The Watchers have been putting the hurt on Blink and her friends, and now it’s time to take the battle to them.  Your Major Spoilers review of Exiles #12 awaits!


Storytellers: Saladin Ahmed & Javier Rodriguez
Inker: Alvaro Lopez
Colorist: Muntsa Vicente
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Sarah Brunstad
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 30, 2019

Previously in ExilesIt’s the Exiles’ final showdown against those bug-eyed creeps the Watchers!  But they’ve underestimated their foe – and the mistake may prove deadly.  In a whirl of mishaps and might-have-beens, the champion Blink must keep her wits and rescue her lost companions.  What lies ahead for Blink and her team of Multiversal misfits?


We open in the Blue Area of the Moon, where The Unseen (who was once the man called Nick Fury, before Samuel L. Jackson put him out of a job) is held in chains by The Watchers, with only the thought that his Exiles are still free keeping him going.  As if on cue, Blink and the Exiles burst onto the scene, ready to fight the cosmic beings for the way they’ve been manipulated.  Unfortunately, they’re terribly out-classed, and each of the Exiles is thrown into a terrible, broken timeline: King, an alternate T’Challa, is forced to see his family die, Iron Lad is stuck as Kang The Conqueror, Wolvie is trapped in the X-Men animated series (but he likes the theme song), Becky Barnes is forced into a stereotypical housewife role, Valkryie relives Ragnarok over and over, while Captain America is forced to see the Red Skull take over the Earth after stealing her super-soldier enhanced blood.  Even Blink is stuck in the Age of Apocalypse again, but realizes that she’s not alone anymore, a realization that snaps her out of her trance.  Using the Tallus, she crosses over into Iron Lad’s hellish timeline, where he realizes that he can break the spell and reverse their exiles (Heh), but it will require someone to stay behind…


With Iron Lad sacrificing himself, things progress quickly and Blink and her team prevail (thanks in part to the REAL Watchers, who aren’t thrilled at the zealots who have taken action, breaking their prime directive), leaving them wondering: What now?  This issue reminds me exactly why I’m going to miss this quirky little series, introducing as it has a number of truly great characters like the cowboy version of Black Panther and Peggy Carter as Captain America.  The art is well-done as well, focusing on moments of real emotion perfectly, as when lost Exile Khan sends Blink a message in the final pages of the book.  The fact that Rodriguez can make the cartoony Wolvie fit into the pages of the book without ever feeling awkward or missing any dramatic beats should tell you all you need to know.  Best of all, we end with an upbeat “The Exiles will be out there having adventures that you don’t know about” ending rather than an “Everybody dies” or a depressing “They never saw one another again” variant.


In modern comic publishing, a run of twelve issues is actually, somehow, a moderate success, so I can comfort myself in knowing that we got at least that much out of such an unusual cast and premise.  Exiles #12 reminds me of everything that makes this book worth reading, with strong art, a lot of heart and a fond farewell to one of the best casts in modern comics, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall.  If nothing else, this book will always be remembered for the various alternate realities it pioneered, so we’ll always have pirate Falcon.

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A Nice Ending

It's a shame to see a charming book like this get cancelled, but this issue has enough action, adventure, emotion and heart to make it worth the read. Plus, the art ain't bad, either...

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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