Comics : Exiles #22

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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.

The Exiles have arrived to face-off against the techno-organic creatures, and to meet the only thing fighting against them; the Avengers. They deduce their mission is to help them find the original Vi-Lock, Cypher, in order to create a vaccine for the infection. Unfortunately, he's being held in the main lair of the Primes, the transformed superhuman population of the world and leaders of the Vi-Locks.

The Exiles and Avengers launch an attempt to retrieve Cypher, but their supreme leader Forge discovers their plan and destroys Cypher. Blink also ends up infected by the virus, but is still able to teleport all the heroes out of the Vi-Lock base. With Cypher gone, so is the hope of a vaccine and the Tallus says the only other option is to destroy this world.

In Detail...

Exiles #22
Apr 2003 : SM Guest
Summary: Vi-Lock Spider-Man, MJ as Spider-Woman (Alt.)
Arc: Part 3 of "Legacy (Exiles)"
Editor:  Mike Raicht
Writer:  Judd Winick
Pencils:  Jim Calafiore
Inker:  Eric Cannon, John Holdredge
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Review

Pym and Beast try desperately to help Blink fight off her infection. But, as it was the purest form, that can prove difficult. They stabilize her, for now. She did mention destroying the world, prompting Pym to ask Mimic what she meant. Mimic tells him what the Tallus says is in store, and Pym accepts and has prepared for this eventuality.

Later, Pym gathers the heroes together to tell them the plan. They'll attack a nuclear reactor 50 miles below Mainframe, the Vi-Lock base. However, the only way to do it is with something more controlled than a missle; a ship called the Warbird. Hearing the plan, TJ immediately volunteers to fly it, being the best pilot available. Heather tries to convince her otherwise, but they're forced to agree since the infestation hasn't allowed much flying to be done by local pilots.

Mimic takes time with Blink in the medbay, realizing just how much she means to him and asking for her not to die. Soon, when TJ is about to takeoff in the Warbird, Mimic knocks her out and takes her place, having logged more flight time in the ship than anyone despite TJ's superior piloting skills. Unfortunately, the only means of communication with base was telepathy, and a sudden radiation leak forces him to armor up which also includes mental blocks, leaving Mimic on his own.

Meanwhile, Morph had Rachel trying out an experiment that seems to have paid off. Using her powers and some ancient tomes, she was able to call down the Norse gods for help. And help they do, using their abilities to dramatically reverse the effects on Blink, and quite possibly the rest of the world. As such, they try to call Mimic off his attack but can't. As a last resort to save the world, Pym has Spider-Woman contact Forge and warn him. Better safe than sorry, Forge orders an attack on Mimic, but he intends to go down fighting.

Blink wakes up just in time to learn what's going on. She teleports into the ship to apprise Mimic of the situation. He diverts the ship into outer space and she teleports them back to the base. Eighteen hours later, the world is being healed by a combination of the healing factor and Norse blood and everyone is jubilant. However, the party is cut short by the appearance of the Timebroker who informs them someone has completed their mission. They're introduced to their new teammate, Magik, as Mimic finds himself wearing the Tallus. Blink's time is done, and now Mimic is truly alone.

In General...

While the issue began alright, it started to feel a bit rushed towards the end. They tried to throw in too much and some things suffered for it. And, of course, there's the coincidental revival of Blink just in time to save Mimic. Also, the confrontation with the Vi-Locks was fairly disappointing, as the cure as done off-panel and we didn't get to see their reactions to it. And Morph's plan; how did he know it will work and what was the motivation behind it? It's never satisfactorily explained. It will, however, be interesting to see how Mimic handles his new role on the team, and what Magik will bring to it.

Overall Rating...

2.5 Webs. It started off good, but a lot of things were rushed or just plain missing. Just too much story for one issue to handle.

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: Racquetball player, Thor, Valkyrie, Vikings football player parody