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Exiles #9: Review

Oct 2018
Saladin Ahmed, Javier Rodríguez

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

Rating:
3.5 stars

Exiles #9 Review by (October 26, 2018)
As Iron Lad says here the Exiles aren't in an alternate reality they're in a story (or a mishmash of stories). Maybe next issue will make more sense of this.

Or maybe this *is* supposed to be an alternate reality, relying on the idea that in an infinite multiverse anything conceivable will be true *somewhere*. But that argument is logically flawed on at least 2 levels. 1 of the sneaky things about infinity is that even if you have an infinite number of things in an infinite number of realities there can still be an infinite number of other things that don't happen in *any* of them. And that's only considering infinities of the same order. There are different levels of infinity, and if the number of possibilities is a higher infinity than the number of realities (which I suspect *would* be the case) then the actualised possibilities won't  make a dent in the full set.

Whatever, the stories here are obviously Aladdin's Wonderful Lamp, Ali Baba And The 40 Thieves and The 7 Voyages Of Sinbad The Sailor, all from the Arabian Nights. (Except that they weren't in the original Arabic version but added by European translators.)




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Exiles #9 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue ended with the Tallus taking the Exiles somewhere, and Blink waking up to hear a woman claiming that she's her lazy son Aladdin. Now she continues to berate 'him' and ignore all Blink's protests, and sends Aladdin out to make his fortune. Blink finds herself in a version of Medieval Baghdad. 2 moneylenders accost her for repayment, but a bit of teleporting allows her to knock their heads together. Hakeem Strange (complete with Cloak Of Levitation and Eye Of Agamotto) spots this trick and figures this 'boy' will be useful. (People think she's a boy, and even a son called Aladdin, because the Tallus controls how others see the Exiles.)

Strange offers to help Blink find the other Exiles by taking her to a place where she might be able to scry them. They travel out into the desert on camels. (Strange says she couldn't use her 'magic' to get where they're going because she wouldn't know how to locate a place in the endless sands.) They reach some rocks where the wizard opens a doorway with an incantation. He claims that he isn't allowed to enter the cave, but inside she will find a lamp which will help them locate the others.

Blink finds the lamp but it's dirty so she rubs it clean. And Iron Lad appears in a puff of smoke. When Clarice Ferguson explains the plot-so-far Nate Richards recognises it as the story of Aladdin (and he's the genie), which she's never heard of (in the Age Of Apocalypse timeline). When they attempt to leave, Strange is angry that 'Aladdin' has freed the genie because it will now do her bidding rather than his. So he traps them in the cave with a spell which stops even Blink's teleportation. And when they go back into the cave they face a horned grey behemoth with multiple arms. (I might suggest this was a merger of Rhino and the G'uranthic Guardian (Strange Tales #126 and others), but this isn't an Infinity Warps comic.)

We must leave our duo in peril and look in on Valkyrie and Becky Barnes, where Val is chopping down palm trees while Becky stacks the wood. They don't know why they're doing this nor where their friends are. (Becky would be happy to be alone with Val but she's worried about Captain America (Peggy Carter).) A passing man and his donkey answer the 1st question sort-of when he calls Val Ali Baba the woodchopper, and warns them about a gang of thieves nearby. (Becky recognises the reference from the 1944 film.) While they look for the others Becky asks Val why she's sad and she tells him about the death of her horse Elendil. Which is a bit insensitive because Becky has lost her whole world. (But then so has Val.)

Then they hear Cap's voice and see her being attacked by Black Cat and the 40 Thieves because she's discovered their hideout. (Peggy's recognition reference is more literary - the Arabian Nights.) The other 2 wade into the fight. Sayeed the gang's sorcerer casts a net spell which traps Cap and Val. And the Thieves drag Becky into their cave, sealing the entrance behind them.

But what of the other Exiles? King (Black Panther) is woken up by Wolvie in a ship's cabin. A sailor comes to inform them that they have sighted land, and we discover that here T'Challa is their captain Sinbad The Sailor and Wolvie is his barber (just possibly a reference to the 1947 film where the ship's barber is crucial to the plot). They take boats to shore in the hopes of finding their friends. But instead they are attacked by Cyclopses, giant blue men with visors like that worn by Scott Summers. They escape the eye blasts in their boats (but not without casualties). The next island they visit turns out to be part of a sea monster, and King and Wolvie fall off and sink into the ocean.

Meanwhile nothing Blink and Iron Lad can do seems to affect the G'uranthic Rhino, so Clarice avoids its charge by blinking Nate and herself away deeper into the cave. Where they find a magic carpet which can fly them out of the cave, seemingly through solid rock.

Valkyrie is having no luck trying to smash her way through rock to rescue Becky Barnes when Captain Carter remembers a detail from the Arabian Nights. She says "Open Sesame" and the rock parts to let them in. Inside they follow a stream which seems to know where it's going. Along the way Peggy comments on the growing  relationship between Val and Becky, and warns the Asgardian not to break her ally's heart. The stream exits the cave and the pair find a boat to continue their chase in.

Perhaps because he's a cartoon character Wolvie isn't affected by his dunk in the sea. King is lying on a floating log coughing up water as Wolvie propels it to yet another shore. He's even managed to salvage T'Challa's hat. The flying carpet delivers Clarice and Nate to the same place. And that's where Peggy and Val's boat ends up too. And even Becky joins them, explaining that she escaped from the Thieves by a combination of blarney and fists.

But that still leaves 1 Exile unaccounted for, and Blink says they must find Nocturne. As if on cue the Tallus whisks them all to fabulous palace where they are reunited with T J Wagner. She tells them she's been trapped here reading stories to the ruler. And that angry fellow strides in - the armoured Caliph Doom.


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> Exiles: Book info and issue index

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Javier Rodríguez
Alvaro Lopez
Muntsa Vicente
David Nakayama (Cover Penciler)
David Nakayama (Cover Inker)
David Nakayama (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Sarah Brunstad. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.

Characters

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), Wolvie.