Exiles #21

Background

On this world, the Legacy virus was an epidemic that eclipsed the Black Plague. As it only affected mutants at first, not much was done to fight it. However, soon it started to spread to normal people with abnormal DNA. Doug Ramsey, the New Mutant known as Cypher who could decipher any language, was one of the victims of the virus. His best friend, the mutant member of the techno- organic Phalanx Race Warlock, tried to help save his best friend by combining their life forces into one.

The disease combined with Warlock's physiology created an all-new disease. They became a creature that could infect mutant and human alike with but a touch. Some victims became zombie-like constructs. The rest became evil monsters, dominating the planet and known as the Vi-Locks.

The Exiles have arrived to face-off against the techno-organic creatures, and to meet the only thing fighting against them; the Avengers. They deduce their mission is to help them find the original Vi-Lock, Cypher, in order to create a vaccine for the infection. Unfortunately, he's being held in the main lair of the Primes, the transformed superhuman population of the world and leaders of the Vi-Locks.

Story Details

  Exiles #21
Summary: Vi-Lock Spider-Man, MJ as Spider-Woman (Alt.)
Arc: Part 2 of 'Legacy (Exiles)' (1-2-3)

At Mainframe, the Vi-Lock leader assures the transformed Hulk, called Banner, that the Avengers nor the Exiles are of no concern to them. The fresh wires they faced off against made contact long enough with one of the team to gleam the necessary information to deduce the heroes would make their way there to save the Vi-Locks a lot of trouble. His name is Forge, and he leads the Vi- Locks.

At the Avengers' enclave, the heroes are briefed by Henry Pym on the plan of attack. Along with the Exiles are Icegirl, Rachel Summers, Emma Frost, Daredevil, Power Fist, Havok, Rhino, Leech, Blob, Frog, Spider-Woman, Dr. Octopus and Beast. Morph, however, finds the plan ridiculous and unnecessarily dangerous. Pym assures them it's low-risk, that the only way to infiltrate the base which is essentially a living machine they must all be coated with the Warlock virus. The heroes are all in, but it takes the revelation that changelings are immune to convince Morph to go.

The big brains set to work over the next 4 days while the other Avengers prepare to set up the Exiles with lodgings. As they leave, Power Fist hits on Nocturne while Spider-Woman introduces herself to Sunfire as Mary Jane Watson. Morph talks to Rachel about her being a telepath, and wanting to try something he came up with when trapped on a world full of Skrulls.

Later, Blink checks out the DVDs the Avengers took from hotels over the years while Mimic mopes. She finally confronts him about his attitude when he reveals he's sick of this life and wants to go home. He misses the stability of knowing what was what and having all his friends in one piece, sick of seeing them transformed or evil with each new world. Blink asks what she can do, he asks she just tolerate him and be his friend, despite her thinking they were more.

Three days later, the first wave infiltrates the base without detection. The second wave calls the attention of the Vi-Locks on them in order to keep them occupied. A fight follows while Blink, Spider-Woman, Havok and Nocturne track down the containment center and begin to track down which canister holds Cypher. Forge, meanwhile, tries to determine why the heroes would give themselves away so foolishly, then discovers the other group in the containment center. He gets down there and engages them, infecting Blink in the process and destroying Cypher after reading her mind. She evacuates everyone and Mimic rushes her to Pym, but she tells him they failed. Without Cypher, the Tallus says the only solution to this world is to destroy it.

General Comments

Now this was a good second part. The heroes have it all figured out how to take down the baddies, but end up getting screwed in the end and given an impossible situation. Also, some nice character development between Mimic and Blink which show some rocky times ahead for the teammates. Also, it was a brilliant twist in this issue to show Forge actually in charge of the Vi-Locks, rather than the naturally assumed Cypher.

Overall Rating

4.5 Webs. Twists and turns and dangers galore; this is the way to set up a climax.

Footnote

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: General Custer, Warlock, Abraham Lincoln, a clown, Transformer