New Exiles #5

Issue Date: 
July 2008
Story Title: 
Did You Ever Have One of Those Days?

Chris Claremont (writer), Roberto Castro (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), Moose Baumann (colorist), Simon Bowland (letterer), Anthony Dial (production), Jordan D. White (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (senior editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Davis & Mark Farmer (cover)

Brief Description: 

Things aren’t going too well at the Crystal Palace, with Sage fighting phantoms only she can see and Cat and Morph getting sucked into a portal that appears out of nowhere. Sage soon follows after, hearing some screams and leaping in before the portal can close up. The three Exiles find themselves in a medieval world with dragons and knights. As if things couldn’t be stranger, Cat is now garbed in a pink dress with matching heels. After coming upon a battle involving a young man and a dragon against a group of knights the Exiles follow their instincts and protect the dragon. The knights are soundly defeated and the Exiles learn about the young man, Domenic and his unrequited love for the dragon, Marysal. This upsets the queen who’s watching these events unfold from her castle. In fact, it is her son who has fallen in love with the beast. She implores someone from amongst her subjects to help her destroy the dragon. A warrior named Venger steps forward and volunteers to rid the realm of the dragon and the interlopers. Meanwhile, the Exiles travel to Marysal’s home. While there, they discuss their purpose in this world. Morph makes the executive decision to try and fix the bad blood between Domenic and his mother. At one point during this discussion Cat is surrounded by floating variations of herself. When they finally disappear her appearance is transformed into an African. Needless to say, she’s upset about all of the uncontrollable changes going on. She goes to Sage for comfort, and Sage unintentionally enters her mind. Cat flips out and Sage tries getting her telepathy back under control. After things settle down, Morph tells them they will do what they have to to help their new friends overcome the obstacles currently facing them.

Full Summary: 

Crystal Palace

Cat and Morph stumble upon Sage going through some of her fighting maneuvers, not unusual as she’s been running through them every day since the others went on a mission. What they don’t realize is that these are not typical workouts. In actuality, Sage is fighting visions she can’t control. Pouring on the assault are behemoth-looking men and robotic soldiers, but Sage gives as good as she gets.
Morph looks worried and asks Cat what Sage is trying to prove. Cat says he’s asking the wrong person, as she’s just as much a stranger to her. She opines it might be Sage’s way of having fun. Morph doesn’t think Cat likes Sage much. Cat gets defensive saying she hardly knows her. Her memories, however, paint a different picture as a devilishly smiling Sage appears in her thoughts.
Morph comments on the beating Sage is taking, but Cat isn’t worried. Morph says it looks like she’s fighting phantoms. Cat agrees that something like that happening in the Crystal Palace isn’t too much of a stretch.
Speaking of phantoms, Sage is rocked backward by one of the robot soldiers. Morph cries out that Sage needs help. However, Sage hears the Exiles’ funnyman and tells him the fight is hers alone. Cat takes the opportunity to convince Morph to leave the room.
Sage continues the battle, but wonders why Cat hates her so much. She then convinces herself to stop worrying and refocus on the battle for her arch-enemy approaches: Diana Fox. Sage clenches her fist, but is unable to block Diana’s punch. Sage falls to the ground as Diana mocks her ability to defend herself against the new reality that surrounds her.
Sage gets up and gets knocked down again. Diana calls her stubborn, which suits her just fine. The third time’s the charm for Sage this time ramming Diana off her feet right as she finishes postulating about Sage’s inevitable defeat. Sage lifts Diana into the air and reels her fist back. She tells Fox she’s just a construct drawn from her own character, just a piece of her. She punches her and reinforces the fact that it’s her body, her soul and her life and that Diana will never claim it all.
Observation Room

Cat and Morph have relocated themselves to the Observation Room. The room itself is a simulacrum of the Omniverse with a computer system at its center. Morph reflects on how all the time he was living at the Palace he never knew such a room existed and Cat, right off the bat, finds the place and runs the computer systems no problem. Cat reminds him machines are easy for her, and that it’s that people are the problem.
Morph inquires as to what’s going on with the system. Cat, knees folded to her chest, explains it’s just keeping tabs on the team while they’re off on their mission. Morph’s not talking about that and points at an Earth with electricity arcing all around it. Cat doesn’t know, suggesting it might be a glitch.
Cat feels strange all of a sudden and then immediately gets sucked down a portal that opens up out of nowhere. A few dozen alternate Cats appear all around her as she is siphoned through the vortex. Morph leaps toward the gateway, intent on not letting her go.
Sage’s Quarters

Sage, done with the day’s battle, rests peacefully in her bathtub. She swishes her glass of wine while rubbing her other hand across the frothy bubbles. Her rest is interrupted when she hears some screaming. Sage reaches for her towel, knocking over the bottle of wine. She wraps the towel about herself and takes off.
Sage arrives at the Observation room just in time to see four sets of legs disappear into the vortex, most likely more variations of Cat. Sage has no idea what’s going on, but knows her rightful place is at the side of her teammates. She leaps in, disappearing along with the others.
Earth #8396

…and lands headfirst into a pond. Morph calls her over to check on Cat, but when Sage emerges his eyes literally pop out of his head, for Sage is wearing a very small towel that is clinging tightly to her body. Sage explains her scantily-clad situation and asks what happened in the Observation Room. Morph swears they didn’t do anything to cause it.
Cat interrupts their conversation with death threats if either of them laughs. When they turn to look at her they understand what she’s talking about. Cat’s appearance has changed and she now sports a pink princess dress with fancy pink high heels.
A large flash of fire over the horizon draws their attention. Then a powerful gust of wind hits them. Sage rushes over in the direction of the flash and tells her teammates to follow. They do so, though Cat complains she can’t phase out of her high heels. At the top of the ridge Sage spots where the flash came from. Down below, a dragon and another male are in heavy battle against a half-dozen knights.
One of the knights leaps toward the dragon, sword raised high above his head. He tells the dragon it’s done, but his sword cuts clean through as if it hit nothing but air. “What the devil?!” the knight proclaims. Cat walks through the dragon’s neck and takes the blame. The knight stalks toward her, but receives a swift kick in the groin for his troubles.
Meanwhile, Morph has taken the form of a giant, white dragon. He admonishes the knights for picking on “two nice beings”, hoping that following their instincts to protect the dragon pays off. Morph gives one knight the boot, while deftly avoiding a sword to the head. The same knight’s bravado is met with a well-timed punch courtesy of a Thing-textured fist.
Sage also has her hands full, dropping to the ground to avoid a sword and then leaping straight into the air. The knight seems intrigued by Sage’s body and when she rips off her towel he’s momentarily distracted. She throws the towel in his face and then, naked as a jaybird, delivers a foot to his mug.
Cat, meanwhile, moves in and touches the knight’s armor, making it intangible. It falls offs and Morph tosses it aside. The knight, clad in his underwear, seems very embarrassed. Cat kicks him in the rear, phasing his underwear off as well. The knight lands at Sage’s feet. Instead of continuing the fight, though, he and his comrades head for the hills.
The Exiles, the dragon and the young man group together, Sage not bothering to cover herself up. Morph, sweating, but smiling, hands her some clothing, possibly from the knight who lost all of his. The Exiles then introduce themselves. The young man does the same, Domenic, and says the lady dragon is Marysal.
Sage asks why the knights attacked them. Domenic explains it’s because of his mother, that he was sent out to the wildlands to slay a dragon, as part of his rite of passage for young royals, but instead he fell in love.
The queen watches this from some sort of scrying pool. In anger, she knocks the whole thing over. She accuses the dragon of bewitching her son. She asks the multitude around her if any can set her son free. The king speaks at this time, pointing out their son wasn’t in any danger until her commando agents attacked. She just gives him “the look” and asks if he actually cares about his son. The king asks if she ever thought their son might actually be in love. The queen, incredulous, points out that his “true love” is a dragon and not a person.
The king places his hands on her arms, saying they seem happy together. The queen looks crestfallen, and reminds her husband how few magical relationships end up happily ever after. The queen tells him to show some respect for his son and start acting like the king. She turns and asks once more if there’s anyone who can help her son and rid the realm of the dragon.
A muscular man, with all types of weaponry slung to his back strides forward. He volunteers, introducing himself as Venger. He tells her if she wants the creature dead and her son brought home safe then he’s the man. He also offers to take care of the outlanders… for free. The queen says he has a deal.
Dragon’s lair

The Exiles complete the journey to the dragon’s cave. Once there, their hosts start on dinner while Sage looks through their treasure trove to find more appropriate clothing. Sage’s search is a success as she finds more regal attire. She then rejoins her teammates for some pre-dinner conversation.
Morph brings up Sage’s “brainiac” stigma and asks if she has any idea on how to get back home. She doesn’t have a clue, pointing out she was just following after them. She asks if Cat’s ever done something like this before. Morph reminds her she’s just as new to the team and is still a mystery.
Sage shrugs it off, figuring they’ll learn as they go and hope for the best. She wonders why they were sent in the first place. Morph doesn’t think it’s an accident. Sage agrees. Morph looks a bit downtrodden, voicing his concerns about who’s really running the Exiles. He thought they were finally in charge, but it seems they’re still pawns in someone else’s game. Sage says the mission is still young and they might come up with some surprises.
Shocked by what comes next, Morph gets asked what he thinks their next move should be. He admits he has a soft spot for true love. He wants to try and make peace between Domenic and his parents.
Cat butts in and asks if he really thinks that’s the right thing to do. Morph asks whose side she’s on, saying sometimes you have to trust your instincts. Sage tells him that’s easier said than done, her thoughts turning to Diana Fox and her recent “reality” problems.
Cat, on the other hand, probably didn’t hear him as her eyes roll up inside her head and a bright flue flash envelops her body. She crouches onto the ground, unnoticed by her teammates who argue over whether a human and a dragon can actually have a real relationship. Cat finally yells for help and everyone’s attention turns toward her.
The blue light has expanded and within the swirls and smoke are different versions of Cat. Morph relates how this had happened earlier… the first time she changed. Morph wonders where they’re all coming from. Sage guesses they’re other-dimensional variants of her, but that still doesn’t answer how she’s accessing them. Sage questions whether it’s a facet of Cat or of the world they’re in.
Speaking of Cat, the blue aura has disappeared. She stands up and looks down at herself now dressed in African attire and sporting a darker skin tone. Cat leaps through Morph. She is confused and enraged about these changes that keep happening. She rushes over to Sage and wraps her arms around her. Sage tells her she’ll be fine, but unknowingly uses telepathy. Cat pushes away from Sage. She just wants to get back to the way things were. Sage mentally tells her they’ll figure it out.
Cat finally realizes it is Sage’s thoughts, not her voice, that’s speaking to her. She flips out on Sage for invading her mind. Sage is just as shocked, realizing it for the first time herself. She fears she’s lost control and curses Charles, who gave her his word.
Sage calms down and tries to regain her focus. She tries accessing Cat’s mind, and then Morph’s, both without success. Good, she thinks, but wonders what caused the momentary lapse in telepathic control. She theorizes it was either Cat or someone else. Then all of a sudden she’s hit with a powerful telepathic backlash. She grabs her head and falls backwards. Cat catches her and Morph changes into doctor mode. It’s the dragon and the prince arguing and Sage can’t block it out of her head.
The trio turns their attention toward the quarrelling couple. Sage fills them in on the details (the prince wants to go home and confront his parents). Cat asks if she’s still reading her and Morph. Sage says other than earlier, their minds are completely blocked.
Morph speaks up at this point, hands on his hips. He refuses to let the two lovers face their challenges alone. He believes these things are happening for a reason and they have a purpose here. He admits they may be stuck with no hope of rescue, but proclaims they will do their best to make things better.

Characters Involved: 

Cat Pryde, Proteus/Morph, Sage (all Exiles)
many variations of Cat
Earth #8396



King Michael, Queen Erin
many variations of Cat
Cat’s memory

Sage (from Cat’s reality)
Sage’s mind

Diana Fox

various creatures

Story Notes: 

Morph’s belief that Cat dislikes Sage probably stems from a football game the three played together. At first, Cat didn’t want Sage to join them. Then while playing Cat was very aggressive towards Sage. (New Exiles #1)
Rogue answers the letters this issue.

Issue Information: 
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