Welcome back, True Believers! Welcome to this week’s Comic Fanatic! Not as much new stuff this week (compared to last week’s launch of Avengers VS X-Men), but there is definitely one you should not miss. Saga #2 hit shelves this week, and it is really good. Following up from last month’s debut issue, Saga continues to follow Hazel as she tells the story of her birth. This issue continues the world building, and it keeps getting stranger. It’s a world of magic, swords, and fantasy races, as well as spaceships, guns, and robots. What a wonderful world, indeed. I don’t want spoil anything for you, but it is a fantastic read. If you haven’t started Saga yet, it’s not too late to get on board with this strange and wonderful story. Fiona Staples’ art continues to impress. Don’t miss Saga #2.
That’s it for the new stuff for the week, but I have been reading a great deal of the Exiles. Finished it actually. Finished it and loved it. A really great series. The gist of Exiles is that different mutants from different alternative universes have become unhinged from time, and in order to return to their realities, they have to go from universe to universe, saving the day. A little convoluted, but it gets explained better throughout the series. But that doesn’t really matter. What does, is you have different versions of characters you know, travelling to different universes where anything can happen. Anything! Charles Xavier as a terrorist, Sue Storm leading Hydra, or the surface losing a war with the Atlanteans.
Apart from the alternate universes where anything can happen, the other great part is the roster. The series lasted 100 issues, and as with any story of sufficient length, you really get to know the characters, and the Exiles are very cool characters. Most of the cast is pretty dynamic, going through changes, and reacting to the different worlds they encounter. The cast is also pretty flexible. There are a few main characters, but the cast rotates fairly often. No character is safe from harm, death, or (heaven forbid) completing their mission and returning home. You never know when someone new will show up or who it’ll be.
The story starts with Blink from the Age of Apocalypse universe (a teleporter), and she remains the leader for most of the series. She is really a very cool character. If you follow her whole arc from the start of AoA, to the end of Exiles, there is a huge amount of character growth. She starts as a scared little girl and ends up the leader of a very effective and awesome group of heroes. The rest of the initial cast are Morph (shapeshifter), Nocture (Nightcrawler’s daughter), Magnus (son of Rogue and Magneto, turns people to metal with a touch), Mimic (copies others’ abilities) and John Proudstar.
Great characters are nothing without great stories, and the Exiles does not disappoint. The worlds they travel to, and the enemies they encounter, push the Exiles to their limits, and sometimes beyond. Because the worlds are alternate universes, anything can happen, anyone can die, and whole planets can explode. It’s a great setup for a story. That’s not to say Exiles is a perfect book. Chris Claremont pretty much ruined it at the end, and his New Exiles run that followed was bad. But despite Claremont, the rest of the series (the other 95 issues) are all really, really great. Some of my favorite Marvel stories written. If you’re in the mood for something just a little different, check out Exiles. It’s a great series. That’s it for this week. Until next time!