Exiles #5 Review: A Glorious Conclusion to the First Arc

Exiles #5
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Summary
Writer: Saladin Ahmed, Artist and Color Artist: Javier Rodriguez, Inker: Alvaro Lopez, Letters: VC's Joe Caramagna, Cover by: David Marquez and Tamra Bonvillain, Variant Cover by: Mike McKone, Associate Editor: Sarah Brunstad, Editor: Wil Moss, Executive Editor: Tom Brevoort, Publisher: Marvel Comics, Release Date: Out Now, Price: $3.99

The Exiles have tracked down the Time-Eater at last, and he is Kang the Conqueror. He is using the remains of Galactus from across the Multiverse to give himself the power to consume all realities. It’s down to Blink, Khan, Valkyrie, Wolvie, Iron Lad, and Nick Fury to beat the odds and save every universe from being consumed.

Exiles #5 cover by David Marquez and Tamra Bonvillain
Exiles #5 cover by David Marquez and Tamra Bonvillain

This is the bombastic finale to the first Exiles arc under Saladin Ahmed and Javier Rodriguez, and it is a hell of a showing.

The issue is almost entirely made up of the fight against Kang the Conqueror, and Kang is in his true form here. He is making Shakespearean proclamations about how he’s already won, and there’s nothing that the Exiles can do to stop him. He talks about how becoming all reality is far more impressive than simply conquering it.

On that note, this comic can be a bit verbose. A few pages are plastered with text that hampers the pacing and are a bit of a slog to traverse. Thankfully, this is only a few pages, and the book maintains its sincerity, energy, and theatrics despite the text dumps.

There is a loss in this comic, and it is telegraphed a little too hard. The comic tries to do a sendoff for the character in the end, and that works well enough.

Exiles #5 art by Javier Rodriguez and Alvaro Lopez
Exiles #5 art by Javier Rodriguez and Alvaro Lopez

Javier Rodriguez pulls out all the stops for this issue. He does some of the best work of his impressive career here. The visuals are creative, the sequencing is clever and punchy, and the splash pages are glorious and well-justified. He contributes the color work to this one too, and that is similarly brilliant, gorgeous, and impeccably balanced.

Exiles #5 closes out its first arc with excitement and style which few comics can achieve. It is hurt by some liberal use of exposition and underwhelming plot beats, but the final product still shines in part thanks to the incredible work of Javier Rodriguez. This one earns a recommendation. Give it a read.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.