Exiles (1st series) #35

Issue Date: 
December 2003
Story Title: 
Fantastic Voyage - part 1

Judd Winick (writer), Clayton Henry (penciler) Mark Morales (inker), Transparency Digital (colors), Dave Sharpe (letters), Annie Thornton (assistant editor), Mike Marts & Mike Raicht (editor), Joe Quesada (editor and chief), Bill Jemas (president).

Brief Description: 

The Exiles return to Nowhere, where they catch up with each other, and then get sent on their mission: “Don’t let anyone die.” They find themselves in the space shuttle with the Fantastic Four right as they are about to get their powers. The ship almost breaks apart but the Exiles are able to keep things together. The Exiles help the Fantastic Four as they learn about their new powers, They seem startled but able to cope with the changes, all, except for Ben Grimm. As Ben changes into the Thing, he goes into a rage and fights with the Exiles and the new Fantastic Four. After a lot of people being flung around and slammed into things, the team is injured and weak. Ben, however, is on a rampage in New York City.

Full Summary: 

Location: Nowhere, Time: Never happened

An overcast sky hangs over a field of green grass when six glowing figures suddenly appear; the Exiles find themselves in a familiar state of limbo, the place where they first arrived and became the Exiles. Timebroker stands in front of the team, hands clasped behind himself, with an apologetic grin on his face. He apologizes to the team and explains how Kenneth Cricthon hit them with a chaos spell while they were being teleported to their next mission. The spell turned their trajectory into Swiss cheese. He tells them how they were all sent to different realities for different amounts of times, Timebroker goes on to tell them that a jump through time is an inexact process and sometimes crap happens. He turns to walk away, hands still clasped behind them, and tells them they have a few minutes to huddle before their next jump.

Holding her Soulsword, Illyana, stands soaked, pissed off at Timebroker’s “Crap happens” line. Gritting her teeth, she tells the others that her detour consisted of being dropped into the middle of the ocean for about ten minutes, and asks the others about their trips. Morph, wearing a shirt saying: ‘As CRAZY as I want to be!’, tells them that he and Heather spent about an hour fighting Wolverine in his most rabid, crack-head, testosterone-laden state ever. He goes on to say that it was like a birthday but with no cake and more blood and spitting and all in Canada. Morph tells Heather not to knock him out next time, she apologizes and tells him that she just didn’t want him to , Morph interrupts and tells her that he knows, and just to not do it again.

Heather, still clutching her leg, asks the girls where they went. Morph turns and finds Mariko still distraught, crying, with T.J attempting to comfort her. T.J explains to them that they went back to the Legacy Planet for six weeks and the Avengers have the planet under control now. Morph gets on the ground and closer to comfort Mariko, he realizes that them being back on the Legacy planet means that Mary and Mariko must have spent some time together. Mariko, with tears in her eyes, tells him that her and Mary had six weeks together and she just wasn’t ready to leave her. Morph begins to tell Mariko, so what, but, T.J tells him to just let her be. Morph and T.J suddenly turn and Heather says Calvin’s name in a confused manner.

Calvin stands with his claws out, they are all battle worn, chipped and dented, Calvin, himself, has scars all over his body and a full beard and mane. He grins and tells them that it is nice to see them all. Heather begins to tell Cal that he looks so battered but he interrupts her and tells them that he was sent to a version of the Earth that had been completely overtaken by The Brood. Illyana, still dripping wet, asks what a Brood is. Morph tells her that they are the nastiest alien race, giant insects from hell, they lay their eggs in human host, the eggs hatch and transform the into one of them body and soul. Calvin answers T.J’s question and tells them that the entire planet was inhabited by the Brood and he never found any other humans.
A teary-eyed Mariko asks Calvin how long he was there. Calvin, leering over at them cautiously, tells them that he doesn’t know, and tells them maybe six months. Heather apologizes to Calvin for him having to go through his ordeal all alone. He tells her it’s alright and reminds her that he’s a one man wrecking crew.
They are suddenly interrupted by Timebroker as he tells the campers that Exile reunion hour is over and it’s show time. Mariko asks him where they are going and he simply tells them that they are going to a little piece of super hero history.

The group, all physically restored to their peaks (beards and hair all neat, costumes all shiny and new), appear in a compact space, as Morph and Nocturne complain, Heather yells out in shock. Nocturne asks what, and Morph yells out joining Heather in their shock. Heather announces that they are on the first mission of the Fantastic Four. Ben Grimm, perplexed, tells Reed that they have hitchhikers. Reed asks them who they are and how they accessed their vessel, Sue asks Reed is they are stowaways, and he declares that they will soon find out. Johnny just stares at them with confusion. The chamber glows with a warm yellow, Cal checks Tallus and tells them that their mission is weird, and that it is to not let anyone die. Mariko announces that the mission is great, but sarcastically asks if he means the Fantastic Four and the inhabitants of the reality or the Exiles.

Suddenly the shuttle starts to make noises: rac tac tac tac, Ben comments on how he had warned Reed about the cosmic rays. Morph, in Thor (winged iron helmet) mode, asks the Exiles if they think that it’s a good idea for them to be exposed to cosmic rays, despite the rays turning the four seated before them into super heroes since they already have their DNA plates full.
Choonk! Magik sticks her sword into the floor of the shuttle and begins to recite a spell: Levanas- -natoo- -retaa retaa levanas tarrok. The shuttle continues to be bombarded with cosmic rays, Magik’s eyes glow, she tells her teammates to stay close while she does her absorption spell to draw in the radiation and keep the team clean. Magik gets on her knees and continues the spell: Terbak! Natoo Terbak. Natoo- -BAK!
Lights formed in the shape of a target appear over the sword, the shuttle continues to rattle. Sue wonders aloud, as to what Illyana is doing, then she notices that it looks like Johnny is steaming, she questions him on what is happening to him. Johnny responds, telling her that he doesn’t know and that his body feels like it’s hot and on fire, like he’s burning up. Ben yells for someone else to take the controls as he cannot handle the ship anymore, he begins to shake. As the shuttle continues to shake and rattle, Morph, as a cloaked Star Wars character, tells the Exiles that he still doesn’t know why they are there. Mimic tells Morph that he knows why and that the hull is breaking up.

Ben screams to Reed that they have a hull breech, Reed instructs Ben to maintain a steady course while he checks to see if he can divert power, Ben calls him a big-brained idiot and tells him that there is no time and that the ship is going to crack up before the get to the ground. Ben begins to say that they need something, but Morph is one step ahead of him, he turns himself into a big sheet and lines the entire cockpit with himself and tells the Exiles to look how safe he made it. Ben looks toward the back of the shuttle to avoid the strange sight of Morph, as Pete Wisdom, ballooned up and lining the cockpit in front of him: “well, spank me and call me Alice.” Morph calls Ben big man and tells him maybe later. No sooner than when they brace for impact and crash to the ground, the Exiles have explained their situation the Fantastic Four and Reed is amazed that his theories are true and alternate realities really do exist.

Fifteen Miles Outside of New Your City:

Amid a smoking shuttle, the Exiles and Fantastic Four are all safe and unharmed. Magik is sitting on top of the shuttle as Morph and Heather look at the damage; Mariko is standing with Johnny and Ben as they huff and puff over their narrow escape. Reed Richards continues to tell Mimic how amazing it is that they all come from alternate realities and that it is only matched by the powers that the Exiles have. He tells them that no one has seen powers like those of the Exiles since the days of Captain America and the Invaders. Calvin, with his arms crossed over his chest, tells Reed that it’s about to change. Nocturne sits with Sue and adds maybe in about five minutes. She checks on Sue whose head is buzzing, she thinks it’s because of the adrenaline. Ben, still angry, tells them that he broke the sound barrier five times and never felt that way, he blames Reed for flying them through the cosmic rays and tells him that he probably killed them all. Mariko has her hand placed over Johnny’s back, she tells him to relax and that it’s alright, sharing with him that the first time it happened to her, she burnt down half of her parents house. Johnny, bent over with sweat dripping from his temple moans abouw hot hot it is and how it’s hard to breathe. He then asks Mariko, the first time what happened; he answers his own question as he burst into flames.

Mariko takes flight and happily announces that another flame-thrower gets his wings. Johnny is still confused as to what just happened to him but is somewhat calm about it; Reed and Sue on the other hand freak out, Reed begins to yell for Ben to do something because Johnny is combusting quickly but is interrupted. Nocturne and Mimic explain that it’s alright because the cosmic rays just altered their genetic structure, and they have been endowed with abilities far beyond that of mortal men, fantastic abilities. Sue gets frightened as she begins to go invisible. She yells for her boyfriend to help her but Nocturne assures her that it’s alright and that maybe she should start off by calling herself the Invisible Woman from the get go this time. Morph and Heather comment on how exciting it is to be there for the birth of the best of them, but also, how it’s slightly voyeuristic and they feel they shouldn’t be there. It’s a defining moment for the Fantastic Four, both for good and bad.

Reed is stretching himself and commenting on how amazing the effects are of their genetic change, he question Mimic if he is sure that the effects are permanent. Cal tells him that he wouldn’t be able to tell him but from where they are from, the Fantastic Four keep their powers fro the rest of their lives. Morph and Heather continue to watch Ben, feeling pity for him since he was always such a nice guy. Morph comments on how he can relate on some level to what Ben is going through, since he knows what it’s like to look different but he has it easier since he can always change form. They continue to watch Ben change, then suddenly Morph and Heather have troubled expressions on their faces, they panic and call for the other Exiles. As they turn to look, Sue asks what that thing is. Ben, now the Thing, is in a rage, Illyana, on top of the shuttle has her sword drawn, Heather furries up, Morph is a cone-head alien, Cal is ready to fight, his eyes glow in battle preparation.

Thing slams his fists onto the ground and Sasquatch grabs him from behind, telling him to calm down and that he is among friends; Thing grabs Sasquatch by the neck and throws her into the trees. Reed, stretched himself over to Ben, asking him to stop, admitting fault, and telling Ben that he will do whatever it takes to restore him; Thing ignores him and stretches reed. Mimic orders an attack, he leaps onto Thing’s back and blast him with optic blast, Mariko fires at Thing; Illyana whacks at Thing’s rock hard skin with her sword, happily stating that she had always wondered if her sword could cut through the things hide. Morph blast himself, in the form of a half Hulk missile, into Thing; calling Illyana a psycho witch girl and telling her to not have too much fun since they are only trying to subdue him long enough to get him to medical attention. The Hulk missile collides with Things hand with a WHAAP!
As the Exiles get tossed into the air, Morph announces that apparently Thing doesn’t know what they are doing. Thing slams a metal Mimic into the ground the slugs him sending him flying through the air. Mariko holds her ribcage and announces that she thinks Mr. Grimm has cracked a few ribs; Morph, with a big bandage on his head asks if anyone got the number of the orange, rock-plated truck that hurt him despite him not bruising easily. Mimic lies on the grass with fresh blood near his mouth, curled over, he holds his stomach, T.J checks on him but he tells her to check on the others since he just needs a minute for his healing factor to work. T.J tells him that the Exiles only have a few cuts and bruises but the Fantastic Four seem really shook up, being that they are rookies and not used to the stuff. T.J comments on how strange it is seeing them like that.
Mimic struggles to sit up then asks where Grimm is and tells them that they had better take another shot at him before he gets to a populated area. T.J tells him that they might be a little late on that since Thing was heading east fast, strait for New York City.

On top of a Bridge, Thing roars with anger and drivers struggle to abandon their cars and make a run for it. Smoke from a car crash begins to cloud the air, a man watches from his vehicle in fear.

Characters Involved: 

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

Alternate reality the Exiles visit in #35-37:

Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing (Fantastic Four)
Scared civilians

Story Notes: 


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