Comics : Exiles #79
Part 1 / Part 2
This story is part of a Lookback Series: Filling Gaps
The Exiles have met Kevin MacTaggert, aka the reality-bending mutant known as Proteus, which resulted in his possession of Mimic's body. Using his abilities, Proteus traveled to the alternate dimension known as the New Universe where he discarded Mimic's withered husk for that of John Tensen, aka Justice. After his defeat by the Exiles with the help of Longshot, Proteus' next stop was the 2099 universe where he found the perfect body: Hulk 2099! With the help of Spider-Man 2099, the Exiles were able to get Proteus to leave that dimension and proceed on to the next. After a quick stop in the Squadron Supreme universe and reluctantly picking up Power Princess as a member, the Exiles are on their way to the next universe Proteus has visited...
SABRETOOTH (Victor Creed): Enhanced senses and healing.
BLINK (Clarice Ferguson): Teleportation.
SASQUATCH (Dr. Heather Hudson): Super strength and senses.
LONGSHOT: Agility and luck powers.
SPIDER-MAN 2099 (Miguel O'Hara): Spider-like powers and talons.
POWER PRINCESS (Zarda): Super strength and flight.
Jun 2006 : SM Spin-Off App
Summary: Spider-Man 2099 Appears, Spider-Man Cameo
Arc: Part 1 of "World Tour: Future Imperfect"
Rick Jones recounts his story of how a war wiped out almost everyone he knew while he was sharing bodies with Captain Marvel and safely in the Negaverse. Before she died, Cap banged her bands together to bring him back...much to his dismay. Rick emphasizes that the only thing that could stop the Hulk was the Hulk, and that's why he was telling his story to the Hulk before him, which is actually Proteus. Rick asks him to kill the Hulk, now known as the Maestro, who has become super powerful when nuclear warheads were dropped and he absorbed the radiation. Proteus has no problem with that task.
Back at the Crystal Palace, Zarda aka Power Princess assumes immediate command of the team with no resistance from the true leader, Blink. Zarda is happy with this turn and the others reluctantly accept it in order to move on. Heather fills her in on the future imperfect world they're headed to with how the story for the Maestro will end without interference. She theorizes that Proteus will be looking to upgrade his body to a stronger model. This gives Zarda an idea on how they'll win the day.
Back on the world, Rick leads Proteus to his trophy room where he equips him with a weapon the mutant Forge invented but was nailed before getting a chance to use. Rick has to encase the metallic gun in cloth before Proteus can take it, then sends him on his way with a thin disguise, relying on his skin color to keep people looking the other way. Proteus sets out for his new conquest, reminding himself to properly thank the foolish Rick for his unwitting help.
As the day is when Maestro gives his subjects a weekly audience, Proteus marches right up to him bypassing all of them. When gloating about how easy it was to get to him, Maestro reveals he commanded it to be so, and that he knows who Proteus is. His confusion is short lived when the Exiles disrobe to reveal themselves as having allied with Maestro to stop him. Proteus uncovers his gun and opens fire while the Exiles scatter. Blink teleports his gun away, but Proteus uses a sonic clap on them before leaping onto Maestro and stating to possess him. However, he gets a painful feedback as Maestro is revealed to be Morph with the metal implant Heather gave him.
The Exiles attack, bringing down the house on Proteus. Zarda borrows one of Longshot's daggers and uses her strength to send it into his arm. Unfortunately, she nailed the wrong green guy, and just pissed Maestro off.
Another classic alternate reality, and probably a favorite among fans. It was a clever move on Bedard's part, with a nice couple of twists throughout the story. It's also good to see the personality clash between Zarda and the team, adding some depth to their alliance. Also, two clever in-story ways of catching new readers up to the events of that story who may not have had a chance to read it.
4.5 Webs. Another great universe choice, and more creative ways of not making this concept feel boring and dragged out. Overall, World Tour is going great so far.
In every issue, Morph takes on some familiar and unusual forms. Here, we'll try to chronicle as many as we can in a section we'll call: MORPH'S MORPHS!
Morph's morphs: Hulk, Maestro