Exiles (1st series) #99

Issue Date: 
December 2007
Story Title: 
Home, Again! End’s Beginning Or—Find Us The Way To Go Home Part 5

Chris Claremont (writer), Clayton Henry (penciler), Norman Lee (inker), Wil Quintana (colorist), Simon Bowland (letterer), Tomm Coker (cover artist), Nathan Cosby & Jordan D. White (assistant editors), Mark Paniccia (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

The Palace’s computer systems have crashed and the whereabouts of the Exiles are unknown. Cat and Thunderbird get to work immediately to try and fix the system. Meanwhile, Sabretooth ends up on some other world near a cemetery. He thwarts a sneak attack by some sort of militia group, rescuing a man by the name of Raphael-Raven Darkholme. Elsewhere, on another world, Spider-Man turns up off a beach where a redheaded woman finds him and nurses him back to health. She helps him deal with his problems regarding Gwen Stacey’s death. Still elsewhere in another reality, Rogue is busted by the Royal Avengers and is about to be captured, but Morph comes to her rescue and leads her to safety. The last of the Exiles, Blink, ends up in an abandoned cottage in the middle of a blizzard. She searches the home and finds pictures of herself with kids. That’s when the Wife appears and explains she not only traveled through space, but also time. Blink inquires if this is her future. The Wife tells her it’s a possibility. She teleports Blink back to the Palace. There, they learn the Husband and Wife were responsible for the creation of most of the worlds in the Omniverse and are looking to leave their responsibility on the Exiles. With the computer systems now fixed they track down Sabretooth and Morph and when they locate them they take Raphael and Rogue with them. Lastly, they go for Spider-Man, but when they find him at peace in his home dimension they decide not to disturb him and leave him to his happily ever after. The only one they’re missing is Longshot and through Sabretooth’s keen sense of smell they discover the “lucky” mutant is actually elsewhere in the Palace.

Full Summary: 

Crystal Palace

Cat, Psylocke and Thunderbird stare in mute horror as their friends and teammates disappear from the computer screen. Thunderbird asks rather pointedly where they went. Cat says they’ve lost all contact and guesses the shockwave scrambled the Palace’s computer systems. Psylocke suggests they better start looking for them then.
Earth #797

Sabretooth finds himself lying flat on his back in the middle of a grassy field. As he sits up he spots a graveyard in the near distance. Sabretooth gets to his feet and checks the Tallus to see if it’s working. He tries contacting Psylocke, but doesn’t get a response.
Sabes decides to explore the area and get his bearings. As he walks through the dense tree line he hears, then spots, a group of camouflaged soldiers armed with rifles and pistols. They’re moving slowly towards a lone figure standing amongst the headstones. The man in question is holding a bouquet of roses in each hand and seems to be staring at two graves, one marked IRENE ADLER BELOVED WIFE AND MOTHER and the other ANNA RAVEN OUR BLESSED ROGUE AND BELOVED DAUGHTER.
Sabretooth ruins the surprise attack as he leaps toward the skulking men, slicing two of them pretty badly with his claws and knocking another one down. He tells them to have the courage to attack the guy face to face. When Creed turns around a few more soldiers jump out of the woods. He carves through one guy’s chest and another’s elbow.
The man at the gravesite appears pretty handy in a fight as he disarms a soldier with a kick to the face. He’s really angry that his enemies tried taking him out at the graves of his wife and daughter. So angry in fact that he grabs the gun of the guy he just disarmed and blows off the side of his head.
Creed is distracted by the violent show and receives a knife in the back for his laziness. He turns around and nearly guts the young fighter. The remaining members of the militia decide not to stick around and hightail it into the forest.
The stranger thanks Sabretooth, and noticing his wounds, asks if he can be of any help. Creed says his hand won’t quite close and asks the man if he would pull out the knife lodged in his back. The stately chap thinks the blade may have clipped his spine and suggests Sabes get to the hospital. Sabretooth tells him rather brusquely to just pull out the knife.
The gentleman does as asked and the blood-soaked blade is removed. He offers his shirt as bandaging, but Sabretooth declines, pointing to his already healed wound. The man finally introduces himself, Raphael-Raven Darkholme, and tells Creed he will forever be in his debt. They shake hands, to which Sabretooth tells him to be careful what he offers for the deal he may get in return may surprise him.
Crystal Palace

Thunderbird and Cat are hard at work trying to fix the computer system. T-Bird apologizes that he’s not much help. Cat tells him not to worry, she likes working with computers and fixing them is something she’s good at. “And they don’t die,” she adds. Her eyes dart to the left as she relives a horrific gun battle from her past.
Cat apologizes for going off track there. She explains when she’s nervous stuff sort of slips out. She tells T-Bird to forget what she said. He places a reassuring hand on her shoulder and tells her if she ever needs to talk he’ll be there to listen. Cat tells him she doesn’t want any friends. Her friends, she all kills.
Later, along with Psylocke, they start up the computer system. Holographic images of planets suddenly appear all around them. Psylocke says she’s very impressed. Cat asks how they’re expected to find the Exiles in all of this. Psylocke explains that they’re listed in the system’s database... unlike her. Cat asks why. Psylocke clarifies that as far as the Palace and its systems are concerned she doesn’t exist. “Outstanding,” is Cat’s sarcastic reply. Psylocke admits it has its good and bad moments. With that piece of information out of the way, Psylocke tells Cat to turn on the Search System and bring everyone home.
Earth #6375

The ocean waves pound against the beach, but instead of shells or sea life, the unconscious form of Spider-Man washes ashore.
Miguel awakens from a nightmare and finds himself shirtless, lying in a nice comfy bed. Weakly, he calls out Gwen’s name. He blocks the sunlight from his face, wondering aloud why she didn’t fight for her life, why she didn’t let him die with her. A redheaded woman slinks in behind him and wraps her arms around his chest. She suggests that may be the nature of love.
Miguel’s jaw drops and his eyes bug out. The redheaded woman is no longer there. Was that just a dream, he wonders. He looks around his room and then at the ocean outside. He knows he’s not in the Crystal Palace and assumes he’s lost on some parallel Earth.
A voice welcomes him to the world of consciousness and he sees the same redheaded woman from his dream. Miguel finds himself telling her of his adventures across the Omniverse.
A bit later the woman shows Miguel exactly where he washed up on the sand, just a couple days earlier. She tells him it was a miracle he didn’t drown. Miguel says it might have been better if he had. She scolds him for that kind of talk. Spidey tells her she wouldn’t understand. The woman reveals to Miguel he talks in his sleep and she got the gist of the whole story. Gwen refused to let him die with her because she loved him. Redhead advises him not to spit that back in her face. Gwen’s life still has value, she points out, but only if Miguel doesn’t give up.
Earth #1009

New Tokyo, Paragon Tower

Rogue is so busy trying to crack the safe she doesn’t even notice when the Royal Avengers show up outside the office window. Lord Iron announces their presence and tells Rogue to give as they have a warrant for her arrest. Grim determination crosses over Rogue’s face. Ever defiant, she tells the Avengers those words mean nothing to her.
The brash American Boy smashes through the window on his jetpack, the other Avengers close behind. She manages to land a solid hit on Lord Iron, causing a three Avenger pileup. Saracen comes in and knocks her to the ground. He readies his fist for another strike, but Morph appears on the window ledge behind him.
The Exile’s funny man dives right into the fray and attacks Saracen, taking him by surprise. Morph quickly checks on Rogue, referring to himself as the Crimson Pirate. The duo takes to the air hoping to escape. Morph introduces himself mid-flight and when they touch down near a flower shop he changes into a tuxedo. Rogue is a bit weirded out by this, but Morph explains it’s what he does.
Morph grabs a bouquet of flowers and hands them to Rogue. She says she’s never heard of powers like that and asks what he is. He tells her it’s a long story. Rogue suggests they find somewhere comfy so he can tell her all about it. High above, the Royal Avengers go streaking through the air unaware their quarry is down below.
Earth unknown

A window cracks in the near empty cottage, while a snowstorm rages beyond. Blink is inside, huddled next to a roaring fireplace. She figures it’s just her luck to land in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of winter, in the middle of night, in the middle of a blizzard. She’s thankful for the fireplace, though, and that nobody happened to be home.
She decides to snoop around and sees some pictures over the fireplace mantle. She’s surprised to discover they’re pictures of her and some kids. She pulls one of the photos down for a closer look. That’s when the Wife appears and comments that the children are as lovely as their mother.
Blink whips out a crystal shard and asks the Wife what she wants with her. The Wife tells Blink to put away her weapons for they won’t be needed. To illustrate the point she places her hand atop the shard and nothing happens. The Wife tells Blink she led her on quite a chase.
The Wife’s form quickly turns to a fiery visage. She explains that Blink’s teleportation power messed with the Crystal Palace energies and somehow she was bounced through both space and time, but she did leave a trail. Blink asks if this is the future. The Wife says it’s a possibility, or better yet, a hope. Blink stares down once more at the picture and says she lacks the strength for hope or possibilities. The Wife tells her that would be a shame.
Crystal Palace

Blink and the Wife return to the control room of the Crystal Palace where the Husband and Psylocke are waiting. Blink demands to know who they are and what they want. The Husband explains they were the ones who brought many of the worlds into existence and since their time is coming to an end they’re looking for people to take their place.
As gods, Blink queries. Heroes, the Husband replies. Blink asks about their (Exiles) ideas and dreams. The Husband suggests the two aren’t exclusive. The Wife asks her if she ever considered that the path to one might lead to the other.
Earth #797

The Husband and Wife, Blink and Psylocke appear in the middle of a game hall where they find Raphael and Sabretooth playing a game of pool.
Earth #1009

With the addition of Sabretooth and Raphael the traveling group find Morph and Rogue mid-conversation.
Earth #6375

The whole lot of them appear outside the hut/eatery in which Spider-Man has been residing. Some of them decide to head in and grab some food. They meet the owner, the redheaded woman, but Sabretooth can’t get a scent on Miguel due to all the food.
As they bite into their food Psylocke and Sabretooth instantly recognize the recipes, which belong to Miguel. They report their findings to the group outside. Sabretooth says he’s going back to check things out. Morph notices the lights go out and tells the group they must have called it a night.
Moments later, Sabretooth returns and tells them Spider-Man and the owner have gone to bed together and it seems like it’s been going on for some time. Both he and Blink agree that he’s happy where he is and is finally home. Blink doesn’t want to take that away from him, chalking it up to his destiny. She suggests they leave him to it and maybe someday they’ll be just as lucky.
Crystal Palace
Everyone returns to the Palace and Sabretooth points out they’re still missing someone, Longshot. He asks Husband and Wife if they can offer any help in finding him. They tell him it doesn’t work that way. Sabretooth turns his attention towards Cat who’s at the computer terminal. She’s babbling on about some false readings on the computer screen. Sabretooth takes a look over her shoulder and tells her she’s wrong. She asks how he could know. Simple, he replies, he took a breath.
Sure enough, in another part of the crystal structure, there lies Longshot fast asleep.

Characters Involved: 

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

Thunderbird (former Exile)

Cat Pryde
Husband and Wife
Earth #797

Raphael-Raven Darkholme
Earth #1009


American Boy, Lord Iron, Saracen and one unidentified Avenger (all Royal Avengers)
Earth #6375

Redheaded woman
Miguel’s memories

Gwen Stacey

Story Notes: 

At the end of the last issue the Exiles were hit with a massive energy wave just as they were transporting home, which sent them all off into different realities.
Darkholme was married to Irene Adler and had a daughter named Anna Raven, both deceased.
Spider-Man developed very strong feelings for the Gwen Stacey of the last reality they visited. She was killed during when the Earth was destroyed and prevented Miguel from joining her.
Earth #6375 is Spider-Man’s homeworld. This is most likely the reason the Exiles decide to leave him be, as if it were by fate he ended up there. Though it is a bit odd they didn’t at least say hello, they may have worried Miguel would feel obligated to rejoin them and didn’t want to put that kind of pressure on him.
The redheaded woman is most likely a representation of Mary Jane.
The Exiles’ adventures are continued in the X-Men: Die By The Sword mini-series, which is then followed by Exiles #100, the last issue of the series.

Issue Information: 
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