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Author: Saladin Ahmed / Artist: Javier Rodriguez / Marvel Comics

Another Dimension

First things first, before you read this comic: Yes, the inception level has increased. I should have expected that. When I read this comic my initial reaction was: “What? Slavery? What kind of”, then I stopped. I took a breather. Just think Djiah, grit your teeth and this could possibly not end up problematic. (We’ll get to that later)

In this issue of Exiles, just like the previous arc, readers run into characters in their “alternate form”. In this version we see “The Thing” as a pirate. Makes sense, I wont argue. The alternate forms of these characters are starting to sit in my heart even more. The worlds that they have lost are starting to come to the forefront. The relationship between loss and travel is a wondrous metaphor for alternative dimensions. Alternate dimensions deal with the loss of innocence, or ignorance to another entity all while consistently being aware of the current reality you’re in. I feel like the introduction to our beloved characters grieving is something to admire.

Now For The Slavery

I won’t say I’m mad, because I need to see how far it goes. So far, I am neutral. In retrospect I feel like this is a possible parallel to the idea of loss and ignorance. If we’re really in an alternate dimension of 1760, there is the idea behind a loss of freedom. The other character’s miss their world and have lost it to various tragic reasons. The people involved in this world are going through a loss of freedom within the world they inhabit. The feeling of losing a “world” while actively being inside of it is a real life issue that goes on to this day, I’ll give that credit. Cute.

Now the critical part of me is like “So y’all just HAD to use slavery right?” I’m tired of Black identities and Black struggles being used as a metaphor to push forward a story line. There are so many other things that could possibly be used. I don’t know, use a battle in Greece. Make Alexander the Great pop up and not be aware of his own greatness. I love seeing Black folk in literature, movies, etc. I’m here for it, but slavery is kind of over used. Maybe there is more of a reason why it is brought up later on that directly deals with the previous story line. I always love seeing my Black folks get free from their shackles. Appreciate that they are trying to say “save these people first”, but we been saved long time ago B. NEXT.

8.6 Side Eyes out of 10
Reading Exiles #4? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.

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  • Khadjiah Johnson is a Caribbean-American writer and humor advocate who uses poetry and comedy as a leverage to empathize and uplift. Her work has taken her to Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center, Apollo Theater, BET, Off-Broadway and many more! She hopes to use her talents to sway her way into the writers room for a Late Night Comedy Show.

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  • Rob Hansen

    “In this version we see “The Thing” as a pirate. Makes sense, I wont argue.”

    Lifted directly from FF#5 (1962), when Dr Doom send them back in time and the Thing becomes Blackbeard. I guess in this timeline he never returned to the present.

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