The Exiles have arrived at the Time-Eater’s palace on the moon, poised to finally confront it once and for all. But will all our heroes make it out alive? Your Major Spoilers review of Exiles #5 awaits!
Writer: Saladin Ahmed
Penciler: Javier Rodriguez
Inker: Alvaro Lopez
Colorist: Javier Rodriguez
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Wil Moss
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 11, 2018
Previously in Exiles: The identity of the Time-Eater has finally been revealed and the Exiles have nowhere left to run! It’s time for the Exiles to face down their enemy – no matter the cost.
And in historic Exiles fashion, not everyone will survive.
KANG + GALACTUS = DESTRUCTION
The revelation of the Time-Eater’s terrible true nature is shocking to all the Exiles, but none so much as Iron Lad, who will himself grow up to be one of the many infinite Kangs. Still, he’s part of the team, and the heroes of the Exiles (accompanied by a time-tossed version of Colonel Nick Fury from 1972) make their way through space and time to deal with his threat. Blink even runs into an old friend in the form of Sabretooth (the one she traveled through space and time within the previous series), but his appearance is disturbing to Khan, on whose world he is a monster who killed many of her fellow Inhumans. Oh, and her daughter. That all gets sidelined by the arrival of a literal army of more Kangs, forcing one of the Exiles to make a personal sacrifice, leaving the team separated. Blink ends up separated from the team, encountering alternate versions of herself who help her to gather friends from all the alternate realities they’ve visited, countering an army of Kangs with an army of Blinks, a pirate Thing and a lot of heart.
Oh, and Wolvie is just flat adorable.
REALITY HAS BEEN SCARRED
As this issue ends, the team has not only beaten a terrible foe, they’ve got a new mission: Repairing the damage to the multiverse that the Time-Eater created, after they take a quick vacation at Blink’s auntie’s house. I love the balance of characters in this book, from battle-scarred Khan to uncertain Iron Lad with super-cutey Wolvie overcoming his sadness to be a key part in the defeat of the cosmic being. Rodriguez’ art is a little bit quirky, but it fits with the unusual tone and cast of characters, and quickly proves up to the task of showing a massive cross-dimensional battle with hundreds of characters in play. Most of all, the facial expressions are very fluid and expressive, even with characters who aren’t human or have cartoon-shorthand faces. There are some issues with the transitions between scenes that didn’t quite work on the first reading, though, and I’m still uncertain about how young Nick Fury works with the old cosmic Nick Fury who brought this team together, which makes me think that I need to re-read the entire arc for clarity.
BOTTOM LINE: A NICE END TO THE FIRST ARC
Even with slight issues of pacing and clarity, Exiles #5 makes for an exciting read and the art is expressive, unique and fun, leaving the issue with a better than average 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. The strength of this premise is such that each creative team can leave their own stamp on the Exiles and this team has more than done that, not only giving us a group of unorthodox heroes, but making their adventure work as a narrative while remaining as unusual as the cast themselves.