Exiles (1st series) #27

Issue Date: 
July 2003
Story Title: 
Hard Choices - part 2

Chuck Austen (writer), Clayton Henry (penciler), Mark Morales (inker), Transparency Digital (colors), Paul Tutrone (letters), Mike Raicht (editor), Mike Marts (supervising editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

Morph, Sunfire, and Nocturne encounter Magnum’s army but they fly away and are pursued by his fighter jets. Sunfire shows and easily blows up all three and the three are soon on their way to Sunfire's parent's home. They discover that this dimension’s Mariko had been killed in the earthquakes. Magik faces off with the remaining three Avengers: Power Fist, Cage, and this dimension’s version of her brother Colossus. She explains that the Avengers were supposed to die in the first wave of attacks on Japan. She tells them to kill themselves and save her the emotional problems. Illyana fights with Cage and Power Fist while Colossus pleads with them to stop fighting. They soon get the upper hand and are about to kill Illyana when Colossus steps in saying that she is his sister no matter what. Colossus kills Cage and Power Fist receving a lethal injury himself in the process. Black Knight appears out of the debris and challenges Illyana.Mimic and Sasquatch appear and fight with Magnum and Namorita, they prove weaker as Magnum sends a quake into Mimics body. Just as more Atlantean soldiers are about to arrive, the Tallus tells them that their mission has been finished. Illyana has killed the Black Knight.

Full Summary: 

Tokyo, the crash site of the Avengers jet, fire burns the remains of the plane, Illyana is holding her sword standing over the bodies of Black Widow and Scorpion. Power Fist gives her five seconds to explain herself while Luke Cage angrily screams that there is no acceptable reason. Their teammate, the Black Knight, is leaning on some debris, hurt, in the background. Colossus pleads that there must be some explanation. Danny says that he hopes Peter is right or else they will crack Illyana's skull open. He doesn't feel much remorse over Scorpion, but he really liked the Black Widow, Danny apologizes to Piotr.

Illyana says that she has an excellent explanation and that once they hear it, she hopes they will work with her to fix her problem. She pulls her dagger out from Scorpion's skull. She starts by explaining that she is Illyana Rasputin from an alternate dimension and that she too has a brother named Peter Rasputin. She goes on to explain that the Hero for Hire group was supposed to have come to Japan during the first wave of attacks, presumably to help, then all be killed. Finishing, she tells them that they must all die in order for her to be able to return to her home and for their world to go on with its normal course.
With an exhausted look on her face, she adds that although she knows that this reality’s Piotr really isn't her brother, there's still some emotional difficulty in killing him and his friends. They stare at her in shock and confusion. She continues by telling them, "So pick up the knife please, and end this like men. It's the natural order of things." Holding the dagger in her hand, she drops it to the ground leaving it stuck in the ground at Danny's feet to offer him a way to kill himself, "Let’s make this as painless for all of us a possible, shall we?"

One block away:

A giant crab-looking weapon is being driven by a Atlantean, three fighter jets hover overhead and Moses Magnum, Namorita, and Atlantean soldiers and human mercs stand ready to face off with Sunfire, Nocturne, and Morph. A building burns the background, and the shell of another building leans ready to fall onto the torn up street.
Sunfire says that they have to save the people and Magnum off-handedly informs them that actually they don't because that would be interfering with the plans that he and his fiancée, Namorita, Queen of Atlantis, have worked so hard to achieve. He adds that sinking of Japan and extinguishing this race is a message to the world that Moses Magnum and Namorita are now rulers of the Earth.
Sunfire corrects Magnum that he has misunderstood and that they, the Exiles, have to save the people. Magnum mockingly repeats that they were not asking for his help, and adds that they were just "threatening him with some misguided declaration of heroism.
Morph changed into a muscle-bound super hero body, cape and all with a big "M" on his chest and counters with "That's Captain Misguided Declaration of Heroism to you, pal." Magnum gets annoyed and asks for the Atlantean soldiers to go and kill the ”lunatics and mindless children.”

Sunfire immediately picks up Nocturne and Morph and takes off. Namorita screams that they are getting away and shouts orders to kill them all, but Magnum soothes her by telling her that it doesn't matter because in a few days the whole world will "lie naked and shamed, faced down before...the King of the land and the Queen of the sea." He then adds that the skins of Earth’s supposed heroes will decorate their floors of gold and silver and they will make love upon them laughing. They kiss, while the citizens of Japan run for their lives from the machines that the Atlantean are operating.

Back at the crash-site

Illyana hits Luke on the wrist with her sword, Danny and Luke fight her and
Piotr pleas for them all to stop. He closes in on her to plead with her to
stop as she repeats to herself: "He's not my brother, he's not my brother, he's not my brother..." She strikes at him with her sword making contact with Luke's hand instead, as he moves to protect his teammate. Illyana looks a little shocked and Luke is able to use her surprise and take her sword away from her, albeit his wrist is now bleeding badly. Piotr looks amazed that Illyana actually was about to strike him while Danny delivers a mean kick to Magik’s lower jaw and knocks her to the ground. He intends to finish her with Luke egging him on, as he punches the ground next to her face. He grabs her by the hair and pulls her to her feet, delivering another punch, Piotr closes his eyes because he can't watch his friends beat up the woman who clais to be his sister. Luke, wielding Illyana's sword, tells Danny to hold out the unconscious Illyana by the hair so that he can finish her off.

Over Tokyo:

Sunfire is still pulling Nocturne along as Morph flies next to them, three Atlantean fighter jets on their tail. As Sunfire gets an idea to try
something new, she tells Morph to follow her lead as she speeds up and goes higher up in the sky, telling Nocturne to hold on because what she is about to do might make her sick. Morph says that he knows because he's already there. Sunfire warns Nocturne that she is going to let go of her now, Nocturne freaks out a little, but Morph catches her and informs her that "If you feel the need to make love as your final act in the world, I'd be willing."

Sunfire circles around and collides with two of the jets, they burn and go crashing to the ground, the last pilot realizes that Sunfire's trail leads right behind them as she flies through it and the last jet goes crashing down in a red hot burning mess. Shboom. Morph congratulates Sunfire on a job well done and insists on a group hug with plenty of breast all around.

A block away from Illyana:

Magnum decides that everything is going well enough for Namorita and him to go back to the Island. He says that they need to make preparations for the Avengers who will eventually come. He smugly adds that they might want to change their plans once the Avengers are out of the way and finish off all of Asia instead of just Japan. He continues saying that he doesn't even want "those people around as slaves."
Two pairs of eyes glow in the background, one pair red and the other pair blue. Magnum and Namorita get a surprise as they are thrown into a brick wall with the force of an optic blast.
Mimic and Sasquatch are revealed, Mimic says that they have got to finish them fast and that he should have used his claws instead. Suddenly, an earthquake hits them and Magnum shows them why his mother named him Moses by parting the earth beneath them. Both Sasquatch and Mimic along with some Atlanteans are caught off-guard and almost fall in the crack that appears.

Back with the crazy sword-wielding blonde:

As Luke strikes, he is surprised as he hits Piotr's hand - Piotr has reached out to protect his sister. Luke tells him to let go and let him finish her, he insists that Illyana isn't really his sister. Piotr punches through Luke’s chest breaking the chains on his costume. As blood drips from dying Luke's mouth, Piotr says that whether or not she is his real sister, he knows her and chooses to believe her. He apologizes to Luke. "I'm so- -so very sorry, my friend."

Danny flips out and screams at Peter. Colossus defends his actions by saying that she is his sister no matter what reality she came from and that she deserves the chance to go home. Danny is enraged and says that she could be lying or be possessed. He continues saying that Piotr and Luke were his best friends and that he is cannot turn on them for her. Piotr says that he already has and tells him to use his iron fist on him. He closes his eyes as Danny delivers the blow that pierces through Piotr. Illyana stands, awake now, shocked at what she is seeing. Piotr grabs Danny and though he is bleeding from his punch, he thanks Danny for all the things that he received from him, a beautiful home, work he loved, and friendships that he valued above everything else. Piotr continues saying that he never wanted their friendship to end, but there is one thing that is more important to him. Danny struggles and protests that Piotr is crushing his head. With tears falling from his eyes Piotr replies, "I know, my brother." And kills Danny. Illyana calls out to Piotr as he too falls to the ground dying from the punch delivered by Danny, Illyana is then confronted by Black Knight who watched the whole thing, and has no intention of letting her get her away.


Sunfire has led Nocturne and Morph to where her parents are supposed to live. She expresses concern and hopes that they are all right. She goes into the battered home yelling for her mom and dad. Nocturne and Morph enter the home as well and Nocturne expresses that if they are going to be stuck in this dimension then it would be helpful to know if her parents are together or even alive too.
Morph sees something that worries him and gets T.J. to help him: it's a woman trapped under the rubble. As they move away the debris, T.J. says that maybe it's not a member of Mariko's family, Morph confirms that it is indeed not a member of Mariko's family, as they remove the pieces from the corpse’s head and reveal that it is this dimension’s Mariko instead. Sunfire walks in and gasp as Nocturne tells Morph that they have to get their Mariko out before she walks in and sees dead Mariko.

Where the earth is shaking:

Magnus is annoyed that Mimic can fly, "I hate when they can fly." Mimic takes on Magnum and Sasquatch fights with Namorita. Sasquatch is faring well, she clocks Namorita across the jaw. Mimic however, isn't for long. He is about to punch Magnum as out, asMagnum reaches over and touches Mimic on the shoulder informing him that his powers work better on contact. He sends an quake through Mimic’s body just as Namorita punches Sasquatch and sends her flying into Mimic. Moses is impressed and asks Namorita if he has told her how sexy she is today. She replies by saying not enough. Sasquatch is on the ground with Mimic as he cradles himself in pain repeating, "Ohgodohgodohgod."

In the Yashida residence:

Mariko is upset over seeing herself dead in her living room. Nocturne comforts her by saying that it's okay because it's not really her. Morph chimes in by stating that dead Markio is really more like another person, and that she was probably even straight. Mariko is pissed off with his comment and lashes out at Morph. He explains that he was just kidding. Nocturne is the only one who notices that a time portal has just opened up on top of them. "Hey, what the- ?"

Meanwhile Sasquatch informs Mimic, who is still shaking all over that the Atlantean are coming and that they need to think of something to do. Mimic, in a shaking voice informs Sasquatch that the Tallus says the mission finished. Sasquatch wonders how the mission can be finished if they never began it. "Who finished our mission?"

And then...A time portal hovers above a bloodied Illyana as she stands over the unmasked body of the Black Knight, sword in one hand, Black Knight's helmet in the other…

Characters Involved: 

Magik, Mimic, Morph, Nocturne, Sasquatch, Sunfire (all Exiles)
Alternate reality the Exiles visit in #26-27 :

Black Knight, Colossus, Iron Fist, Power Man (all Heroes for Hire)

Black Widow, Scorpion (dead bodies)

Moses Magnum


Atlantean soldiers

Japanese citizens, including Mariko Yashida

Story Notes: 


Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: