Exiles (1st series) #18

Issue Date: 
December 2002
Story Title: 
So Lame - The Exiles in Mojoverse - part 1

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

Brief Description: 

Callisto's apprentice, Storm, and manages to wrest a magic Gem Stone before the sorceress gets hold of it. The Exiles are being teleported away to their next mission, but something screws up the transport and the team emerges in the Mojoverse instead and appear in front of Spiral and Mojo. Blink’s power gets blocked, so the team tries to escape through conventional means, but Morph and Nocturne end up captured. In Mojo’s fortress, Nocturne is tortured just for the fun of it, and Mojo threatens to continue unless Morph accepts to act in his TV shows, as the masses love him. Meanwhile, the rest of the team decides to ask Longshot for help, only to learn that he has been locked away in a high security prison.

Full Summary: 

Blink shouts to her teammates that they should fan out so that they can’t be boxed in. Leaping over a group of green-skinned, bald, alien-looking warriors, she orders those who can to take to the air, as their opponents can’t fly. Also, she minds her team to stay out of the way of the hex blasts, hurled at them by Callisto, the Mistress of Mysticism. Overconfident, the sorceress announces that it’s no use and that the world will soon kneel before her, which earns her some of Morph’s lame jokes, who calls her a “leather-queen, butt-aping Doc Strange“. Transforming his arms into a simulacrum of the Thing’s, he gets rid of some of Callisto’s elven warriors.

Blink is more concerned about her lover, Mimic, who is chained to the wall. She throws some of her crystallized daggers at the shackles, which, upon impact, explodes, releasing the Mimic. Callisto, however, has one more prisoner in Sunfire and she claims that it is too late anyway. The Great Ascension is at hand she tells them, as she orders her follower Storm to unbind the Gem Stone of Marradan.

“Storm“, however, has other ideas, as she takes the gem stone from it’s socket on its altar and throws it to the Exiles’ Sasquatch, who crushes the piece of jewelry between her hands. Callisto and her warriors dematerialize and the Exiles are left alone. As Sasquatch looks after the pretty shaken Mariko, Nocturne phases out of Storm’s body, glad that this mission didn’t take too long. Another hour of possessing Ororo and she would be totally exhausted, besides, she dresses like a tart.

Blink hears the Tallus talking to her and warns the others to prepare for the jump to their next mission. Mimic comments, “Not a moment to soon.“ Morph, imitating Blink’s appearance, says it wasn’t that bad, once you got over the fact that everyone and their grandmother was into magic. Granted Iceman was looking ridiculous with those self-created horns on his heads, but otherwise ... He is interrupted by a strange noise, replacing the Tallus’ usual sound effect. Blink only knows that something is wrong, but before anyone can act, they are already shunted elsewhere.

In some desert, a hole opens in the sky and the Exiles fall out of it in a rather unpleasant way. After making sure that everyone is okay, the team wonders what happened. Heather asks what the Tallus says, but Blink replies that it doesn’t say anything. Morph takes this as “no word yet“ and complains about being ditched in a place like this without any idea what they are supposed to do. However, Blink says he misunderstood. The Tallus is not only not saying anything, it’s not working at all. Ever since the Timebroker gave it to her, she was bound to it and heard or felt it, but now there is nothing. There is definitely something wrong.

Addresses Blink as “my darling, Ex patriot, mutie, hot tomatoes“, a voice answers Blink and says that, quite on the contrary, something is very very right. The team turns around and looks at the new arrivals in shock and disgust. Morph complains about this being “so lame“ - they are Spiral and Mojo. As the ruler of the entire dimension named after him starts his endless banter, the Mojoverse is given a brief introduction.

(various flashbacks)

The dominant life-forms of the Mojoverse are sentient semi-humanoid lifeforms lacking spines, thus they are called The Spineless Ones. As a culture, they possess almost no attention span and are addicted to motion pictures and television. Mojo has long ruled the entire planet by both feeding their bottomless pit of unimaginative thought as well as creating slaves to serve them. The creation and sale of artificially engineered humanoid slaves was one of his must successful endeavors - until one of these slaves gained consciousness. This slave’s name was Longshot. At first, he was a star in Mojo’s productions, but later he led a slave revolt and has battled Mojo both in this and other dimensions several times. However, it’s been years since Longshot was last seen and Mojo has been defied by anyone.


Nocturne voices her discomfort with meeting an alternate reality version of Mojo, however he tells the “sexy little blue ball of steaming estrogen“ that there exists only one Mojo in the whole multiverse. All the times that the X-Men, any X-Men, have visited the Mojoverse, they have been starring in one of his features. The Mojoverse is a junction of all realities. All roads lead to Mojo - welcome back.

Blink has heard enough. Although she has never met Mojo or heard of him before, she knows a bad guy when she sees him, and decides it’s time to teleport away. She throws five of her dagger on her teammates, but none of them are teleported away. Mojo taunts her that they are in his lair now, and he has seen to it that teleporting is not possible. Announcing that the fun is over and it’s time to go to work, Mojo tells Spiral to proceed with the plan. The six-armed timedancer pulls a special gun and fires a single shot. Some liquid appears and encases Morph in a bubble. Crying out Morph’s name, Nocturne leaps in to help him, but they both end up trapped.

As for the rest of the group, Mojo orders them not to make any sudden moves, or any moves, as he has got them surrounded. To prove him right, dozens of soldiers reveal themselves, as they come down the mountains. Blink realizes the cause is lost, and that they’ll have to abandon Morph and Nocturne and try to get away. She commands a “Shake and Bake“, a strategy the team invented while they were aiding Dr. Doom against Atlantis. The first part, the “Shake“, was originally performed by Sasquatch alone, but Mimic adds the strength of Colossus to it, as they both hammer on the ground, creating a minor earthquake. The “Bake“ is handled by Mariko, who uses her flame power to generate a fire wall to keep the soldiers at bay.

Mimic flies away with Blink and a half-transformed Sasquatch (to give him less weight to carry). Heather wonders how they’ll get Sunfire out, since Blink can’t teleport, but Mimic says he’ll get her once he has brought the other two to safety. Sunfire conjurs up more and more heat, though the strain takes it’s tall and she knows she can’t keep it up for much longer. Down below, Mojo tells Spiral to teleport after the Exiles, but she reminds him that currently all teleportations are scrambled. Besides, they got what they came for and should retreat before they are fried. Up above, Mariko releases all of her atomic flame and it finally drives Mojo’s army away. However, now spent, she now falls out of the sky, too drained to keep herself aloft. Fortunately, Mimic returns with Northstar’s speed and catches her in time. They depart and he suggests her to switch to flame, as otherwise she won’t survive the wind resistance when he goes into super speed. Mariko says that she would burn him, but Mimic tells her that he has Logan’s healing abilities as well.

In Mojo’s palace, located within Mojo City, Morph is held in a huge device that he can’t shapeshift out of. As Mojo approaches him, Morph starts to crack some jokes about Mojo’s weight and suggest he use Slim Fast or push-ups. Morph lets loose a whole tirade of fat jokes, but Mojo doesn’t respond. Morph next talks about the circuitry on Mojo’s head, surely they have some purpose, but maybe they aren’t working right. Morph also starts asking if Mojo can receive music channels and pay TV through them, or even has a CD slot somewhere ...

A burst of electricity, released through the collar that Morph has to wear, stops his endless bantering. Now it’s Mojo’s turn to speak. He is well aware that Morph is trying to anger him, but he only achieves the opposite - it amuses him. He’s so sorry that he can’t alone the Exiles to continue their quest to repair time, but he needs Morph in the Mojoverse. He was the greatest single TV attraction of all time, and the masses have been clamoring for his return. The profits achieved by merchandising Morph dolls and other stuff are already enough to buy a small country, that is if he didn’t already own all of them. The masses want more Morph and Mojo will give him to them. Morph refuses, but Mojo has another ace up his sleeve. If he won’t comply, he will continue torturing Nocturne.

Mojo points towards a giant video screen, as he explains that his head isn’t what it used to be. Probably, he should have first threatened Morph with Nocturne’s torture, but his boys were so eager to start, he must have forgot. Mojo presses a button and the video-screen displays Nocturne in her holding cell. Her head has been shaved, and she is stretched from limb to limb. Several tubes and wires are attached to her and, from the looks of it, she has been through a wringer. Morph has tears in his eyes and demands to know what they have done top her. “Lots of stuff. These guys are good.“ Mojo answers. He suggests his staff to use “that acid claw thing“ again, but Morph tells him to stop. Turning back to him, Mojo asks what time it is, and Morph quietly replies, “It‘s showtime“.

Meanwhile, the other four Exiles have made their way to Slave Town Junction, a ghetto for the Mojoverse’s artificially created humanoids. Sasquatch wonders why the Timebroker or somebody else doesn’t show up. They have been yanked pout of the timestream, shouldn’t a red bell go off somewhere? Blink agrees, though says they have to remain focused. First, they have to free T.J. and Morph, then they can wonder how to escape. Mariko wonders want Mojo wants with them, though Calvin thinks it doesn’t matter - he is insane. He suggests they find Longshot, as he is the only one who ever defeated Mojo.

Mimic sees one of the locals coming down the street and pulls him into the alley where the team are hiding. He pressures the poor guy, telling him that they are the X-Men, surely he must have heard of them? Blink wants her lover to be more careful. Calvin says he won’t hurt the guy, but he needs to know where Longshot is or how he can be contacted. The Mojoverse citizen says they have to be kidding, right? The Exiles wonder why he thinks that, but the guy just points up. They turn around and see a huge sign reading “Longshot‘s Jailhouse“, along with an gigantic arrow pointing towards the fortress on top of a hill. Heather points out, “Wow. Scully and Mulder we ain‘t.“

Mimic wants to get up there and bust Longshot out, however, right then, a huge TV set on the other side of the street is switched on. The Exiles and many slaves watch in awe as the Morph Show starts to be broadcasted. The team agrees that they’ll have to rescue Morph as soon as possible, or else he might never want to leave again.

Characters Involved: 

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

Alternate reality the Exiles visit in #18 :

Callisto; Mistress of Mysticism


elf warriors




Major Domo

several citizens of the Mojoverse

In flashbacks :



Major Domo


Story Notes: 

The concept of there being only one Mojoverse (and only one set on the characters originating from there), is new. Although it was never stated otherwise, it's hard to believe. Five of the Exiles know Mojo, and he also bothered the X-Men of the regular Marvel Universe many times. Next issue shows that Longshot served among Mimic's X-Men for some time, and he too was a members of the main Universe's X-Men. There being only one set of Mojoverse characters makes their schedule very busy.

It is unknown where this story fits in established Mojoverse continuity. Most recently Dazzler reported that the AoA babies had caused mass destruction in the Mojoverse, and they also claimed to have killed Longshot [Uncanny X-Men #393]. None of this is mentioned in this or next issue. Spiral doesn't display her Crimson Dawn tattoo, like in her latest appearance in Excalibur #108-110.

The nature of the Mojoverse, and the timetwisting powers of Spiral leave the option that this story is set at a time prior to the Mojoverse's destruction, actually it could be set even before Longshot ever came to earth.

Mojo's claim of controlling the horizontal and the vertical is from the opening segment of the science fiction television show The Outer Limits.

Scully and Mulder are the main characters of the TV show "X Files", where they investigate the FBI's mysterious and inexplicable cases.

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