Exiles (1st series) #22

Issue Date: 
April 2003
Story Title: 
Legacy - Conclusion

Judd Winick (writer), Jim Calafiore (penciler), Jon Holdredge with Eric Cannon (inker), Colorist Transparency Digital (colorist), Paul Tutrone (letters), Nova Ren Suma (assistant editor), Mike Raicht (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

Blink is carried to the Infirmary, where she is sedated and her condition is stabilized. However, it’s only a matter of time before she fully succumbs to the techno-organic infection. Henry Pym asks what she was talking about when she mentioned the Tallus’ new orders and Mimic explains that, in order to stop the Vi-Locks from infecting all races of the universe, they have to destroy Earth. Pym is not surprised at all. In fact, he expected this for years and has already planned for location. He tells the heroes that beneath Mainframe there is a huge nuclear reactor and if they hit it with a ship packed with nuclear weapons, the resulting chain reaction will split the planet in half. Then problem is they need a pilot and none of this Earth’s heroes has enough piloting skills. Nocturne volunteers for the job, though, shortly before she tales off, Mimic knocks her out and takes her place. He intends to prove the deepness of his love for Clarice by sacrificing himself. Halfway through, radiation starts to leak, so he switches to steel form, although this also cuts off any telepathic contact. Back in the Avengers base, Rachel Summers and Morph are still working on another plan and are continuously chanting ancient spells. Rachel telepathically reaches out to the Gods of Asgard, beings unknown in this reality. Surprisingly, they answer and arrive in Avengers headquarters. Quickly, Henry Pym discovers that their blood contains a natural healing factor that is able to cure the virus. Now having new hope, the heroes want to stop Mimic but they can’t reach him. So instead, they warn the Vi-Locks of the Warbird’s imminent arrival, but it’s no use. Calvin outmaneuvers the missiles fired at him and effectively deals with the Vi-Locks capable of flight. Fortunately, Blink comes around right in time and she teleports aboard the ship. The lovers set a new course that detonates the Warbird in outer orbit and teleport back to Avengers base. As the heroes celebrate their victory, the Timebroker materializes, along with a new team member – Magik, Illyana Rasputin. He explains that one of the Exiles have repaired their personal chain of time and, after the Tallus suddenly appears on Mimic’s wrist, Blink is sent home. Mimic has lost his lover a second time.

Full Summary: 

Infected with a techno-organic version of the Legacy virus, Blink screams in agony, while Mimic holds her down on the bed she is lying on and Sunfire straps her in restraints. Mimic urges the two doctors to do something but Henry Pym and Hank McCoy disagree on how to proceed. The Beast wants to give Blink some morphine against the pain but Henry Pym states that she is infected with the virus in it’s purest form and they need to stabilize the infection first. The morphine would weaken her and Blink needs to fight it. “Blow it up” and “we have to,” Blink repeatedly says to her lover, who tries to get her to relax and let the doctors help her. Angrily, Mimic once more tells the scientists to cure her, as they approach with the syringes holding the immunity stock and other medical equipment.

(hours later)

Mimic sits in a dark corner of the Avengers complex, exhausted and in despair. Dr. Pym approaches him and tells him that Blink’s condition is stable, for now. They will keep transfusing her blood samples with a mutant healing factor that will keep the infection at bay for a while, though he can’t say how long that will last. Pym then wants to know what Blink was talking about. What did the Tallus say would be the next step? Mimic hesitates but then fills the Avenger in. According to the device, the Primes will retaliate for their invasion in about a month and all remaining humans will be transformed into Vi-Locks. Then, they will be ready for the next step. “Space,” Pym deduces. Mimic confirms it. They’ll conquer the rest of the universe and, after a thousand years, there won’t be any other lifeforms that Vi-Locks in the realm.

Pym argues that it could be seen as natural selection, though Calvin explains that it’s not supposed to happen. It does have to end here and now. According to the Tallus, they have to destroy Earth, however he would prefer another solution. The Avenger interrupts him; it’s the news he has been waiting for. Deep down, he knew it would come to the point where they had to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the other races in the universe. He has been planning this for years now.

Elsewhere in Avengers headquarters, Rachel Summers in concentrating, as she sits in a circle of lit candles, with several ancient tomes floating around her. She tells Morph that she doesn’t think she can do what he asked of her. Maybe her mother, but not her. Morph encourages her to try. After all, she has her mother’s genes, so she has it in her too. Besides, she is their last hope. Rachel is still insecure, as Morph’s plan seems so farfetched, but he tells her that it doesn’t where he comes from. In fact, he met them before. They do exist and they are what this planet needs – pure blood with a healing factor. He tells Rachel to keep repeating the incantation and visualize where she wants to send it. Once they hear her, they will come. At least he hopes so.

Somewhat later, in the Avengers War Room, Henry Pym talks to the assembled heroes. He explains that Mainframe is fueled by a massive nuclear reactor, the largest ever created, and that it lies fifty miles beneath the surface. Several years ago, the Vi-Locks stockpiled nuclear armaments, most likely in fear of the remaining humans getting hold of them. These weapons were never dismantled and are also kept inside Mainframe. Pym points towards their location on a holographic model of the Vi-Locks’ headquarters and states that if they hit the stockpile with their own nukes, the explosion would blow up the reactor’s core and Earth will split in half. Sunfire questions what they are going to hit the stockpile with… a missile? The scientist tells her that this is no option, as the space is too small, and it could be shot out of the sky. They need something that can be maneuvered – a ship.

Now calling up an image of the Warbird, Pym explains that this is their largest vessel, and it’s armed with more than enough fully-armed nuclear bombs to get the job done. All they need is a pilot to fly the ship and slam it into the target. Nocturne volunteers for the mission. Sasquatch objects but Nocturne reasons that she is the best pilot. Heather says it doesn’t matter. She apologizes if it seems like she is protecting her own but she sees no reason for the Exiles to not survive this even if the planet gets destroyed. As soon as the plane hits the target, the timeline is set right and they will be teleported away before the blast hits them. Therefore, Sasquatch concludes, it should be one of the Avengers who sacrifices his life. T.J. knows better though, nobody of the Avengers has had much piloting experience because of the Vi-Locks being in control for years. They have only one shot at it and she is the best bet. Pym agrees. Sunfire starts another attempt to talk her teammate out of it but Nocturne interrupts her. It’s her call and she is going.

In the Infirmary, Mimic sits at the bedside of Blink. He talks to her hoping that she hears him, despite all the sedatives, because what he has to say is very important. Mimic pauses and then says that he was really stupid. He didn’t want this to become one of those ”I didn’t realize how much you meant to me until...” speeches, as it always is some emotionally detached idiot who makes them, after something terrible happened. Calvin hesitates again before realizing aloud that he indeed is one of those emotionally detached idiots. Only now he understands how much Clarice means to him. Calvin touches her hand and continues that she let him be weak. That was hard for him. She let him love her and she loved him back. He kisses her on the forehead and urges her not to die. If she doesn’t, he’ll probably come up with something better to say.

In the War Room, Henry Pym speaks to Nocturne via comm-link. She is already inside the Warbird and he once more reminds her that although they can monitor the plane’s instruments from there. All verbal communication needs has to go through Emma Frost’s telepathy, as the Vi-Locks can detect all radio frequencies outside of Las Vegas. From inside the cockpit, T.J. assures him that she understood that it’s not the first time he explained it to her. Just as she prepares to take off, she hears something behind her and is knocked out with a nerve pitch. Seconds later, the Warbird departs from the hangar. In the War Room, Emma is disturbed; she has lost telepathic contact with Nocturne and asks Leech if he can read her on the vessel. Much to everyone’s confusion, the green skinned mutant does pick her up, though not on the plane, but in this room. Indeed, Nocturne bursts through the door, stating that she was yanked out of the jet.

As he is piloting the Warbird, Mimic is telepathically contacted from the War Room. They ask him, what he is up to. Calvin replies that he is making sure that his favorite blue-skinned, 20 year-old mutant sees her 21st birthday. He knows that she is the better pilot but he has spent more hours flying the Warbird, and he even crashed it several times. T.J. is touched by this, though she actually was ready to die. Mimic says that he knows but he couldn’t have lived with himself if he let her go through with it. Mimic continues the mission, as suddenly one of the jet’s wings bursts into flames. Concerned, Henry Pym warns him that they are registering a radiation leak but Calvin no longer responds. Nocturne explains that he probably shifted into steel form, as that would protect him from the radiation. At the same time, though, it contains some form of psychic barrier as well, meaning they have no longer any means to communicate.

Elsewhere in the complex, Rachel Summers is still chanting the formulas of the ancient books, when, suddenly, her plea is heard and answered. A voice informs her of their imminent arrival, followed by loud thunder. Moments later, a very excited Rachel is running down the corridor, calling out to Morph that his plan worked. Relieved, the Exiles humorous member thinks that, in many realities they visited, they were absent. It first occurred to him on the Earth ruled by Skrulls and, actually, it’s no wonder,as many of the alterations they have experienced could have been easily set right by them. Their powers can’t be measured, for they are the Gods of Asgard. Thor, Odin, Balder, Heimdall, Volstagg and Sif, some of the most powerful Aesir have arrived and offer their aid, whether it might be their fists, their swords, their cunning or their blood. Henry Pym has no idea who these Asgardians are but Morph shapeshifts into the Valkyrie to properly greet them.

Minutes later, the heroes are in the infirmary and Henry Pym is amazed how rapidly the serum, derived of the Asgardians’ blood, is attacking the virus. Though he can’t be fully sure at this point, he thinks they finally have a cure. Morph, now in the form of Beta Ray Bill, and Volstagg share his joy, though Spider-woman reminds Pym of another problem. They can’t raise the Mimic and he is only ten minutes off the target. He is moving so fast that they don’t even have enough time to go after him, which means he will go through with the plan. The scientist makes another hard decision, as he tells Spider-woman to contact the Vi-Locks and tell them to shoot him down.

Seconds later, Forge receives Spider-woman’s warning. Although it is unknown whether he entirely believed her, that a hero would go rogue and rather destroy the planet than letting it get consumed by the techno-organic creatures, he takes the safest approach and orders the Warbird to be shot down. Easier said than done, as the missiles miss their target. A few Vi-Locks, capable of flight, are sent to intercept the Warbird. Mimic engages the autopilot to make evasive maneuvers against any more projectiles, while he prepares to deal with the arriving Vi-Locks. As the techno-organic Sauron rips open the hull of the jet, Mimic fires an optic beam at him, knocking him away. Using Wolverine’s claws he easily defeats the Falcon and Captain Britain, intent on finishing his mission.

In the Infirmary, Blink comes around, asking for her lover. Morph and Sunfire are happy to see her recover,but every attempt of calming her raises Blink’s suspicions. She demands to know where exactly Calvin is, right now. Miles away, the Warbird is already in nosedive towards the Mainframe base, several missiles in its pursuit. Mimic reminds himself of the importance of his mission, as suddenly Blink teleports into the cockpit, telling him to pull up the ship as the Gods of Asgard arrived to help them. Quite surprised to see her, Mimic is more than happy to change the ship’s course towards Earth’s outer orbit on her command. Blink knows that the ship should be able to outrun the missiles until it’s near the top of the planet’s atmosphere. The lovers teleport back to Avengers base shortly before the ship detonates.

(18 hours later)

The heroes are celebrating their victory. Sunfire and Spider-woman, arm in arm, stand in front of the goddess, Sif, in awe. The other heroes and Asgardians are also mixed in joyful conversations. Henry Pym is excited how well the Asgardians’ blood works in concert with the healing factor plasma they developed years ago, though Blink and Mimic, happy to have each other back, wish he would stop telling them that. He has already explained it to them three times before. Thor is having a beverage with Nocturne and Morph, who warns the Thunder God to never let a horse faced dude named Beta Ray touch his hammer, should he ever run into him. Neither Thor nor Nocturne understand what he is talking about but that doesn’t stop Morph from continuing his ranting. However, something else does. Looking into a corner of the room, he spots something that grabbed his attention.

It’s the Timebroker, accompanied by a tall blonde woman, clad in silver and red armor, who carries a sword. The Timebroker greets the Exiles and congratulates them on the completed mission. One of them, he says, has repaired their personal broken chain in time. One of them is going home. All of the Exiles stare in disbelief, eagerly awaiting whom of them he is referring. The blonde woman steps forwardand introduces herself as Illyana Rasputin, Magik; their new member. Mariko voices the question everyone has on their minds, “Who goes?” The Timebroker remains silent but Blink suddenly notices that she no longer wears the Tallus. Instead, Mimic finds it on his wrist. Shocked, the lovers realize what this means. They call out each others’ name a final time, as Blink suddenly is teleported away.

Again having lost his lover, Calvin looks down in despair. His teammates gather around him and, in a wider circle, the assembled heroes too group around the Exiles. All silent, with no one knowing what to say.

Characters Involved: 

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


Alternate reality the Exiles visit in #20-22, 34 :

Beast, Daredevil, Dr. Octopus, Frog, Emma Frost, Havok, Icegirl, Leech, Power Fist, Dr. Henry Pym, Rhino, Spider-woman, Rachel Summers (all Avengers)

Balder, Hogun, Odin, Sif, Thor, Volstagg (all Aesir)

Captain Britain, Falcon, Forge, Sauron (all Vi-Locks)

Story Notes: 

In his native reality, Mimic was an Avenger for a time. It seems that they used a similar Warbird jet.

In the 616 Universe, Thor encountered a creature named Beta Ray Bill, who was the genetically modified guardian of a race of people who were hibernating in their space ship, the Scuttlebutt, while it searched for a new homeworld. According to the enchantment of Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, only one who was worthy could pick it up and that person would have the power of Thor. During their first encounter, Beta Ray Bill picked up Thor’s hammer, the first to do that other than Thor, and obtained the power of Thor, reducing Thor to his human form of Donald Blake. After a judgment from Odin, father of Thor and creator of Mjolnir, Beta Ray Bill was given a second hammer, which he could use to continue guarding his sleeping people. Sif was in love with Beta Ray Bill for a time.

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