Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities, but with a corporate merger on the way, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in comics.
Each week, armed with the joy, heartbreak, and frustration of 30+ years of reading X-Men comics, we read every new X-book that comes out, recap the events, provide the historical context so you can read it on Marvel Unlimited, and wonder when Marvel will let Chris Claremont write something again.
It’s the way X-Men comics were meant to be read! It’s the column that can only be known as…
For more about the column, check out the reboot issue here.
SALADIN AHMED (W) • JAVIER RODRIGUEZ (A)
Cover by DAVID MARQUEZ
Variant Cover by JAVIER RODRIGUEZ
Character Variant Cover by MIKE MCKONE
Game Variant Cover
CAPTAIN CARTER KILLS THE RED SKULL!
That’s her mission, anyway! The fan-favorite Captain America — Peggy Carter of the Marvel Puzzle Quest game — faces off against an apocalyptically armed Red Skull! And the Exiles are just in time to join the fight — ’cuz they’ve been kicked off their mission! There’s a new team of Watchers in town, and they’re cracking down on the Exiles’ interference in the timestream — even if it means the death of everything. Can the Exiles salvage Peggy Carter’s world, fix the Tallus and get back to saving reality before the Time-Eater tracks them down again?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
The issue opens like all comics ought to, with a character recapping the previous issue. In this case, the narrator is The Unseen, formerly known as Nick Fury until Marvel needed to create some movie synergy during the Original Sin super-mega-crossover event and replaced him with the son he never knew he had who just happens to look like a young Samuel L. Jackson. The story so far, according to the Unseen, is that, just after Blink had assembled her new team of Exiles to save the multiverse from being devoured by the Time-Eater (which looks like the severed head of Galactus), a group of Watchers angry at The Unseen for interfering in events he’s only supposed to observe showed up on the moon to kill him, but the Tallus, a magical crystal which guides Blink on her mission, was cracked in the ensuing scuffle, killing the watchers and sending Blink and the Exiles hurtling through time and space again
Now that we’re all caught up, we find our heroes — Blink, Li’l Wolvie, disgruntled old Kamala Khan, Iron Lad, and Valkyrie (the one that looks like Tessa Thompson in Thor: Ragnarok) — having just landed in a forest somewhere. The Tallus, worn on Blink’s arm, is still functioning, but it’s damaged. Blink wonders how they’ll ever get home while the Talus is broken. The other Exiles wonder how they’ll ever get home when their universes have been eaten. They’re interrupted by a pack of talking cyborg dinosaurs wearing clothes and armed with weapons.
A battle ensues, with poor Li’l Wolvie cowering behind a rock the whole time (he is now our favorite Wolverine). Before a victor can be decided, the Time-Eater shows up and starts munching on reality. The Tallus is acting strangely, but it’s working enough to take the Exiles away. However, Iron Lad points out that the Tallus can no longer navigate properly because the Time-Eater’s devouring of universes is affecting reality itself.
The Exiles end up in a new reality, a cross between Atlantis and a Beatles movie. A portal opens, and old school, pre-Unseen Nick Fury walks through it. He greets the kids with dialogue that indicates they must meet him somewhere in their future. He tells them not to worry, he’s “on it,” and steps through another portal. The Exiles take a walk, which gives them a chance for some character-building conversation. Then they meet Beatnick Namor.
When Kamala refuses some wine, Namor invites her to an orgy, which she also refuses. Namore calls her a square and offers to get her high in any number of ways. Blink is kind of into it, but she’s concerned about the time-eater. Then things take a dark turn when an old friend shows up…
Sadly, their reunion is cut short just a few panels later when Morph zaps out of existence, the Time-Eater shows up again to eat Hippie Atlantis, and the Tallus teleports them to yet another dimension. Blink vows to find all of her old Exiles teammates and rescue them from whatever is affecting Morph.
She’ll have to worry about that later though, because the Exiles are in a new reality for the next several pages at least, which comes with a new set of problems. The Exiles are greeted in this Golden-Agey reality by a female Bucky and Peggy Carter, Captain America.
Cap assumes the Exiles are a team of secret agents sent to assist her in a mission. Blink decides to go along with this for now, and the team follows her lead. Cap explains that the Red Skull is flying to New York City where he plans to drop a massive bomb. Peggy and her Howling Commandos, along with the Exiles, need to stop him. Li’l Wolvie needs a bathroom break first. Cute little guy.
On the plane en route to stop the Skull, Wolvie asks the Commandoes to explain what killing is while Bucky hits on Valkyrie. They reach the Skull’s ship and invade. Biff, bam, pow, a few panels later Peggy is face-to-face with the Red Skull. The Skull says New York is doomed because the ship will crash and blow up the city, but Peggy has some dynamite and she plans to blow it out of the sky with everyone inside. Blink didn’t sign up for a suicide mission though, so she teleports everyone safely down to the ground.
On the ground, Kamala breaks her hardass routine for a moment to compliment Blink on saving everyone while Bucky hits on Valkyrie some more and offers to hook Iron Lad up with a date. Kamala realizes they’ve landed in Jersey City and gets a little bit sentimental, but she doesn’t want to talk about her feelings or anything like that. As the celebration continues, however, Li’l Wolvie’s enhanced senses detect something dangerous in the air. Iron Lad confirms it appears to be a leak from the bomb. The Talus springs to life just as the bomb goes off in a multi-panel explosion. We’re left with nothing but ashes and Captain America’s shield lying in the rubble as the story will be continued next issue.
Exiles continues to be fun, and, more importantly to the standards of X-ual Healing, makes a serious effort to provide a satisfying single-issue experience. Throw in a hippie Namor and it’s hard not to love this issue.
If you can’t get enough of Peggy Carter, Captain America, you can find her in Marvel Puzzle Quest, where she originated, as an interview with Marvel Games’ Bill Roseman X-plains in the letters page.
Want to know more about Morph? You’ll want to start with Exiles (2001 series) #1, and you can read that series for its entire 100 issue run on Marvel Unlimited. As a bonus, if you stick around long enough, legendary X-scribe Chris Claremont eventually takes over.
Read more X-ual Healing here: