to rescue. They are confronted by a tribunal of Watchers who accuse the Exiles of aiding the Unseen to interfere with the natural course of timelines (as they did also in #2). If found guilty they will be annihilated. Clarice Ferguson recognises this place as the Unseen's fortress on the Moon. The Watchers say he will be judged after they hear from these his agents. And if the Exiles don't co-operate then they will be sentenced and executed immediately.

They tell Blink to explain her tampering with the timeline. She starts with the most important bit:- In #1-5 a Kang with the power of Galactus was destroying timelines as the Time-Eater. They stopped him and restored the timelines. The Watchers wave this aside and demand her life history, so we get an expanded version of what we started this issue with. She was born in the Bahamas but her parents moved to America because they hoped for a better life for their mutant child. Then Apocalypse conquered the world, her parents were killed and Sabretooth brought her up and taught her to fight. Then the Time Broker took her from her reality to found the original Exiles. Later she quit and joined the family of this Earth's Clarice.

But at the beginning of this series the Tallus recruited her to form a new group of Exiles to oppose the Time-Eater. The Unseen was only a source of information. But the Watchers insist that he is the mastermind behind the whole plot.

Now it is Nocturne's turn to account for herself. But TJ Wagner refuses, and the Watchers just accept it.

Valkyrie isn't so shy about telling *her* story. She and 6 sisters were born from Odin's thunderbolt in Asgard. They were raised in competition as warriors and she in the end was chosen to be Valkyrie, the lone defender of Asgard against Frost Giants, etc. Until the Time-eater ate her reality and she joined the Exiles (#2). Last issue her flying horse Elendil was killed (by Pastor X). And now she strains to get at her new oppressors. But a forcefield holds her back and the Watchers warn that such behaviour will get them all killed immediately.

Iron Lad recounts how he was born Nathaniel Richards in the 30th Century. His brains got him bullied as a boy until on his 16th birthday Kang appeared before him and explained that he was his future self. Kang wanted to give him a better early life than he himself had had, and gave him the Iron Lad armour. His 1st act was to take revenge on his chief tormentor. But Blink stopped him (#1) and as part of the Exiles he's learned to be better while saving the multiverse.

Wolvie goes last. The cartoon character has no memory of being a baby. His 1st recollection is waking up with his claws covered in jam from doughnuts. He spent his time at Xavier's Playtime Fun School having fun with the other X-Babies. He joined the Exiles (#2) to save his world from the Time-Eater. On this team he's learned about dying, which didn't happen in his reality, but also about saving people which is good.

The Watchers now say that other accomplices will be heard from. The team are glad to see Captain America (Peggy Carter) and Becky Barnes alive! They were last seen in an explosion in #3. Peggy says she and Becky were taken by the Watchers in the nick of time. Val and Becky have their own reunion, hoping to continue their relationship after this is over.

The Watchers refuse to believe that the new duo aren't part of the 'conspiracy'. Captain Carter refuses to give more than her name, rank and serial number but the others persuade her to co-operate. She skips over her British childhood and just says she became a soldier. She fell in love with Steve Rogers who volunteered for the Super-Soldier program. He was killed by a Nazi spy along with the inventor of the serum before he could take it. So Carter took the only dose and became Captain America instead of him. When the Exiles came to her reality New York was destroyed (by Red Skull's atomic bomb in #3) but she and Barnes woke up prisoners here.

Becky Barnes tells of her tomboy childhood in Brooklyn. Captain America saw her beating 4 boys in a fight and recruited her as her partner.

But the trial isn't over yet. The Watchers bring forth T'Challa, the man known as King, who was apprehended with them in the Wild West reality. He doesn't know what's going on but is willing to tell his story if it helps. He was the Prince of Wakanda until Magnus (last issue's Magneto variant) killed his father King T'Chaka. He left Wakanda to track him down, and by law is now exiled from his secret home. After several years he found Magnus last issue and killed him.

The Tribunal is about to render its judgement when Nocturne shows Blink that her probability-altering hex bolts still work. The Watchers say that the Tallus is powered by the M'Kraan Crystal (as revealed in #1 of this series). The Exiles seem to be able to control the Tallus, and such power is too dangerous - so they are guilty and will be annihilated. The purpose of this 'trial' wasn't to prove their guilt but to record their accounts for the record. Blink accuses them of being rogue Watchers, but they claim they are the only ones willing to deal with the problem.

Then Nocturne throws a hex bolt which 'luckily' disrupts the power dampeners. Everybody starts to fight. Blink somehow gets the Tallus back and it activates taking them all away.

Blink winds up alone, and then someone calls her lazy Aladdin.

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Joe Quinones
Joe Rivera
Chris Sotomayor
Mike McKone (Cover Penciler)
Mike McKone (Cover Inker)
Mike McKone (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Sarah Brunstad. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Becky Barnes, Blink (of Age of Apocalypse), Captain America (Peggy Carter), Exiles, Iron Lad (of Exiles), Nocturne, T'Challa (of Exiles), Valkyrie (of Exiles), Watchers, Wolvie.