Exiles (1st series) #36

Issue Date: 
December 2003
Story Title: 
Fantastic Voyage - part 2

Judd Winick (writer), Mizuki Sakakibara (penciler) Wayne Faucher (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 are left to teach the newly formed Fantastic Four the ropes of super-heroism, as there are no other heros in the world. As the Exiles help the Fantastic Four learn their new powers the group splits up. Mimic and Sasquatch take on the Thing, with much battering around and a fall off the Brooklyn Bridge, Mimic and Sasquatch manage to slow down the Thing. As Mimic pulls Sasquatch out of the water, Thing clocks him in his flesh form; Calvin is hurt internally and cannot revert to metal form. He instructs Heather to kill him revealing that he was not on the Brood Planet for six months but for four years and he has been implanted with a Brood Egg. Heather tells him no one is going to kill him and Calvin turns into a child of the Brood.
Morph and Mr. Fantastic go to a lab where Tony Stark and Dr. Octavius help them to find a way to reboot Thing and help calm him down. They build a ray machine and shoot Thing with it just as he is about to attack Sasquatch.
Sunfire, Nocturne, Magik, Human Torch, and Invisible Woman help out in the city, getting people out of the way of danger.

Full Summary: 

New York City:

After a bit of reality catch-up, the Exiles learn that in their current reality, there is no Spider-Man, no Doctor Strange, no Thor, no Daredevil, no Iron Man, no Ant-Man, no Wasp, no Avengers, and the X-Men are probably still in high school. They consider S.H.I.E.L.D but decide that it would take too much time and they have no way of contacting them anyway. Calvin announces the obvious and tells them that they are on their own for their nebulous mission. Morph frets and complains about having no one but the newly formed Fantastic Four to work with and having one of the four running a rampage in the city.

Reed suggests that they should find a way to reverse Ben’s transformation, suggesting the help of some renowned scientists he knows: Tony Stark, Otto Octavius, Henry Pym. Heather suggest splitting up and sends Morph with Reed, despite his lack of brain power, Heather tells Morph, that his knowledge of super hero history could point Reed in the right direction. Morph, as a conehead alien, whispers to Heather that it’s no problem then questions her on what is wrong with his brain since he wasn’t the one who sent his girlfriend and her kid brother into space and turned his best friend into Fin Fang Foom! The rest of the group heads to New York City to save it from the Thing.

Brooklyn Bridge. . .

A news copter is broadcasting live from the bridge, the Thing has been on the bridge for about twenty minutes and no one knows where he came from or what he is. There are very few policemen on the bridge since access is limited due to the abandoned cars, only a handful of police are able to get close to Thing. Despite NYPD’s special tactical unit being deployed, Thing continues his rampage, he pick up and throws a few cars. They news copter hears booming footsteps from Thing and decides to get a closer look, they call Thing horrible and huge, saying that he is covered in rock. The chopper get a little too close and Thing hits it causing it to lose stability.

Mimic and Heather show up just in time, Mimic goes after the chopper and gives Sasquatch first crack at Ben Grimm; he throws her at him and she changes midair into Sasquatch. Heather suggests to Ben that he leave the flying machine alone and settle it between monsters. Heather makes a crack about usually having to put with this behavior from Hulk and the Hulk at least having the decency to sport purple panties while Thing is running around starkers; she lands on Thing’s back and knocks him to the ground. A false move gives thing a grip on Heather’s leg, she gets thrown across the bridge. Mimic blast Thing with his optic blast and announces a one-man fast ball special for when Thing is done beating up on the ladies. Mimic flies full speed at Thing in his metal form but thing grabs him by the torso and throws him at the ground. Heather, climbing off a big rig, compliments Calvin on his fastball and tells him that if they keep it up, maybe they can tire Thing out. Thing lunges at Heather and they go flying off the bridge, kwacooooosh!

One mile from the Brooklyn Bridge. . .

Panicked civilians run from the bridge and collide with an invisible force field, whuump! Sue asks Sunfire if she did it right and Nocturne compliments Sue, saying she will have mastered it by nightfall. Magik adds that in three years Sue will knock out the Hulk and never shut up about it; Sue asks what a Hulk is. People scream as Sunfire and Human Torch pick them up, the people yell that the heroes are both on fire. Johnny, annoyed, tells a kid to shut up since they (civilians) are not on fire and to relax. Sunfire tells Johnny to not get cocky since if she didn’t show him how to de-flame appendages, he would still be setting people on fire; Johnny insists that he would not, and Mariko calls him a match-stick and tells him to shut up and fly.

Stark Industries, Downtown Manhattan. . .

Reed questions Tony Stark if they will be able to construct an apparatus from scratch in time and have it be mobile since they will most likely have to reconfigure some existing weaponry. Tony tells Reed not to worry and that mobile armaments have been a pet project of his for over a year, and Doctor Octavius is more than capable of dealing with radiation issues. Morph tells Reed that he knows he can pull it off but doesn’t remember him doing it in the field of in a hostile situation. Dr. Octavius tells Morph that ‘hostile’ is euphemistic for Ben’s psychotic state, Morph replies that he should know, Doc’s confused and Morph changes the subject. Morph, as a messy haired scientist guy, stands over Reed as Reed announces that he has figured out a way to reboot Ben from the fragments of Ben’s Body. Reed states that the molecular re-composition has a viral quality and worries if they are too late to help Ben, he stretches his arm out to pull some paperwork. Stark and Octavius stand looking more that freaked out, Morph stands with his hand on both their shoulders, wearing Iron Man’s body armor and Doc Ock’s tentacles wiring around.

The Brooklyn Bridge. . .

Mimic decides that taking the fight into the water is only slightly better considering that it distracted Ben enough to keep him from heading into the city; but Thing is solid rock and possesses no buoyancy and is out of his mind. Mimic dives into the water in flesh form, making his way to Thing who is on top of Heather sinking them both to the bottom of the ocean. Mimic decides to give Thing a taste of his own medicine and turns into his steel form, a half ton of organic steel, to be precise, and drops down right on top of him. Thing and Mimic sink to the bottom of the ocean as Heather floats towards the top. Since he can’t swim in steel form, Mimic reverts back to flesh and shoots an optic blast at Thing to give himself a little propulsion back up. Mimic swims Heather up to the top with Beast’s strength and Northstar’s speed, but since he’s not in steel form, Calvin is weaker and needs to breathe. As he gets to the surface he pulls Heather toward the shore, complaining about how he’s too tired to carry her, he asks her to get up but Thing punches Mimic while he is in his flesh form, Calvin goes flying with blood spraying from his mouth and nose.
Thing yells and gets hit with an energy containment field, Tony Stark engages the matter construction chain and Reed compliments Morph and a job well done. Thing holds his head in pain and Morph worries, Reed assures Morph that he thinks it’s working, and no, they are not killing Thing. Reed and Morph (as Mr. Fantastic) stretches out to get a better look at Ben, Red tells Morph that although Ben might not return to normal, they have expunged enough cosmic rays to give Ben’s system order and let him gain control of himself. Morph tells Reed that Ben looks like the blue-eyed, ever-loving Thing, Reed is confused.

Heather wakes up in the water and calls out to Calvin, he calls back and Heather sees Cal lying on the beach with blood dripping from his mouth and nose. Cal holds his ribs and tells Heather that Thing hit him hard in his flesh form and shattered his rib cage. He tells her that he can’t revert back to his steel form when his insides are that messed up. Heather tells him to relax and give his healing factor a chance to kick in, despite only having half of Wolverine’s healing factor, she knows he will get through it. Cal tells Heather that she doesn’t understand, and asks her to kill him. Heather looks down at him confused. Cal keeps insisting that Heather kill him and there not being enough time, he admits to Heather that he wasn’t on the Brood Planet for six month, but for four years. Telling Heather that he has been implanted with Brood eggs twice before and that he was able to fight them off with his healing factor, he reveals that he has another one inside of him.
Sasquatch picks Mimic up and tells him that they’ll get him back to Stark’s lab and maybe they can find a way to help him. Mimic tells Heather that she isn’t listening and that he was only able to fight off the eggs before when there wasn’t any other strain on his healing factor; he tells Heather that with his insides all torn up and him being so hurt, it’s getting harder to fight off the egg. He begs Heather to kill him before it’s too late, Cal starts to drift off. Heather tells him that noone will kill him and gets shot by Mimic’s optic blast. Mimic tells Heather that she should have acted when she could, but it’s too late now and there will never be another opportunity and she will have to face him now, a child of The Brood! Mimic, now part Brood, stands hunched over, blood still dripping from his mouth with his bone claws extended.

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 (all Fantastic Four)

Dr. Octavius, Tony Stark

Police, News Reporters, Scared civilians

Story Notes: 

On the Exiles last mission, they were all separated and sent to different worlds for different amounts of time due to a chaos spell performed on them by the vampire king.

Sasquatch had to kill her husband Wolverine, whom she loved, in her reality.

In other realities Tony Stark becomes the hero, Iron Man. Dr. Octavius becomes the villain, Doc Octopus.

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