Exiles (1st series) #88

Issue Date: 
January 2007
Story Title: 
Superguardians: Part 2

Tony Bedard (writer), Paul Pelletier (penciler), Rick Magyar (inker), Wil Quintana (colorist), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Sean Ryan (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

In Reality #552 the Exiles attend the funeral for the recently fallen Superguardians. There they meet Lilandra face to face and she tells them of their mission, to hold off the Silver Surfer as long as they can so that Galactus has time to heal. They will be joined by whatever warriors the Shi’Ar could find on such short notice. Later, the Exiles and the other new Superguardians wait for the Surfer’s arrival. Sabretooth realizes he’s not very valuable out there and believes there must be a better way so he leaves for a nearby ship. He talks to Heather through the Tallus and asks her to teleport him to Galactus. Once there he asks a favor of him, though it might kill Galactus, and gets his wish. The Surfer arrives above and obliterates most of the new Superguardians with ease. He is removed from his board though, which Spider-Man and Longshot take advantage of. Sabretooth arrives at the battle just as the Surfer is ready to kill Blink. Sabretooth is different though. He’s all gold and shiny and bestowed with the power cosmic. Sabretooth manages to rip open the Surfer’s chest with his claws. Manta finishes the job by shoving the Surfer’s board through his back, severing him in two (like he did her husband, Gladiator). Later Sabretooth gives back the power cosmic and the Exiles return to the Crystal Palace. There they discover that Galactus has made Manta his new herald and is currently restoring the Silver Surfer’s homeworld. He will also at some point fix Earth.

Full Summary: 

Reality #552:

Imperial Center of the Shi’Ar Galactic Empire:

A photograph/painting depicting the entire Superguardians roster stares out over the bodies of the recently fallen members of the team. Manta, the only Superguardian still breathing, stands in front of the picture with arms clenched around her. In front of her lie her former teammates, including her husband, Gladiator.
The Exiles stand huddled nearby as Manta gives her eulogy. She talks about the importance of the Imperial Guard and all that it stood for. She makes her way over to Guardian and as the tears begin to flow removes his flight ring. She whispers a final farewell to her lover and walks over to Sabretooth. She gives the ring to Sabes and tells him to wear it with pride. Sabretooth tells her he’ll do his best.
In comes Majestrix Lilandra and her entourage consisting of Deathbird, Chancellor Araki, and two other alien beings. Deathbird announces the empress’ arrival for all to hear. Lilandra makes her way to the Exiles. She gives her condolences on the destruction of their homeworld, Earth. Deathbird questions them as to how they were able to avoid the destruction. Spider-Man lies that they were off-world on his ship when it happened and it was over by the time they got back, that there was nothing they could do. Lilandra rests her hand on his shoulder and reminds him that their intervention saved Galactus’ life.
She informs them that the Shi’Ar’s best physicians are working on Galactus and that hope yet remains. However, she continues, observation posts have reported back that the Silver Surfer is heading straight for Imperial Center and is making good progress. They need more time for Galactus to recover and it doesn’t look like they’re going to get it, she continues. Lilandra tells them of their new mission, to gather with all of the warriors they could muster on such short notice and hold off the Surfer as long as they can... most likely resulting in their deaths (Morph takes the likeness of one of Lilandra’s council members much to his confusion).
3 hours later, 200,000 miles above Imperial Center:

The Exiles and the rest of the newly dubbed Superguardians hover out in space awaiting the Surfer’s arrival. Spider-Man is acting like a kid at Christmas over the flight rings they received. He can’t believe they allow for flight, life support and “thought-casting” abilities. Sabretooth, obviously annoyed, tells Spider-Man to think quieter. And if he’s going to think, Sabretooth continues, maybe he can think of a way they’ll survive this.
Blink reacts negatively to Sabretooth’s comments, but he tells her it’s a mistake waiting out in the open for the Surfer to show up. Ronan and the Super Skrull, who are hovering nearby, join in the discussion. They both tell Sabretooth to leave the battle if he’s so worried. Ronan points out that his claws won’t matter much against the power cosmic.
Sabretooth looks ready to fight his new teammates, but Blink grabs his shoulder. She pleads with him to think for a second. She reminds him their objective is to save Galactus and she can’t think of a way they can better help him then with all these other people at their side. Sabretooth brushes Blink off and tells her those other guys were right, he doesn’t stand a chance out there.
Sabretooth flies over to the open bay of a nearby ship. Longshot calls to him out of pure puzzlement. He then thoughcasts that he never thought he’d see the day Sabretooth would leave a fight. Blink assures him he’s not running, that he doesn’t know how (Morph takes the form of outer space hero, Space Ghost).
Upon entering the vessel the Shi’Ar security personnel order Sabretooth to head back outside and hold the line. Sabretooth ignores them and tries to get a hold of Heather on the Tallus. Heather wants to know why he abandoned the rest of the team. Sabretooth quips that he needed some atmosphere.
Heather asks him what he really needs. As the two security guards stare puzzled at the new Superguardian talking to his arm, Sabretooth asks Heather to send him to Galactus. He believes he’s come up with a better plan than that suicide mission outside. Sabretooth becomes blindingly bright before teleporting away.
One of the Superguardians spots the incoming Silver Surfer. Super Skrull and Ronan are in the middle of discussing a possible truce amongst their people when the Surfer fries them in his path. The Surfer yells out to the remaining Superguardians to go home and to let Galactus get what he deserves. The Guardians refuse to acquiesce and the calls for victory ring out. The Silver Surfer smiles as he knows they don’t stand a chance.
Sabretooth teleports to the medical center where Galactus is being held. The doctors are discussing whether or not they should move Galactus to a safer location with the Surfer having arrived. Sabretooth buts in and demands they wake him up. The doctor’s try to hold Sabretooth back, but he won’t listen. Galactus opens his eyes and asks Sabretooth what he needs.
Back at the battle above, the Surfer is blasted off his board by one of the Guardians. A half dozen more pounce on the Surfer and begin belting away. Spider-Man sends out a webline and manages to snag the Surfer’s board. He holds on to his line for dear life, as the board doesn’t stop. Longshot flies over and grabs onto Spider-Man’s arm. He tells Spider-Man not to let go.
Sabretooth’s request has been asked and the doctors refuse. They tell Sabretooth it could kill Galactus. Sabretooth pushes the doctors to the floor and asks Galactus what he thinks, if it’s alright for all those people to sacrifice themselves so he has a chance to live. Galactus informs Sabretooth that his request could deplete his lifeforce, thereby dooming the universe to the cosmic blight. Galactus asks him if he would take that risk. Creed tells him he’d rip out his rocky throat if it meant saving his girl (Blink). Galactus chuckles. He decides to grant Sabretooth’s wish. He lifts up his right hand and wraps it around Sabes, bathing him in a bright light.
Above, the Surfer dispatches his combatants with ease. He blasts them all back, frying all of them to the bone. Blink tosses a teleportation shard the Surfer’s way and he easily dodges it. He fires away at Blink, but luckily Power Princess comes over and erects her shield. It takes the brunt of the blast, knocking her into Blink and sending both of them into the hull of a nearby ship.
Nearby, Longshot leaps away from Spider-Man and heads straight for the board. Spider-Man looks on in disbelief as Longshot manages to land it. At this point the Surfer calls his board back to him. Spider-Man loses his grip on the webbing and floats away. As Longshot is sent speeding towards the Surfer he tells Spider-Man he’ll be back for him.
The Surfer approaches the barely conscious Blink and wraps his hand around her face. He makes the connection that she was the one who teleported him to Saturn during his initial fight with Galactus. The Surfer demands to know if it was her. Nearby Morph tries to wake up the unresponsive Power Princess.
A golden light appears from out of nowhere and draws the Surfer’s attention. It’s Sabretooth and he has been given the power cosmic as well. He tells the Surfer to get away from Blink.
Morph cracks wise calling him the Silver Sabretooth, despite his golden appearance. The now conscious Power Princess points out that Sabretooth is smarter than he looks.
Sabretooth lunges for the Surfer, who loses his hold on Blink. The Surfer fires off some erratic blasts as he can’t see with Sabretooth’s hand enveloping his head. The Surfer tells Sabretooth to unhand him and Sabretooth asks him if he’s not used to a fair fight. The Surfer pummels him across the face knocking him back and tells Sabretooth not to flatter himself.
Silver Surfer smiles greedily as he recounts his years of experience with the power cosmic. He tells Sabretooth he stands no chance against him. Sabretooth lunges at him once more, first crushing one of the Surfer’s wrists and then tearing open his chest. The Surfer lies adrift shocked at the end result. Sabretooth tells him that he’s a born killer and sometimes that’s enough. The Surfer weakly calls for his board. Longshot, still riding it, tells Sabretooth to duck. He does so and Longshot leaps off. The board plunges into its master’s back.
The Exiles gather around the Silver Surfer. He asks them why. He tells them of all the great things he could have done with Galactus’ power. Manta tells him he’s already done enough. The Surfer asks if he knows her. Manta tells him “No”, but that he met her husband when he cut him in two. And with that Manta grabs the board and pushes it down severing the Surfer in twain.

The surviving Superguardians as well as Lilandra and Chancellor Araki are gathered about in Galactus’ medical room. Spider-Man is bubbling with excitement as he tells Longshot his theories on the power cosmic (Morph takes the form of a stereotypical Poindexter).
On a nearby platform Galactus tells Sabretooth he did well and that he expects great things from him. He tells Sabes they have a lot of work to do in the world-saving department. Sabretooth thanks him, but offers to give back the power cosmic so Galactus can heal himself. He tells Galactus he already has a job saving worlds. Galactus comments on his choice to give up the power and tells him he won’t forget him. Galactus puts his hand around Sabretooth for the second time that day and takes back what he had given earlier.
The Crystal Palace:

Heather congratulates the arriving Exiles on a job well done. She apologizes that she wasn’t much help. Sabretooth reminds her that he couldn’t have done it without her teleporting him to Galactus. Blink makes a joke about Spider-Man having to give up his ring. Spidey mutters that he would have settled for the schematics. Heather tells the team she wants to show them one more thing before they go about their business. Up on one of the computer screens is reality #552. Galactus is hard at work reforming Norrin Radd’s homeworld, Heather explains. She also tells them that Manta, his new herald, convinced him to heal Earth too. Blink wraps her arms around Sabretooth and offers the possibility that when Galactus took back the power cosmic from Sabes he took a part of him with it too, the part that believes in second chances. Sabretooth tries to brush it off. He reminds Blink he has a reputation to uphold.

Characters Involved: 

Blink, Heather Hudson, Longshot, Proteus/Morph, Power Princess, Sabretooth, Spider-Man (all Exiles)
A Timebreaker
Dimension #552

Gladiator II (deceased body), Manta, Smasher IV (deceased body) (all Superguardians)



Deathbird, Chancellor Araki, (two others)

Shi’Ar guards

Shi’Ar scientists/physicians
Ronan, Super-Skrull and a dozen other defenders from various races

Electron, Fang II, Flashfire, Gladiator II, Hobgoblin I, Hussar, Impulse, Magique, Manta, Mentor, Neutron, Nightside, Oracle, Scintilla, Smasher IV, Starbolt, Titan, Warstar [three unknowns] (all Superguardians)

Story Notes: 

When Sabretooth leaves the team to talk to Galactus, Longshot questions Creed’s decision with Blink. Blink incorrectly responds to Morph who had nothing to do with the conversation. Two possible explanations exist: thoughtcasts all sound very similar and therefore she couldn’t tell that it was actually Longshot doing the thinking or Morph was temporarily taking the form of Longshot, hoping to also mimic his luck power so he could score with the nearby Power Princess before his impending demise.
Space Ghost was a cartoon character that received his start in 1966. He spent most of his time back then battling villains in outer space. His most recent/famous performance was as a talk show host on Comedy Central. The show, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, still continues today on the “Animation” channel of the GameTap service.
One of the members of the New Superguardians bears a striking resemblance to Komptin, a character found in Crossgen’s Negation book, written by none other than Tony Bedard and penciled by Paul Pelletier.
Spider-Man references the “unified field” in the final scene at Galactus’ hospital room. He discusses how the power cosmic might be a glimpse of it. It turns out there is such a thing as the “unified field theory” and more information is available at wikipedia. Check your local search engine!

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