Exiles (1st series) #90

Issue Date: 
March 2007
Story Title: 
Fresh Blood- Enemy of the Stars: Part 1 (of 5)

Chris Claremont (writer), Paul Pelletier (penciler), Rick Magyar (inker), Wil Quintana (colorist), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Heather runs Blink and Sabretooth through a simulation showing what would happen if Proteus ever gained dominance over Morph’s personality. It’s utter disaster and leaves Blink with a lot of decisions to make. Also to note is the presence of a woman and a citadel that made its way onto the recording. When the Exiles go to review the simulation, however, it is no longer there. Things get stranger as the Timebreakers are nowhere to be found. A bit later Power Princess decides it’s time for her to head back to her own reality and get back with the Squadron Supreme. She teleports out with a fond farewell. Later in the day the Exiles are in the middle of a training session when an alarm goes off. The “Everyone vs. Sabretooth” assault ends as they run to the command center. It turns out a world is headed for a disaster off the charts. They decide to leave Morph behind and deal with it themselves. Heather takes the time by herself to search for a new recruit. She stumbles upon someone from Earth 616 who would be perfect. Just then Sabretooth arrives, badly beat up. He tells Heather the rest of the team was captured and that they need major backup. Heather arranges for Pyslocke of reality 616 to arrive in the desert room. Sabretooth heads out to greet her, which she perceives as an attack. She skewers him with her psychic blade.

Full Summary: 

Kevin MacTaggert’s mind is no longer controlled by the b-mod device. Finally free he strikes out at his “teammates”. For his first victim he chooses Sabretooth. He literally melts the matter off his bones. Proteus stares down at Sabretooth’s blood-drenched skeletal remains. He questions how good his healing factor really is.
Next he goes after Blink and does the same thing to her as with Creed. MacTaggert figures they were together from the beginning and should go out the same way. Proteus leans back and laughs as the remaining heroes join in the fight.

Proteus turns Heather, Spider-Man and Power Princess into bug-like renditions of their former selves. Spidey shoves two of his pincers into Power Princess’s body. She reacts in kind by neatly chomping his head off.

Last, but not least, Proteus turns his attention to Longshot. Mojo appears out of thin air with a giant rubber stamp in his hand. He slams it down on Longshot. When he pulls it away Longshot is torn in two, spelled out in his blood is the word “CANCELLED”.

Proteus announces himself the winner. Then he moves towards the commands of the Crystal Palace. He decides to visit other realities to continue the havoc.

Time elapses. Proteus has morphed himself into Galactus. Within each of his hands are several worlds being crushed in his grip. A voice points out a mystery woman caught in the monitor display. Another voice orders the computer to freeze the images. This voice, the voice of Heather Hudson, explains to her friends that this is what they can expect to happen if Proteus’ mind ever gains dominance over Morph’s. The simulation is ended.

Blink wants to know what Heather’s getting at; does she want Morph killed? Sabretooth adds that they need him on the team. Blink agrees and thinks that Proteus believing he’s Morph is good enough for her.

Sabes asks Heather to go back to the end of the simulation, but the screens show only static. He asks what’s going on. He wants to see that palace and that woman again. Heather says she can’t get it back, but adds she saw the same thing.

Heather rubs the back of her head and explains the computer network has been messing up ever since their altercation with Proteus. She further clarifies she’s been having trouble scanning timestreams and seeing what’s happening. Blink asks why. Heather chalks it up to one of those problems you encounter when dealing with infinity.

Blink and Sabretooth begin arguing about time and space, the past, present and future and the responsibilities of protecting it all. Heather interrupts them to bring them back to their original discussion. She warns them they need to be prepared in case Proteus ever gets loose. She suggests they find someone out there who stands a chance against him, a person they can trust. Creed scoffs at the idea, so Heather asks him if he has a better one.

Blink spots Nocturne on one of the view screens and asks if they can bring her back to the palace or at least send her back to her native reality. Heather tells her it’s not a good idea as the Earth she’s on now is part of the 616 universe, which has been the source of most of their recent problems. She also mentions that every time she queries the teams she’s joined, Excalibur, she gets a picture of that floating citadel they saw earlier and then nothing but static. Sabretooth jokes he feels better already.

Heather points out she still hasn’t figured everything out about the Crystal Palace and how it works. He suggests asking the “lizards” what to do. She tells him she had the same idea, but they barricaded themselves inside their room and have refused to come out. She jams her palms into her eyes in frustration.

Creed asks if she’ll find the answers. She always does, is her reply. Creed motions Blink to follow him and leave Heather to her devices. He tells his old friend they need to work on her timing. Blink assures him her timing is just fine. Creed reaches out to grab her throat, but she teleports away avoiding the grab. However, when she reappears Creed seizes her by the neck anyway. He tells Blink that if she wants to lead the team she needs to think outside her box.

The two walk out of the room just as one of the drones comes in with some coffee on a tray for Heather. The bug looks up at the monitor behind Heather and sees the woman from earlier staring down at it. The bug drops the tray and the coffee spills everywhere. Heather looks on, puzzled at the drone’s erratic behavior.

Inside the Exiles’ common room, Power Princess briefs the team on her decision to go back to her native reality, back with her old team the Squadron Supreme. Sabretooth tells her they need her. She assures him her decision was tough, but the right one. Blink asks Spider-Man and Longshot if they want to go back home too. They both agree they like it where they are.

As Power Princess prepares for her exit atop the transit deck she tells her friends that she’ll always be there for them. Heather punches in the calculations and she disappears.

A short time later, the Exiles are smack dab in the middle of a training session. It’s everybody against Sabes. Blink tosses teleportation shards like there’s no tomorrow. Sabretooth manages to dodge them all and gets in close. He shoves Blink off her feet, but she makes a nice landing. Sabretooth moves in for another attack so Blink puts up a teleportation shield right in front of her. She warns Spider-Man that Creed is coming his way.

Not far away Sabretooth comes barreling out of the teleportation vortex. Spidey grabs him as he exits and tosses him over near Longshot. Longshot whips out the knives, which Sabretooth assures can’t hurt him. Longshot deftly avoids Sabretooth’s pounce and throws the blades upwards. The knives cut through some of the crystal stalactites and they come crashing down. They form a wall around Creed, barricading him in.

Blink and Heather smile at Sabretooth, trapped and angry. With a scowl on his face he tells them they got lucky. Heather assures him luck had nothing to do with it.

Back in the command center the Timebreakers emerge from their room. As they do the female image from before manifests itself through the crystal wall. The bugs don’t know what to make of it and run off again. The crystal woman reaches out to one of the monitors and apologizes for her actions, but relents she must do what she must do when she has all of creation to safeguard.

The security alarms start blaring and so the Exiles quit their training session and head to the command center. Heather gets a message from the Tallus that a world will soon be destabilized. She also notes some secondary pulses on the readouts and questions out loud whether the bugs have been messing around again.

Blink asks for more information, but Heather says the static is preventing her from reading anything else. She states the negative potential for the disaster is off the charts. Longshot asks if they should bring Morph with them. The team is at odds over this so Creed tells Blink to make the call. Blink recommends Morph remain behind for a while. So the four of them head up to the transit deck and teleport away.

Heather tries passing the time by posting signs pointing to the various sections of the palace. She runs into one of the Timebreakers who makes a break for it. She chases after him and instead finds the entire community of drones. She picks up one of the guys and asks what’s going on. It tells her they are trying to remain unnoticed by the “end”.

Heather doesn’t like the sound of that and immediately runs a scan on their two biggest threats: Hyperion and Morph. Both are okay and where they should be so she wonders what else could have them all so worried.

Hours later and Heather is sitting at the main console relaxing, eating pizza, and looking for their newest teammate. She stumbles across someone who fits the description, but hangs her head in her hands when she realizes it’s another one from Earth 616.

That’s when Sabretooth comes dropping in... literally. With a face all banged up and swollen he begins to tell her how horribly wrong the mission went, that the other three are prisoners. He tells her they need to give up on that world and save their own if it’s not too late.

Heather helps him up and brings him over to the stasis wall. She collapses under his weight to which Creed jokes she needs to do more exercising. He also tells her he’s not going in the stasis wall; he just needs some major backup. He asks her if she has any ideas.

The Desert Room

A door opens up in the middle of the sky. Psylocke comes falling out, seemingly interrupting a battle she was having with the Shadow King. She gets up and manifests her psychic katana. She surmises she’s no longer in Crossmore Prison.

Psylocke takes in her surroundings and tries to pinpoint her location geographically. Off in the distance she spots a dust cloud. She also spots a figure in the middle running towards her and as he gets closer identifies him as Sabretooth. As he nears she impales him with her sword, the blade going through his midsection and out his back. “Game over butcher! This time I win!” she cries.

Characters Involved: 

Blink, Heather Hudson, Longshot, Proteus/Morph, Power Princess, Sabretooth, Spider-Man (all Exiles)




video monitors

Nocturne, female Silver Surfer, Sentinel

Story Notes: 

Proteus’ last name is misspelled “MacTaggart”.

The mystery woman is none other than Roma, guardian of the Omniverse.

The Hyperion Heather checks on is the same Hyperion that was part of the Weapon X team. The Exiles fought him (with the help of two “good” Hyperions) in Exiles #64-65, after he broke out of the stasis wall and took control of the Crystal Palace. Instead of killing him, they banished him to his barren homeworld.

While Heather is eating junk food during her search for another Exile she thanks her mutant metabolism for keeping her from gaining weight. It is questionable whether this was intended as a joke or not. Heather is actually a human, not a mutant. This upset some fans.

Psylocke was last seen in New Excalibur #8 where she disappeared in a bright light in an attack on a Shadow King-possessed alternate reality Charles Xavier.

Special Note: This is Chris Claremont’s first issue of Exiles, which was supposed to start following the “defeat” of Proteus in Exiles #82. Due to health reasons Tony Bedard continued his run until Chris was ready to pick up the reins. This story seems a little off with the delay in a few situations.

1. Heather spent lots of time running missions after the fight with Proteus and no glitches were mentioned before.

2. She’s also had plenty of interaction with the smart bugs, or lizards as they’re referred to in this issue, and most assuredly would have asked them any questions she might have had.

3. The team fought plenty of times with Morph at their side since the Proteus altercation. None of them worried about his status until this issue, but to be fair Morph began speaking in a Scottish accent after an altercation with the White Queen in the previous issue.

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