Exiles (1st series) #49

Issue Date: 
September 2004
Story Title: 
Mission Impossible

Tony Bedard (Writer), Jim Calafiore (Penciler), Mark McKenna (Inker), JC (Colorist), Dave Sharpe (Letterer), Mizuki Sakakibara (Cover), Cory Sedimeier and Stephanie Moore (Assistant Editors), Mike Marts (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

The Exiles arrive in the Washington, D.C. of a new reality, but quickly discover that things are amiss when they find the Avengers turned into paper dolls and a giant toilet atop the Capitol building. While Mimic flies around to find some survivors in the empty city, the rest of the group heads over to the crashed S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. Along the way, Namora loses her patience with Morph’s jokes and reveals that she thinks he is as useless as Beak. Blink informs the group that the Tallus wants them to free the Impossible Man, but at the helicarrier they discover, after they get into S.H.I.E.L.D.’s files, that the Impossible Man is responsible for the ongoing events in the city. Blink is able to contact Fury and learns that all S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel and Washington residents were transported to Disney World by the Impossible Man. It seems the Controller wanted to exploit the Impossible Man’s powers but things went awry, when the slave disc was applied to the Impossible Man and, now, he is out of control. The team finds Mimic, who has already found the Impossible Man. Blink, Namora, Sasquatch and Mimic are all turned into stuffed dolls, while Beak is turned into a bucket of chicken. Alone, Morph uses the power of laughter to help free the suppressed personality of the Impossible Man, who then restores everything back to normal.

Full Summary: 

The Exiles stand in utter disbelief, only after a few minutes in the new reality they blinked into. Outside the Capitol Building of Washington, D.C., the six Exiles, including their new members Namora and Beak, look into the air at the Avengers, including Hawkeye, Black Panther, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Scarlet Witch, Wasp, Vision and others. Morph is shocked to discover that the Avengers, who are all hand-in-hand while hanging from four poles, have been turned into – paper dolls? Morph jokes that after West Coast and Great Lakes Avengers the A-Team must have run out of ideas. Sasquatch tells Morph that his joke is not funny at all.

Beak asks if he should expect to see stuff like this all the time. No, says Blink reassuringly. Sometimes they happen upon worlds that have not gone wrong yet, so they can avert the catastrophe they have been sent to stop. Other times, however, the damage is already done. The six look up at the top of the Capital Building, whose top spire has been replaced with a giant toilet atop the dome. Blink adds that they have never seen anything so imaginative before, though.

Mimic looks down the street to see traffic lights turned into fake giraffes, a car turned into a giant piggy bank and street signs turned into giant pink and yellow lollipops. Mimic notices that they cannot hear an engine or anything else for that matter. If the Avengers were turned into paper dolls, then who knows what happened to the ordinary citizens.

Beak admits that he would hide if this happened, so maybe everyone in the city is hiding. Blink orders Mimic to use the speed he borrowed from Northstar to search for survivors. Mimic flies upwards and tells the group that he will be back soon. After a few seconds, though, Mimic spots something immediately. He returns back to the Exiles and informs them that the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier has crashed about half a mile away from them, but he does not see survivors. Blink tells Mimic that the five of them will check it out since S.H.I.E.L.D. would probably be best to inform them on what is happening. In the meantime, Mimic should check the rest of the city.

Namora expresses her disdain for the mission and announces that she has no interest in solving riddles. What does the Tallus say about their mission? The sooner they finish it the sooner they can move to a more pleasant place. Blink tells the group that they need to free someone called the Impossible Man, though she doesn’t know where to find him. Morph morphs into the Impossible Man and happily informs all that he knows the man, or at least the one in his reality. They are birds of a feather and connoisseurs of the absurd.

Someone comments that it must mean they are both goofballs, but Morph continues on. He explains that when it comes to morphing the Impossible Man leaves him in the dust. If the man turns into a car or plane or rocket, the moving parts actually work, like the engine and lights and guns! Usually, his color scheme is green and purple but, when one can create moving parts, which is extremely difficult to pull off, then it doesn’t matter. Also, the Impossible Man makes a cute popping sound when he transforms.

Namora looks around and tells Morph that it seems his friend has met his match, though the whole time she does not notice a tower behind the group with the Impossible Man’s head on it. Namora suggests that maybe someone could be using the Impossible Man’s powers to shape others. No, says Morph. He explains that the Impossible Man can only change himself, though he doesn’t know the science behind it. Speaking of science, Morph has a joke. Two atoms walk along and one says that he thinks he lost an electron –

Namora clamps her hand over Morph’s mouth and tells him to shut up or he will lose more than electrons. One of the girls tells Namora to let Morph go, but the arrogant woman persists that Morph is as useless as Beak. How can they tolerate him? “What’re you lookin’ at?” asks Morph to the staring Beak.

Elsewhere, Mimic flies past the Lincoln Memorial, which has been changed into an overweight Impossible Man with a remote control in his hand sitting on Lincoln’s seat. Suddenly, he sees five people on the steps to the monument but, upon closer inspection, he sees that they are all green with purple hair and clothes. Mimic asks if they are okay, but the people wonder why he asks. Mimic tells him that they look a bit funny, to which the five people ask: What is “funny?” Suddenly, the five people morph, with a popping sound, into a giant hand. The Impossible Man morphs out of the ground and, with Mimic caught in the grip, he asks him what is so funny?

At the helicarrier, the Exiles watch a recording of what happened in Washington. They see the Impossible Man, with a stoic face; transform an innocent man into a group of butterflies. Sasquatch comments that at least they know who is responsible. Morph mentions that the Impossible Man he remembers was nice and could only transform himself. Exactly, says Sasquatch. That was the Impossible Man in his reality, not this one. Morph should keep that in mind since it seems the Impossible Man is capable of anything. Morph stretches his head to the top of the giant monitor and asks what the silver disk on the Impossible Man’s forehead is.

Blink discovers that a lot of the helicarrier’s systems are still on-line after the crash, but she wonders what happened to all the personnel. Isn’t it obvious, asks Namora, so matter-of-factly. The Impossible Man got to them. Blink speaks into a microphone to try and hail someone. Suddenly, the giant monitor displays the face of an angry Nick Fury, who asks who they are and then orders them to get out before he finds them. Blink introduces the Exiles and explains that they were checking for survivors. Angered, Fury asks her where she was all morning, but Blink tells him that they just popped into town. Can he tell them what happened?

Fury tells them that he has no clue who they are and for all he knows they are here to loot the helicarrier. Annoyed, Blink reminds Fury that she was the one who hailed him. Why would she call him if they were stealing from S.H.I.E.L.D.? Fury pauses and then tells Blink that, with all that has happened today, he might as well as chance it. On the other end, Fury and all the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, as well as many Washington residents, find themselves in Disney World. Fury explains that the Exiles are not going to find “survivors” in Washington, for, after doing some horrible things to innocent people and after crashing the helicarrier, the Impossible Man teleported everyone in D.C. to Disney Land. In one second, 500,000 people ended up in the middle of the Magical Kingdom. Why there, asks Blink. Fury is not sure. It could be a twisted joke.

Fury explains that all they know about him is everything they learned after his first fight with the Fantastic Four a few years ago. The Impossible Man claims to be from another dimension called “Poppup” where everyone has powers like him. Blink asks for clarification on his powers. Fury explains that the Impossible Man can turn into anything and turn anyone into anything too. His only limit is his imagination, like a genie with no master. Fortunately for them all, the Impossible Man was only playing for laughs, until recently when he met the Controller, who uses mind-control discs. S.H.I.E.L.D. does not know how the Controller got one of his control discs on the Impossible Man’s head, but they do know that the disc did not work. Instead of making the Impossible Man a slave, he went berserk.

Elsewhere, Mimic finds himself running away from a giant, purple and green armored truck, with the Impossible Man sitting up top with an ice cream cannon. The Impossible Man asks what is funny, but Mimic has no clue why the man keeps on asking. Why don’t they make a deal instead. If the Impossible Man returns everything to normal, then they can rent the Three Stooges on DVD. Mimic gets nailed in the back by several ice cream cones and angrily lashes out with his optic blast. Mimi calms down and sees the remains of the destroyed truck that used to be the Impossible Man. Blink and the others teleport next to him and Blink is about to explain their mission, when she sees that Mimic is already aware. A sad Cal explains that he did not mean to kill the Impossible Man. He swore he would never kill again.

Morph looks at the remains and tells Mimic that there is good news. There is no way he killed the Impossible Man. Is all this stuff around them his remains? Suddenly, the remains all morph into hundreds of little Impossible Men, all equipped as boxers, who quickly surround the Exiles. In no time the Impossible Men begin to punch the team. The team is knocked down to the ground and, once defeated, the Impossible Man remerges into one being. The Impossible Man asks the team if they are having fun, but Sasquatch tells him to hold on. Impossible Man turns to Sasquatch and, in less than a blink of an eye, she is turned into a stuffed, Sasquatch animal. Blinks calls out to Heather in horror but, before she, Mimic, or Namora can do anything, they are all turned into stuffed dolls. Beak shrieks and tries to run away, but is turned into a bucket of Poppup Fried Chicken.

Impossible Man realizes that he missed something and wonders where Morph disappeared. As he looks around for the last Exile, the leaf on the tree he stands next to morphs into the hand of Morph, who tries to pull off the slave disc on the Impossible Man’s forehead. Morph finds that he cannot pull it off and, before he can escape, he is pulled out of the tree and thrown to the ground. Morph transforms the bottom half of his body into a spring and leaps away, telling the Impossible Man to stay a fashion victim if he wants to. Morph turns into a hair stylist and order the Impossible Man to learn how to accessorize, since the mind-control style is last year. Suddenly, the Impossible Man begins to chuckle, but the slave disk on his head begins to short-circuit, which causes the Impossible Man pain. The Impossible Man tells Morph that he is funny.

The Impossible Man creates a giant dragon and chases after Morph, who has transformed into a dog with a cape. Morph realizes how to defeat the Impossible Man and narrowly avoids the jaws of the dragon, as he transforms back into his normal form. Morph tells a joke about two electrons that are walking when one says to the other that he thinks he lost an electron. The other asks if he is sure and the first electron says, “Yes, I am positive!” The Impossible Man begins to laugh again, which again causes the slave disc to begin short-circuiting.

The Impossible Man turns into a tank, but Morph does not give up. Cannibal Chief asks his victim what he does for a living. The victim informs the Cannibal Chief that he is an editor. Cannibal Chief congratulates the man, as he will not be Editor-in-Chief. The Impossible Man returns back to normal and begins to laugh again. Morph tells another joke about a man married to a woman for ten years only to come home and see her with his best friend. What does he say? Bad dog!

The Impossible Man laughs hysterically and falls to the ground. The slave disc explodes and the Impossible Man stops laughing. When Morph asks the man if he is all right, the Impossible Man looks up, with tears from laughter in his eyes, and explains that he was just trying to be funny, but he could not because of the slave disc. He could not think straight and couldn’t remember what “funny” was.

Forty-three minutes later:

Everything has returned to normal at Washington D.C. The Exiles stand with the Impossible Man outside the Capitol Building, where the guilt-ridden Impossible Man explains that it was a nightmare and everything he did came out wrong. Morph consoles him and admits it took him time to figure things out. Whatever “funny” left in him was fighting the Controller’s mind disc, but all he needed was one more push.

What is important is that he was able to undo what he did. Blink tells the Impossible Man that they understand that he did not want to do what he did. The Impossible Man tells Blink that it doesn’t excuse what he did. They were as good as dead because of him. Morph reminds the man that he was just trying to be himself. Namora comments that she almost died so the Impossible Man could reclaim his inner goofball. Morph smiles and tells her that dying is easy, but comedy is hard.

Characters Involved: 

Beak, Blink, Mimic, Morph, Namora, Sasquatch (Exiles)

Impossible Man

Nick Fury

Various S.H.I.E.L.D. agents

Various citizens of Washington, D.C.

Story Notes: 

Mimic vowed never to kill again after accidentally killing his teammate Sunfire in Exiles #37.

While it is not plainly stated, it seems that the caped dog that Mimic turned into is supposed to be Krypto, Superman’s dog, albeit with a yellow cape instead of a red one.

Issue Information: 

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