Writer: Saladin Ahmed
Penciller: Javier Rodriguez
Inker: Alvaro Lopez
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Review by Greg Brothers
If you have read any of my other reviews or general thoughts throughout Rogues Portal it comes as no surprise that I am a huge fan of the X-men. All the classic adventures and events pulled me into the books, but it was not until the Age of Apocalypse line that I was all in on an event. With the relaunch of the entire X-Men line in a four-month event I devoured every book there was. While, I along with many other fans, enjoyed alternative versions of our favorite characters, it was an original character that caught many people’s attention. It was here that fans were introduced to the portal-jumping Blink, who won many fans’ hearts. Sadly, as quickly as she blinked into readers lives, she was gone at the end of the event.
For years fans wrote letters, made calls, and pleaded with Marvel to return Blink to the Marvel Universe. Finally, Blink returned to the pages of the Marvel Universe leading a team of universe-hopping characters. Much like the television show Quantum Leap, the team was launched from universe to universe fixing small problems. It was a fun series that introduced unique and some original characters.
In the newest version, Exiles #1 starts on the Moon. The Unseen is chained in place, forced to watch the Earth from a distance. He is being punished by The Watchers, unable to interfere in the worlds around him. However, the Unseen sees a bleak future in the multiverse unless he can stop an unknown force from destroying many versions of earth. It is then he makes the decision to obtain the Tallus, activating it and calling to the semi-retired Blink for help in saving the multiverse.
Exiles #1 takes on the task that many first issues do. While the first couple of pages and panels tackle the foundation of the series, the rest of the first issue begins to assemble the team while setting up the first adversary for the team. Ahmed does an excellent job presenting Blink and the series in a way that is a great jumping on point for new readers. Within a few panels, Ahmed is able to explain the old series while introducing what is new. While the series does an excellent job introducing the world to new readers, it does it in a way that does not make it feel like a retread for long-time fans.
Half the fun of writing a series like this is getting to create new and unique takes on established characters. Although we are only introduced to a couple of characters other than Blink, the ones we do meet are familiar in name but much different in personality. Ahmed spends time introducing us to Blink’s extended family. While small, it lays a nice foundation and background for the character that had been missing in the past. The heritage that is being established for Blink adds her to the growing list of minor-turned-lead characters.
The art team seamlessly switches from the dark moon, to desolate New Jersey, to a bright and vibrant future world. The colors especially pop in the right places, while the shadows engulf panels to help create some mystery.
Verdict: Buy it.
Exiles #1 establishes a story that is friendly to both first-time readers and returning fans. The characters are unique and engaging from the moment you meet them. By using a heavier story, the characters feel as if they have something at stake. The ability to switch easily between dark and light story lines makes each location unique and engaging.