Exiles (1st series) #8

Issue Date: 
March 2002
Story Title: 
A World Apart - part 1

Judd Winick (writer), Mike McKone (penciler), Mark McKenna (inkers), Transparency Digital (colors), Sharpefont’s Paul Tutrone (letters), Mike Raicht (assistant editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

The story jumps ahead, with the Exiles having visited many different realities, most times successfully accomplishing their tasks. Yet this time they are in way over their heads. They emerge on an earth that has been conquered by the Skrulls a century ago. Superhumans are forced to battle each other in an arena, to the amusement of the opressors. Right on arrival the team is defeated, only Blink and Morph escape. The others are forced to fight in the arena as well. Blink and Morph try to rescue them, but the city and the prison are too heavily guarded, and days grow into weeks with their teammates remaining captives for over a month. Finally the two Exiles meet a friendly face in Sam Wilson, who takes them to Reed Richards; he too has avoided capture so far and might aid the Exiles with his inventions. In outer space, Galactus and his herald Terrax are approaching earth.

Full Summary: 

(flashbacks to the last months)

The team has been visiting many alternate realities trying to correct some things that went wrong and ultimately to get home. Somewhere along the way they have adopted Exiles as their teammname. They found a reality where the Savage Land spans two continets, another where Tony Stark was president of the United States before he was assasinated, a world where Gamma Radiation mutated the entire population, yet another reality inhabited by Antilope Men. In other occasions they had to encounter a demon version of Spiderman and they also met the X-Babies. Sometimes the Tallus gave them some time off, like once when they only had to thwart a bank robbery, they spent a week on a tropic island afterwards. Over time the team got closer, and Calvin and Clarice are now fully in love with each other.

Nocturne is fighting in an arena, her opponnent is Marrow. She easily defeats her, and a crowd of Skrulls cheers, We learn that Nocturne has been fighting in this arena for over a month. At first she tried to go easy on her competitors, but there was no way to avoid harming them ín order to survive, and the weeks of battle have hardened Talia. As she is led back to the cell block, she passes the cell of the Mimic, who like her too is a prisoner and also has won all his matches in the arena so far.
The earth that the Exiles have visited has been conquered by the Skrulls a century ago. Originally it was used as an outpost during a war with the Kree, but when the war was over the Skrulls had come to like earth‘s climate and so the opressor’s stayed. Humanity adapted , developing a culture without technology, and living as the unseen underclass. The only interaction with the Skrulls being servants, red light districts and, with the coming of more and more mutants, the games. Colossus and the Thing are seen fighting each other. Inside the prison, Nocturne, Mimic, Sunfire and Thunderbird all sit and wait for their next matches, hoping that they will get rescued soon.
Outside, a Skrull soldier is leading a prisoner towards the building – it’s Blink. Other soldiers ask, who the captive is and how she could have avoided detection for many years, as she is fully grown and must have manifested her powers years ago. The Skrulls use their sensor to run a scan and find nothing special about her, yet there is a second mutant signature : Morph. He has been posing a as Skrull and together they tried to gain entrance to the prison. Now exposed they fight the two guards and then Blink teleports them away into a forest. Clarice is very angry, they needed two weeks to even figure out how to get past the city’s boundray sensors, and they are back where they started. Their friends are counting on them, but how can they free their teammates. Unaware the two Exiles are being watched.
In the arena, Thunderbird is forced to battle Strong Guy, but John doesn’t want to fight. From his cell Mimic encourages him to hit his opponent back, or else Thunderbird will receive no food rations. Finally Prooudstar gives in and ends the fight with one single blow that knocks Strong Guy into a wall. As the Mimic is led to his next match he passes Sunfire’s cell. Mariko tells him that she met Nocturne in the cleanup, and she fears that Talia will not stand their situation for much longer.
In the woods, Blink and Morph are approached by Sam Wilson who offers to help them. The couple are amazed, as they have been begging for help since they arrived, but everybody was too afraid of the Skrulls. Wilson says he has the proper connections and asks the two Exiles to follow him.
From aboard a scout vessel in outer space, two Skrulls watch the arena games on screen. They see Sunfire defeating Avalanche and eagerly anticipate to see her pitted against the Storm-Torch. Suddenly the ship is attacked by a meteor shower, that didn’t register on their sensors. As they recognize their assailant, it’s already too late to radio a warning, as the craft is destroyed. Galactus and his herald Terrax are approaching earth.
Wilson leads Blink and Morph into a secret underground cavern, while telling them that the man they are about to meet is an inventor. Years ago, he and his partners stole a skrullship and tried to escape but they ran into trouble. The ship crashed,one of the crew died, the others were changed by the incident. The others were captured and have to battle in the arena, however the inventor managed to escape and set up a secret lab – it’s Reed Richards.

Characters Involved: 

Blink, Mimic, Morph, Nocturne, Sunfire, Thunderbird (all Exiles)
Alternate reality the Exiles visit in #8-10 :

Avalanche, Colossus, Marrow, Strong Guy, Thing (fighters in the arena)

Banshee, Banner Beast / Hulk, Beastling / Beast, Fire Lass, Storm-Torch / Human Torch, Weather-Witch / Storm (mentioned as arena fighters)

Mr. Fantastic, Sam Wilson



Story Notes: 

Sam Wilson is the Falcon in the main Marvel Universe.
The Skrulls admiring earth culture and holding tournaments is not a new story. There was already a storyline in Fantastic Four (1st series) #90-93 that introduced a planet where Skrulls rebuilt New York of around 1920. There they also pitted some of their captives against each other like the romans used gladiators for their excitement.

Issue Information: 

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