Exiles (1st series) #84

Issue Date: 
September 2006
Story Title: 
Back in the Saddle

Tony Bedard (Writer), Jim Calafiore (Penciler), Mark McKenna (Inker), Tom Chu (Colorist), Dave Sharpe (Letterer), Sean Ryan (Assistant Editor), Nick Lowe (Associate Editor), Mike Marts (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Power Princess finds herself spied on by Longshot as she bathes, but soon learns that it is Morph in disguise. It seems that, though Proteus is brainwashed into thinking he is Morph, traits of his vile personality are seeping through and mixing with Morph’s playful nature. Heather leaves to visit her reality and see her husband, though the Timebreakers are upset as worlds are in peril, but one of the Timebreakers isn’t worried as it has a plan. Meanwhile, Blink attends Mimic’s funeral and spends time with his X-Men. The X-Men love her so much that they ask her to join their team. Spider-Man visits his home, and thankfully learns that his family is not in danger, thanks to his unmasking. Sabretooth also visits home, and discovers that Wild Child has gone missing since he and Blink disappeared. Rogue thinks Kyle took the disappearance personally and suggests that, if Creed returns home, perhaps Wild Child will come out of hiding, if he still lives. Before Creed can think about it, he is alerted by the Timebreakers to a threat. Heather’s world is on the verge of collapsing! Sabretooth gets Blink, Power Princess and Spider-Man, and the group teams up with Heather’s Alpha Flight to stop Darkstar and the Soviet Super-Soldiers from unleashing the god Chernobog, which will eventually destroy the Earth. However, the battle doesn’t bode well, so Morph goes to help. When this doesn’t work, the Timebreakers send Longshot to increase the probability of success. Longshot arrives but, before he can say anything, Snowbird destroys Chernobog, which troubles Longshot, as it means he wasn’t needed after all. Blink realizes that she has duties as an Exile and can’t stay on Mimic’s world. However, when the team calls the Panoptichron to be teleported back, the Tallus on Sabretooth disappears! It seems that the Timebreakers have tricked the Exiles, and the Timebroker arrives and tells the Exiles that they are fired, as they are no longer reliable!

Full Summary: 


“Hold still so I can kill you!” screams Zarda, better known to her teammates among the Exiles as Power Princess. The immensely strong Amazonian like woman runs through the control room of the Exiles’ headquarters after the genetically engineered soldier, simply known as Longshot. Power Princess, who is naked, holds her purple sleeveless garment across her chest to cover herself, as she attempts to hit Longshot with her energy shield.

Longshot smiles and leaps over Power Princess, who then accidentally slams her shield into a piece of equipment. As several worker caste bugs and sovereign caste buts watch, Longshot tells Power Princess that she is beautiful when she is angry. The naked part helps, too. Enraged, Zarda swings around quickly with her shield and slices Longshot in half across the gut! Zarda quickly calms and stares at Longshot with horror, as Longshot, with a look of disbelief on his face, holds his gut.

Suddenly, before the realization sinks into Zarda that she has killed her teammate, Heather Hudson walks into the control room with – Longshot? The two look at the naked Zarda in confusion and the sliced Longshot smiles innocently.

“MORPH!” screams the once again angry Zarda.

Morph reverts back to his true form, and asks Zarda if she is glad that he wasn’t really Longshot. Otherwise, Longshot would be dead. Annoyed, Zarda tells Morph that the real Longshot would have dodged the attack. Morph, however, will be pounded into paste. Heather asks Zarda what Morph did, and learns that Morph was spying on her as she bathed. Morph, standing behind Heather, tells Zarda that skinny-dipping in the indoor ocean in the Panoptichron is not bathing.

Annoyed, Longshot asks Morph why he didn’t use his real face then if it wasn’t a big deal. Because he knew what he was doing was wrong, answers Zarda. As Zarda dresses herself, Heather pulls Morph away and tells Power Princess not to kill Morph. She would prefer not having to worry about her teammates while she is gone. Very well, replies Zarda, as she ties a sash around her waist to keep her garment tight.

Heather explains to the three Exiles that the Timebreakers will keep things running smoothly until she is back. All the team has to do is not touch buttons – especially Morph. They can keep an eye on all the other Exiles from the control room.

The four walk down to the excursion platform, where two Timebreakers await Heather. One asks Heather how she can leave now. Does she hear nothing of their warnings? The other Timebreaker tells Heather that missions go undone and disaster looms! Disaster can wait for another few days, says Heather.

One Timebreakers tells the other that the Exiles do not listen. The other responds that they cannot force the Exiles. That was their first mistake. The team only learns through experience. As Heather steps upon the excursion platform, the Timebreakers inform her that she will learn the consequences of inaction. Annoyed, Heather tells the bugs not to talk to her about consequences. It was they who damaged the multiverse to begin with. She will be back soon enough to fix the broken realities. However, she deserves to see her husband again.

With that said, Heather is teleported to her reality.

Morph shifts into Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and states that he wants to visit home too. That might not be a good idea, says Longshot, thinking about Proteus. Why not, asks the confused Morph. Quick to cover Longshot’s slip up, Zarda takes Morph aside and tells him that she did not want to say this out loud in front of the Timebreakers, but Heather wants to make certain that someone is always in the Panoptichron. Morph realizes that Zarda means that an eye must be kept on the Timebreakers. Right, says Longshot. That is what I meant. As the three walk away, Morph tells Zarda that this new look she has isn’t bad for her. Don’t start, says Zarda. I wonder how Blink is faring, wonders Longshot.

Back at the platform, a Timebreakers asks his companion if it is necessary to sacrifice a reality to teach the Exiles a lesson. You misunderstand the plan, brother, says the other bug…

Earth #12:

Food is served at the Xavier Institute after Calvin’s funeral. Blink, wearing a black dress, stand to the side with Cyclops. Jean Grey takes food to the Professor, while Colossus and Gambit stand on the other side of the room talking. At the buffet, Storm tells Nightcrawler that it was a beautiful ceremony. If only Calvin could have seen how many people came. I like to think he knows, says Nightcrawler. Wolverine sniffs the air and tells his teammates to steer away from the casserole the Morlocks dropped off.

Cyclops smiles and asks Blink if in any of those alternate realities she visited, if Mimic ever beat up Wolverine. As a matter of fact, says Blink teasingly. Dream on, bub, says Wolverine.

Jean tells Blink that he is glad she and Calvin found each other, if only for a little while. The X-Men loved Mimic, and they really like her too. Blink smiles and thanks Jean. She likes them too. Splendid, says Xavier. He then tells Blink that in light of the hardship she has experienced as an Exile and her relationship with their late team-leader, the X-Men invite Blink to stay and join the X-Men!

Blink stares at the X-Men with shock.

Earth #928:

Gabe O’Hara runs down the dark streets with a gun in his hand, terrified. He tells his silent stalker that whoever he is, he will shoot to kill!

Suddenly, Spider-Man swings ahead of him and he tells his brother to chillax. He didn’t mean to scare him. He just wanted to catch him alone instead of dropping by the house. Gabe, calling his brother Miggy, is surprised. He then tells his brother, who takes off his mask, that it was good thinking. Public Eye has had the family under surveillance since Miguel was unmasked on live news-feed.

Miguel asks Gabe if Public Eye has hurt him or their mother. No, replies Gabe. They are left alone. Public Eye is just waiting for Miguel to come out of hiding. Alchemax deconstructed Miguel’s apartment and they are data-mining his Lyla unit to figure out what happened to him. Miguel looks away sadly and apologizes to his brother. He thought the mask would make it easier to avoid complications. Life’s complicated, replies Gabe. However, as long as Miguel is ok, it is the greatest thing ever – they are celebs now!

However, Miguel shouldn’t tell Gabe where he is – just so Public Eye cannot extract the info, ok?

Earth #295:

Sabretooth stands in the office of the Director of the Bureau of Mutant Affairs. Creed stands before the desk of his former leader Magneto, and his wife, Rogue. Angry, Sabretooth asks Magneto what he means when he says that he doesn’t know where he is.

Magneto explains to Victor that he has had people searching the globe for Wild Child ever since he went missing in action. Finding Kyle remains a top priority, but the bottom line is that he doesn’t know if Wild Child is alive or dead. Rogue speaks up and tells Victor that Kyle was never the same after Victor and Blink disappeared. She thinks Wild Child took it personally. Maybe he doesn’t want to be found? Maybe if Sabretooth came home and Kyle knew it, he would come out of hiding.

Maybe, says the saddened Creed, as he looks down. Creed is then asked when he and Blink are returning home anyway. They could certainly use them back on the X-Men. Sabretooth is about to answer, when suddenly he is alerted to a problem by the Tallus. Magneto asks him what is going on, and Creed explains that another reality is about to go down the tubes. Worse yet – a friend of his lives in that reality!

Earth #3470:

James McDaniel and Heather Hudson lie naked in bed, their clothes and uniforms scattered across the floor of their bedroom. Heather lies atop of James, running her fingers across his face and chest, as he tells her that he feels guilty about this. Some of the other members of Alpha Flight want to see her too. It isn’t fair that he gets to keep her all to himself. Heather tells James that her colleagues will understand. She hasn’t seen him in over a year. They have a lot of… catching up to do. They are doing a pretty good job, says James. He just doesn’t want to be selfish.

Heather smiles and tells James that she already told him that she has to go back to work in a day or two and there is a lot riding on what the Exiles do. This is precious time – how does he really want to spend it.

Suddenly, there is a flash of light, and Sabretooth appears in the bedroom! Embarrassed, Sabretooth apologizes to Heather for the awkward intrusion. James signals the intruder alert, but Heather tells James to wait, as Sabretooth is a member of the Exiles.

Sabretooth looks away and puts a hand up to his face as he explains to Heather that there is an emergency here on this Earth. He asked the bugs to teleport him straight to her. He didn’t expect her to be this busy. What’s wrong, asks Heather. You better round up the gang, says Sabretooth. Which gang, asks James. Actually, replies Sabretooth, both.

30 minutes later:

Blink, Power Princess and Spider-Man join Heather and Sabretooth at Alpha Flight headquarters, where they meet Heather’s other team: Guardian, Puck, Snowbird, Marrina, Northstar, Aurora, Box and Shaman. The group stands around Heather and Guardian, with Shaman hovering over Box and Spider-Man perched upon the floating water orb containing the bestial Marrina.

Heather finishes introductions and begins to explain what they are up against. Some of the Exiles come from realities where the Cold War ended. This isn’t the case for her world. The Soviet Union is teetering on the brink of collapse, but that just made them more desperate and dangerous. At this moment at the North Pole, the Soviet Super-Soldiers are leading one last bid to prop up the Eastern Bloc. They cannot afford to maintain their army or keep up with western technology, so they are turning to another source.

The Super-Soldier known as Darkstar draws her power from something called the Darkforce. The source of this Darkforce is the Russian elder god Chernobog. Now they are trying to get Chernobog to save the motherland. Apparently, if they succeed in unleashing the Darkforce, a layer of it will smother the entire Earth like a lifeless black ocean.

Arctic Circle:

Alpha Flight’s jet streaks across the sky, with Aurora, Northstar, and Snowbird flying ahead. Inside, Sabretooth, Blink, and Power Princess sit in the back with Guardian, Shaman, Puck and Box as Heather pilots.

Blink tells her teammates that she has a confession to make. This morning she was considering quitting the Exiles and staying in Mimic’s reality. Were considering or are considering, asks Sabretooth. Well…, says Blink.

Suddenly, Heather tells the team that they are approaching the target zone. Northstar, Aurora, Snowbird, and Marrina are in position. It’s time for Shaman to get into action.

Below, at the Super-Soldier base, the Soviet team watches as Darkstar continues her silent attempt to call forth the Darkforce power. Ursa Major tells Red Guardian that Darkstar has been at it for three days without rest. How much longer can she last? As long as it takes, replies Red Guardian. Once begun, the summoning must not be stopped.

Darkstar stands before a glowing orange orb in the sky, with darkness deep in the center, and a vile pair of eyes staring back out. Vanguard asks the Crimson Dynamo what his scanners see, but learns that there is nothing except the absence of light.

Suddenly, Darkstar snaps to attention and tells her teammates that Chernobog informs her that they are under attack from an aircraft from Canada. Crimson Dynamo takes the sky, as one jet isn’t too hard to fight off.

Dynamo recognizes the jet as Alpha Flight’s. This will be the last of them. He then unleashes a blast, but it passes right through the jet. Crimson Dynamo wonders what trick is going on.

Elsewhere in the jet, Shaman tells Heather that the Guardians have fallen for the decoy illusion. They shall remain invisible until they reach Chernobog. Heather asks if the Russians will see Power Princess and Guardian. Not until it is too late, replies Shaman.

Below, Power Princess and Guardian sneak up behind the Crimson Dynamo, and take him out with two punches.

Vanguard is about to lead Ursa Major into an attack, when suddenly the ice shelf beneath them begins to crack! Darkstar loses her concentration, much to her dismay, as she wasn’t finished summoning the Darkforce yet. What was that, asks Ursa Major. Red Guardian tells his teammates that it felt like something was hitting the ice pack from beneath. Something like a nuclear tornado!

Underneath the ice, the Alphan known as Marrina succeeds in disturbing the summoning.


Morph and Longshot watch the fight – and also watch as Chernobog is brought to Heather’s world! Morph tells the Timebreakers that he thought that Chernobog couldn’t stay on Earth if they interrupted Darkstar. One Timebreaker tells Morph that scanners show that Chernobog is growing in strength. Longshot asks if the scanners have suggestions, to which he learns that additional Exiles are required to combat. Beam me down, says Morph.

Earth #3470:

Morph arrives at the Russian base in a tuxedo, but finds himself right in front of Darkstar, Vanguard, Ursa Major and Red Guardian! Morph pulls at his bowtie, and says that he thought he’d appear in front of his friends. Those bugs really got to work on their aim.

Chernobog has no trouble finding where Alpha Flight and the Exiles really are, and grab their jet out of the air with his dark tentacles. In the air, Northstar tells his sister that they say this creature abhors light. Aurora smiles as she takes her brother’s hand, and tells him that they should welcome it to he land of the Midnight Sun! The two then unleash a powerful array of light, blasting away Chernobog.

However, the creature retaliates and knocks the twins out of the sky.


Longshot realizes that this isn’t going well. A Timebreaker tells him that chances of success are decreasing. Nothing they try seems to be altering the probability of success. Wait a minute, says Longshot. He can change the odds; it is what he does! As Longshot runs out of the control room, a Timebreaker asks him where he is going. To the excursion platform, replies Longshot. The Timebreakers can handle this place alone, right?

“Indeed we can,” says the Timebreaker.

Earth #3470:

As Puck battles Vanguard and Box battles Ursa Major and Red Guardian, Longshot arrives! Before Longshot can even get a sentence out, a beautiful white bird swoops low and around, catching his attention. The bird then flies high and shape-shifts back into Snowbird, daughter of Nelvana. She forbids Chernobog from entering this reality. With her dazzling powers, Snowbird destroys Chernobog!


As Alpha Flight restrains the Soviet Super-Soldiers, Guardian tells Heather that it seems that they have this all wrapped up. He is not sure how it would have gone had the Exiles not warned them. Honestly, says the confused Heather to her husband, she has the feeling Alpha Flight would have been just fine. Longshot approaches the two and tells them that this troubles him. He expected his arrival to affect the outcome, but he played no part at all in their victory.

Blink, clearly unaware of the recent on-goings, tells the team that the thing she mentioned earlier about joining Mimic’s X-Men should be forgotten. This was a good reminder of the work left undone. Other worlds need them. Glad, Sabretooth tells Blink that they should get back to work then.

Obviously saddened, Heather joins her teammates around Sabretooth as he calls the Panoptichron to be taken back home.

The team doesn’t teleport anywhere. “Any day now…” mutters Sabretooth. He then looks down at his forearm.

Sabretooth is shocked to see that the Tallus is gone! The other Exiles are just as surprised, and Spider-Man asks what it means.

A familiar voice tells the group that they are fired. The team turns to see the Timebroker! The man tells the team that they couldn’t be relied on, so the bosses decided it is best for everyone to replace the current Exiles. The sovereigns wanted him to let the team know that they have no hard feelings.

“Thanks for everything gang!” says the Timebroker as he disappears, “Have a nice life!”

The seven Exiles stand shocked, abandoned on Earth #3470.

Characters Involved: 

Blink, Heather Hudson, Longshot, Proteus/Morph, Power Princess, Sabretooth, Spider-Man (Exiles)

Timebroker interface

Various Timebreakers

Earth #12:

Colossus, Cyclops, Gambit, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Professor Xavier, Storm, Wolverine (X-Men)

Earth #295:

Magneto, Rogue (X-Men)

Earth #928:

Gabe O’Hara

Earth #3740:

Aurora, Box, Guardian, Marrina, Northstar, Puck, Shaman, Snowbird (Alpha Flight)

Crimson Dynamo, Darkstar, Red Guardian, Ursa Major, Vanguard (Soviet Super-Soldiers)


Story Notes: 

Zarda and Longshot are careful over their words around Morph, because he is not the man they once knew. Currently, Morph is possessed by the sociopath known as Proteus from a reality they visited, who has been brainwashed into thinking that he is Morph. The Exiles want to reduce any chances of causing Proteus to remember who he is until a better way to contain him is found.

Spider-Man was unmasked by Proteus to the entire world in his reality in Exiles #76.

Wild Child was among several X-Men who did not show up in the X-Men: Age of Apocalypse limited series that continued the adventures of the acclaimed Age of Apocalypse crossover. Now readers know why Wild Child was missing from the limited.

Issue Information: 

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