There's more to the universe
than we know. There are hundreds, thousands, perhaps infinite versions of reality, each branching off from choices that were made differently, from events that had different outcomes. In one world, a familiar superhero
became a world-wrecking dictator. In yet another, the man who we've all known as the champion of superhuman equality
instead became the most feared mutant on the planet
Little does anyone know, but all of these different realities
are linked, part of a great whole
And now... they're breaking.
Each universe going out of balance destabilizes the next, setting up a cascade effect that will certainly end in the destruction of all existence.
Enter the Exiles.
Each Exile is an X-man or a "good guy" mutant in his or her reality. The original team was composed of Mimic
, and the Age of Apocalypse's Blink
. They all meet on a desert plain, and the Timebroker
appears before them, explaining that the instability in the multiverse has led to all of them suffering a terrible fate — death or worse
. To combat this, they've been drafted to fix the various problems in each reality
, which will eventually allow them to go home.
Their missions take them across a wide variety of dimensions, some of which are different takes on Marvel Comics
' main setting, the Marvel Universe (or Earth-616). In other cases, they visit the nooks and crannies of Marvel's long publishing history, including The New Universe
of the 80's, and the 2099 setting (where they even recruit 2099's Spider-Man).
Unlike many popular comics, this series stays surprisingly true to Anyone Can Die
. Much more often than not, a character's death is irreversible, and some of the partings are especially moving
. At least in the earlier parts of the series, whenever a character would die, he'd get a replacement
, one with a similar class of powers (substituting Sasquatch for Thunderbird
, for instance). This was balanced by the fact that at least some of the characters got happy endings, either in the form of permanent vacation or being able to go back to their home realities and pick up their lives where they left off.
Later in the comic's run, it was taken over by Chris Claremont
. The series was shortly relaunched as "New Exiles," and Claremont kept creative duties until that title's cancellation. The series saw a (unfortunately brief) relaunch in 2009 (in the hands of Jeff Parker) that lasted from April until December of that year, but the series was canceled afterwards.
Currently, the series is not being published. As of July 2012, it will get a "spiritual successor" in Greg Pak's X-Treme X-Men.
Provides examples of:
- All Your Powers Combined: Mimic. He can copy 5 powersets at a time, each at half of the original's power.
- Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome: In the second reality they come to, it's implied that reality's version of Mimic shares much of his history with the team's Mimic, meaning he'd eventually lead the X-Men to unbelievable heights. Or he would have, if half the X-Men hadn't been killed by Jean Grey.
- In a reality ruled by Skrulls since the eighteen hundreds, Reed Richards is one of the only free superpowered beings, and is able to reverse-engineer Skrull tech in a few days.
- One Reed Richards realised his reality's version of Iron Man was evil, and planned accordingly.
- In a darker example of this trope, one Mimic copied powers of Professor X and Magneto and became his world's greatest supervillain. Until the team's Mimic convinced him to reform.
- Anyone Can Die: One of the series highlights. In the first arc alone, one of them pulled off a Heroic Sacrifice.
- Even worse for Weapon X, who never have the same line-up twice.
- Bald of Evil: When Hyperion returns, this is his look.
- Big Bad: First Hyperion, later Proteus. Later an evil Sue Storm is the main enemy.
- Bluffing the Advance Scout: In Exiles #54, the Timebroker sets up an elaborate chain of events that ends with Earth's atmosphere being filled with foul-smelling gases for 72 hours. All because the Timebroker has foreseen that during those 72 hours an alien invasion fleet will arrive, scan the planet, and decide to move on to somewhere with a nicer atmosphere.
- Brainwashing for the Greater Good
- Changing of the Guard: Frequently.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Mimic versus an alternate version of Steve Rodgers in a world ruled by Skrulls. It's a title gladiatorial fight, and it lasts all of five seconds, ending decidedly in Mimic's favor.
- Demonic Possession: One or Proteus' powers that let him hijack and kill Mimic and others before eventually being trapped in Morph.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Mimic.
- Evil Counterpart: Every member of Weapon X is a morally murky version of established characters, like a She-Hulk who works as a leg-breaker, a Peter Parker merged with the Carnage symbiote, or an Iron Man who started a world war.
- Eye Scream: Inflicted on a version of Iron Man by Longshot.
- Fish out of Water: Mimic comes from one of the most pleasant realities we ever see, one where superheroes are adored. About the only bad things we know about it are that Jean Grey is (probably) dead, and that Reed Richards abandoned his family in the pursuit of science. All the bleak realities the team visit begin to wear on Mimic after a while.
- For Want of a Nail: Morph noted that most of the bad realities had the common thread of The Mighty Thor not arriving on Earth.
- Future Slang: Marvel2099 shows up, ridiculous slang and all.
- The Heart: Beak.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: ...technically seeing as how Sunfire is not heterosexual, but she and Morph were totally platonically in love with each other and nigh inseperable.
- Hybrid Power: Magnus, an alternate son of Magneto and Rogue, has a distinctive combination of his parents' power: he has the power of magnetism from his father, and a variation of his mother's deadly touch; in this case skin to skin contact will cause the victim to turn to pure metal.
- I Choose to Stay: Morph actually got the chance to go back to his own reality, but wanted to stay behind to help the team.
- Insistent Terminology: Curt Connors would like to remind you that they are fighting Kaiju, not 'giant monsters'.
- Interrupted Cooldown Hug: Thunderbird and his alternate-reality counterpart very nearly talk a rampaging Hulk down. Then Deadpool shoots the big guy in the head.
- Kill 'em All: The only consistent team mates are Blink and Morph, the rest are either put on a bus or killed off.
- Killer Robot: Everyone hates Sentinels.
- Weapon X's iteration of Vision has no compunctions about murdering children.
- Kill It with Fire: Mimic's solution to a murderous version of Namor. He was in a bad mood that day.
- Kudzu Plot: The cause being the premature ending of the New Exiles series.
- Lipstick Lesbian: Sunfire
- Manipulative Bastard: A version of Iron Man, who arranged wars, diseases and disasters that ravaged his world just so that he could be in charge.
- Mission Control: Exiles always has one of these in their ranks. The first one was the Timebroker, then Dr. Heather Hudson, and then Cat Pryde. The Reboot of the series has Morph playing this role.
- No Holds Barred Beat Down: An alternate of Namor inflicts one on Mimic, who returns the favor moments later.
- Noodle Incident: The week spent with the Moose Men. The narration says not to ask. From what we can see, it was incredibly boring.
- No Sell: In issue #4 a version of Nightcrawler tries teleporting multiple times to disable Nocturne, who's more than used to the effects, what with being his daughter.
- in issue #5, Blink tries to teleport the Hulk. It doesn't work.
- Not His Sled: In their second mission, the team arrives at the Trial of the Phoenix and assume that Jean Grey has just been replaced by the Phoenix. She hasn't, which becomes a problem when they're told their mission is to kill her.
- Oh, Crap: The team arrives in the middle of Canada, with no idea why they're there. Cue The Incredible Hulk.
: (In the shape of a chicken
) "HULK! IT'S THE &%*@#$ HULK! RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!"
- In another reality, the Skrulls have this when they see Terrax is approaching Earth. They instantly abandon the planet.
- Everyone's reaction to finding themselves in Mojoworld.
- Opposites Attract: Mimic comes from a near-utopian reality. Blink comes from the Age of Apocalypse. Their experiences could not be much more different, and yet they fall in love.
- People Puppets: Nocturne can possess people for up to twenty-four hours, but it leaves their minds scrambled afterward.
- Power Perversion Potential: Morph occasionally offers the ladies to transform into the shape of any man they'd like to have sex with, and it becomes sort of a running gag for him to offer Sunfire to turn into one of the other marvel superheroines.
- Put on a Bus: Blink, Nocturne, Sasquatch, Spider-Man and Thunderbird all left the team towards the end of the first series to settle down either for a vacation or for good.
- Race Lift: Sasquatch, normally a white guy, is in this series a black woman.
- Rage Breaking Point: One bad reality too many makes Mimic snap.
- Reality Warper: Proteus and the alternate-universe Impossible Man.
- Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: An early story has a running gag where the Exiles and Alpha Flight, while fighting the Hulk, joke about how The Invisible Woman beat him once and never shuts up about it.
- Retcon: The crystal palace, according to Jeff Parker, is an evolved, sentient Kang the Conqueror.
- Sacrificial Lion: Magnus. Arguably Namora.
- Send in the Clones:
- One storyline featured the use of an army of alternate reality Wolverines to deal with an alternate reality Wolverine.
- The Annual in which the Exiles find out about an alternate reality team of Exiles.
- How do you defeat an evil Hyperion? Why you send two good Hyperions to fight him of course!
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The team is sent to various realities to fix incidents which will cause damage to spread throughout The Multiverse.
- Shoot the Dog: Weapon X's stock in trade.
- Shout-Out: The Monster World arc, one long love letter to Kaiju films and Super Sentai.
- Shape Shifter: Morph
- Split Personality Merge: Morph and Proteus actually come to terms with being in each other's body and mind, respectively in Claremont's New Exiles Annual.
- Straight Gay: Exiles Beast who was actually in a relationship with his 'verse's Wonder Man. Really it was just taking the Ho Yay from their 616 counterparts to its logical conclusion.
- Storyboarding the Apocalypse: When the team refuse to take part in a mission, the Tallus shows them exactly what will happen, making them feel every second of it.
- The Multiverse: Over the course of the series, the Exiles have visited or had members from Earth-616 (the mainstream Marvel universe), the Age of Apocalypse timeline, Earth-2099, the Mojoverse, and a whole lot of previously unknown ones.
- Tempting Fate: Terrax announces there is no mortal mightier than he. Cue the strongest one there is.
- Token Evil Teammate: Magik is this to the Exiles.
- Touch of Death: One of Magnus's powers turns anyone he touches into steel.
- Wolverine Publicity: One notorious storyline took this to the next level with the team replaced by an entire group of Wolverines who are tasked with stopping an evil alternate Wolverine. Yes.
- Would Hurt a Child: Weapon X.
- Wrench Wench: Kat Pryde