Exiles #25

Background

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.

Story 'With An Iron Fist (Part 3)'

  Exiles #25
Summary: Spider Appears (Alt. Spider-Man)
Arc: Part 3 of 'With An Iron Fist' (1-2-3)
Editor: Mike Raicht
Writer: Judd Winick
Pencils: Kev Walker
Inker: Simon Coleby

Black Bolt silently flies through his city, coming to rest at the side of his wife, Susan Richards. She questions him about his reading, noting that he holds a book on the story of Masada. She knows what he is planning to do.

A woman walks in with news that Wanda and Strange have contacted them about the key being stolen, it seems another attack on Attilan is for certain. Back in Starks war room, Weapon X is to lead the latest attack. The Inhumans are prepared, as many fly off to meet the enemy head on. The plan of Black Bolt will soon come to frution, and Susan has formed one of her own, unknown to all but herself.

The Inhuman army waits on a stretch of coral out in the open sea as Starks army descends upon them. A brutal war ensues, as Weapon X fights to make their way toward the field to activate the disruptor key. Inside the barrier Black Bolt is ready, and he waits. The barrier is down.

Black Bolt ponders a particular story of genocide. One concerning the Roman army and the Jewish resisters who had fled to a mountaintop. The resisters held off a 2 year siege by the Romans, until Governor Flavius Silva marched against them. Constructing a ramp up the mountain for the army and a battering ram, they finally broke into the Jewish fortress. What they found were that the resisters were already dead. They knew they could not win, so rather than be enslaved or tortured, they robbed the Romans of their victory.

And just as the Romans did, Gambit looks upon masses of dead bodies. Realizing a trap, he calls for the others to run, but before they fully realize what is going on, they are all being transported away. Mission complete.

But its not over for Black Bolt or Starks army. Flying high above, Black Bolt strips off his mask and part of his costume, swelling with sorrow and rage he does not merely speak... he yells as loud as he can.

MASADA!

Nothing is left. The energy wave caused by Black Bolt consumed the entire city, every single body, Starks entire army, all vaporized. Black Bolt robbed Iron Man of his victory. But they are not all gone. Some went into hiding to begin anew, to rebuild the Inhuman race, led by a human leader, his wife. Who now initiates her own plan, that of a dagger from the back of the throat to the front, of Tony Stark.

As he chokes and claws at his wound, Susan rematerializes, telling him how she was made to cloak 300 of her people, and was left to survive, while the others sacrificed themselves, and how she couldnt leave him alive. Guards quicky run in and Susan knows its over. She falls to the ground murdered, right next to the equally lifeless Iron Man.

General Comments

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.

Overall Rating

Spidey relevance aside, a story worth getting. Way to go guys!