A seemingly unstoppable force has made itself known throughout the multiverse. Known as The Time-Eater, the reality-consuming entity has consumed innumerable worlds, leaving the reality in which Blink lives at stake. So, thanks to a mysterious figure called the Unseen, formerly known as Nick Fury, and a handy-dandy Tallus, Blink embarked on a mission to assemble a team capable enough to stop the perilous foe. EXILES #2 continues that mission as she and her latest allies hatch a plan to end the Time-Eater for good.

With the introduction of brand new characters and brand new threats, how does EXILES #2 fare?

Find out, right here!

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EXILES #2. Page 2. Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The Wrath of the Time-Eater

Writer Saladin Ahmed opens EXILES #2 with an introspective introduction from the Unseen, arguably one of the best characters in the series thus far, Blink, Iron Lad, and Khan find themselves being transported to another universe by the Tallus that Blink continues to wield on her arm. The trio comes to realize that the Tallus has brought them to an alternate version of Asgard. There they meet a comical incarnation of Valkyrie!

EXILES #1 Brings The Band Together to Save the Multiverse

Valkyrie’s character brings some light-heartedness to this installment that maintains an overarching darkness. Khan and Iron Lad have witnessed the respective destructions of their homes. As a result, their characters are attempting to reconcile the tragedies they have experienced with their duty to save the multiverse.

Not too long after the Exiles recruit Valkyrie, the Time-Eater strikes. Once again, the Tallus transports the squad to another reality. So, if you haven’t noticed yet, the story thus far is a little repetitive. I understand that the narrative is in the process of assembling the series’ titular team. However, I wish the story would develop that aspect in a more fluid manner that doesn’t feel so monotonous.

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EXILES #2. Page 3. Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The Laws of The Watchers

Now, the craziest part of EXILES #2 lies in the introduction of one of the more bizarre recruits: Wolverine — but not the Wolverine you’re thinking of. Rather, the Wolverine that joins the Exiles goes by Wolvie and attends a school called Xavier’s Playtime: Fun School for Gifted Youngsters. Yes, you read that right.

A lot happens in Wolvie’s introduction, but I suppose the best way to sum it all up is that it is a unique, crazy, strange, and unusual sequence. Following this segment though, the issue abruptly changes tone. A group known as The Watchers arrive on Earth’s moon to pass a death sentence on the Unseen because he catalyzed the assembling of the Exiles in order to protect Earth. The Watchers believe that the Unseen is ultimately interfering with the natural cycle of the world. Unsurprisingly, the Unseen and the other Exiles disagree and vow to continue their fight.

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Overall, the best part of EXILES #2 lies in its end and arguably more serious moments. The character of the Unseen is mysterious yet maintains an inner conflict in regard to his role in the universe and his loyalty to his home. I would love to see more from his character in future issues.

Now, the primary problem with this installment is its repetitive nature. It ultimately makes for a work that is hard to maintain interest in. Additionally, it features awkward transitions from comical, eccentric moments to moments of intensity and darkness. As a result, I hope upcoming installments of EXILES balance out the series’ tonal inconsistencies. I also hope, with the assembling of the team coming to a close, that the series finds its footing and begins to maintain a cohesive flow in its narrative.

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EXILES #2. Page 5. Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The Many Hues of EXILES #2

Unfortunately, Javier Rodriguez’ artwork for EXILES #2 falters throughout the issue. There tends to be a lack of definition in the way the characters are presented. This is particularly apparent in the work’s action sequences. In these moments, details get lost in the chaos of the action.

With these faults though, there is a sense of intrigue that is provoked by the continuous changes in setting. Each reality is illustrated in its own unique way, rendering each reality as its own character. Additionally, the lettering from Joe Caramagna is pretty engaging. I enjoy the way he depicts the Unseen’s script as it truly distinguishes him as the narrator of the EXILES’ tale.

It will be interesting to see what direction the art of the series goes in upcoming issues since it seems as though Blink’s reality will be the primary setting for at least the next installment. Thus far, the color palette of the series wavers from dark to light depending on the reality the characters are currently in. So, we may see a stark change in the series’ color palette that may help establish a cohesive tone to the overall story.

Of course, we will have to wait and see if that takes place.

What Lies Beyond

EXILES #2 is not a bad work by any means, but it is a disappointing one. It struggles to find its balance in the midst of the story’s chaos. Additionally, it struggles in representing a chaotic tale in its imagery. Despite these flaws though, the issue is abundant with potential for something great.

So, I fervently hope we will see that greatness unfold in upcoming installments.

Exiles #2 BY SALADIN AHMED & Javier Rodriguez
You can't deny that EXILES #2 is a fun ride even if it does maintain a repetitive narrative throughout the chapter.
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