Exiles (1st series) #96

Issue Date: 
September 2007
Story Title: 
Home Again- The Dream of Two Good Men Part 2

Chris Claremont (writer), Clayton Henry (penciler), Norman Lee (inker), Wil Quintana (colorist), Simon Bowland (letterer), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Psylocke falls asleep on her watch at the Crystal Palace. She awakens to find herself in outer space, floating with over a dozen other heroes and villains. She lands on a floating rock and meets a human husband and wife who happen to be having a meal. The man warns her all of existence is coming to an end and she needs to do something about it. Meanwhile on Earth #187319, Blink confronts Mole Man and She-Hulk only to get herself captured by Mole Man in retaliation for Spider-Man detaining She-Hulk. Doom offers his help in finding Blink and has the Exiles stay at his place. While underneath Earth’s surface, Blink finds herself tied up, prisoner of the Mole Man. After some discussion, Mole Man (Reed Richards) drops the bomb on Doom’s removal of humor in the world. Richards alludes to other bad things Doom does in his quest to make everything “right.” Back at Doom’s, the Exiles get new clothing, which Longshot refuses. They head down to a party hosted by Doom where Sabretooth flirts with Susan Storm, much to Morph’s chagrin. When he turns to tell Longshot, he’s nowhere to be found. While back at the Crystal Palace, Psylocke finally wakes up from her dream. She can’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t really a dream and when a young woman unexpectedly teleports into the middle of the room it pretty much seals it.

Full Summary: 

Crystal Palace

Psylocke sits curled up, fast asleep, in the mission control chair. The soft glow given off from the computer monitors bathe her in incandescent light. She opens her eyes and finds herself floating in outer space. She’s joined by over a dozen other beings also suspended helplessly amongst the floating, rocky debris.
Psylocke gradually lands on a large, flat piece of orbiting rock. She surveys the area, wide-eyed, wondering what the hell happened. “Now that is a sight” she hears from behind. Psylocke turns around to find the person behind the voice and just as suddenly the portion of rock she’s standing on breaks free. She starts to fall back out into the nether regions of space, but a hand reaches out and grabs her wrist.
The man, dressed in a button down, slacks and dress shoes, warns Psylocke to be more careful and apologizes for startling her. He explains it’s been a while since he and his wife had guests. Psylocke wants to know who he is and where she is. Instead of answering, the man directs Psylocke to his wife who’s carrying a hot pan of food. He assures Psylocke that he and his wife are her friends.
The lady tells both of them the food is ready and to take a seat. Psylocke thinks to herself she’s dreaming, but wonders why it feels so real. The lady asks her why it can’t be both, and then offers her coffee or tea. Psylocke is taken aback that this woman can read her mind. She asks again who they are and what is happening.
The man tells her not to worry about the “who”, but she can see the rest for herself. He explains that all of creation is coming to an end, everything in time and space is unraveling, and someone has to save it (during this conversation an Earth-like planet is torn asunder). Psylocke asks why he’s telling her all this. Why can’t they fix things?
The man tells her it’s not their job anymore. They’re done with it all. Psylocke inquires as to how he expects them to stop something like that. “I mean, we’re only human. You’re the gods — aren’t you?”
Earth #187319

New York City

Down on the city streets, Robert Banner, of the Four Fantastics, wants to know if the costumed people in front of him are a threat. Doom runs a bioscan on the five Exiles and none of them show up in the global database. Therefore they’re not of their world. Doom says to give them a chance, though, and if he’s wrong he can start punching. Johnny alludes to the fact that Doom is never wrong. Doom counters that he was wrong only happened once, when he was young, and he paid the price of his two best friends.
While high upon the neighboring skyscraper stand She-Hulk and the Mole Man. They’re instantaneously joined by Blink, who teleports herself in and asks them nicely to stop scaring the people down below. She introduces herself and says she just wants to talk, to find a peaceful solution.
Below, the two teams of heroes watch as Blink works her diplomatic stuff. Creed senses something hostile in their body language and tosses both Morph and Spider-Man upward.
Mole Man pulls out a gun and tells Blink to lie better next time. He fires and hits Blink under the shoulder, knocking her out. Spider-Man and Morph come flying in and get the drop on their targets. Spider-Man wraps She-Hulk up with some web, while Morph has some difficulty snatching Mole Man who keeps firing his gun at him. Mole Man grabs Blink, in retaliation for the captured She-Hulk, and drops down through a hole in the roof.
She-Hulk, meanwhile, falls over the edge of the building while struggling to break free of the webbing. She manages to get loose and lands on her feet on the ground below. She calls Spider-Man dumb for thinking she could be held by string. Johnny Storm flies at her, flame on. She-Hulk decks him, drawing blood and knocking him out. Banner also charges at her and gets a fistful for his troubles, he, too, going down. She-Hulk turns her attention to the remaining two Fantastics. Susan puts up a force field protecting her and Doom.
She-Hulk seems undeterred, but never gets the opportunity because Sabretooth grabs her neck from behind and tosses her into the corner of a nearby building. He stands over her threateningly and tells the green-skinned woman she’s going to help him get Blink back. She-Hulk gets up and with rage in her face says, “You talk – She-Hulk smashes!”
She charges at Sabretooth, but he nimbly jumps over her. He gives her a boot to the face when she turns back around. She-Hulk wipes the blood from her mouth and nose and tells Creed she’s going to make him cry. She grabs for him twice, but Sabretooth dodges both times. He grabs her arm the third time and with the other punches her in the gut. He tells She-Hulk raw strength is one thing, but you need to know how to use it.
Sabretooth pins She-Hulk against the wall by her throat. He asks the incoming Morph and Spider-Man for their status. No luck, they explain, as the Mole Man sealed the tunnel behind him and left no trail behind. Creed turns his attention back to She-Hulk. He interrogates her as to Blink’s whereabouts and Mole Man’s plans. She-Hulk responds that he’ll only find out when Reed tells him. Sabretooth asks who Reed is.
Von Doom comes over and explains that “Reed” is Reed Richards and he’s the guy who took their friend. Doom offers to give Sabretooth answers, but in a better way. She-Hulk starts acting scared. Sabretooth asks why that is. Doom explains it’s because they’ve fought before. He thanks Sabes for his help and sympathizes over the loss of Blink. Doom promises to find her, but in the meantime offers his home to the Exiles.
Doom turns his attention to the civilian gawkers. He tells them the threat is over and to give thanks to the new guys for all their help. The crowd cheers them on, much to Spidey’s and Sabe’s surprise. Morph spots some children nearby and joins them on the sidewalk. He turns the top of his head into a disco globe with a party favor on each side. The kids seem uninterested and walk away. Morph thinks it’s weird.

Blink awakens to find herself tied to an upright slab of rock in the middle of a dark room. All around her are little people whose faces she remarks resemble Ben Grimm. Mole Man, as it turns out, is actually a little person, like the Grimms. He climbs out of his body suit and tells her Ben Grimm was his friend and so is She-Hulk and he wants her back.
Blink says both sides are even in comparison to captured friends. Mole Man asks why she’s not scared. Blink responds sarcastically prompting Mole Man to realize she’s different. Blink jokes that maybe her hair or the color of her skin gave it away. Mole Man focuses in on her humor and explains that nobody jokes anymore, that Doom doesn’t allow it. Blink doesn’t see how that’s possible. Mole Man explains Doom erased it from the racial genome after a bunch of comedians were making fun of what he was doing.
Mole Man recounts his childhood joys of watching the Marx Sisters and how they made him laugh. Somehow, someway they’ve disappeared and have been forgotten. Anyone like them has been forgotten too. Blink’s mouth opens in disbelief.
Mole Man runs a gene scan on Blink and the results say she’s human. Reed asks how that’s possible if she’s not from their Earth. He pulls back his hood revealing long hair with a running white stripe. Richards surmises she’s either from the future or a parallel dimension. Blink doesn’t want to answer. Mole Man tells her it doesn’t matter. Once Doom finds out he’s going to see it as a new world to conquer, where he can make everything right... at least what he thinks is right.
Dr. Doom’s Manhattan Residence

A man and woman enter the room where the Exiles are staying carrying formal clothing for them to change into. Everyone tries on the new duds except Morph who instead uses his powers to create a matching suit. Longshot refuses to wear his, saying the uniform feels wrong. Spider-Man and Sabretooth keep the suits and the four of them head down to party.
They discuss how weird it is being in a place that seems so stable and peaceful, where the general population accepts them. Longshot interjects that he doesn’t like the place.
Von Doom welcomes them to the party and discusses building a lasting friendship with the team. As he shakes Miquel’s hand Sabretooth flirts a little with Susan. Morph worries that Sabretooth’s flirting with Doom’s girlfriend is going to cause problems. He voices his concerns with Longshot who was standing next to him, but is no longer there.
Crystal Palace

Psylocke wakes up and finds herself in the command center chair where she originally dozed off. She remembers everything that happened and has a gut feeling it wasn’t all a dream. As if to alleviate any leftover doubts in Psylocke’s mind a young woman teleports into the middle of the room.

Characters Involved: 

Blink, Longshot, Proteus/Morph, Psylocke, Sabretooth, Spider-Man (all Exiles)
Alternate Kitty Pryde

Earth #187319

Robert Bruce Banner, Victor Von Doom, Johnny Storm, Susan Storm (all Four Fantastics)

Ben Grimm analogues, Reed Richards (Mole Man), She-Hulk
Psylocke’s vision

Husband and Wife

Black Panther, Captain America (female version), Daredevil (in devil form), Green Goblin (with goblin-like wings), Kitty Pryde, Mad Jim Jaspers, Ms. Marvel, Namor (with merman tail), Speedball, Thing, Wolverine, Wonder-Man (all identifiable characters)

Story Notes: 

Mad Jim Jaspers is the only character who seems happy and in control of his movements on the outer space splash page. This could allude to something in the future.
Also in outer space is a green, scaly looking dude with three fingers on each hand, two toes on his right foot, pointy ears and a devilish (prehensile?) tail. This could be some reality’s Nightcrawler, but it’s nothing definitive.
Chris Claremont has gone on record explaining that the husband and wife duo Psylocke meets in outer space are visual representations of Dave and Paty Cockrum, although to avoid any possible legal issues they’ve remained nameless. Dave Cockrum, who helped create the second generation of X-Men debuting in Giant-Size X-Men #1, died November 26, 2006.
The Marx Sisters Reed’s so fond of are most likely an alternate version of the Marx Brothers: Chico, Harpo, Groucho, Gummo and Zeppo.
The Kitty Pryde that appears in the Palace at the end is the same as the one who was floating in outer space with Psylocke.

Issue Information: 
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