Exiles (1st series) #44

Issue Date: 
May 2004
Story Title: 
A Blink In Time - part 2

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: 

Manhattan remains under siege by the defunct Weapon X team with Hyperion demanding President Osborn hand over control of the United States or face the destruction of Manhattan. Meanwhile, the Exiles, along with Gambit, discuss a plan to take down Hyperion. Mimic refuses to kill anymore and Morph agrees with him as the team turns their attention to the problem of moving on to their next reality. But the Tallus is unwavering in its proclamation that only six members of the two teams may live before they may move on. Magik lets her desire to go home take advantage of her and she discusses taking out Mimic and Gambit, to which Morph tells her that they are still heroes and there will be no killing. The group splits up to go take on Hyperion as Hyperion toys with his captives. While on the roof, Illyana tries to get Sasquatch and Nocturne to see the reasoning behind her plan but they ignore her and Illyana ends up cutting Heather across the back in an attempt to kill her. A brief scuffle ensues but Illyana teleports down to Hyperion intending to bargain with him so that they may move on and eventually go home; underestimating Hyperion, Illyana finds that Hyperion is distrustful and not willing to listen as he crushes her neck and kills her to test the truth of her words. Morph and the others watch on in horror and Blink and Gambit go to check on Heather and T.J. Seeing that Illyana is telling the truth about no more replacements being sent, Hyperion begins to kill Hulk and Firestar, she escapes from the webbing and kills Spider in a fiery blast. Morph and Mimic fly in to join the fight ready to take Hyperion out.

Full Summary: 

A News Report:

A reporter for CBN recaps what has been happening in New York City for the past twenty-five days: Hyperion and his team of crazed Weapon X members have laid siege to New York and faced off with the Fantastic Five. In the end, the Thing lay in crumbs on the ground as Hyperion stretched Mr. Fantastic to death. Ms. Marvel blew off the Human Torch’s head with an energy blast and Spider had the Invisible Woman webbed up while he faced off with Spiderman.
The Avenger were the next team to attempt to take down Weapon X but their efforts proved futile as well, Captain America and Thor were killed, respectively, their shield and hammer were carelessly tossed aside. After the virtual one-manned annihilation of America’s most “powerful and revered heroes,” Hyperion announced to President Osborne that if he were not granted over control of the United States by the next day, he would destroy Manhattan. In the weeks that followed, Hyperion seized Manhattan, and is allowing no one in or out of the city.

Bringing things back to current time, Hyperion has announced that he will begin to kill a hundred people every hour on the hour until his demands are met at 3 PM today. The President is currently in an underground bunker along with several heads of state asking for patience for an internal solution to Hyperion. However, it is looking like the allies of the United States are planning to send in their own solutions to the global threat: the Invaders, the Republican Guard, or perhaps a nuclear solution. “In times like these with the nation’s super-powered resources destroyed, we ask ourselves, as a nation, only one question – who will save us from this madman?”

An Abandoned Manhattan Apartment

An offended Mimic informs the Exiles and Gambit that he has no intention on listening to the Tallus and kill people, he is done killing. Leaning against a wall, Illyana smugly reminds Calvin that he is a day late on that. Clarice shoots her an annoyed look and tells Illyana to give it a break. Calvin tries to reason with Morph and the group. He apologizes for what happened with Sunfire, explaining that he never meant for her to die. Morph avoids Calvin’s eyes while he continues to talk. He explains that he knows that his feeling bad doesn’t make it right and he also knows that they have to do something about Hyperion but there has to be another way besides killing. Still avoiding Cal’s eyes, Morph agrees and accepts Cal’s reasoning, he warns him not to do it again or he will take him down.

Turning his attention to the matter at hand, Morph ask Blink exactly what the Tallus is telling her and Gambit. With their Talluses held up they tell them that they are both saying the same thing, that the Timebroker feels that having two teams of reality fixers was a mistake. With a confused look on her face, Heather raises her hand and ask how the Timebroker can feel that way since he is supposed to be a construct of their collective unconscious. Someone suggests that maybe they might be realizing that they are messing things up royally, T.J. questions that they are doing this to themselves. Heather adds that she feels that they have messed up on a few missions but she has never wanted to kill herself over it, or anyone else for that matter. Gambit lets them know that whatever it is, the Tallus is unwavering in his instructions to pare down to six members and he adds that it might have something to do with Weapon X going psychotic with the arrival of Hyperion. Clarice tells an unhappy Calvin that regardless, the Tallus is clear that the only way they can finish their mission is to kill each other off and it doesn’t matter whether you’re on Exiles of Weapon X; six of the twelve have to die in order to move on, and there are seven people in the room. Everyone looks away from each other in dejection, Morph lifts his head: “Well, that’s cheery.”


Spider watches the city on top of a gargoyle as Hyperion flies toward him asking if he has found either the Exiles of Gambit yet. When Spider tells him that he hasn’t, Hyperion tells him that they need to find them since they don’t know what the Timebroker has planned for him, then. Spider asks if there is any word from the President, then adds that it must be tough to hand over control of the United States to someone you don’t even really know. Feigning tears, Spider pretends to wipe them away remarking that they grow up so fast. Hyperion ignores him and turns to fly away, then commands Spider to find them and that he, Hyperion, obviously need to show the President that he is serious and will prove it by beginning executions. He tells Spider to meet him in Times Square in an hour. Giving Hyperion thumbs up, Spider tells him that it’s no problem and he’ll just be out in the cold looking for the Exiles while Hyperion goes to sit on his fat throne in Times Square.

Back at the Apartment

Illyana and Morph talk quietly away from the group, near a window. She asks Morph what the plan is after they save the people from the execution, since they will eventually have to do what the Tallus says for them to get home. Illyana starts to plan out who to kill: Mimic, then Gambit. Morph interrupts her and tells her to listen to herself. He knows she wants to get home but they will not be killing anyone, not friends nor enemies. Illyana tries to reason with Morph saying that she thought he would want Mimic dead after what happened to Sunfire and they don’t even know Gambit. She adds that she would say kill them all except for Morph’s attachment to them. Morph tells her that he’s had enough and reminds her to stick to the plan. While walking away from her, he recaps the plan, they save the people, Nocturne will possess Hyperion and they will figure a way out of this reality, since they are heroes and there will be no killing. She turns away from him.

Morph joins the group, Blink comments on how Illyana is a little nuts, Morph defends her by saying that she just wants to get home and no on the team had really ever reached out to her, he offers to switch groups and go with Illyana on the mission. Blink places a hand on Morph’s shoulder and questions if he is sure that they can really trust Illyana considering that she killed Morlocks, and possibly Avengers. He tells her that she hasn’t killed any of them yet. With concern possessing her face Blink repeats “yet.” Morph keeps a serious expression on his face and keeps silent. Blink tells Morph that Mimic feels horrible, she then tries to defend him mentioning the Brood egg. Morph changes the subject and insists on getting the plan started. Illyana walks up to the two and apologizes to Morph, expressing that she just thinks that they have to do what the Tallus says and that she doesn’t want Morph mad at her. Morph tells her that he knows that she wants to go home - they all do. He asks her to just trust him, as they embrace. Morph reminds her to be careful, listen to what Nocturne says, and stick to the plan. She tells him that she will as she teleports out with Sasquatch and Nocturne. Nocturne reminds everyone to be careful and Sasquatch asks that they save a piece of Hyperion for her since she wants to “bust that guy bad.” Gambit tells Nocturne to make sure that Hyperion is down before she comes running. Blink asks Gambit if he is sure if he is up for the mission. He assures her that he is and adds that he want to get in a few shots of his own despite the fact that Hyperion will probably not even feel them, after all Hyperion did blast his arm off.

Times Square

The throne of Hyperion is empty, Hulk and Firestar remain hung up by webbing behind the massive chair built from debris. Ms. Marvel flies toward the throne area, many dead heroes lie piled in front of the throne, and the civilians stand waiting for news as to what will happen to them. A family huddles together amidst the chaos, they contemplate what they should do since Hyperion and his group destroyed the bridges and threatened to tear down the buildings if the people didn’t voluntarily come out. The father places his faith in the President, and eventually nods his head down in despair. He pulls his wife and son close to him, they hold each other to remain warm. Suddenly, Hyperion shows up and commands the attention of the citizens, telling them that since the President seems to be stalling, possibly because he does not trust that he will honor his word, he will release some of the captives as a sign of good faith. Spider crouches around Carol, and he disappointedly, questions what Hyperion is doing. Carol slyly smirks and Hyperion announces that they will select one hundred of them to be freed. It finally clicks in Spiders head, Hyperion has no intention on releasing the captives, “cool beans.” Hoping over to Hulk and Firestar, Spider tries to wake them so that they will have to watch the carnage.

Firestar attempts to persuade Spider to stop the insanity because if Hyperion doesn’t stop them, the Timebroker will never let them go back to their realities. While Hulk moans in pain, Spider mockingly feigns interest and tells her that it sounds bad, turning his attention to Hulk, Spider comments on his “well said” moan, and then suggests that with the beating from Hyperion, he doesn’t suppose that he can say anything then ask what it’s like to eat his own arm. Firestar chimes in reminding Spider that their job is to repair these realities and not to ruin them. Leaping over toward Hyperion, Spider tells her that it sounds like loser talk to him.
With his eyes eerily white, Hyperion commands the New Yorkers to come forward and live.

A building above Times Square

Illyana continues to argue with Heather and T.J. She lets them know that she finds the plan crazy and insists on killing Gambit. Nocturne tells her to shut up and informs her that they are sticking to the plan. She then suggests to Heather to change back into human form since someone might spot her in her Sasquatch form. Heather, back in her human form, tells Nocturne that Hyperion is rounding up the people and they have to stop him now. They continue to observe as Nocturne tells her that they will stop it.
Nocturne and Heather go over the plan, they will strike after the first group goes in to nail him then Nocturne will move in and possess Hyperion. Heather tells her that she makes the plan sound so easy, they begin to discuss if Nocturne will even be able to possess Hyperion since he is an alien.
Meanwhile, Illyana turns from them with a disturbed look on her face and pulls out her sword, approaching them from behind she pulls her arm back ready to strike. As Nocturne tells Heather to not be such a nervous Nellie, Heather sees Illyana approaching them.
“Six of us will move on …” Instinctively moving in to protect T.J. Heather uses her own body to shield Nocturne. Illyana slashes Heather across the back with her sword, “And I will be one!” Nocturne hits Illyana with a hex bolt and screams that she’s insane. Reaching over for her fallen sword, Illyana tells her that she is not insane and that she is more in tunes with the reality of the situation than any of them. “This is life and death and I’m going to live!” As she picks up her sword, she teleports right behind Hyperion.
Hyperion nonchalantly, recognizes her as an Exile and asks if she is here to save her people, then questions where the rest of the Exiles are and what the the Timebroker’s plan is. Illyana tells Hyperion that she isn’t there to fight him.

In an alley nearby, Mimic and the others look in is shock, Mimic questions what Illyana is doing and wonders where Sasquatch and Nocturnes are. Gambit comments on how if it was really them that was supposed to go in first. Blink, with her arms crossed in frustration, confirms that they were supposed to go in first. Calvin comments on how now they will have to change their plan quickly. Morph continues to look on with concern and disbelief, “No, Illyana.”

Illyana tells Hyperion that she has come to join him. He asks her what makes her think that he needs her. With a sly smirk on her lips, Illyana tells him that she knows what the mission is, she tells him that there can only be six members of both groups left, the rest dies and they move on. Annoyed, Hyperion tells her that he is tired of the games and lifts her up by the throat. He informs her that Gambit played games with him and he crippled him, he then asks why he should do less with her. Frantically thinking and trying to save her own life, Illyana tells him that she knows where Gambit and all the others are, so they can kill them and go home. With an evil grin, Hyperion mocks her for believing that the the Timebroker will send them home. She tries to reason with him, telling him that the the Timebroker did say that.

Morph questions what Illyana is doing and tells the others that he thought that she was changing. Mimic tells Morph that there is nothing that they can do now and that they will have to continue on with the plan without her. Calvin suggests that Blink and Gambit should teleport over to where Nocturne and Sasquatch are to check to see if they are alright. Blink tells them to keep their fingers crossed and teleports away with Gambit.
Illyana begs and tells Hyperion that she just wants to go home. Hyperion contemplates if Illyana is telling the truth and deduces that since if the Timebroker is really trying to get them to kill each other then he won’t send replacements for the dead. With a horrified look on her face, Illyana screams that it is what she has been trying to tell him. Hyperion tells her that he shall test her little theory and crushes her throat. With a final struggle and kick of her leg, Illyana goes limp and dies.

Morph screams in outrage, Mimic turns into his steel form and grabs Morph by the shoulder to keep him from rushing in recklessly. Morph yells for Mimic to let go of him and tells him that he is taking Hyperion down, with of without his help. Turning to face Mimic, he asks if he is with him.
As Hyperion drops Illyana’s lifeless corpse onto the ground, he notices that no one new has been teleported in. With this realization of Illyana telling the truth, he informs the others that they will find the Exiles and kill the ones they want and perhaps move onto another reality that is more willing to bend to his will. Looking over at Hulk and Firestar, Hyperion realizes that they are expendable as long as seven live. Hyperions blasts Hulk and the heat singes the webbing holding Firestar. She gets free and tells Hyperion that she’s isn’t just going to sit there and die especially knowing that he plans to kill the people whether she stays captive or not. Spider takes this as an opportunity to attack Firestar, misjudging the situation, he leaps in, Hyperion yells for him to wait. Too late, With an angry look on her face, Firestar invites Hyperion and Spider to both “feel the heat.” With a massive burst of flames, Firestar burns her self up along with Spider and sends Hyperion and Mr. Marvel flying. Hyperion and Ms. Marvel comment on how two more have died and yet there are no replacements being sent, they decide that it could be fun to kill two more and move onto the next reality.
Morph, with spikes covering his body, and Mimic fly in, “No one else dies here today but you, Hyperion!” Calvin comments on the element of surprise being gone, Hyperion acknowledges the two Exiles and comments on how they are here to fight to the death and it now looks like he will move onto the next world.

Characters Involved: 

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

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

Citizens of New York

Story Notes: 


Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: