Comics : Exiles #20

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This story is part of an Arc: "Legacy (Exiles)"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

This story is part of a Lookback Series: Filling Gaps

This review was first published on: 2007.

Background...

On this world, the Legacy virus was an epidemic that eclipsed the Black Plague. As it only affected mutants at first, not much was done to fight it. However, soon it started to spread to normal people with abnormal DNA. Doug Ramsey, the New Mutant known as Cypher who could decipher any language, was one of the victims of the virus. His best friend, the mutant member of the techno- organic Phalanx Race Warlock, tried to help save his best friend by combining their life forces into one. The disease combined with Warlock's physiology created an all-new disease. They became a creature that could infect mutant and human alike with but a touch. Some victims became zombie-like constructs. The rest became evil monsters, dominating the planet and known as the Vi-Locks.

In Detail...

Exiles #20
Feb 2003 : SM Cameo
Summary: Cameo Vi-Lock Spider-Man, MJ as Spider-Woman (Alt.)
Arc: Part 1 of "Legacy (Exiles)"
Editor:  Mike Raicht
Writer:  Judd Winick
Pencils:  Jim Calafiore
Inker:  John Holdredge
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In Las Vegas, four kids tread out beyond a fence to catch lizards. They end up being caught instead by the Vi-Locks. While they decide what to do with them, the Exiles arrive and rescue the kids. They begin to take down the Vi-Locks when Blink spots a legion more coming towards them. She gets knocked out and Mimic grabs her, ordering a retreat. They escape into the city and take in the destroyed surroundings, unaware they're being watched. Suddenly, the kids are grabbed from their arms by webs and they're shocked from below and dropped through a trap door.

The Exiles come-to in a locked room, and after a bioscan is performed by their captors, a door is opened and their hosts are revealed to be Dr. Henry Pym and Spider-Woman. Just then, the Tallus begins to talk. A conversation later, the heroes are led through the complex they're in with Pym explaining 70% of the population are full Vi-Locks and they can only communicate through telepaths. The Avengers have a large number of heroes gathered keeping their base secure, but Pym is sure that the head Vi-Locks, called Primes or Head- Locks, could have their race, The Network, infiltrate any time they wanted.

Pym has a temporary solution, but it only keeps people from being fully infected. Blink wonders if he had some of the original strain from Cypher if he could find a full cure. Pym theorizes it's possible, if he was still alive. Blink tells him he is, in a place called Mainframe and that's their mission. Pym informs them that's the Prime headquarters, but they figure with the combined might of the Avengers and Exiles they can get in an out just fine. Morph inquires how many super-folk have been turned, to which Pym casually responds "Mostly everyone."

In General...

This was a good twist on the Douglock story from Excalibur, mixing both the Legacy Virus with the Phalanx Covenant to create one super infection. The creative part of this series is seeing the different versions of established heroes that can be created, and it's interesting to see a Spider-Woman in Spidey's classic costume while Spidey himself is one of the Vi-Locks. So far, a good start to the story.

Overall Rating...

4 Webs. Nothing like the Phalanx to give you a bad day.

Footnote...

In every issue, Morph takes on some familiar and unusual forms. Here, we'll try to chronicle as many as we can in a section we'll call: MORPH'S MORPHS!

Morph's morphs: a cowboy, a dragon, a boxer, Captain America