Comics : Exiles Annual #1

Staff Only
Edit Review
Edit Title

This review was first published on: 2008.

Background...

CURRENT EXILES:

SABRETOOTH (Victor Creed): Enchanced senses and healing.

BLINK (Clarice Ferguson): Teleportation

MORPH: Shape-shifting.

DR. HEATHER HUDSON: Scientist.

LONGSHOT: Agility and luck powers.

SPIDER-MAN 2099 (Miguel O'Hara): Spider-like powers and talons.

POWER PRINCESS (Zarda): Super strength and flight.

In Detail...

Exiles Annual #1
Feb 2007 : SM Spin-Off App
Summary: Spider-Man 2099 appears
Editor:  Mark Paniccia, Nathan Crosby, Sean Ryan
Writer:  Tony Bedard
Pencils:  David Nakayama, Mike Norton, Tim Smith, Tom Raney
Inker:  Gary Martin, Norman Lee, Scott Hanna, Terry Pallot, Tim Smith
Staff Only
Issue
Review

The Wrecking Crew is running rampant, but Blink stops them dead in their tracks. Of course, they laugh off the lone Exile, until she blinks in the rest of her team: Mimic, Thunderbird, Nocturne, Morph and Magnus.

Back in the Crystal Palace, Heather calls in the other Exiles, the REAL Exiles into the monitor room to show them the alternate Exiles she has just found. They wonder how it's possible there are two teams out there doing the same thing. Heather says it feels wrong. Spidey theorizes that maybe it's an echo of a past mission they're picking up, but Blink tells him Magnus died on their first mission and they never faced the Wrecking Crew. Zarda could care less, more interested in the mission they were to have on that world, but Heather tells them the other Exiles have already taken care of it.

Earth 33629, the Exiles lock up their newest captives in their underwater base in the Atlantic. While the Wrecking Crew protests for their freedom, Morph and Blink decide to share a moment of passion while they have some time to themselves. Mimic leaves them be, a tad jealous, and Blink teleports them to their room. Not too long after, the real Exiles blink in. They're surprised over the sheer number of prisoners they have, and Heather wonders how they could be stopping a crisis every week and who could be orchestrating that and why. Creed deduces maybe to lure them there, and he ends up right.

The Timebroker and the other Exiles appear and informs them they're there for a wager; beat his Exiles and they can go free. The other Exiles are confused and the Exiles try to calm the situation, but a fight happens anyway as the other Exiles view it as just another test (and the other Morph was pissed he got interrupted with Blink). Mimic takes Sabretooth, Nocturne takes Spidey, Blink takes Blink, Thunderbird takes Zarda, Morph takes Morph (while calling him a Skrull), and Magnus takes Longshot. Magnus easily beats Longshot thanks to the metal he carries, and Mimic takes down Spidey with a ricochet optic blast. Before Blink can get her team out of there, Nocturne takes over her body and uses her powers against her own teammates.

With the Exiles locked up, the other Exiles look to the Timebroker for answers. Morph continues to express his theory that they may be Skrulls while Thunderbird carries Blink to her cell. There, they discover that Longshot didn't get blinked into his cell by Nocturne as she thought, leaving Timebroker's bet unfulfilled. He demands of Sabretooth where he could be, and Sabretooth just shrugs and says he probably used his luck powers to get 'ported somewhere else. Timebroker commands the Exiles to find him before heading off. The other Exiles scatter with the other Blink lagging behind. Sabretooth tries to talk some sense into her, tell her she's being used, but she just doesn't want to hear it.

In the communications room, Timebroker uses the viewer to answer a call from the Grandmaster, reminding him about the rules and time limit of their wager. Timebroker demands respect, but Grandmaster refuses to do so towards his current guise. Timebroker humors him and changes to his real self, not knowing the other Blink had snuck in and caught him.

Elsewhere, Nocturne and Thunderbird continue the search for Longshot, inevitably finding him in a storage closet. Longshot attacks and is able to use his powers to blow Thunderbird into a hatch leading into the ocean and having the debris close the door on him, trapping him. Nocturne doesn't like that so much and shows him so. Back in the cells, the Exiles hear the explosion and reckon they found Longshot. It's not long after that other Blink shows up, ready to listen to what Sabretooth has to say.

Once his tale is done, Blink informs them of the stranger she overheard who Zarda recognizes as the Grandmaster. Convinced her team were pawns in a cosmic game, the other Blink releases the original Exiles and tries to figure out how they can stand up against someone who can think them out of existence. Elsewhere, Longshot is still on the run having knocked out the other Nocturne, only to run into the other Morph. Longshot is able to let Morph take himself down when the rest of his hunters catch up to them. But, before the other Thunderbird can get his licks in, Blink contacts them, affirming Mimic's hunches about the Exiles not being their enemy.

All the Exiles gather and confront the Grandmaster. He tells them they meddled in a game of his and caused him to lose a bet, so he scoured the universes to find their near-perfect matches in order to create his own Exiles team to lure the real Exiles into his trap. The Exiles try to attack, but the Grandmaster easily wipes them out, breaking his deal with that universe's Grandmaster and calling upon the wrath of the Elder Gods. The other Grandmaster resurrects the Exiles to enact the punishment of beating the Grandmaster senseless.

With all said and done, the Exiles are returned home and Earth-3629 now finds itself with its own group of heroes.

In General...

Cosmic stuff can tend not to make a lot of sense, because its hard to imagine proper motivation for omnipotent beings. Overall, Bedard crafted a pretty good story and gave us double the Exiles for our money. With four different artists on the book, the art can vary between sections, most of them complimenting each other, except the style towards the end of the book. Also, during the Exiles fight, someone goofed and put what was supposed to be a 2-page spread back to back. Overall, a pretty good read in true Exiles fashion.

Overall Rating...

3.5 Webs. Inconsistent art and a goof on the editor side brought the score down some, but overall a very good book.

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: Fireman clown, Sherlock Holmes, prize fighter, railing, zombie