Comics : Exiles #24
Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3
This story is part of a Lookback Series: Filling Gaps
The book Exiles can best be described as that television series Sliders meets What If? in the Marvel Universe. The characters are typically alternate forms of the ones we know, giving tons of creative freedom to do with them as they wish. A team is picked by some being known as the Timekeeper and sent to some alternate world with a mission to 'set things right', meaning fixing that given reality.
The team can rotate around, sending members back to their world and replacing them with others from different realities. I should also say that so far there seems to be two distinct teams performing their missions in this title, usually alternating over to the other teams adventures with each story arc. One team is the Exiles, still adhering to their morals and principles as they try to complete their mission. The other team is Weapon X, and they will do whatever it takes to get home.
Our interest lies in the form of an alternate Spider-Man, a member of Weapon X, he is Peter Parker the Spider, joined with an alien symbiote. The differences are this Spider looks more like Carnage, not to mention he has all the murdering tendencies to boot. Yes, this Spider is a stone-cold killer. The team leader is Gambit, others include Angel, Storm, Hulk (Female), and Vision. This time they go up against a megalomaniacal Iron Man.
May 2003 : SM Guest
Summary: The Spider Appears (Alt. Spider-Man)
Arc: Part 2 of "With An Iron Fist"
Opening up with a veritable standoff between Iron Man and Weapon X, the reader is introduced to the key players. Gambit goes on to say that they have arrived there to help Tony accomplish the defeat of the Inhumans. Only when Gambit reveals he knows Tony killed his own father (by the information the Tallus gives him) does Tony opt to listen.
Gambit tells Tony that there is a key to the force field that will disable it, a preventive measure devised by Reed Richards if the G barrier technology ever became comprimised. The key was left with Simon Williams, better known as that worlds Wonder Man. This is bad news for the team as Tony explains. He goes on to describe when he finally managed to kill the Hulk with a concentrated Gamma bomb. The radiation was too much for the Hulk to absorb, unfortunately Simon Williams was also standing at ground zero at the time.
The combination of Simons ionic energy, the Hulks genetic matter, and the radiation of the bomb, created one of the most dangerous individuals ever to know life. Fortunately for Stark, they had an agreement to each leave the other alone in peace. Simon also resides with the Scarlet Witch and a crippled Doctor Strange, and for all of Starks technology, it doesnt compare to their magic, so he had always been unaware of their location.
The plan is made not to fight, but to merely steal the key. Using talismans provided by the team witch Storm, they can enter the fortification spell without being detected. That is, until Dr. Strange merely snaps the talisman Spider was wearing during an effort to keep the Doctor quiet. Simon isnt happy. While the others keep Simon busy, Vision and Angel sneak to a sub basement to steal the key. The only one to hold their own is female Hulk and she knows she cant do it for long.
Wanda gets into the battle with a shot to Storm, and Spider takes Wanda hostage in an effort to get Simon to stop fighting. This was a bad move on his part. When Wanda gets threatened, Simon loses control, and he changes into this huge green pissed off monster. Just think Hulk times ten and you might scratch the surface.
There is no way Weapon X can deal with this threat, so Gambit uses a little surprise given to him by Tony Stark, a temporary portal to the negative zone. Acting like a vacuum grenade it begins to suck in anything that isnt tied down. Gambit calls Hulk to knock Simon into the portal saying that Spider will throw her a line, only to find out Spider has no plans to save her. Simon and a now equally pissed off Hulk get sucked away.
With one team member gone a new one arrives, this one Colossus. Back on Attilan, it seems with a heavy heart Black Bolt has plans of his own...
This is one hell of a story. Period. Judd Winick knows just what kind of freedom is given to a writer on this book and he uses it to its full potential. The art provided by Kev Walker is gritty and hard-hitting, which may put off some, but I happen to think it works out very well for this story.
Each one seems to have been carefully done so you just couldnt wait to get the next part. Even though I gave away all the details of these issues, dont let that try to dissuade you from picking these up. I dont know what else to say, I loved it. Go buy it. Now.
Spidey relevance aside, a story worth getting. Way to go guys!