Writer: Saladin Ahmed / Artists: Javier Rodríguez, Álvaro López, and Jordie Bellaire / Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics, continuing their “return to the past” Marvel Legacy run, has re-skinned an old classic for new times with the revival of Exiles. Originally launched in 2001, then revived for a short 2009 run, Exiles has always revolved around Blink, a mutant with the ability to teleport herself and others through space. Through all the series, Blink recruits a band of mutants and weirdos to protect the multiple universes from a threat to their very existence.
Issue #1 of Exiles does an admirable job of establishing the set up and introducing Blink, and her powerset. It also whisks us through her first and second recruits of the alternate universes. First she picks up Khan — sort of an Old Woman Kamala version of Ms. Marvel. Then it is off to get Iron Lad, who is the sort of superhero who spends his time beating up the bullies who used to push him around. So far, they aren’t that heroic, but that’ll come.
I’m not the biggest comic book nerd out there. I don’t have a deep encyclopedic knowledge of the history of comics. I can’t name the 10 most under-rated villains or list the 5 best times Green Lantern shot someone in the face. So I come to Exiles as practically a new reader with no background on who the major characters used to be or why they did what they did. What I do have, however, is an appreciation of Saladin Ahmed’s other work — his Black Bolt is unbelievably good. I also appreciate the challenge before Javier Rodriguez and the coloring team as the design/color/feel of each location has to be 100% different to represent all of the different multiverses.
In this first issue of Exiles, both the art and the plot are coming together well. This is a fast issue that covers a lot of ground. It provides insight into not only Blink and the team, but also The Unseen (formerly Nick Fury), who is mysteriously involved if only as an observer. All of them are at the mercy of the Tallus, a bracelet that contains a shard of something or another, which allows Blink to teleport through time *and* space. The Tallus at this point is the only intelligence that knows what’s going on, so it’s kind of dragging the team along for the ride.
So far I’m cautiously optimistic about Exiles. The artistic team can bring all these pieces together, but can they make them gel into a coherent whole? Or will it get shredded in all the teleporting? Time will tell. For now, the team, both the writer/artists and characters, are promising enough to ride along with for a few issues. Let’s see where Blink can take us.
7.5 teleports out of 10