The Exiles have met Kevin MacTaggert, aka the reality-bending mutant known as Proteus, which resulted in his possession of Mimic's body. Using his abilities, Proteus traveled to the alternate dimension known as the New Universe where he discarded Mimic's withered husk for that of John Tensen, aka Justice. After his defeat by the Exiles with the help of Longshot, Proteus' next stop was the 2099 universe where he found the perfect body: Hulk 2099! With the help of Spider-Man 2099, the Exiles were able to get Proteus to leave that dimension and proceed on to the next. They've now followed him to the universe of the Squadron Supreme where Proteus has used Hyperion's past association with former Exile team member Beak to make the Squadron think the Exiles have gone rogue. While he escapes, the Squadron take the Exiles down and prepare them for a fair trial.
SABRETOOTH (Victor Creed): Enhanced senses and healing.
BLINK (Clarice Ferguson): Teleportation.
SASQUATCH (Dr. Heather Hudson): Super strength and senses.
LONGSHOT: Agility and luck powers.
SPIDER-MAN 2099 (Miguel O'Hara): Spider-like powers and talons.
Nighthawk calls the court to order, but the Exiles want no part of it as they try in vain to explain about the "Hulk" they were helping. The Squadron informs them they have no choice but to participate in their trial as the temple is sealed and inhibitor collars keep their powers in check, and assure them they will receive a fair one.
Hyperion is called to the stand, and when Morph questions his not being sworn in, Dr. Spectrum tells them his power prism will handle any lies that come their way. Hyperion recounts his meeting of the team to take down the evil Hyperion, which Zarda enters into evidence against them for allowing it to happen. Meanwhile, Heather tries to find a way to rescue them, but the field erected around the temple prevents her from doing so. So, she tries a lest direct approach with information.
Morph was up next, telling about their origin with the Timebroker and their mission. When asked if they've always had a positive impact on worlds they've helped, Morph answers in the hesitantly negative. Sabretooth speaks out, but is silenced by Spectrum. While Heather watches, she tries to figure out a way to get information to her team that she dug up on the Squadron. The Bugs remind her of the interface they once used with them. Sabretooth, not liking being muzzled, goes berserk and needs to be subdued. Based on that, Nighthawk is ready to pronounce sentence when Heather, as the Timebroker, makes an appearance.
Heather uses the Tallus to show the Exiles how the Squadron saved the world from the Serpent Crown then tried to build a global utopia using mind-altering techniques. The original Nighthawk objected to the plan and died trying to stop them, forcing the team to realize what they became. They left, and returned to find the world under martial law. The Global Directorate is now in charge and hunts them, using their behavior modifier to recruit their soldiers. Heather mentions how they can't remove them from power without tarnishing their image further, and the Squadron informs her that they can't do anything as they were elected by the public and therefore must expose them.
Blink has Heather show the Squadron who they are and what they do, giving them the Reader's Digest view of the worlds they've been to. The Squadron are humbled by the realization in light of their own failures, but Heather tells them they were shown that to let them know things they couldn't, like the GD's use of voter fraud to win the last election.
With that information out, the Squadron take the GD into custody. Before the Exiles can leave, though, Hyperion declares one of their rank will accompany them to make sure Proteus is taken down. Zarda volunteers much against the Exile's wishes, but they have more important matters to attend to, as do the Squadron now.
Not much in the way of action this issue, but a good reaffirmation of what the Exiles are all about and how brains can sometimes win out against brawn. Characterizations, as always, are top-notch and the artwork was excellent. It will be interesting to see how the team handles Power Princess in their ranks now.
One thing to note was while the Squadron Supreme were always a parody of DC's Justice League, it's kind of ironic to discover that DC's Identity Crisis mini-series in 2004 followed a lot of the same elements as the origin of the Squadron, from the mind-wiping to alter villain's memories and Batman, represented by Nighthawk, being against the procedure. Although, Batman's memory was altered as well, rather than his defiance resulting in his death and replacement.
4 Webs. Not too much action, but a decent story overall.
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: Mobster, picketer