Exiles (1st series) #43

Issue Date: 
April 2004
Story Title: 
A Blink In Time - part 1

Chuck Austen (writer), Jim Califiore (penciler) Mark McKenna(inker), Transparency Digital (colors), Dave Sharpe (letters), Cory Sedlmeier & Stephanie Moore (assistant editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor and chief), Dan Buckley (president).

Brief Description: 

Blink teleports in to join her teammates as they mourn Sunfire’s death. They are teleported to another reality, the Morlock tunnels, Morph verbally assaults Mimic for being stupid and becoming a murderer. Clarice attempts to soothe over the tension but both Morph and Mimic end up storming away. Weapon X’s Gambit makes his presence known at this time as he introduces himself to the remaining members of the group. Gambit fills them in on what has been happening with Weapon X. Deciding that Gambit could no longer be trusted with the Tallus Hyperion blasted off his arm and took the Tallus. Hulk, deciding that he had enough attacked Hyperion which lead to a full fight within the team. Gambit managed to get away and hide in the Morlock tunnels figuring that sticking around would be suicide. He had been waiting in the tunnels for a while now waiting for something to happen since the Tallus hadn’t given him a mission. At that moment the Tallus gives them their missions, annoucing that of the two teams only six people can move on.
Illyana goes after Morph and she shares her past with him and they are able to slightly bond. Clarice and Calvin reconnect and they notice that the Tallus has returned to Clarice. Spider alerts Hyperion to the arrival of the Exiles. He’s grateful as he claims it has gotten boring. Hulk and Firestar are strung up with webbing. All the rest of the super heroes of the area are dead and hanging either hanging by webbing or dumped on the ground.

Full Summary: 

New York City…

Smoldering wreckage, broken pipes and fallen signs litter the ground around the Exiles. Tears, remorse, anger and confusion paint their faces and minds. Blink stands before her teammates, she casually asks who she replaced, then inquires if the person got to go home. Her hands fly to her mouth in horror as she sees Mariko dead in Morph’s arms. Heather cries into her hands, T.J. wipes away tears, Illyana holds her own arm in selfcomfort, and Calvin kneels on the ground and avoids looking at the team.
Enraged Morph screams at Clarice, “Mimic killed Mariko!” Clarice turns to Calvin, who is avoiding looking at her, she repeats to herself that it isn’t possible and can’t be true, she tries to look for some explanation from Calvin. Mimic, still hunched over with a bandage over one eye, calls her name and begs her not to look at him. As the group begins to teleport to their new mission, Morph looks down at Mariko’s body to say a final sad goodbye.

The Morlock Tunnels

The skeletons of long dead Morlocks and old fastfood bags and wrappers clutter the dark ground. Weapon X’s Gambit sits alone in the darkness waiting for answers from the Timebroker. As he gets a little impatient, a pink glow illuminates the dark dank tunnels. Seeing that his wait is over, Gambit still decides to observe the situation before he approaches the other time hopping team.

Morph goes on a rant telling Blink that he’s done with the team and especially with Mimic and he doesn’t care what the Tallus or she has to say. Blink reaches out a hand to Morph to try to calm him down. Calvin remains in the same hunched over position as before, T.J. and Heather hold onto themselves for comfort while Illyana stands alone and stares off into nothingness with a sad expression on her face. Morph lunges at Mimic calling him a murderer and blames his stupidity for Mariko’s death. As Blink tries to hold Morph back he screams for Calvin to look at him. Cal reluctantly complies and turns to Morph with his left eye still missing. With teeth gritted and face contorted with anger, Morph goes off again. “All we have is each other- -how could you betray us like that?!” Morph screams that he’s done with the team and whatever mission the Tallus wants them to go on, and he’s done with Calvin. Morph warns Calvin to stay away from him then begins to storm off. T.J. grabs Morph by the arm to reason with him that it wasn’t Calvin’s fault, that the Brood Egg inside of him made him do it. No longer facing the group Morph replies that Calvin should have killed himself to save their lives and he would have done it, even to save Calvin’s life; Morph storms off.

Clarice stands over Calvin trying to comfort him, Heather weeps for Mariko and Illyana notices the man hiding in the dark.
Gambit greets them and acknowledges them as the Exiles. Introducing himself as Gambit from Weapon X, he tells them that he’s been waiting for them for a long time. Gambit sympathizes with them for what they have been through, he can relate, he’s been through a lot lately also. He offers them some food and invites them to talk. Cal leaves the group with Blink following him trying to help him work things out and Illyana rushes off in the direction Morph went in. T.J. asks her where she’s going and Illyana rudely asks her if it’s really her business and storms off. Wiping away a tear, Heather tells Nocturne to just let Illyana go and maybe she will run into Morph and he’ll kick her tail. T.J. comments that that’ll be worth seeing, Gambit offers them something to eat again, stale Ho-Hos, smashed up chips, or melted ice cream.

Clarice momentarily loses track of Mimic and calls out to him begging him to talk to her. She walks in on him blowing up a wall with his optic blast and looks on in astonishment then places a hand on his shoulder after he’s done. With red smoke still smoldering from his eyes, he tells her to please go away, then says that she doesn’t understand what he’s done and doesn’t know about the Brood that lay eggs inside of a host body and eventually take control. Clarice kneels with Calvin and holds onto his hands and tells him that she knows it wasn’t his fault because he would never do anything to intentionally hurt any of them, she reasons that they’ve all done things or had things happen to then that that they couldn’t control. Pulling away from her he states that he should have been able to regain control. Feeling a sudden fit of rage, he turns into his steel form and punches through another wall. Reverting back to his human form, Cal tells Clarice that he just keeps failing at who he is and what he believes in. Cal holds out his hand as if holding something up and says that he used to think that Xavier’s dream was secondary to saving whole realities but he realizes that he is wrong.
Calvin moves over to Clarice and holds her face in his hands, he tells her that Xavier’s dream is even more important in the screwed up worlds they visit and that it’s time that he tried to make a difference instead of taking shortcuts and blindly following the Timebroker and Tallus. With a tired look or weariness on her face Calvin tells Clarice that he’s sorry that Mariko is gone but he’s missed her, for so long. She embraces him and closes her eyes sadly telling him that she’s missed him too and that everything will be alright, she swears it.

Illyana yells for Morph to please wait up, he angrily asks what she wants. She struggles with her words and ends up telling him that she’s sorry for his loss, she begins to apologize for getting off on the wrong foot with them but Morph interrupts. He refers to what she calls the wrong foot as the wrong paw, then declares that she’s worse than Mimic and that she’s a killer. In a huff, Morph starts to walk away but Illyana throws out her arms behind him in defeat and tells him that the Timebroker told her that her whole family is going to die if she doesn’t fix these timelines as an Exile. She will go back to her reality and slaughter her entire family, all of them. Morph stops, she’s got his attention, he turns to look at her, she is holding her arms trying to comfort herself. Illyana adds that she is going to kill everyone that she loves. Morph goes up and holds her silently, she explains that she doesn’t know what to do, and that she knows that she seems crazy and horrible to them but she is willing to do anything to not have to kill her family. Still holding onto her, Morph tells her to calm down and promises that they’ll figure this out with her. She tells him that she’s felt so alone since she was taken from her reality and that no one understands her, she turns to him and gazes into his eyes. As Morph starts to ask Illyana what she is doing, she kisses him on the lips and he pulls away in shock. After screaming whoa a few times, he asks what that was and tells her that now is not the time. Ignoring him, she grabs his shoulders and asks if he can look like and anyone then begins to tell him who she always wanted to be with. Morph interrupts and tells her that she had him believing for a minute that she wasn’t a psycho. He asks her not to spoil the moment by being psycho and that just because he shows her kindness doesn’t mean that he’s ready to get all touchy-feely with her. Morph begins to explain about how Sunfire just died, Illyana apologizes. Morph, still holding her, tells her to take it one step at a time.

In a mirror, Calvin checks his eye, which has regenerated itself due to Wolverine’s healing factor. As Cal is examining his eye, Clarice has noticed that she has gotten the Tallus back. Cal looks down at his wrist and notices that it is gone and he hadn’t even noticed it; he tells her that she was always meant to be their leader, then asks where she disappeared to after the Legacy Planet. She tells him that she was sent back to Sabretooth’s world and that a lot has changed and the kids are grown up now but not all of them survived. She gets up from the bed she was sitting on, then adds that she doesn’t want to talk about it now and leans into him for an embrace. She tells him that they should be getting back to the others. Calvin holds her as she rests her head on his chest, he tells her that it can wait a minute since the Tallus hasn’t given them their mission yet. He places a hand on her chin tenderly, they gaze into each other’s eyes and she says that maybe they can stay a little while longer.

As Illyana sits next to Morph on the floor, she casually asks if Morph really loved Sunfire, even though she dug chicks. Morph, holding his knees close to his chest and tells her that he did but it doesn’t really matter now. He then says that love and sex really have nothing to do with each other, then states that men everywhere can rejoice in being proven right. Illyana turns to Morph and asks if he really blames Mimic, she calls him a big rube but adds that he has also been nothing but a hero since she arrived. Morph pats her on the shoulder and tells her that they all know what the Brood are and how dangerous they can be and that he would never have put any of their lives in danger, not even hers. She sarcastically comments on his remark but Morph defends himself and asks if she has a problem with his being honest and tells her that they can’t trust her and that she is the wildcard in a situation where they only have each other and trust is as important as air. With his teethe gritted, Morph adds that she might be excused because she’s new and doesn’t understand the situation but Mimic should know better and he violated that trust and violated them by keeping things from the team.
Morph begins to get up and walk away and tells Illyana that he’s headed back to the others since they still need him and he still needs them; Mimic messed up and he doesn’t plan to punish the others for it. Illyana gets up and asks Morph not to go, tells him that they will get them when they are needed. With a cold expression, Morph asks why she cares about what he does. She grabs his arm and tells him that she cares because he has helped her feel normal for the first time in such a long time. She pleads with him to stay a little while longer with her and they sit back down on the ground. Morph tells her no funny stuff. She leans on his shoulder, “Not even a little bit.” Morph tells her that funny is his department and she concurs.

Gambit explains to Heather and T.J. that he began to lie to Hyperion and the others about their missions in order to trick them into doing what was needed to be able to move ahead and he would be closer to getting back to his reality, his home, his love, his Storm. That plan worked well for about two missions, Hyperion, Ms, Marvel, and Spider were crazy but Gambit, Hulk, and Firestar just wanted to get back home to their realities. Hyperion eventually figured out Gambit’s plan and decided that he could no longer be trusted with the Tallus.

His remedy for that was to tear off his arm with the Tallus as he burned through the cloth, skin, flesh, and bone that connected the arm. As Gambit screamed in pain from having his arm burned through, Hyperion took the Tallus off the severed arm and Hulk decided that he had enough. Banner smashed Hyperion to the ground and called out to Firestar reminding her that the Timebroker wanted Hyperion dead and he now does too. Spider joined the fray and tried to lasso Hulks hand and pull him off Hyperion, “Hype’s the man! If he can’t do it no one can!” Ms. Marvel attacked Firestar and told her that she’d been waiting for a reason to kill her. The fight that broke out was massive and the outcome is unknown to Gambit as he figured it was suicide to stick around and crawled into the Morlock Tunnels to be safe.

He tells Heather and T.J. that he assumes that Firestar and Hulk lost, otherwise the Exiles wouldn’t have been sent. As they munch on stale candy, Gambit tells them that the tunnels were pretty much deserted except for a few bodies here and there. Heather brings up Hyperion’s eyeblasts, Gambit tells her that he figures that they cauterized his wound which is why he didn’t even bleed much. “Lucky me.” T.J. and Heather look on in concern as he add that he got the Tallus back and that it just shifted arms, he wonders aloud with them if the Tallus would end up on his ankle or something if Hyperion had decided to take both arms. Heather offers to take a look at Gambit’s arm but he declines saying that he figures that if he’s not dead yet then it’s not going to kill him. T.J. asks what Weapon X’s original mission was and Remy tells her that the Tallus never gave him one and that he’s been down in the Morlock Tunnels for close to a month and the only word from the Tallus was to wait, he adds that he would have too, but he was afraid of Hyperion finding him. The Tallus suddenly glows red and gives them their new mission.

Calvin is sleeping as Clarice is resting her head her head on his chest, her Tallus glows giving her the mission as well.

Morph pats Illyana on the head as she rests it on his lap, taking a little nap.

Nocturne and Heather watch Gambit in horror: “Of the two teams that are here - - the twelve people from Exiles and Weapon X - - only six will move on. The rest must die.”

New York City: Times Square

A line of people stand waiting with their money, jewels, and other worldly possessions, the stand waiting, forced to offer Hyperion his bounty. A small child holding a teddy bear smiles as he sees Spider leaping overhead. Spider screams for Hyperion and informs him that his Spider senses just went loopy which means the Exiles have arrived. His eyes glow ember red and a sinister smile crosses Hyperion’s face, “Perfect. It’s been a bit boring around here. . . what with no more super heroes to kill.” Hulk and Firestar hang from webbing with painful expressions on their faces. The corpses of other heroes hang from webbing and a few lay scattered on the ground. Hyperion sits on his throne with Ms. Marvel sitting at his knee and Spider before him.

Characters Involved: 

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

Firestar, Gambit, Hulk, Hyperion, Ms. Marvel, Spider (Weapon X)

Story Notes: 

After a fight with the Vampire King, the Exiles were sent to different realities with different time set ups (a few minutes in one reality might be a few weeks in another reality might be a few years in another). Timebroker managed to eventually bring them all back together. On their latest mission it was revealed that Mimic had been implanted with a Brood Egg. The egg hatched and Mimic went crazy, running amuck in New York City. Along with that reality’s Fantastic Four Mimic was stopped and returned to his human form. Sadly, during the course of the battle, Sunfire was killed and Blink was returned to the team, she apparently never returned to her reality (which no longer exists anyway) [see issues #36-37].

On another note, during a mission where the Weapon X team was supposed to kill Bruce Banner, Storm was killed. She was promptly replaced by Hyperion who, in the next reality they were sent to, decided that the team had nothing to go back to so instead of doing the mission, they would make a play for domination of Earth. Seriously wounding Vision who did not wish to participate in the plan, Hyperion took control of the group. Fate however was not on Hyperion’s side as he couldn’t stop an asteroid from hitting the Earth. During the course of this mission, Colossus was killed as well as Vision. The team was replenished by new members: Bruce Banner and Firestar. Timebroker was not happy with Hyperion’s plan and the two were sent to deal with him.
Sabretooth was left back to take care of David Richards in issue #13

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