Exiles (1st series) #59

Issue Date: 
April 2005
Story Title: 
A Tooth for a Tooth

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

Brief Description: 

The Exiles return to the reality where they last left Weapon X member Sabretooth to raise David Richards, in order to ensure that the child would not be a psychopathic murderer in the future. Twenty years have passed since then, but once there the Exiles find that the children they freed, now adults, are hunting down Sabretooth for apparently betraying them. Blink freaks out, and after defeating the mutant attackers Mimic confronts on her on what happened to her after the Timebroker temporarily pulled her from the team. He knows she came back there, but why? Where is David Richards now? Namora calls everyone’s attention to the fact that Heather did not arrive in this reality with them. Blink questions the Tallus, but instead learns about the purpose of their visit to this reality. She freaks out again and teleports away. After Mimic and Sabretooth argue and threaten one another, they head out to find Blink, while Namora, Morph and Beak stay put. Sabretooth refuses to tell Mimic what happened to Blink, which seems to involve David, until she is ready to confront it. The two find Blink, who confesses to Mimic what happened. She arrived there the eve of the final battle against the Sentinels. After the battle, David wished to kill all of humanity and used to telepathy to take over Blink’s body so he could use her teleportation powers to graphically murder many humans. Sabretooth finally came to terms with David’s destiny and murdered his surrogate son. Blink has hated Sabretooth since, for not killing the boy when they should have. Blink then tries to get rid of the Tallus using her teleportation, but it goes to Sabretooth instead, who learns that he mission is to kill Mimic. He refuses, though, because of Blink, which prompts the Timebroker to arrive, who is more callous than usual. Blink tells the Timebroker that they quit the Exiles job, as she is not sure that killing Mimic is the real mission. This prompts the Timebroker, or possibly an imposter, to teleport the group to a fate unknown as punishment.

Full Summary: 

In a very familiar reality, a group of mutant youths scour the night streets of a city, looking for their target. Several fly through the air with flashlights, to search among broken Sentinel units and other debris, while other members of their search party do their job by foot. A youth in the air tells the others that he has lost the target.

Another man, Smokey, tells the group that they can flush their target out. He then proceeds to blast a pile of wreckage with his mutant flames. Several others duck out of the way, as one tells Smokey to cut it out. He might get one of them killed. At that moment, however, another person spots the target…they have found Sabretooth!

Indeed, leaping across a car and to safety is the man known as Sabretooth, once part of the reality hopping group known as Weapon X. Sabretooth is a long way from his home reality, a world accidentally never meant to be, but ruled by the mighty fist of Apocalypse. After being displaced in time, he found himself with Weapon X, but chose to stay behind in this current reality to make sure that a boy named David Richards would never grow up to be the tyrannical beast he was destined to become. Things seem to have gone wrong.

Sabretooth narrowly avoids a rush of fire that singes the end of his ponytail. He runs on, though, but unfortunately he comes to a dead end. A boy with bat-like wings calls Sabretooth a murderer and swears revenge for what the man did. Smokey cannot believe that they ever trusted him. Sabretooth turns to face the group, who taunt him and remind him that he has nowhere to go. He has no friend left in this world.

Suddenly, there is a rip in reality between Sabretooth and the group of angry mutants. Emerging from his rip is the other reality-hopping group, known as the Exiles. Dressed as an elevator man, Morph tells Beak, Namora, Mimic, and Blink that they have reached the third floor – sporting goods and lingerie. Morph stops talking, as he looks at the desolate city and murderous mutants and comments that they are not lingerie models. One mutant is left in shock and cannot believe what he sees. Another screams that it is real. Blink is back!

Mimic armors up immediately, but notices Blink suddenly become terrified. She gasps and mutters something about not being there again. Before Mimic can question Blink on what is wrong, Smokey shoots a blast of fire straight at Blink. Mimic deflects it with his armored skin, though, but tells the group that the Exiles don’t know who they are, but they won’t try to hurt them… much. Mimic then cuts loose with an optic blast and decimates the violent group in front of him.

Screaming her motto “Imperius Regina!” Namora grabs two of the mutants, including Smokey, and chucks them away. Morph shifts into a tank and starts bashing some other mutants, all the while commenting that Namora needs to change her battle cry. How about “E Pluribus Unum” or “Veni, Vidi, Vicious” or something else? The mutant gang falls back, realizing that they have fallen into a trap. One calls back to Sabretooth that they will finish this later.

Beak, armed with his bat and standing with Mimic over the weak Sabretooth, asks his teammate why they are protecting Sabretooth. Mimic tells Beak to ease up, as they know this certain Sabretooth. He is like a father to Blink. Isn’t that right, asks Mimic to his girlfriend. Blink nervously approaches the three and agrees.

Mimic armors down, but he is not done speaking. Angrily, he tells Blink that he knows something happened last time she saw him. Something bad happened that not even his own girlfriend will tell him, even though he has asked six times since she was returned to the Exiles. Beak is confused and admits this to Mimic.

Mimic explains to Beak that there once was another group of Exiles called Weapon X. Sabretooth led that group. A while back, both groups arrived on this world they are in now; a world where Sentinels kept mutants in prison camps. They weren’t there to beat the Sentinels though. The Timebroker wanted them to kill a child named David Richards, before he could grow up and make things worse. They did not want to kill a six year-old, so Sabretooth agreed to stay behind and raise David so he wouldn’t become a psycho. The rest of them continued to reality jump and Mimic always thought Sabretooth was better off there rather than with Weapon X.

A few missions later, however, the Timebroker announced that Blink had served her time as an Exile and could go home. However, she didn’t go home. She was sent back to this reality to be with Sabretooth. Every time Mimic asks her why, Blink responds that she doesn’t want to talk about it. Morph and Namora return to the group, the former asking Mimic what is going on here. Who were the mutants they just found and where is the Richards kid?

Upon hearing this, both Blink and Sabretooth look away and stare off into the distance.

Accepting that neither will speak, Namora announces that she does not care about this mutant child. She is more concerned about the absence of Sasquatch. Is she really the only one who noticed in all this commotion that Heather did not arrive with the rest of them?

The other Exiles look around in bewilderment. Blink swears that Heather left with them. Beak freaks out and wonders if Heather got stuck between worlds. Is that even possible? Namora explains that Heather sacrificed her Sasquatch powers. Perhaps she is not with them now, because she is of no use to them. Namora then adds lowly that if that were true then by her reasoning bird-boy would never have been a part of the group to begin with. Morph wonders where Heather’s replacement is if she is truly off the team. There always has to be six of them… unless… does Sabretooth make six?

Sabretooth looks at Blink and asks if she is going to let Morph guess all day. He would ask the Tallus if he still had one. Fine, replies Blink. She asks the Tallus about Heather’s condition, but the Tallus does not answer. Blink then asks the Tallus what their mission is. Suddenly, Blink freaks out and refuses to do the mission. In her fear, she blinks herself away.

Angry and confused, Mimic grabs Sabretooth by the collar, convinced that the man knows what this is all about. Why is Blink all uptight? What happened to her when the Timebroker brought her there? Sabretooth screams into Mimic’s face that he had better get his hands off before Creed rips his face off.

As Mimic wipes spit off his face, Morph comes to Mimic’s side and tells Sabretooth that if he messes with Calvin then Sabretooth messes with the Exiles. Namora boasts that she can trade punches with the Hulk. Sabretooth turns away and says that Clarice wouldn’t be happy if he hurt her friends. He begins to walk away and tells Mimic that what he wants to know, only Blink can tell. She suffered enough and he isn’t going to make it worse by opening his mouth before she is ready to talk.

As they walk, Morph asks if they should keep an eye out for Sentinels, but Sabretooth explains that all the Sentinels are scrap now. To the Exiles, it may be months since they left him. However, twenty years have passed in this reality. That mutant lynch mob that the team chased away used to be the children they freed from the camps when they originally came there.

Mimic tells Sabretooth to tell him all about it while they go find Clarice. Sabretooth asks Mimic if he really wants him to tag along. Calvin admits that he doesn’t, but only Sabretooth knows where Blink would hide in this reality. He has to come with him, unless Creed prefers to leave Blink only with a gang of killer mutants running around.

Mimic takes Sabretooth by the hand and they fly away. Calvin tells the others to stay there, but not out in the open. Morph complies, but tells Mimic to come back in one piece. As the two fly, Mimic wonders why time passed faster for Sabretooth than them. Sabretooth just answers that he doesn’t make the rules; he just gets screwed by them. Mimic notices that Sabretooth hasn’t aged a day. Sabretooth replies that it is the healing factor, just like Wolverine, and just like Mimic if he keeps the powers he mimicked from the feral X-Man. Sabretooth then tells Mimic to head to the woods. That is where Blink hid after the thing with David.

What thing, asks the concerned Mimic. As they land in the forest, Sabretooth tells him that Blink will reveal the truth when she is ready. He should just shut up while Sabretooth sniffs the girl out. Mimic replies that he can track Blink from there. Creed has done enough. Sabretooth tells Mimic not to be stupid. He knows how his powers work. He can only absorb half of Wolverine’s enhanced senses. All these claws, replies Mimic as he pops them out. Annoyed, Sabretooth turns and heads into the forest, telling Mimic to split up before he is forced to gut the Exile.

Five hours later, Mimic reaches a cliff and stares off to the night sky. He then sniffs a familiar scent. He walks around a bush and finds Blink, sitting alone in a cave. He greets her and tasks her not to teleport away. Blink cries as Mimic embraces her. She tells him that everything has gone wrong in this place and it is too much for her to bear. Mimic tells Blink that he wants to help, but she needs to talk. She has to trust him and tell him what happened here. Did Sabretooth do something to her?

Surprised, Blink says no. She hesitates at first, but then agrees to tell Mimic the truth. He just has to promise not to hate her when she is done.

Since the Exiles and Weapon X left, Sabretooth has done his best to raise David. Sabretooth once rescued her from Sinister and brought her up as an X-Man, so if anyone could teach the children they freed it was him. The first few years were tough and the best he could do was preventing them from getting shot. Once they hit puberty and their powers bloomed, they fought back. However, he kept in mind the warning about David and knew that the boy’s powers could only be matched by Creed’s ruthlessness. Creed grew to love the boy over the years. What if love wasn’t enough? What if David still grew up to be evil?

In the end, Creed did what any other good parent would do. He stepped out of the way and hoped he did his best. David then planned a decade-long systematic downfall of the Sentinel plants. The last thing any of them expected was for her to blink back to this reality on the eve of the final assault on the last Sentinel node in North America.

David thought that she was a spy and used his telepathy to force himself into her mind. The telepathic invasion was Blink’s first clue that something was horribly wrong with that boy, but his performance at the final battle overshadowed her misgivings. David psi-linked with them all and coordinated their movements as he single handedly destroyed eighty-four Sentinels. If one would roll Professor Xavier, Magneto and the Phoenix Force into one being, then one could imagine what David was capable of.

Blink doesn’t know what went wrong. Maybe boys grow up differently? Maybe he never would have ended up like her? After the battle, David rallied his troops and announced that the next day they would finish the job. She was confused and thought that there were more Sentinel bases that they didn’t know about. David told her that the Earth was diseased and the Sentinels were just a symptom. Once she saw the true cause, Blink would know that they have to eradicate it.

David grabbed her, even though Sabretooth ordered him to let go. Since David’s powers blossomed, only Sabretooth could ever say no to the boy. At that moment, that last restraint was gone. She tried shielded her mind but it was for nothing. He hijacked her ability to teleport and took them both away, though she tried hard to stop him.

David took her to a reinforced bunker underneath a mile of earth in West Virginia. It was two or three times farther than her longest jump, and it was blind. Her limitations meant nothing to David. There he introduced her to the Strategic Sentinel Command, led by humans, of course. Down in the complex was a large group of weary and sick humans. David found them a month ago and trapped them there, where they thought that they would be safe. Scared, Blink asked David what he was going to do to them.

David announced that the humans would pay. They will eliminate every last one, so the people of Earth won’t follow in their footsteps. David then hijacked Blink’s powers again and unleashed a wave of teleportation arrows at the group of unsuspecting humans.

Blink wipes tears off her face and tells Mimic that David made her teleport people in half, into walls and equipment, even fuse them together. It was stuff she wouldn’t even do in her worst nightmares. She tried breaking from his grip but she couldn’t, and she hated Mr. Creed for not dealing with the devil when he had the chance.

Sabretooth approaches the two and tells Mimic that David made her kill for days before he could catch up. Creed used an inhibitor collar to hide his approach. One would think ripping the heart out of a kid he spent twenty years raising was punishment enough, but nothing can settle the score for what Blink went through.

Mimic tells Blink that they should just finish the mission and leave. Blink pulls her hand away from Mimic and refuses to. She won’t do any more missions. They are done with the Exiles garbage. Sabretooth tells Blink to think again. He stayed in this reality because he refused to do what the Timebroker wanted and look what happened. Blink does not care. In fact, she won’t do this mission or tell them what it is.

Blink also refuses to wear the Tallus any longer and blinks it away. Mimic asks her where it went, but suddenly the Tallus reappears on her. Blink teleports it off again, but it returns. In a rage, she teleports it one last time, but this time it does not come back. Mimic asks her where she keeps sending the Tallus. Away, replies the girl. She smiles, as she thinks that it is gone.

“Kill Mimic” is the mission, replies Creed. Mimic and Blink turn around to see that Sabretooth now carries the Tallus. Mimic armors up and tells Creed to take his best shot. Suddenly, the Timebroker arrives and tells Creed to attack, for if he doesn’t this Earth will surely come to an end.

Sabretooth tells the Timebroker to shove it. He spent the last two decades there and he is sure this place isn’t worth saving. Besides, Clarice loves Mimic and he would rather die a thousand times than to see him taken from her. The Timebroker tells Creed that for a Sabretooth, he is a sickening pansy. How did they ever pick him for this job?

The Timebroker then gives in, but tells the three that if they refuse orders they get punished. Blink confronts the man and tells her that something has changed. He isn’t the same. In fact, she doesn’t believe that killing Mimic was even a real mission. However, it doesn’t matter. They quit. They are done.

The Timebroker snaps his fingers and the three are teleported away. “You certainly are,” replies the Timebroker with his eyes glowing red.

Characters Involved: 

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

Smokey, various mutants

Timebroker or possibly the Timebreaker

Blink’s Story:

Blink (former Exile)

Sabretooth (former Weapon X)

David Richards

Various humans
Various mutants

Story Notes: 

The Exiles, as a group, last saw Sabretooth in Exiles #13.

Blink was sent “home” in Exiles #22.

Blink returned to the Exiles after Sunfire’s death in Exiles #37.

The Exiles began to take the oddities of the Timebroker’s will more serious after a warning Blink received from the Celestials about the Timebreakers in Exiles #53.

Issue Information: 

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