Journey Into Mystery (1st series) #637

Issue Date: 
July 2012
Story Title: 
Exiled – part 2: There goes the Neighborhood

Kieron Gillen, Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Carmine Di Giandomenico (artist), Andy Troy (colorist), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer), Stephanie Hans (cover), John Denning & Jake Thomas (assistant editors), Lauren Sankovitch & Bill Rosemann (editors), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)
special thanks to Sebastian Girner

Brief Description: 

The New Mutants wonder what happened to the disappeared Asgardians when suddenly reality is being rewritten, which only X-Man and Cypher notice. They get a glimpse of what has been rewritten when the mechanic who repaired their car turns out to be a now mortal Thor, who doesn’t remember his other existence. And other members of the neighborhood are former Asgardians as well, among them a young mischievous boy named Luke. When the New Mutants run into him, they recognize him as Loki and try to make him remember his true identity. Eventually, they are successful and together the mutants and Loki confront Sigurd. He explains that the Disir have chased him for a long time, so he hid and bought a spell to protect himself. When he recognized Dani as a valkyrie, he lured the Disir to him and activated the spell, which caused all the Asgardians present to become mortal, including the Disir. He cannot revert the spell and suggests the mutants ask the sorcerer who gave him the spell, namely Loki… Elsewhere in the neighborhood, Brun of the Disir (now a group of women with extreme food allergies) gives in to her hunger and realizes they can now eat anything without fear of punishment…

Full Summary: 

In San Francisco, the New Mutants stand in the remains of their weird neighbor Zig’s (aka Sigurd) apartment, moments after Zig cast a spell which resulted in a giant magical explosion and all the Aesir and Disir either dying or disappearing. Dani decides they call the Broxton police and see if they can get word to whoever is in charge in Asgard. Secondly, they go to Utopia and see if Scott will let Magik out of her cell. They need her to have a look for residues or aftereffects or anything. This is magical strangeness. And she is their strange magical girl, Sunspot agrees.

Suddenly, they find themselves sitting in their own apartment, eating muffins. They haven’t noticed the change. Dani asks Amara if she can get in touch with her boyfriend—She praises the muffins. Where are they from? Doug explains the baker on the next block over. He is always slow on it, so Doug’s going to make his own later. Food is a language, so he picked up the recipe when eating. Nice, Dani admits. What was she talking about? That moment, the doorbell rings.

Nate Grey slaps the muffin out of Dani’s hands and tells her to focus. What the hell? she complains. Focus! he repeats. She was talking about magical strangeness and reality’s just been punched in the face. Trust him, he knows what that feels like. Doug agrees, reality has been rewritten, he can see it.

Dani recalls they were outside. The Disir were after them and it was-- What’s the day? Internal clock states Saturday, Warlock helps out. It was Friday night, yesterday, Dani recalls. Their weird neighbor appeared and he’s… an Asgardian… Sigurd! And he unrolled some paper. He read a scroll, Doug corrects her.

The bell rings again. And all the Asgardians disappeared. Someone answer the door! Dani shouts unnerved. They open the door to find a really hot, really familiar looking mechanic with shoulder-length blond hair (and a tiny hammer pendant dangling from his neck) telling them their car is as good as new. He just wanted to apologize for the delay. He thought he’d have it ready yesterday, but the church hall’s roof sprang a leak and, if someone didn’t fix it, the support group wouldn’t have anywhere to meet. These ladies have it rough enough already.

The mutants silently stare at each other. He presses the keys into Amara’s hand, telling them since that’s not their problem; he took ten percent off for their trouble. They cool? No reaction Err… good. If they need anything else, he’ll be across the street. “You strange staring folks,” he mutters as he leaves.

That was Thor, Bobby remarks. Do you think?! Dani snaps. They run after him into the garage. Don’t tell him, “Thor” asks defensively, it’s busted already. He swears those were new parts. No, the car is great, Dani begins, but he is Thor.

The mechanic tells her to knock it off. He’s got to get this finished or the orphanage won’t be able to get to camp. Seriously, Bobby insists he is Thor. The god of thunder, Nate adds.

No, he gets it, the mechanic sighs. He’s a big blond guy who works as a mechanic. He’s Thor. He’s seen the movie, they’ve seen the movie and everyone who’s seen that old movie makes that joke. All they are doing is showing their age or that they need to watch less cable. If they are finished, he’s got to get back to his work.

The mutants leave, figuring this is a clue. Everyone thinks they are a comedian, the mechanic sighs. A man looking very much like Fandral, also in everyday clothing, suggests he should tell them, if he were Thor, he’d spend more time getting hammered. Calling Fandral “Andy,” he retorts he pumps enough of his profits into his bar. The till ever hungers, Andy replies smoothly, and it’s lunch. There’s a barstool missing him and it’s Saturday. Well, he could, if he gets this finished. With a hand, he’d be done in half an hour. Taking up a wrench, Andy sighs, “Oh Arthur,” if any of them could say no to him, how peaceful their lives would be.

Elsewhere, a young, dark-haired boy named Luke is playing a role playing game. Is he ever going to grow up? his foster sister Leigh criticizes him. Of course, he assures her, and when he does, he’s going to get a very serious job in the city. Really? she ask. No, he’s going to be an astronaut, he scolds her. Or king of Atlantis.

What kind of board games does one play by oneself anyway? she asks. There are a lot of solo European board games, he explains, but this is a case of him trying out a few strategies in a game of his own devising. It’s very complicated. He’d ask her to play, but she wouldn’t understand it. So… she smirks, is he saying, he is playing with himself? Not a lot of change there.

Taking up his wooden magpie Ikol, Luke sighs he hates that girl so much… Pretending this is a game, he slips out of the house where Helen tells Leigh she needn’t help her, but could slack off like Luke. Leigh prefers to make herself useful though and be as unlike Luke as she can manage.

They get into Helen’s recycling truck and Helen shouts ‘bring out your dead!’ The barber remarks that some might find this a bit unnerving. Figure of speech to underline the importance of what they do, Helen explains. Recycling is essential for the community, Leigh adds. Civic duty is important. The barber hands over his recycling goods.

Don’t look at him, Luke announces. He is personified irresponsibility. He enters a bakery intent on getting some sweets. But the fat baker announces the glazed donuts are sold out. Luke sulks.

A blonde woman enters and asks if he has the glutenfree, unseeded, non-dairy, unsugared, unleavened buns. She’s in luck, the baker replies. These are the ones he hasn’t eaten – he means sold. She does know that they are totally inedible though? This is all the sisters of the Disordered Eaters in Recovery can manage, she explains. Their appetites are very delicate with their food intolerances and allergies. She doubts anyone will touch them, but it’s good to have something for everyone to stare at. And he does look so delicious, she tells the baker. What? he asks. They, she quickly corrects herself. They look delicious.

Disappointed, Luke leaves the shop. He stares into an alley clearly nervous and enters, heading for the fence. A dog which has hidden begins barking angrily and chases Luke, who quickly climbs over the fence and jumps to safety. This has clearly not happened for the first time.

A black-haired woman with a bun is putting up a poster advertising a self-defense class. If he enlisted in her class, she remarks, he wouldn’t be so nervous around a dog. No, but he’d be nervous around her, which is just as bad, he replies, calling her Tiffany. She corrects him. It’s “Tif.”

A homeless vagrant with a war veteran sign tells her to give up. The boy’s just trouble. Tif tells him to give it a rest, while Luke announces he is not just trouble, but also bad news. What war was he in anyway? Tif asks. What war wasn’t he in? the veteran retorts.

Luke walks on, running into the rather confused New Mutants, to whom he looks very familiar. Luke exclaims when he sees them. They are those X-Men who’ve just moved in, aren’t they? he asks excitedly. He was thinking of stalking them. He loves the X-Men! Hated and feared! He totally understands their pain. Everyone hates him too. And he doesn’t even get the fun of being feared. Is it awesome being feared? Do they get quicker service? Since he’s basically half-mutant, he’s sent in an application to Wolverine’s school but—is that a sore point? Can he talk about that? Whose side are they on?

Dani interrupts him but Luke happily continues that he dressed up as Wolverine for last Halloween but his foster mom wouldn’t let him tape knives to his hands. He had to use spoons.

Dani orders him to shut up and tells him he is Loki. He doesn’t think so, Luke replies. Dani grabs his shoulders. The undead Valkyries were attacking their building, except they weren’t coming for them, but for their neighbor, an Asgardian god called Sigurd. He performed some magic…

And he was involved in it? Luke asks doubtfully. Dani tells him he was there. The spell transformed him into a normal kid. Try and remember! Eyes aglow, Doug booms he is the trickster of Asgard. Does he think any spell could hold him? Luke is confused, but then falls down in spasms.

Amara calls Doug on his lines. He thought “what would Magik say?” he shrugs.

Now, what a most unusual experience, Luke, now Loki again, announces. And what strange clothes. He feels naked without a proper helmet. So, X-friends, what now?

Dani was hoping he could tell hem. He suggests they tear apart Sigurd’s abode in search for a clue. Have they never watched televisual entertainments? He is an Asgardian god, and even he knows that.

So later, in Sigurd’s burned-out house:

Cypher has found some Asgardian armor but nothing relevant. Meanwhile, all his fridge tells them is he should eat less takeout, Sunspot adds. X-Man asks where Loki is and what they are looking for. Loki has grabbed himself an X-Men uniform (which is way oversized for him). Dani repeats what they are looking for.

Him, he guesses, Sigurd who stands in the doorway announces. As he saunters to the fridge to look for something edible, Dan angrily asks what he has done. What hasn’t he done? Sigurd replies. He’s been celebrating. There’s a place that actually serves decent mead across town. Picked up this six foot blonde and he swears she could have been a valkyrie —Dani interrupts. She meant about the Disir!

Okay, he sighs. He’s been hiding from Asgard for a long time. Those girls have some kind of grudge against him… they kinda want to eat him alive. So when a valkyrie turns up on the doorstep he thought the game was up. Dani is surprised and Sigurd realizes she didn’t know anything. He didn’t have to do it? Still, it all worked out in the end, so no harm done.

No harm done?! Dani shouts. Nate and Bobby have to stop her from attacking Sigurd. What has he done? she repeats. It was his back-up plan, he replies, having found some noodles in the fridge. The spell makes any Asgardians nearby forget who they are. He removed his mortal glamours and lured the angry honey into range. And voila, no more D-I-S-I-R, and Sigurd on the free and easy forever!

Amara reminds him of the other Asgardians he caught. Yeah, a shame, he agrees, not really interested. Dani snarls he annihilated one of the greatest heroes in history and it’s “a shame?” Get rid of the damn spell! she orders. Oh, please, he scoffs. He was being Thor before Thor had even thought of being Thor. He would do it if, he could but he can’t. He’s no magician. Go to the dealer. Who do they think he bought the spell from? When he was in grown-up pants, anyway.

Ah yes, Loki admits as the mutants glare at him. Stroking the wooden bird, he announces he will have to consult with his… er… sources to work out the counter spell. Tomes and similar.

Sigurd orders them out. He needs a few hours of sleep before the firefighters’ benefit. Lots of grateful ladies, if they know what he means… Dani calls him a deeply selfish man. And when she’s angry, she is a very beautiful woman, he retorts. He can’t believe he gets any action with material that old, Bobby scoffs. It wasn’t old when he coined it, Sigurd shrugs.

Doesn’t he feel any responsibility for that? Is Nate’s parting shot. For what? Sigurd asks. This is all fine, the magic worked and they and Loki will work out a way to bring Thor and the rest back. And the D-I-S-I-R are transformed into something harmless. What’s the problem?

In an alley, the dog which chased Luke is having a standoff with a hissing cat when Brun, the blonde from the bakery, enters the alley. Complaining about her hunger, she grabs the cat and devours it, finding that there is no ill effect. Her face blood-smeared, she announces that the sisters will be so happy when they hear the good news. Her prayers were answered. She bets theirs are too. They can eat whatever they want…

Characters Involved: 

Luke / Loki
Cypher, Magma, Moonstar, Sunspot, Warlock, X-Man (all New Mutants)

Arthur / Thor

Leigh / Leah

Helen / Hela

Andy / Fandral

Hairdresser / Hogun

Baker / Volstagg

Vagrant / Tyr

Tiff / Sif

Angry dog / Thori

Zig / Sigurd


Story Notes: 

This is the second part of the Exiled crossover continued from Exiled #1. The third chapter is New Mutants (3rd series) #42.

The Asgardians currently live in Broxton.

Magik is currently imprisoned on Utopia.

The movie Arthur and the mutants refer is “Adventures in Babysitting,” in which a little girl who is a fan of Marvel Comics’ Thor believes to have found Thor when she meets a built young mechanic with long blond hair.

Loki’s “source” is the bird Ikol (what’s left of his former adult self).

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