Exiles (1st series) #11

Issue Date: 
May 2002
Story Title: 
Play Date

Judd Winick (writer), Jim Calafiore (penciler), Eric Cannon (inker), Transparency Digital (colors), Paul Tutrone (letters), Mike Raicht (assistant editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

After stopping a bank robbery and being told that they have a week's vacation by the Tallus, Blink, Mimic, T.J. and Thunderbird want to bath on the beach naked. Not wanting Morph there, Blink persuades Mariko to take him shopping, which she reluctantly agrees to. They go lingerie shopping and Mariko gets annoyed with Morph constantly making lewd remarks. She decides she has had enough and then finds out that Morph knew the others wanted to ditch him. They make up and stroll the streets. After seeing loads of adverts for smoking, which Morph hates, he reveals to Mariko that his Mom died of lung cancer when he was sixteen. Blink and T.J. are sunbathing and having small talk. T.J. reveals to blink that her and Thunderbird have got close. Mariko and Morph are at a restaurant and Morph has ordered everything. He tries to talk to her about her parents but she avoid the question, like she has done previously. Morph tells her about his relationship with his dad, and Mariko reveals that she doesn't get on with her parents and its not just because she is a mutant, but because she is also gay. Morph is slightly taken aback by this, and Mariko is sorry as she knew he had a crush on her, but he is ok with it. Later that day, Morph tells her that he is really happy to be Mariko's friend. He then turns into a catapult and loads up with beer filled balloons which he then fires at the others for trying to ditch him for the day.

Full Summary: 

Many months ago before the Exiles had to battle Galactus and lose one of their teammates, the Exiles‘ task was to stop a bank robbery. They were able to complete the job in five mintues and the Tallus told them that they had a week to vacation before they would teleport to their next assignment. The team are standing on a cliff overlooking a beach. Blink takes Mariko to one side and asks her to occupy Morph for the day as the rest of the team want to go naked and Morph's maturity level just can't handle it. Mariko is reluctant at first and argues her case, but eventually caves in. She asks Morph to go shopping with her, but he is not interested, so she tells him she is shopping for lingerie, at which point Morph jumps at the chance, and the rest of the team are ecstatic.
Mariko is trying on various pieces of underwear and Morph is commenting on each one, much to Mariko’s dismay. Mariko finally loses it and tells him that she is done and starts to get back into her normal outfit. Morph tells her that she didn’t have to look for lingerie and could have made another excuse, he knows the others wanted to ditch him. Mariko apologizes for hurting his feelings, and explains that the rest of the team are sunbathing naked, to which Morph agrees that he probably would have been a bit immature. He tells her not to worry about it and he is fine with it. They leave the shop and wander the streets, making small talk.
Morph sees a giant billboard and gets really upset about the cigarette ad displayed on it. He can’t believe that the tobacco companies are able to advertise as much as they can. Mariko agrees with him and tells him that everyone in asia seems to smoke. She asks him why he has a big problem with it and he reveals that his mom died of lung cancer when he was thirteen. Mariko is sorry for him and tells him it must have been hard, to which Morph agrees and they share a quiet moment. Morph asks Mariko about her parents but she avoids the question and asks Morph if he's hungry and fancy’s lobster.
Meanwhile back at the beach, T.J. and Blink are lying naked tanning their backs and talking. T.J. tells Blink that she likes Mimic‘s butt, and Blink replies she can look but not touch. T.J. says she doesn’t want to. Blink asks where Thunderbird is and T-Bird tells her that he has gone swimming. Actually he is walking on the ocean floor as he is too dense to float, but it‘s something that he really enjoys. Blink thinks that T.J. and Thunderbird must have grown pretty close for her to know that, and T.J. smiles and agrees.
In a Lobster Restaurant Morph and Mariko are sitting at a table piled high with food. It turns out Morph has ordered the entire menu. He and Mariko are really getting along and enjoying themselves, when Morph asks her about her parents again. He tells her that she avoids the question time and again just like Mimic avoids questions about professional sports. Again she isn't forthcoming, so Morph explains his relationship with his father. He tells her that he doesn’t really get along with his dad, and that after his mothers he insisted he be more serious, but Morph rebelled and believes that’s one of the reasons he is like he is today.
Mariko feels compelled to tell Morph after hearing his intimate speech and decides to tell him. Her parents are really strict, and when she was growing up was forced into furthering her education, just so she could get married and have kids. When they found it she was a mutant, her parents saw it as a great shame. As she got older she starting voicing her unhappiness until it got ugly, at which point she left Japan for America when she was sixteen. Luckily she joined the X-Men not long after, and the rest is history. He wonders if she tried contacting her parents when she was older as his dad had lightened up with time, but Mariko tells him that it wasn’t just about being a mutant that she hasn’t spoken with them, she’s gay. Morph is slightly taken aback by this, and double checks by asking a few questions to make sure he understands correctly. He asks if the rest of the team know, and they do as it had come up naturally. Morphs wonders why he hadn’t figured it out or she had mentioned it and Mariko tells him that she didn’t want to hurt his feelings as she thought he was interested in her. Morph handles it fairly well and they end up going to find the rest of the team.
Later, near the beach, Mariko asks Morph if he is ok with what she told him. He tells her everything is fine and even though he does fancy her, he is glad to be her friend and would even like her to take him to some gay bars. Morph then asks her if there is enough balloons for them to throw at the rest of the team, as he is standing next to a huge pile. She thinks so but wonders that after the first one hits they’ll be able to avoid the rest. He turns into a catapult ready to fire the lot in one go, and tells Mariko that they aren’t filled with water but in fact beer and launches them at the rest of the team.

Characters Involved: 

Blink, Mimic, Morph, Nocturne, Sunfire, Thunderbird (all Exiles)

Story Notes: 

This issue occurs before visiting the alternate reality where they had to fight Galactus featured in issues #8-10. There one week vacation on the beach was already mentioned in one panel at the start of #8.
First Issue of the title to feature a letters page entitled Reality Check, hosted by Morph.

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