Exiles (1st series) #53

Issue Date: 
December 2004
Story Title: 
Living Planet - part 2

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: 

Ego psionically explains his problem to the still-developing Earth. He was once almost colonized by a race of aliens and, to enact his revenge, he hurled their planet into a black hole. This angered the Celestials, Jemiah and Gammenon, who were conducting an experiment on that planet. Ego was sentenced to death. He escaped and planted a seed on Earth, so he would have twice the power to combat the Celestials. Now, the Celestials have arrived. Earth awakes and becomes a conscious planet, though it thinks of Reed Richards as his father. Ego, however, is able to break Earth free of Reed’s influence and the antibodies on Earth turn against the heroes and Exiles. Reed sinks into despair, but Beak snaps sense into him and makes Reed remember his child, Franklin. Reed’s fear of Franklin dying is transferred to Earth, which rebels against Ego and helps the newly arrived Celestials against him. Doom finds his imploder in space and brings it to the brain of Earth. Blink teleports herself and the imploder to the upper atmosphere and then teleports the imploder into Ego and kills him. The Celestials return Blink to Earth, who wakes up three days later. She is troubled, however, as the Celestials warned her that the Timebreaker isn’t what he seems. Before the team can discuss this new information any further they are teleported away.

Full Summary: 

Some Recent Time Ago:

About two thousand orbits after the alien race known as the Trinarians tried to colonize him, Ego the Living Planet repaid the creatures in kind for the insult by hurling their home planet into a black hole. However, despite being justified in his actions, Ego had won the hate of two beings for the extermination of the Trinarians. The two were Gammenon the Gatherer and Jemiah the Analyzer, both towering Celestials. Apparently, the two space gods had set up an experiment involving the Trinarians and Ego had ruined their eons-long experiment. Due to this, the two agreed that Ego must die. As fleets upon fleets of Trinarian ships flew away from their home planet, which was dangerously close to a black hole, the two Celestials attacked Ego the Living Planet in the beginnings of a galactic war.

Fortunately for Ego, being condemned and carrying out the execution were two different things. He escaped that day and immediately began to plot the demise of Gammenon and Jemiah. Ego fled to the planet Earth, the world that often defeated him in the past. There, he battled the Avengers, Fantastic Four and the Silver Surfer, who at that time thought that they drove Ego away. Unbeknownst to them, Ego had left a seed of awareness secretly on the planet. Ego then hid in the shadow of a nearby gas giant and waited for the seed to transform Earth into a living planet. Now, the wait is over. Jemiah and Gammenon come. However, they will be ready this time, for now the Celestials must battle two living planets!


Deep within the brain of the Earth, Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four sits in his chair, connected to the Earth’s brain through its synapses. The rest of the Fantastic Four, as well as the inter-dimensional hopping Exiles, stand by his side, as Reed speaks the words of Ego, who has been psychically telling his story to Earth. Blink is concerned about Reed, but Susan explains that her husband is directly connected to the Earth’s developing consciousness. Whatever happens in Earth’s new mind tends to overwhelm Reed’s personality at times.

Reed’s personality comes back to power and the scientist explains that Ego’s psionic message was so strong that he could not help but repeat it. Thing tells Reed that they heard the message and summarizes their predicament, as Ego turning Earth into a facsimile of himself in order to fight two “space gods.” Exactly, confirms Reed. However, when Ego arrives, he will urge Earth to wipe out all of mankind, as if it were an infection. If Earth’s mightiest heroes cannot stop the antibodies, then what chance do ordinary humans have?

Above, in the streets of New York City, Captain America uses his shield to block a punch from an antibody. Angered, Cap orders Dr. Doom to lend him some assistance. As Doom defends himself, he tells Captain America to help himself, as he can barely fight off the antibodies attacking him. Doom is cut off, though, as an earthquake begins. Yellowjacket blasts two antibodies and realizes a storm is also blowing in. Is Thor doing that? Thor denies it and then points to the horror in the sky. All look up to see Ego the living planet gazing down at them. Thor explains that it is the proximity of Ego that is causing the problems. Ego has returned to complete their destruction.

Ego sends out another call to Earth and asks his child why it does not respond. Must he lash out to wake him up? In the brain of Earth, Reed is overcome by mental pain. Sue is about to pull off the synapses from his head, but Reed yells for her not to touch them. If she pulls them off, then the only voice Earth will listen to is Ego. The gravity of Ego begins to rips buildings apart, as the living planet urges the Earth to wake up. Suddenly, the ground begins to crack open from New York to Ohio and from California to Montana. Green light erupts, as the cracks become bigger and grow into two green, round objects: the eyes of Earth! Ego urges his son to open his eyes and to look at his father. Earth looks upon Ego and in a confused state calls Ego its father in disbelief.

In the brain, Reed strains from the pain, as Earth’s consciousness takes over. Speaking both psionically and through Reed, Earth tells Ego that he is not his father. Ego explains that he is the closest thing to family that Earth has. He was merely a rock, covered in parasites, until Ego came. Soon, Ego will teach Earth of the glories of their existence, but first they must survive this one day. Two beings known as the Celestials pursue him and will be here any moment to kill him. Earth must aid him or the Celestials will surely kill him too. Earth is confused and tells Ego that his father cannot be him, as his father is inside him, nurturing and teaching him. Thing realizes that Earth thinks that Reed is his father.

Ego tells Earth that he is confused. He must exterminate the infestation on him and then he will think clearly. Reed’s personality comes back and he reveals that Earth’s consciousness is pushing him out. He is running out of options. Thing tells Reed to whip up a gizmo or something and blast Ego to kingdom come. Reed begins to concentrate in order to reconnect with Earth, but there are other troubles. Morph calls everyone’s attention and tells and points out the army of antibodies heading right for them. It seems that they are being evicted. Mimic armors up and tells Morph that they have a job to do. They have faced worse in a dozen realities and this will not be the first messed-up version of Earth that they fail to fix.

In New York, the Avengers are overwhelmed and Iron Man lies motionless on the ground, with her chest plate cracked open. Thor orders the team to assemble and demands that Doom stand with them. Doom flies into the air and out of the reach of the antibodies. He declines Thor’s demand, as the battle is lost. Thor curses Doom, but the villain is distracted by a beeping on his armor. He realizes that he is receiving telemetry from his metakirlian imploder, the device he was going to lobotomize Earth with until the pink girl destroyed it, or at least he thought she destroyed it. Doom discovers that the machine is seventy-five miles above him; somehow the girl teleported it into space. Doom orders the machine to return back to him at once. He is quite pleased now, as he can complete his mission to snuff the Earth’s mind.

Earth senses something and realizes that someone is coming. Ego peers behind him and announces that they are here. Ego welcomes Jemiah and Gammenon and introduces them to the planet Earth. Jemiah is horribly distressed at what has happened to Earth and Ego sees that, asking his old friend what is wrong. As Ego shoots out an optic blast, he asks if he ruined yet another experiment. Earth, which has now formed a mouth over Central America, asks Ego why he attacks. Ego yells at Earth to fight for his life before the Celestials kill them.

In the brain, Sasquatch finds herself overwhelmed and calls for help, though she is able to knock some antibodies away. Mimic pops his claws and tells Sasquatch to hold on, as he and Namora rush to her aid. Thing gets ready for battle, but Morph pushes Beak into the Fantastic Four’s shelter, as this is way out of his league. Beak interjects but, before he can get more than a few words out, Reed begins to scream that they are doomed and are all going to die. Distressed, Sue tells Reed not to give up hope.

Reed does not listen to his wife and explains that Earth needs more energy to help Ego fight the Celestials. To get that energy he is going to ingest every life form on Earth and use their bio-energy to fight the Celestials! Reed is trying to convince the Earth that it needs its biosphere, but it is like a child ruled by emotion and cannot be reasoned with. Reed freaks out and screams that he cannot think of a way out of this one. Horribly angry, Beak takes off his helmet and begins to scream at Reed. He tells him to stop thinking and start feeling. If Reed can feel Earth’s feelings, then Earth should feel Reed’s feelings. He needs to find something for Earth to chew on. What does it feel like to know that your children are about to die? He has many kids at home and, if he lost even one… Reed suddenly looks at Susan, as they both remember their son, Franklin.

In space, Jemiah blasts Alaska, as Ego hits Gammenon. Earth, however, does not retaliate and asks Ego why the Celestials hate him. Why don’t they speak? After they are dead, reasons Ego, then he will explain. Suddenly, Earth screams Franklin’s name. Confused, Ego asks his son what is wrong with him. “You!” screams Earth, “You are what is wrong!” Earth then blasts Ego with his own optic blast.

In the brain, the Exiles and Fantastic Four are confused when the antibodies suddenly stop their aggressions. There is a loud booming sound and Morph asks what changed. Blink calls out to her teammates and explains that Reed got through to Earth and he now understands that humanity is his children. Earth and the Celestials are now fighting Ego. Indeed, in space, Ego blasts the eastern hemisphere of Earth, but Jemiah and Gammenon comes to Earth’s side.

In the brain, the Exiles hear a rumbling sound and then all turn to the same direction, as Doctor Doom and his lobotomize machine burst through the rock. Morph is disappointed that Doom found his machine and Doom is surprised to see the Exiles and Fantastic Four alive. It is no matter, though, as he will rectify that. Doom then orders the imploder to target the brain cortex now. As the imploder heads towards the brain, Blink simply says, “no,” and then teleports herself and the imploder away.

Blink and the imploder emerge in the upper atmosphere of Earth, where Blink is immediately overtaken by the freezing cold and the sparse air. However, she still is able to witness Ego taunt the Celestials. First they will die and then Earth will. Blink realizes that she has little time left and uses her powers to teleport the imploder. Ego screams at Earth and tells his son that he will die screaming for betraying Ego. Suddenly, Ego hears a “blink” sound and his eyes go wide open… and they stay that way, as he stops speaking and his yellow eyes become vacant. Jemiah and Gammenon look at Ego, but Jemiah’s attention is turned to the tiny figure floating in between Earth and space. The Celestial lifts Blink, who is unconscious and covered in ice, in his hand, and creates a bubble around her.

Three Days Later:

Lying in a bed in Fours Freedom Plaza, Blink begins to stir. An excited voice calls out to her and asks if she can hear him. She has been unconscious for three days. Blink wakes up and sees Mimic and Reed in the infirmary with her. Blink immediately asks if the two of them saw the others. Who, asks Reed. The big metal guys, Blink replies. Mimic explains to her that all they know is that she disappeared with Doom’s imploder and a minute later Ego was dead. Doom ran away. He was angry, but realized that he could not take them all on.

Reed takes over and explains that they deduced that she teleported the imploder into Ego, where it collapsed the villain’s bio-field upon itself and extinguished his life force. When Ego died, the Celestials stopped attacking. However, how did Blink know that the Celestials would return her to Earth? I didn’t, Blink replies. She had hoped she could have teleported back to Earth but the air was thinner than she expected. Blink becomes worried and asks Reed if Mimic explained who they are and why they are here.

Mimic smirks and explains that Reed didn’t believe him at first, but a few thousand questions later and things were cleared up. As the other Exiles enter the room, Reed admits that the whole concept of fixing broken realities is fascinating. He is most interested in this Timebroker character mentioned. Speaking of which, interrupts Mimic, did the Tallus confirms that their mission is done? Blink confirms that it has and announces that now that she is better they can move on.

Mimic notices distress on Blink’s face and asks her what is wrong. Blink tells all that it seems like a dream, but she swears she remembers the Celestials carrying her down and talking to her in her head. They wanted to warn her. They wanted to warn them all. What did they say, Mimic asks. “Beware the Timebreaker,” repeats Blink, “He is not what he seems.”

Suddenly, the Exiles all teleport away, leaving Reed alone in the infirmary. “Timebreaker?” repeats the confused man.

Characters Involved: 

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

Human Torch II, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing (Fantastic Four)

Captain America, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Thor, Yellowjacket (Avengers)

Dr. Doom


Gammenon, Jemiah (Celestials)

Ego the Living Planet

Various antibodies

Story Notes: 

It is not mentioned whether Earth reverted back to normal or not.

Beak leaves this reality, but it doesn’t seem that he has his Xorn helmet with him. Either this is an error or it will be explained next issue.

Issue Information: 

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