Issue Date: February 2006
Story Title: World Tour: New Universe – part two
Staff: Tony Bedard (Writer), Paul Pelletier (Penciler), Rick Magyar with Drew Hennessy (Inkers), Wil Quintana (Colorist), Dave Sharpe (Letterer), Sean Ryan (Assistant Editor), Nick Lowe (Associate Editor), Mike Marts (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)
Sabretooth battles Star Brand-wielding Ken Connell and begins to lose, which causes him to go into feral mode. He overtakes the surprised Connell and forces Morph to wrap his body and restrain Sabretooth. Meanwhile, at Connell’s apartment, Proteus battles Justice and loses as Mimic’s body is finally spent up. However, at the last moment, he possesses Justice’s body and leaves Mimic dead. Two officers arrive but Proteus kills them, after which he looks up the name of Ken’s girlfriend, Debbie, and goes to her house. Blink reasons with Star Brand and, after he calms down, Sabretooth explains the whole situation to him. They are finally able to convince Connell, thanks to Heather, who tells them that Proteus is at Ken’s home. However, she wants them to find Keith Remsen instead. Unfortunately, Blink would rather save Mimic now and Connell wants to make sure none of his friends visit his house if Proteus is there. They arrive in time to see Debbie arrive, but Ken sends her home. In the house, the group finds the body of Mimic, much to the ultimate horror of Blink. Ken notices his address book open to Debbie’s address, so Blink teleports to Debbie’s place, just in time to save the woman, but she ignores the taunts of Proteus. No longer racing against the clock, the Exiles locate Keith Remsen and enlist his aid, as he can enter the dreams of people. Meanwhile, Heather contacts Mojo and offers him access to view other universes that he does not have access to, in exchange for something he won’t miss.
On Earth #15731, specifically West Mifflin, PA, Sabretooth is thrown into a tree by Kenneth Connell, wielder of the all-powerful Star Brand! Connell yells at Sabretooth and tells him that, ever since he got his powers, people like him keep on trying to take it away. When will people learn that the Star Brand is his? Blink rushes out of the house and screams that they have to stop them. Morph agrees, as Star Brand is killing Sabretooth. Worse than that Morph, replies Blink. Sabretooth is getting mad.
Meanwhile, at the Westgate Village Apartments nearby, the vigilante known as Justice confronts the frail figure of Mimic, possessed by the reality warping mutant Proteus, in the home of Kenneth Connell. Mimic asks Justice if he is a friend sent by Connell. He then slashes his claws at Justice, who easily blocks the attack with his shield. Justice blasts Mimic away and then tells him that he is not an easy victim. Mimic never dreamt that Justice would find him.
In their respective battles, both Mimic/Proteus and Sabretooth go feral.
Sabretooth howls and throws Connell to the ground. Blink tells Morph to stop Sabretooth, but Morph is a bit scared. Blink reasons that Creed cannot stop himself when he is like this.
At the Westgate Village Apartments, the enraged Proteus demands Justice pull down his shields and fights him. Suddenly, Mimic’s body gives way and the creature falls to the ground. Justice tells Mimic that his aura is fading. He has spent himself.
At the house, Sabretooth grabs Kenneth by his throat, but Morph shape shifts into a saber-toothed tiger and leaps onto his ally, telling him “momma said know you out.”
At the apartments, Justice holds the dying Mimic and asks him if he has any final words. Mimic mumbles something, and then Proteus leaps out of his body, screaming “surprise,” as he possesses Justice!
At the house, Morph admits to Sabretooth that he really won’t knock him out, but he does wrap his elongated arms to retrain the feral man. Sabretooth howls even louder.
At the apartments, the now-possessed Justice looks at the shriveled body of Mimic and thought that he would last longer. He tells the dead Calvin that he shouldn’t have resisted him. Now look at what happened.
At the house, Morph turns into a restraining jacket, much to the happiness of Blink. Morph thanks Blink for her compliments, though jokes that if only Sabretooth knew where he was digging his claws right now. Sabretooth grabs a chunk of Morph’s face with his teeth. Morph yells at him and tells him he doesn’t do that on the first date. Kenneth gets up and asks them what is wrong them all. Offended, Blink reminds him that he started this fight. They didn’t punch a hole in his friend’s house either. They came to talk. Looking guilty, Kenneth pauses.
Morph, who has a muzzle on Sabretooth, tells him that there is this guy who steals bodies. He is wearing their friend’s body right now and he is aiming to take Kenneth’s body. If they can catch the monster they might still be able to save their friend.
At the apartments, Proteus looks at his new body. It wasn’t the change he had in mind but it will do for now. Proteus marvels at the fake memories Justice has. He thinks he was a “justice warrior” but that was just a load of stuff he was brainwashed into believing. Justice is actually John Tensen. He was a cop, though with a few non-regulation abilities.
Suddenly, two officers enter in with guns out and flashlights. One calls out that they got a call about a domestic disturbance. If that was a firearm they just heard, the perpetrator should drop it. They do not want to shoot, but if push comes to shove they will. Marty turns to Fred and tells him that he has a bad feeling, but Fred tells him to just find a light switch. As Marty goes to find a light switch, Fred notices something smells wrong. Marty looks at the hole in the wall and wonders what can make such burn marks. Suddenly, the hole in the wall turns into a mouth and eyes come out of the wall!
Nearby, Fred starts shooting his gun, as the kitchen appliances turn into monsters. He calls to party for help. At the monster hole, Marty sees the animated body of Mimic come towards him, calling his name. Scared, Fred shoots Mimic. However, Mimic does not fall to the ground dead… Marty does. Horrified, Fred stands kneels over the body of his partner, not noticing Justice towering behind him, with a hundred eyeballs all around watching.
At the house, Ken Connell asks the Exiles why, if they are from another universe, did they pretend that they were from this world. Blink is not sure of the answer, but the calmed Sabretooth explains that it was Heather’s idea. Ken was so jumpy that she figured he wouldn’t believe the truth. Ken asks who Heather is, but first Sabretooth tells Morph to let him go as he has settled own. Morph asks if he is sure, but Sabretooth roughly tells Morph to get off. Sabretooth then shows Kenneth the Tallus and explains that Heather Hudson is their mission control. She talks to him through this bracelet that only he can hear out of. Ken looks at Sabretooth as if he was crazy and tells him that he has been lied to a lot lately. Also, those other lies were a bit more convincing.
At the Panoptichron, Heather tells Sabretooth to tell Ken that he would be dead right now if it wasn’t for them. Proteus was at his apartment waiting to ambush him.
Sabretooth explains this to Ken and adds that, if he had gone home right now, Proteus would be wearing his skin right now and the power of the Star Brand would belong to a murderer. Heather says he lives at Westgate Village Apartments, right? Ken freaks out, as he thinks of the consequences if Debbie stopped by or if Barb came by with the kids. Sabretooth asks Heather if Proteus is alone. Heather explains that Proteus is putting up a temporal smoke screen. She has no visual, only a general location.
Sabretooth tells Connell that they do not know if Proteus is alone. Blink comes forward and tells the group that they have to go either way before Mimic’s body is used up. Morph asks if they shoot Mimic. Metal will force Proteus out. Blink agrees, as it worked before. Sabretooth, however, doesn’t think Proteus will be defeated the same way twice. They have to beat his reality scrambling powers. Does Heather have any thoughts?
In the Panoptichron, Heather tells Sabretooth that she has a couple of ideas. She will follow up on one here, while the Exiles go track down another paranormal.
Moments later, Sabretooth tells the Exiles about Keith Remsen. Annoyed, Blink tells Sabretooth that there is no time to fetch help. They need to save Mimic now. Still worried, Ken asks Blink if they are still going to argue or does he have to go alone. Determined, Blink asks Kenneth how far away he lives.
Outside Kenneth’s apartment, Debbie arrives at the apartment and finds all the neighbors waiting outside, as well as a cop car. Debbie, horrified, asks what happened. She learns that cops went inside and there was gunfire, but no one came back out. Suddenly, Blink and the others teleport next to the group. Debbie sees Ken and jumps into his arms. Ken is relieved that Debbie is alive. Concerned, Debbie asks who the others are, but Connell tells her that he cannot answer. She has to go home, though. There is going to be trouble and he doesn’t want her hurt. Understanding, Debbie runs away as the Exiles and Connell rush into the house.
Once there, Connell uses the Star Brand lights up the house with and the group sees two dead police officers. One is shot through the head, while the other is nothing but a sack of skin and bones. Blink orders everyone to spread out as Proteus might still be there. As the team looks around, Ken notices his address book is open to Debbie’s page. Proteus knows where she lives and he just sent her home! Suddenly, Kenneth, Sabretooth, and Morph hear a horrifying and blood-curdling shriek from the next room.
The three men rush into the next room to find Blink on the floor, holding onto the dead body of Mimic, her face buried into his chest. Sabretooth looks away as a saddened Ken as if that was their friend. “That was the man she loves,” says Morph, somberly.
Meanwhile, back at Post Oak Apartments, two miles away, Debbie returns home and only hopes that “Kenny” is not dead. She enters her apartment and closes the door, muttering that she should never have gotten involved with him in the first place. Suddenly, Justice slams the door closed for Debbie and tells her that she just couldn’t help herself couldn’t she. Was it Ken’s eyes? He hopes not. Those are the first thing sure to change about him as soon as Proteus is done with him. Justice throws Debbie across the room and tells her that her boyfriend will be here soon. He has seen to that. He thinks he might just de-bone her while they wait.
Suddenly, Blink teleports in. Justice powers up and smiles. He sarcastically jokes that he was worried Blink did not find the clue he left behind. By clue, he means the little black book, not Blink’s dead boyfriend. Blink glares at Proteus but does not say anything. She simply teleports out with Debbie. Justice is shocked that she ran, as he thought Blink would be out for blood.
At a nearby gas station, Blink and Debbie appear. Ken holds Debbie and tells her that she is safe. Blink tells the others that Proteus isn’t in any body that she recognized. Connell tells Blink that whoever is possessed is already dead, so they should finish this. No, says Blink. They will not go into this half-cocked. They cannot afford to give into anger right now, right Sabretooth? Sabretooth pauses for a moment, and then agrees.
Blink stands tall and tells the group that Mimic is dead. They are not racing the clock anymore. They won’t rush straight into Proteus’ reality warp. That is exactly what he wants. They are going to find Keith Remsen that Heather mentioned and they will take down Proteus on their terms.
At the Ballad Dream Institute, the Exiles and Connell confront Keith Remsen, who lives under surveillance at the facility. Keith at first is shocked to hear the story of the Exiles. Blink asks Keith if he thinks that they are lying. No, says Keith. Sabretooth and Morph are enough credence for her story. Plus, they didn’t bat an eye when he told them that he could enter dreams. The question, though, is that if Proteus can reshape reality, then what good is he against that? Blink tells Keith that a psychic assault may work where a physical one didn’t. If they can get to Proteus while he sleeps, then Remsen’s past experiences can help him in this battle.
Morph shape shifts into Harry Potter and looks at the crescent mark on Keith’s forward, asking him about that. Keith has no clue who Harry Potter is. Morph tells him to give it fifteen years. Then he will be laughing. Sabretooth takes Blink aside and asks her if she thinks Keith is any threat to Proteus. No, admits Blink, but Heather does. That plan B she is working on better be good.
Meanwhile, in the Mojoverse, Mojo sits in his citadel and flips through channels. Seventy-two thousand channels and nothing are worth watching. He is tired of Extreme Takeover: Homeworld Edition. He is bored of Desperate Wife Swap, and he is over Queer Eye for the Caped Guy. Mojo sighs and tells Major Domo that life is boring since he cancelled Longshot’s rebellion. One would think there would be something on Mojo-TiVo or the Spineless Spice Channel. Major Domo suggests perhaps its time to turn off the television. Mojo tells Domo to bite his tongue. No really. Bite it.
Suddenly, the television flips to a station where everyday people look like the Hulk. Mojo is confused, as he never approved of this show. Suddenly, the screen changes to a demon Spider-Man, and then to a show for children. Mojo turns to Domo and asks who is broadcasting all of this. Is one of his rivals producing new shows without his knowledge? Doubtful, says Domo, as the rivals only subsist on what funds Mojo gives them. Suddenly, all the screens go blank.
Mojo gets riled up and screams for someone to put it back up. At that moment, all the monitors show the image of Heather Hudson, who tells Mojo to calm down. He can have programs from all those worlds and more if he plays his cards right. Mojo looks at Heather and asks her if he knows her. Heather tells him that she was ten feet tall and covered in fur when they met. He was torturing her friend at the time, but she isn’t there to settle old scores.
Then why not visit in person, asks Mojo. This is as close as I’ll risk getting to you, says Heather. What she offers is content for his network. She has endless new content from universes he couldn’t even dream up, much less access. His interest piqued, Mojo asks Heather what she wants in exchange for all of this.
“Oh, it’s something you’ll never miss…” replies Heather.
Blink, Heather Hudson, Morph, Sabretooth (Exiles)
Ken Connell / Star Brand
Two police officers
Body of Mimic
In the fall of 1986, Marvel Comics’ editor-in-chief, Jim Shooter, launched a pet project, the “New Universe.” Intended as a celebration for Marvel’s 25-year anniversary, the New Universe was to be a completely separate universe and viewed as “the world outside our window.” This was to mean that there was no time travel, no alternate universes and no aliens. Another revolutionary feature was that events happened in real-time, having a month pass between issues, just like it did for the reader. As a result, exact dates were given for many events which occurred in the New Universe.
The original eight titles were DP7, Justice, Kickers Inc., Merc, Nightmask, Psi-Force, Spitfire and the Troubleshooters & Star Brand. Kickers Inc., Merc and Nightmask only lasted 12 issues. Spitfire lasted for 13, however it went through several name changes, becoming just Spitfire with #8 and Codename: Spitfire with #10. DP7, Justice & Psi-Force lasted for 32 issues. Star Brand went bi-monthly after #6, finally cancelled with #19. There were also two specials, the Pitt & the Draft, and a mini-series called the War.
At this point, Justice believes himself to be a Justice Warrior from another dimension. He has the ability to fire a disintegrating blast with one hand, which he calls his “sword.” He is also able to create a force field of sorts with his other, which he calls his “shield.” Tensen, Justice’s “real name,” is capable of reading people’s auras to determine their soul, whether they are good or evil. To those who are evil, he bestows the “justice” of his sword, though quickly learns that good and evil are more difficult to determine on “this world.” In Justice #15, Tensen learns that his real name is John Tensen and that he is really a narcotics cop who was transformed into his current mental state by Daedalus Darquill, a mentally deranged paranormal with reality altering powers. With the death of Darquill, Tensen is returned to reality and eventually recruited by the NSA.
Keith Remsen is the main character of the New Universe title, Nightmask. Prior to Nightmask #1, Keith had been in a terrorist explosion at an airport, which claimed the life of his parents, crippled his sister, Teddy, and left him in a coma, with the crescent-shaped scar on his forehead. However, moments after the enigmatic “White Event” occurred, Keith awoke from his coma, to discover shortly thereafter that he was able to enter other people’s dreams if he went to sleep in close proximity to them. Able to alter his own appearance in their dreams, Keith adopted the costume and name of Nightmask, which he used to help others.
The Exiles first met Mojo in Exiles #18-19. Gumby is a claymation character, who first appeared on the Howdy Doody Show. His amorphous appearance seems to be what draws the comparison by Keith to Morph.
Harry Potter is the incredibly popular literary creation of writer J.K. Rowling. Of the several physical characteristics for which he is famous, he is known for the lightening bolt-shaped scar on his forehead, which he got as a baby on the night his parents were murdered.
“Spineless Spice Channel” most likely refers to the “Spice Channel,” a adult movie channel in the United States.
Notes in this summary regarding the New Universe were written by UXN contributor Douglas Mangum.
This Issue has been reprinted in:
Exiles Vol. 12: Word Tour Book 1 (Trade Paperback)
Issue Summary written by: Redguard (Mandeep Jangi)