Exiles (1st series) #37

Issue Date: 
January 2004
Story Title: 
Fantastic Voyage - part 3

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

Brief Description: 

Mimic fights with Morph and his scientist companions, Thing punches Mimic and sends him flying into the heart of New York when Mimic is about to hurt Reed. Mimic lands in the city with a fiery boom, Nocturne, Human Torch, Magik, Invisible Woman all fight with Brood-Mimic but soon discover that in his current form, he is able to take on as many people’s powers as he wants. Brood-Mimic easily dismisses his attackers and find Sunfire waiting for him. They fight and Mariko is able to dodge his attacks but Brood-Mimic blasts a bridge sending ruble falling down to the civilians below; Mariko flies below and tries to disintegrate the ruble. She struggles as she gets the civilians away, saving them all, she finally collapses and ruble falls on top of her. Morph is fighting with Brood-Mimic but is soon knocked out, the big guys, Thing and Sasquatch come in and give Brood-Mimic a pounding, he blows them away with an optic blast and begins to recite a spiel about how he is the future. Nocturne posses Brood-Mimic as Mr. Fantastic ordered, during this possession, Thing throws a syringe into Mimic’s eye, the only spot not protected by his metal skin. Brood Mimic scream and an internal rages with Mimic emerging the winner.
As Nocturne and the others stand over Mimic telling him what happened, Morph shows up calling Mimic a monster and everyone sees a dead Mariko in his arms. Teary-eyed Morph berated Calvin and tells him that he should have known better. Suddenly, another Exile is sent to them, she apologizes for Mariko’s death, everyone is more than shocked to see their new teammate. Blink is back!

Full Summary: 

Somewhere nears the Brooklyn Bridge:

If only all Brood Queens could be so lucky –having ensnared Mimic, she has claimed a one man army of frightening power and possibilities. With the powers of Colossus, Wolverine, Beast, Cyclops, and Northstar, albeit at half strength, the Brood now have one very formidable man to help them devour the planet.
Brood-Mimic swipes at Tony Stark, Tony dodges but is confused to see the supposed hero acting in such an erratic manner. Morph, still not knowing Mimic has become Brood tries to tackle him, reminding Mimic that Stark and Richards are the good guys, the very good guys, and that they don’t usually make Swiss cheese out of them. Morph discovers the unmistakable skin tone and realizes that Cal has become a Brood. Brood-Mimic shoots Morph in the head, besides distorting the shape of his head, Morph is left temporarily out of the fight. Reed Richards fires at Brood-Mimic with the device made to help Thing, he tells Mimic to stand down and give them a chance to rectify what has happened to him. Brood-Mimic pushes himself off the ground and tells Reed that he needs to get a clue and offers that the others will tell him what happened to him if he chooses to leave big enough pieces of Reed around for them to find. He clocks Reed across the chin with his metal fist and sends him to the ground. Brood-Mimic stands over Reed, telling him that he would have been useful to the hive but he can’t reel in his bloodlust enough to not kill him. As he is about to attack, Thing runs up to them and tells Brood-Mimic that no one gets to hurt Reed except him, telling him to pucker up, he send Brood-Mimic hurtling into the city with a mighty punch.

Thing helps Reed up and expresses his confusion over what has happened, Reed tells Ben that there is no time and they have to stop Mimic from fleeing; Thing tells him it’s too late and they will never catch him. Mimic is hurtling toward the city on the fiery high speed he received from Thing’s throw. Reed helps Morph up and expresses his concern over what Mimic will do in the city; Morph sarcastically tells him that he doesn’t know what Brood-Mimic would want to do, Morph suggest that he might want to wreck buildings or scare women pushing strollers. Sasquatch tells Morph that Brood-Mimic is looking for combat to keep his healing factor running at such stress it won’t be able to kill the embryo that’s hatched inside him. Morph, with a grim face tells Heather that he can’t think of a worse scenario, Mimic as a Brood drone. Sasquatch tells Morph that she can and asks Morph what he would do if he were the Brood Queen and has been fighting Mimic for years, then finally gets the opportunity to implant him with an egg. Morph realizes that the Queen wouldn’t put a drone egg inside of a being as powerful as Mimic, the Queen must have put the egg of a queen inside of him so that he would be able to implant others with eggs and the Queen will have all of Mimic’s powers. Reed asks Morph is that is bad, annoyed, Morph ask him if with a three-hundred IQ, bad is all he can come up with, Morph then tells him that yes, it is major bad.

The heart of Manhattan:

Nocturne is telling Sue how everything is going better than expected, adding that with the combined efforts of five super beings and the NYPD they have started the calm migration of the civilian population away from danger. Sue tells her that it’s weird thinking of herself as a super-being, T.J. tells her that her first two hours are going well. Sue suddenly gets a call from Reed over her comm, she tells him to slow down and repeats his message aloud. When Nocturne hears that Mimic was implanted with a Brood egg, she flips out and ask Sue to give her the comm, Nocturne is shocked that the embryo has hatched and doesn’t want to believe it, Reed asks her if they have seen Mimic; as Nocturne replies no and questions him on why they would see him, the big fiery metal guy comes crashing into the ground near them. Sue is confused by the crash and Nocturne tells her that there is no time to explain and tells her to just hit him til he’s down.

With a villainous snarl, Brood-Mimic tells Nocturne to just try it. Johnny flies by and tells Brood-Mimic that despite himself not being in the super hero thing for a long time, he does know a bad piece of business when he sees one, he then offers Mimic a snootful of fire. With the blast, Brood-Mimic falls to the ground but his eyes soon flare up and he tells Johnny that he’s not sure if he likes it and asks Johnny if he does, Brood-Mimic fires back at a confused Johnny with Johnny’s powers, he sends him far from the action.
Magik appears, calls Brood-Mimic a big parasite and questions Mimic’s ability to only mimic five powers at a time; she slices into his back with her Soulsword. As he takes a swipe at Magik, Brood-Mimic tells her that with his new physiology, he’s finding it more capable than his former incarnation. Brood-Mimic tells Magik to just watch as he is fully transformed into the Brood Queen, he tells her that the Earth will fall under the mighty empire of the Brood within a month; Magik tries to cut him again but this time, her sword is stopped by his claws. Calling him a confident little egg-laying bug, Magik cuts him near the eye and tells him that he won’t make it out of his larva stage. Angered, Brood-Mimic sends Magik flying toward the ground with the mighty swipe of his claws; Magik lies on the ground with blood falling from her mouth and a cut across her chin, ungh!

Brood-Mimic tells Magik that he is not terribly frightened. Sue, while thinking about living up to what the Exiles told her she will become one day, tries to use an invisible force field on Brood-Mimic. He feels something on the back of his neck and is annoyed, turning around, he smashes the ground which causes Sue to topple over. Brood-Mimic tells Sue that if she keeps it up, she might almost be known for something besides being married to Reed. Nocturne lunges at him and tells him that it hasn’t even happened yet and thanks him for ruining the surprise, she uses a hex bolt on him. Brood-Mimic grabs Nocturne by the next and lifts her off the ground, he tells her that he was hoping that she would show up so he could feel what it would be like to absorb her hex bolts and possess people’s bodies. He tells her that now he has that and he gets to be blue and dexterous to boot, but she, she gets to be a projectile, he wished her the best of luck and tosses her over a building.

Tony Stark’s Private Laboratory:

Stark tells Reed that the formula they are working on has broken down again. Reed tells him to try again and insist that they will be able to do it if they are just able to find the right combination. Octavius tells Reed that he wishes he shared his confidence but at the level they are working on, it is more luck than science, he also reminds them that there are too many variables which could lead to many unknown outcomes. Octavius continues, telling Reed that he understands his desire formulate a sedative to temporarily put the Mimic-Alien hybrid into a comatose state, but ,he reminds that the formula could do that or it could just kill Mimic. Reed tells Otto that he knows that but he also knows that Rankin is one of the greatest heroes of his age and deserves a chance, he also admits that he knows what must be done if they fail.

Back at the Heart of Manhattan:

An exhausted Mariko tells Calvin that she can go at it with him all day, they continue to fire blast each other in the air. Brood-Mimic tells her that he doubts she can but since he has both her and Johnny’s powers, he is sure that he can last a few days while she looks a bit tired. “I’m. . .fine. . .you’ll never. . .ever. . .us.” Mariko struggles with her words and continues to fight him, brows drawn with determination. With bloody drool spewing from his mouth, Brood-Mimic tells her that of course he will beat them, they are just human and he is becoming much more, he blast Mariko with a optic blast and she barely dodges it. The beam hits a building and Mariko sees the crown below it, she begins to use her powers to burn up the falling debris, yelling for the crowd to run and not look back. Mariko flies below the falling rubble and keeps burning up the pieces tumbling down around and over her; the people make it away safely but Mariko is pinned beneath the rubble, she struggles telling herself that she just needs to hold out for a bit longer, everything them goes dark for her and she can’t see around her.

As Morph is being held up in the air by Brood-Mimic, he comments on how he is impressed on how quickly Brood-Mimic managed to learn to use his powers and tells him to not make him turn himself into a giant can of bug stray and waste him. Brood-Mimic with his fist changed into giant spiked four fingered fist and his lower half stretching around Morph’s stretched legs comments on how this might come in useful, and how he hopes he can pass on this trait to his hatchlings as it will come in handy with the subjugation of the human species. Morph turns into a giant white claw and swipes at Brood-Mimic, then says sarcastically, how he will never tire of hearing world-dominating alien gronks say: subjugation of your species. Morph calls it crown pleaser and Brood-Mimic clocks him across the jaw and tells Morph that he has always been so funny. A big furry white fist punches Mimic, calls him a jerk asks him how he likes that for a few laughs. Sasquatch and Thing hover behind Brood-Mimic, Morph is seeing stars at the moment and is temporarily out of the fight. Sasquatch tells Brood-Mimic that they will beat him til the bug falls out and that they want their guy back, Thing tells him to hold still; acting on the threat, Thing and Sasquatch pommel Brood-Mimic to the ground. Brood-Mimic manages to hit Thing and tells them how they don’t understand the situation and that with every moment, less of Calvin occupies the body and he gets stronger, he sends Sasquatch and Thing flying away. Standing in a rage he announces that he is getting closer to his full transformation and tells them to look upon their future, he is their life, master, and GOD.
Morph, still woozy, struggles up and mentions on how Brood-Mimic is spewing out more of those self-effacing chestnuts, Morph ask Brood-Mimic if he plans on having them kneel before his omnipotence.

Reed shows up and tells them that there will be no kneeling since that are still in the fight and that he believes that they are at the end of the fight, he orders the commence of the attack. Thing helps T.J. out and delivers a fastball special, sending her right into the belly of the beast. Nocturne possesses Brood-Mimic, but tells them to hurry since he is using her own powers to force out the possession. Thing tells her he only needs a second to nail his metal hide to his Achilles heel and throws a syringe into Brood-Mimic’s eye. Brood-Mimic screams in pain, as Reed states that he thinks that the formula is working since they were able to pierce his armor at his most vulnerable point. Reed continues, saying that the radiation emission that’s laced with synthesized narcotics should slow him Brood-Mimic down enough for Mimic’s healing factor to attack the embryo; Brood-Mimic goes from howling green alien to enraged struggling alien to shocked Calvin.
Reed takes out the syringe, Heather kneels nearby, Nocturne sits over Cal and asks him how he’s doing, Cal tells T.J. that the embryo is dead and asks what they hit him with. She tells him that he gave them a run for their money and that they will talk about it later since he needs to rest. Illyana stands apart from the group, looking in another direction with her head downcast, Morph yells out, calling Calvin a monster, he holds Mariko’s dead body and tells Cal that it should be him that’s dead, tears pour from Morph’s eyes. Heather runs over to them asking where he found her. Morph begins to explain that she was buried under the rubble but his voice wavers and he tells her that she must have suffocated. Morph then yells at Calvin telling him that she died fighting him. He goes on saying that he is supposed to know better and supposed to be a great hero, Morph asks him what kind of great hero would come back to the team with a monster living inside of himself, he tells Cal to look at what he did. Morph points accusingly at him and Calvin with tears streaming down his cheeks, reels from his accusations in guilt and horror. Morph continues talking, calling Calvin a coward and asking him how he could have let it happen, He tells him that she was just a girl, and now she is dead at 20. Morph struggles with his words telling Cal that it should have been him.
Nocturne with tears in her eyes tries to comfort Morph. They hear the all to familiar noise of someone teleporting in, a female voice tells them that she is so sorry. She tells them that she’s been unhinged from time and that Timebroker tells her that she is their new teammate and that they have completed their mission and it’s time to move on to the next world. Cal has his back to the voice, Morph looks at her in shock. Blink stands near them, announcing herself, she tells them that she’s back.

Characters Involved: 

Blink, 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)

Dr. Octavius

Tony Stark

Scared civilians

Story Notes: 

The Brood are an insect-like alien race, their original home world is unknown. What is know about The Brood is that they leave destruction and death wherever they go. Like, locust, they invade, inhabit, and conquer through infection. Entire worlds have died because of the Brood’s procreation habits; unlike standard things, the Queen will inject a living being with an egg and once the egg hatches, the living being will change the host body until it becomes a Brood. They Brood are successful because once the transformation takes place, the personality of the host is gone and they are nothing but a drone to the queen. They also succeed because they attack and take over the powerful who will in turn take over the weak.

On the Exiles’ last mission, they were all separated and sent to different worlds for different amounts of time due to a chaos spell preformed on them by the vampire king.
While separated from the group, Mimic was stuck on a planet inhabited by the Brood for four years, he was implanted twice before but was able to fight of the transformation because his body was not under strain. While fighting Thing, his body could not fight off the last Brood egg he carried, his healing factor was working too hard on his injuries and the egg took over and he became partial Brood.

In issue #34 Mariko was given closure, being able to find love and have a relationship with Mary on the Legacy Planet with the Vi-Locks. Near the end of the issue, as Mariko was teleported out by Timebroker, the teleportation sound effect they choose to use was a “BLINK!” in bright pink letters. Interestingly enough, Blink was restored to her place in time (provided it still exists) right after their mission on the Legacy Planet last time.

In issue #27 Morph, Nocturne, and Sunfire found that reality’s Mariko, dead and buried under rubble.

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