Exiles (1st series) #97

Issue Date: 
October 2007
Story Title: 
Home, Again! Where Dreams To Nightmares Grow! Part 3

Chris Claremont (writer), Steve Scott (penciler), Norman Lee (inker), Wil Quintana (colorist), Simon Bowland (letterer), Tomm Coker (cover artist), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

The newest visitor to the Crystal Palace takes off in a frightened run and rams right into a wall. With the initial excitement over, Psylocke and the girl, who turns out to be Cat Pryde, briefly discuss what the Palace and Exiles are about. After they leave for the Infirmary the Husband and Wife duo appear and talk about their decision to bring Cat to the Palace. Meanwhile, on Earth #187319, Longshot and Morph share a heart to heart concerning this Earth’s population’s lack of passion. Their talk is interrupted by Blink who takes them away to Reed’s underground stronghold. Elsewhere, Spider-Man and Gwen Stacey have a night out on the town and Sabretooth and Susan Storm get it on in his bed. A bit later, Doom enters the bedroom and Susan uses her invisibility powers to reveal the inner workings of the Tallus on Sabretooth’s arm. Back at Richards’ the Exiles receive a history lesson on Doom’s machinations. It doesn’t last long, as the Four Fantastics show up ready to party. She-Hulk comes in first, followed by the Hulk and then the Human Torch. The Ben Grimms get toasted, but are the only casualty as the Exiles and Richards defeat their enemies and transport away. Back at Doom’s, the master tinkerer puts the finishing touches on his very own Tallus. He gives his latest creation to a team of soldiers who are going to visit the Exiles’ homeworld. It works, and the infiltration team ends up in the Crystal Palace. They take down Computer and, eventually, Psylocke. They leave Cat alone in the Infirmary and spread out to search the rest of the Palace. One of them goes astray and is conked in the back of the head by everyone’s favorite brain-dead Exile, Thunderbird!

Full Summary: 

Crystal Palace

The mysterious girl who appeared only moments ago in the command center takes off running. Psylocke gets up out of the controller chair and goes after her, trying to explain that she means no harm. The girl ignores her and rams right into a crystal wall, falling flat on her back.
The girl gets herself into a somewhat seated position and starts to cry. Psylocke rushes over to check on her, asking the computer if there’s a hospital somewhere in the Palace. Computer offers to show the way and prep the systems. Computer also asks who the girl is. Psylocke suggests she looks like a younger version of Kitty Pryde, an X-Man.
Psylocke tries comforting the girl, but she keeps telling the ninja-trained telepath to get away from her. Psylocke assures her she only wants to help. The new arrival tells Psylocke to stop calling her “Kitty” her name is Cat. Looking into Psylocke’s face, Cat makes a visual connection to a hero from her world named Elsbeth Braddock, also known as Captain Britannia. She’s completely bewildered because Captain Britannia’s dead.
Psylocke explains she’s Elisabeth and not “Elsbeth” and that she comes from a different dimension than hers, where similar people exist. She then picks up Cat, cradling her in her arms, and heads off to the Palace infirmary. Cat is still incredulous about the whole thing. All she did was phase through a wall and she ends up in some weird place. She cries that she wants to go home.
The Husband and Wife appear out of thin air. The Wife is concerned over their decision to bring Cat to the Palace. She doesn’t think it’s fair to her. The Husband assures her Cat will do fine, and considering what’s at stake they have to try something.
Earth #187319

New York City

Longshot stands at the top of a tall building, one leg propped on the ledge, looking out over the many citizens of Manhattan. Despite the outward appearance of peace and harmony he witnesses, he feels something is off and it depresses him. Not far away on another building rooftop stands Morph, who has been following Longshot all night, concerned with his teammate’s brooding.
Longshot leaps to the top of another building nearby and so Morph follows, transforming his cape into a parachute. Longshot keeps leaping until he finally lands in Central Park. Morph touches down behind him, making his presence known by asking Longshot if something’s wrong.
Longshot turns around and Morph notices the tears streaming down his face. Longshot tells him the world is all wrong as are its people; they have no soul. Morph doesn’t understand what he means. Longshot explains that these people are missing their passion. Morph asks if that’s such a bad thing since passion usually leads to more bad than good. Longshot doesn’t see the point of being human without passion. And it’s the children that bother him the most. None of them know how to laugh. Morph points out they don’t know how to cry either. He comes in closer, placing a reassuring arm around Longshot’s neck. He poses a question to the former Mojoversian, that if these people are truly at peace, do they have the right to take it away?
Longshot tells Morph sounds like Betsy. Morph replies great minds think alike and transforms himself into the aforementioned Exile. Longshot worries that if they stay too long they might end up like everyone else and maybe spread it across the time-field. Their conversation is interrupted as a bright light appears off to their side.
Blink emerges from her teleportation rift, telling the boys they need to move fast. They have a lot to talk about and a lot to do, but not a lot of time. Morph asks what they’re supposed to do about Spider-Man and Sabretooth. She explains there’s nothing they can do, as they’re too close to Doom. Longshot asks if they can save these people. Blink says anything’s possible. ”But—should we?” he asks. Blink’s face betrays her feelings of uncertainty.
Elsewhere in New York City

Spider-Man and Gwen Stacey have been having quite a night, starting with a nice walk along the river, followed by dinner and dancing and ultimately leading to a passionate kiss shared between the two.
Doom’s Building

A shirtless Sabretooth stares out at Manhattan through one of the large windows in his upper-level suite. Susan Storm calls out to him from the couch asking if he likes what he sees. Sabretooth walks over to her with a question of his own, “I thought you were spoken for.” Susan explains that actions speak more eloquently than words. They embrace and soon after end up in bed together.
Much later, with Sabretooth asleep, Doom enters the bedroom. Susan looks at him breathlessly as he makes his way over to the bed. Susan lifts Creed’s arm and turns the outer casing of the Tallus invisible. Doom looks it over, utterly fascinated. Susan gets out of bed and embraces Doom. He tells Susan she’s done superbly, but to keep the facade going as he has work to do. After all, it’s only fair for them to pay a visit to Sabretooth’s home world too.
Reed Richard’s Underground Stronghold

Blink, Longshot and Morph gather around Richards as he explains his Earth’s past. How, during the second half of the 20th century, everyone feared the inevitable World War III, that was, until, Doom came along and brought an end to hunger and disease. Many people followed him, and those who wouldn’t or couldn’t disappeared or were killed over the years. Some were even recruited into Doom’s personal guard, the Four Fantastics.
The history lesson ends quickly as dropping in from high above is the sensational She-Hulk. Reed yells out her name in surprise. She-Hulk offers Richards the chance to be remade by Doom like she was. Richard, of course, wants nothing to do with that and blames Doom for all the problems in the world.
The Ben Grimms charge She-Hulk, climbing all over her body. She emits some type of electrical charge and the Grimms are thrown off. She-Hulk defends Doom, saying he saved the world. She asks Richards if he’s just jealous because Doom did what Reed couldn’t.
Morph enters the fray, flying down towards She-Hulk with conjoined sledgehammer hands. The Hulk makes his entrance as well, snatching Morph mid-air and slamming him into a wall. He yells at the malleable mutant for attacking his cousin and praises Doom for curing her of the craziness she’s suffered from through the years. Hulk then turns Morph about and decks him twisting Morph’s elongated head backwards. Morph returns the favor with his sledgehammer hands, sending Hulk flying. He congratulates the airborne Hulk on winning the “Cousin of the Year” award.
Reed surveys what’s happening and apologizes to Ben and Jessica. He hopes they both can forgive him for all that he’s done and what he must do.
Johnny Storm enters the underground lair aflame. He washes over the Grimms lighting them on fire. He takes a look at the carnage below and chalks it up to a good team effort. He fires off some flame in the direction of where Blink, Longshot and Richards are standing. Blink teleports away after adding they know all about teamwork. She reappears directly above Johnny and gives him a swift boot in the face. He goes limp and plummets toward the hard surface. Blink teleports once more, reappearing directly in his downward path. She shoves two crystal shards into his body, teleporting him away.
Morph, meanwhile, has Hulk wrapped up by the legs and is slamming him back and forth against the ground. Blink teleports in on top of the emerald brute and shoves two shards into his back. She tells Morph it’s time to go to which he angrily tosses the Hulk into She-Hulk’s motionless body.
As the foursome regroups Richards reassures the bitter Morph this battle doesn’t matter, it’s the war they have to win. Blink teleports the four of them away, leaving their enemies behind.
Later, the now-conscious Four Fantastic members contact Doom through a holographic interface. Hulk explains how they were defeated and that Blink teleported their quarry elsewhere. Doom orders them to continue the pursuit and to make sure next time they aren’t defeated.
With the transmission ended, Doom turns his attention back to his latest project, a recreation of the Tallus. He marvels out loud at the technology involved. A voice intercoms him, concerned about the other Exiles members. Doom assures the voice they are being monitored. To prove it, he switches the channel on a nearby monitor to show Miquel and Gwen Stacey eating at a diner. Then he flicks it again to show a slumbering Sabretooth. The last video feed he turns to shows a scantily clad Susan Storm getting dressed.
Much, much later, Doom has finally finished his Tallus prototype. He gives it over to a member of his human shock troop. He warns the infiltration team of the high risk involved, but promises if they succeed they will be remembered in glory.
Despite his posturing, Doom’s thoughts reveal his doubts. He thinks of Richards, as he often does at moments like this, who never had doubts. He wonders if that was why Richards would always risk his inventions on himself before anyone else. Doom’s thoughts are interrupted as his men step through the energy field and yell back that they’re through.
The Crystal Palace

Computer alerts Psylocke they have intruders, heavily armed military personnel, in the Transport Bay. One of the soldiers spots Computer sounding the alarm and fries her with a blast from his rifle.
Cat sits up in her bed after hearing the gunshot. Psylocke leaves her side and comes rushing into the Bay. She takes one of the troopers down before having to cut back to dodge their fire. She wonders where they came from and how they got there. She takes out another soldier before she’s grabbed from behind. Someone orders her to be taken down, but not killed. She’s blasted and falls lifeless to the floor.
The infiltration team fans out and some of them find Cat lying in the Infirmary. Cat pleads with them not to shoot, that she gives up. She keeps repeating over and over again that she just wants to go home. One of the guys radios in that it’s just some kid going through hysterics. Cat hears the radio report and a calmed, almost sinister look spreads across her face.
The assault team continues their search through the Palace. They are wary, but not wary enough as one of the men is bashed in the back of the head by a giant fist. He falls forward, his gun dropping from his grip. The fist that did him in belongs to none other than Thunderbird. He’s deep in thought at the moment, wondering what’s going on, where he is, and what happened to the Exiles and most importantly, Nocturne.

Characters Involved: 

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

Thunderbird (former Exile)

Cat Pryde
Husband and Wife

Earth #187319

Robert Bruce Banner, Victor Von Doom, Gwen Stacey, Johnny Storm, Susan Storm, Jennifer Walters (all Four Fantastics)

Ben Grimm analogues, Reed Richards (Mole Man)

Story Notes: 

The official name of Heather Hudson’s computer generated image is listed as Computer in the “Current Roster” section.
Kitty’s phasing power doesn’t seem to work against the crystal structure of the Palace.
Reed calls out “Jessica” when She-Hulk enters the battle, despite her name being listed in the next issue as Jennifer, also her name in 616.
The fate of the Grimms will be revealed in the next issue.
Thunderbird was pronounced comatose and brain-dead during a battle with Galactus in Exiles #10. Nocturne was pregnant last Thunderbird knew. She announced her miscarriage in Exiles #12. The Exiles later discovered Thunderbird had been placed in a stasis wall when they found their way to the Crystal Palace.
Nocturne is currently found in the pages of New Excalibur where she is a member of the British superhero team.

Issue Information: 
Written By: