Exiles (1st series) #12

Issue Date: 
June 2002
Story Title: 
Another Rooster In The Henhouse - part 1

Judd Winick (writer), Mike McKone (penciler), John Holdredge (inker), Transparency Digital (colors), Paul Tutrone (letters), Mike Raicht (assistant editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

The Exiles materialize at the next world and find themselves face to face with Weapon X, a team led by Sabretooth from the Age of Apocalypse. The other members are Deadpool, a young Storm, a shorthaired version of She-Hulk, a rebuilt Vision and the Spider (Peter Parker). Weapon X have the same task as the Exiles; guided by a Tallus of their own, they hop around realities and correct time. However, it has been a lot harder for Weapon X, as their teleports are bumpier and they have lost several members along the way. The teams introduce themselves, and Weapon X is surprised to see Sasquatch transform into a black female by the name of Heather Hudson. Sunfire notices that something is on Nocturne's mind, and T.J. explains that she had a miscarriage and lost Thunderbird's baby during the team's last mission. The Talluses tell Blink and Sabretooth what their task is. This world is ruled by Sentinels and every super-powered being is either dead or arrested in detainment centers. One of them is six year old David Richards, the son of Rachel Summers and Franklin Richards. The teams manage to locate and rescue him. They find him locked away with dozens of other children, and reminded of her own past, Blink teleports these kids to safety too. While the teams are happy and think their task accomplished, the Tallus informs them that in order to save this world, they need to kill little David.

Full Summary: 

Six figures materialize within the ruins of some tall buildings. They go from world to world to right wrongs and try to bring balance to the multiverse by correcting ripples in time. It is a hard life. As they get to face many people they called friends in their native realities, they have to make tough choices. However, there is no alternative if they want to return to their own lives one day. They are ... Weapon X: Sabretooth, Peter Parker aka the Spider, Storm, Deadpool, the Vision and the Hulk, Jen Walters.

Deadpool laments about the teleports getting worse and worse. Sabretooth tries to get an answer from his Tallus for why they are in this reality, yet it remains silent. The team is still edgy because of their last mission, as Storm and the Spider had to kill about fifty Morlocks in their sleep. The Vision does a scan of their surroundings and picks up a multitude of lifeforms. Though none are mutant or advanced human, they might be masked. The Spider comments on the android's usefulness, saying that he is a good replacement for Kane. The Hulk replies that she preferred Matt Murdock over the Spider. Suddenly, the Vision picks up an energy surge twelve meters away from their location.

The Exiles teleport in, having just finished their task in another reality involving Captain America and SHIELD. They check their surroundings and the two groups stare at each other with disbelief. After Sabretooth and Blink recognize each other, Clarice runs to the man who trained and raised her. They hug, and Blink is happy to see him alive. With the Age of Apocalypse going down, she had believed him dead. Sunfire, Mimic and Morph understand how important this man is to Blink, yet they wonder who the others are and why seeing them feels so weird.

After Blink and Creed have finished their reunion, the teams introduce themselves to each other and explain how they got their names. "Exiles" describes their nomadic status, and when they battled Phoenix she called them that name. The others named themselves "Weapon X", since in the beginning they were comprised mostly of Weapon X program subjects. However after losing several members, only Sabretooth and Deadpool remain of that group. The Exiles have so far only lost two, including Thunderbird very recently. Sasquatch says that it is very hot, and the Hulk explains that the Vision's readings confirm them to be in Florida. Sasquatch is happy and transforms to human state in which she wears nothing but a blue bikini. The Spider, Storm and the Hulk stare at her with amazement. The black female in front of them was not who they expected. Sasquatch explains that she is Heather Hudson of her own timeline. Morph shapeshifts into the caucasian version of Heather that most are familiar with, and comments that alternate realities are a trip.

Sitting within the debris, Sabretooth tells Blink and Mimic that they had already seen the Exiles in their mission involving Alpha Flight (Exiles #5-6), but as their Tallus was already about to teleport them away, he did not want to try and get Blink's attention, only to see him leave. They find out that the two teams are in the same situation, having to fix ripples in time. However for Weapon X the rides are bumpier, as they don't have a teleporter whose power could work in conjunction with the Tallus. Various times the Weapon X members passed out after teleporting. Sabretooth also tells Blink that it's about time that she calls him Victor now instead of Mr. Creed.

Sunfire notices that Nocturne is standing apart from all of them. She tries to make her join the others, and promises that the team will help her with Thunderbird, whom they had to leave behind, and also with the baby. T.J. replies that both John and the baby are gone. During their last mission, she lost it while they stayed at a hotel. Although Nocturne went to an Emergency Room, it was already too late. Mariko is shocked. She wants to know why she didn't tell them as they could have been there for her. Nocturne states that she wants to be left alone and turns her back on her teammate. Sunfire respects her wish and leaves, though before she tells T.J. one more time that she'll be there for her.

Sasquatch tells Morph that she doesn't like the other team. She agrees that it is nice to meet others who share the same fate, however she is nervous about the missions Weapon X have had to complete: they crippled Doctor Strange, threw Atlantis into war with the Inhumans, blew up Avengers mansion, killed the Morlocks and murdered Tony Stark. Along the way, four team members have gotten killed. Then there is Sabretooth, who is the leader. Quiet for once, Morph doesn't know what to say.

Finally the Talluses reveal to Sabretooth and Blink what their mission is: This world had a Mutant Registration Act and the Sentinels were created to enforce it. For years mutants were hunted, imprisoned and massacred. Then all super powered beings were targeted. In the end, all people with even the slightest genetic indicator of advanced abilities were removed from society and brought to concentration camps. However there is still hope. In one of these camps lives six year old David Richards, the son of Franklin Richards and Rachel Summers. He will grow up to be the most powerful mutant of Earth. The Exiles and Weapon X have to free the boy.

The teams know that they face an entire army of Sentinels, but fortunately the Vision is a combination of the original Human Torch, Ultron, components of Stark Enterprises and Kree technology. To him, the giant robots are an open book and he can use his long-range scanners to get a fix on the young boy they are about to rescue. Blink teleports all twelve heroes into the detainment center, and immediately they start to fight. Sunfire, Hulk, Spider and Mimic all use their vast powers against the Sentinels, keeping them distracted. Meanwhile Vision points the way to the right cell block, and Blink takes him, Sabretooth and Nocturne inside. They materialize in a room with over a dozen children inside. Blink and Creed are immediately reminded of the pens and the cullings of the Age of Apocalypse.

The Vision pinpoints David Richards and grabs him, scaring the boy. Nocturne intervenes, saying that he is a human being and not a specimen. Sabretooth tells Clarice to teleport them away, as they have fulfilled their mission. However Clarice doesn't want to leave the other kids behind. Sabretooth tells her to stick to the mission parameters and that they can't handle the many frightened kids. Blink replies that the same reasons did not prevent him rescuing her, years ago. Taking all of the children with them, the four members of the Exiles and Weapon X materialize in some uninhabited desert. Sabretooth still argues with Blink about her decision, but actually he is kind of proud to see that she is stubborn enough to oppose him. Suddenly they both stop, as they receive another message from the Talluses. Both are shocked and horrified when they hear what they are expected to do next.

Shortly afterward, Blink teleports back to the detainment center to pick up the rest of the teams, who have destroyed many of the Sentinels in the meantime. All of them enjoy some downtime with the liberated kids. Only Blink and Sabretooth stand apart. They have yet to tell the others what the Tallus wants them to do: they have to kill David Richards.

Characters Involved: 

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

Deadpool, Hulk / Jen Walters, Sabretooth, Spider / Peter Parker, Storm, Vision (all Weapon X)
Alternate reality the Exiles visit in #12-13 :

David Richards


Story Notes: 

Sasquatch's reality was changed to the point that the person she loves most will be burned to death - unless she succeeds and manages to restore her timeline.

Storm of Weapon X is only sixteen years old.

In the Age of Apocalypse Sabretooth rescued Blink when she was still a kid and took her in. Over the following years he became her mentor and father figure. (Astonishing X-Men Vol. 1 #3)

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