Exiles (1st series) #95

Issue Date: 
August 2007
Story Title: 
Home Again- Starting Over Part 1

Chris Claremont (writer), Clayton Henry (penciler), Norman Lee (inker), Wil Quintana (colorist), Simon Bowland (letterer), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

The Exiles arrive at the Crystal Palace and find the place completely devoid of life, no Heather and no bugs. During a conversation over dinner Sabretooth activates Heather’s program, Icon, who explains everything that happened during their six-month absence. It turns out Heather thought the Exiles were dead and went into a deep depression. The Bugs eventually left, as did Heather after getting herself back together. Blink and Morph head to Earth #3470 to let Heather know they’re ok. They’re both surprised to see Heather is with child, which means she’ll be on inactive status for the Exiles. Back in the Crystal Palace, Sabretooth and Psylocke spar with Sabretooth playing the part of Slaymaster. Sabretooth wins every match, which causes Psylocke to doubt herself. Spider-Man, meanwhile, fixes the computer network and receives an alert from a world on the brink of disaster. The Exiles gather and teleport to Earth #187319. Their point of contact is the Fantastic Four, or as they’re called on this planet the Four Fantastics.

Full Summary: 

Crystal Palace

Following a long hiatus in a resurrected dimension, where communications with the Panoptichron were impossible, the Exiles teleport into the Crystal Palace. Blink yells out for Heather, who’s usually nearby, but receives no response. Even weirder is the lights are off and the place smells a bit stale. Spider-Man wonders if the Palace was attacked. Sabretooth advises everyone not to panic.
The lights suddenly turn on so Psylocke throws up a telekinetic shield just to be on the safe side. Morph to yells out in surprise and he immediately feels embarrassed. Longshot wonders who turned on the lights. Sabretooth tells him they’re on automatic and also tells Psylocke she can drop the shield, as he’s not picking up any unusual scents, not even residuals. This means the place has been empty for a long time. Blink suggests they make sure of it.
The Exiles fan out, searching the Crystal Palace and its perimeter. Blink stops by the control room and finds all of the high-end equipment missing. She prays Heather is safe. Longshot and Spider-Man check out other areas of the Palace and find nothing of interest. Even the Bugs and their stuff are gone. Sabretooth heads outside the Palace and takes a moment to stare out over the ocean. Morph stops by his room and picks up an old photograph. He recalls the friends he’s made and lost while a member of the Exiles. Lastly is Psylocke who stops to stare at a long crystal bridge.
Later, the Exiles regroup over a nice meal and discuss the results of their searches. Blink considers everything a total loss, but Sabretooth assures her they can fix what’s busted. He also comments how they found no sign of a fight. It was as if Heather and the Bugs decided to leave. The only question is where they went and why.
That’s when Icon appears above them, much to their surprise. Blink demands to know where she’s been all this time and why she didn’t contact them earlier. Icon explains she was under a security protocol and that she had to be asked a question before she could present herself to them. With that out of the way Sabretooth wants to know what the devil happened while they were gone.
Icon explains Heather thought them all dead, destroyed with Dimension #1720. In a fit of rage she destroyed some of the computer systems. Afterwards, she fell into a deep depression and remained locked in her room, drowning her sorrows in alcohol. The Bugs eventually gave up waiting for her to come around and teleported away. Heather ultimately broke out of her stupor and set about getting herself better and cleaning up the messes she made in the Palace. After repairing what damage she could Heather decided there was nothing left for her at the Panoptichron and teleported herself home.
Sabretooth asks how long they’ve actually been gone. Icon tells him roughly six months Earth time. The Exiles’ are surprised it’s been that long. Blink suggests they go find Heather and let her know they’re back and alive. Blink also recommends they reestablish the team as well as the base and find out what’s happened in the last six months. Morph asks if he can tag along on the trip to see Heather. Blink says she’s happy for the company.
Spider-Man offers to work on the command center with Icon’s help. Longshot proposes he help with that too since his luck power might help speed things up. Psylocke, since she’s a newbie, wants to familiarize herself with the base. Sabretooth offers to give her the guided tour.
Blink and Morph enter the transport deck. Sabretooth punches in the calculations to Heather’s homeworld and reminds them to use their portable Tallus to bring themselves home. Sabes activates the teleport telling them to come back safe.
Earth #3470

Heather Hudson’s house

Morph rings the doorbell a few times and when Heather answers the door says, “Hey Heather—guess who’s not dead!” Both Exiles immediately look down at Heather’s swollen belly. Heather rushes them, wrapping her arms around both their necks. “You’re alive!!” she exclaims.
The trio takes a walk along the beach. Heather discusses how after spending some time back home she considered restarting the Exiles with a new team, but when she found out she was pregnant she ended those thoughts. Blink asks if it’s a boy or a girl. Heather says she won’t find out for a couple months. They talk a bit more about the baby and discuss Heather’s inactive status for the team. The baby starts kicking so Heather has Blink and Morph feel her stomach.
Blink notices the time and explains they need to get back. Heather tenderly grasps Blink’s arms and offers her some words of comfort: never give up on love or faith. She tells Blink she’s learned that creation is full of surprises. That anything’s possible for the Exiles, even happy endings.
Crystal Palace

Slaymaster comes charging at Psylocke from the rear. He wallops her high in the back, telling her the battle will end in her death. She turns about and uses her telekinesis to block an incoming punch. Then she uses her telekinesis to amplify a punch of her own. She nails him square in the chest, but Slaymaster only mocks her. Psylocke responds with a high kick to the face and then another quick overhand right. She leaps into the air for the finishing move, but then her muscles stop working and she loses control over her TK.
Slaymaster stands over the fallen Psylocke and reminds her of the old saying concerning “pride” and “falls.” He raises his fist and tells her it’ll be her epitaph. The closed fist becomes an open hand as the environment around the two enemies disappears. It turns out Slaymaster was a holographically disguised Sabretooth. Psylocke takes his hand begrudgingly after Sabretooth rubs it in he won all three matches.
Psylocke lies down on a table and Sabretooth starts giving her a rubdown. He tells Betsy she’d be dead if he was the real Slaymaster. Sabretooth advises her to be prepared for the unexpected at every level. Psylocke looks doubtful when she asks how she’s supposed to beat a guy who’s better than pretty much everyone. Creed reminds her she has the entire Omniverse to explore to find someone better. With the rubdown finished he leaves Psylocke with these final words, “Your life, Betts, your choice, your fate.”
Over in the Command Center, Spider-Man reestablishes the network. He asks Icon what’s next and then clumsily drops the wrench he was holding. He fires a webline and catches it before it hits the ground. He asks again what’s next and receives a response from the computer system, “System Online.” Spider-Man reads an incoming report and tells Icon to alert the others, they have trouble.
Later, with the team gathered, Spider-Man fills them in on the major Mayday. Blink asks if he knows anything about the Earth in trouble. Spider-Man answers it’s just like his. Blink asks what the situation is. Spider-Man explains they need to get in contact with the dimension’s Fantastic Four. Sabretooth wants to know who’s going to stay behind and monitor the system. Psylocke volunteers. She says she wants to learn the place a bit better and this’ll give her a chance. Blink’s satisfied with all the answers and tells the team to get suited up and ready to roll.
Earth #187319

New York City

The Exiles arrive and find civilians in a panic. They look up to the top of a nearby building where two figures are standing at its edge. They discuss who the two might be. Longshot says he overhead people calling the guy “Moleman.” Someone else says the female looks like she could be a version of She-Hulk.
The crowd starts cheering, but the Exiles know it’s not for them. They turn around and find Victor Von Doom, Bruce Banner, and Johnny and Susan Storm staring at them. Von Doom introduces them as the Four Fantastics and says they’ll welcome them as friends if they’re there to help, otherwise...

Characters Involved: 

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

Earth #187319:

Robert Bruce Banner, Victor Von Doom, Johnny Storm, Susan Storm (all Four Fantastics)

Reed Richards (Mole Man), She-Hulk

Heather Hudson

Morph’s memories:

Magnus, Mimic, Nocturne, Sunfire, Thunderbird (all former Exiles)

Story Notes: 

How the Exiles were teleported back to the Palace in the beginning of the story is a mystery. Some suggestions by our very own Peter Luzifer:

1. Reed Richards might have helped them.

2. The Exiles have previously teleported into the citadel by following the wavelengths emitted by the Tallus (that's how they first discovered the citadel after Exiles #61)
Heather created Icon while the Exiles were on their last mission, which is why the Exiles were surprised to see her. Spider-Man repeatedly calls her “Heather” in this issue so what name she will officially go by is up in the air.
The Timebreakers have always been drawn as two separate bug types, an upper class and a drone class. In this issue there are several types of bugs pictured in the flashback.
The old saying Sabretooth was referring to is: “Pride goes before a fall.” It is an ancient Hebrew proverb, which in a fighting situation basically means if you get too cocky you’re done for.
It is unclear how Psylocke seems to know that some version of Slaymaster is after her.
It’s surprising the Exiles are trusting a rookie like Psylocke, who has no experience with the Palace’s systems, to be their team coordinator on this mission.

Issue Information: 
Written By: