EXILES #1 by Saladin Ahmed, Javier Rodriguez, Alvaro Lopez, and Jordie Bellaire is the return of the dimension-hopping heroes. The series begins with a team featuring old and new faces. Fans of the original series will be happy as it captures the magic of a group of misfits trying to save everything we know and love.

EXILES #1 Page 7. Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Blinking Into Action In EXILES #1

EXILES #1 starts with the Unseen. He tells the reader that he was Nick Fury, but due to actions beyond his control, he is cursed to watch humanity without being able to do anything. Then, another version of Nick Fury appears with the Tallus: a sentient piece of the multiverse that can travel dimensions and acts as a danger beacon. The Tallus then sends a signal to a familiar face to help save the multiverse: Clarice Ferguson, aka Blink.

Blink is adjusting to a low key life, meeting long-lost relatives. The Tallus pulls her away to the blue area of the Moon where the Unseen resides. The Unseen explains to Blink that the multiverse is in danger from a beast called the Time-Eater. This entity is destroying timelines, threatening the entire multiverse. Blink figures out the Tallus has become sentient and has chosen her to become the champion of the multiverse.

Suddenly, the Tallus transports Blink to another reality. Through some rocky trial and error, she discovers that the Tallus is assembling a team to face the Time-Eater. The members, so far, are Kahn (A “Days of Future Past”-esque version of Ms. Marvel) and Iron Lad (without having met the Young Avengers).

EXILES #1 Page 11. Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Jumping Around

The first aspect to know about this issue is that it’s very exposition-heavy. It’s not a bad thing, but you do get a lot of information. Saladin Ahmed gives backstories on most of the characters and the reason why they have to save the multiverse. It’s a lot for a first issue. This style reminds me of Chris Claremont’s work on X-Men; some people like all the information, some want to get to the action ASAP.

I’m glad to see the Unseen here. He feels like a brooding Watcher, so it’s fun to see him being the narrator for the first half of the series. It remains to be seen if he will come back and/or factor into the series going forward.

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I’m also glad Blink is the leader of the Exiles again. Her character is written beautifully here. I have been a fan of hers for a long time. The combination of battle-worn and sarcastic is a nice take on her. Kahn is basically a version of Ms. Marvel in some future post-apocalyptic wasteland. We don’t learn much of her or her backstory beyond that just yet. The third member of the team introduced is Iron Lad, aka Nate Richards from YOUNG AVENGERS volume 1. Fans of YOUNG AVENGERS will be thrilled, as Iron Lad is almost the same person as he was when that series started, albeit a little less heroic.

EXILES #1 only gives away a brief glimpse of this threat against the multiverse. However, I’m a little confused how this fits in with SECRET WARS ending the multiverse. Since SECRET WARS there has been some hinting of other realities, and Brian Michael Bendis confirmed the Ultimate-Verse still exists, but how many Earths are there now?

EXILES #1 Page 12. Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

From a Different Perspective

Javier Rodriguez’s art is an interesting choice for this series. Initially, his style reminds me of Mike Allred: a little cartoonish but still based in reality. His landscapes are so detailed I often found myself looking at the small details in the background as well as the characters in front of me. He also uses his landscapes to show framing, such as when Blink arrives on the Moon to the Unseen’s lair.

The entire art team of Javier Rodriguez, Alvaro Lopez, and Jordie Bellaire make a wonderful splash of Blink early on that pays homage to her personal history and to the Exiles team. Jordie Bellaire’s coloring adds to the story, as Blink’s opening scene is colorful compared to the darker colors the rest of the issue. You can feel her being pulled out of retirement into action.

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Until Next Time

EXILES #1 is a good start. It is a little information heavy, but considering the basis of the series and what has come before, it’s not surprising. However, it works; EXILES #1 is an entertaining read with likable characters and an intriguing premise. The art fits the nature of this series with crazy landscapes and set pieces. New fans will love the idea and the stakes. Older fans will enjoy the callbacks and the themes that are present. Overall, don’t miss this one.

EXILES #1 by Saladin Ahmed, Javier Rodriguez, Alvaro Lopez, and Jordie Bellaire #1 is the return of the classic series.
EXILES #1 features an information-packed start. It captures the feeling and tone of the original while carving its own path.
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