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There's more to the universe than we know. There are hundreds, thousands, perhaps infinite versions of reality, each branching off from choices that were made differently, from events that had different outcomes. In one world, a familiar superhero became a world-wrecking dictator. In yet another, the man who we've all known as the champion of superhuman equality instead became the most feared mutant on the planet.
And now... they're breaking.
Each universe going out of balance destabilizes the next, setting up a cascade effect that will certainly end in the destruction of all existence.
Enter the Exiles.
Each Exile is an X-man or a "good guy" mutant in his or her reality. The original team was composed of Mimic, Morph, Magnus, Thunderbird, Nocturne, and the Age of Apocalypse's Blink. They all meet on a desert plain, and the Timebroker appears before them, explaining that the instability in the multiverse has led to all of them suffering a terrible fate — death or worse. To combat this, they've been drafted to fix the various problems in each reality, which will eventually allow them to go home.
Their missions take them across a wide variety of dimensions, some of which are different takes on Marvel Comics' main setting, the Marvel Universe (or Earth-616). In other cases, they visit the nooks and crannies of Marvel's long publishing history, including the New Universe of the 80's, and the 2099 setting (where they even recruit 2099's Spider-Man).
Unlike many popular comics, this series stays surprisingly true to Anyone Can Die. Much more often than not, a character's death is irreversible, and some of the partings are especially moving. At least in the earlier parts of the series, whenever a character would die, he'd get a replacement, one with a similar class of powers (substituting Sasquatch for Thunderbird, for instance). This was balanced by the fact that at least some of the characters got happy endings, either in the form of permanent vacation or being able to go back to their home realities and pick up their lives where they left off.
Later in the comic's run, it was taken over by Chris Claremont. The series was shortly relaunched as "New Exiles," and Claremont kept creative duties until that title's cancellation. The series saw a (unfortunately brief) relaunch in 2009 (in the hands of Jeff Parker) that lasted from April until December of that year, but the series was canceled afterwards.
Currently, the series is not being published, and more's the pity.
Provides examples of:
- All Your Powers Combined: Mimic. He can copy 5 powersets at a time, each at half of the original's power.
- Anyone Can Die: One of the series highlights. In the first arc alone, one of them pulled off a Heroic Sacrifice.
- Big Bad: First Hyperion, later Proteus.
- Bluffing the Advance Scout: In Exiles #54, the Timebroker sets up a chain of events that ends with a minor supervillain, feeling unappreciated, setting off a weapon that fills the Earth's atmosphere with foul-smelling gases for 72 hours. All because the Timebroker has foreseen that during those 72 hours an alien invasion fleet will arrive, scan the planet, and decide to move on to somewhere with a nicer atmosphere.
- It was a underpaid, overworked scientist who decided to use his invention to teach people a lesson. The problem was that superheroes made something that would only affect one person cover the entire planet. All for the want of a a stolen Danish
- Brainwashing for the Greater Good
- Changing of the Guard
- Complete Monster: Hyperion.
- The alternate Iron Man seen in the "With An Iron Fist" storyarc takes this Up to Eleven.
- Crowning Moment of Awesome: Mimic taking out an alternate reality Captain America in the Skrull's gladitorial games in ONE HIT - JUST to piss off the Skrulls.
- Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: Beak's reunion with his wife and children.
- Demonic Possession: One or Proteus' powers that let him hijack and kill Mimic and others before eventually being trapped in Morph.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Mimic.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Blink from Age of Apocalypse was finally brought back in this comic, due to fan demand.
- Even further back, she was originally a character in the Phalanx Covenant crossover event that lead up to Generation X. Her main role there was to die before being brought back in Age of Apocalypse.
- Morph has all but completely displaced the original 616 version of the character. It's no real shock that Morph and Blink are pretty much the only permanent members of the Exiles team.
- For Want of a Nail: Morph noted that most of the bad realities had the common thread of The Mighty Thor not arriving on Earth.
- The Heart: Beak.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: ...technically seeing as how Sunfire is not heterosexual, but she and Morph were totally platonically in love with each other and nigh inseperable.
- I Choose to Stay: Morph actually got the chance to go back to his own reality, but wanted to stay behind to help the team.
- Insistent Terminology: Curt Connors would like to remind you that they are fighting Kaiju, not 'giant monsters'.
- Interrupted Cooldown Hug
- Kill'Em All: The only consistent team mates are Blink and Morph, the rest are either put on a bus or killed off.
- Kudzu Plot: The cause being the premature ending of the New Exiles series.
- Lipstick Lesbian: Sunfire
- Mission Control: Exiles always has one of these in their ranks. The first one was the Timebroker, then Dr. Heather Hudson, and then Cat Pryde. The Reboot of the series has Morph playing this role.
- Power Perversion Potential: Morph occasionally offers the ladies to transform into the shape of any man they'd like to have sex with, and it becomes sort of a running gag for him to offer Sunfire to turn into one of the other marvel superheroines.
- Put on a Bus: Blink, Nocturne, Sasquatch, Spider-Man and Thunderbird all left the team towards the end of the first series to settle down either for a vacation or for good.
- Reality Warper: Proteus and the alternate-universe Impossible Man.
- Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: An early story has a running gag where the Exiles and Alpha Flight, while fighting the Hulk, joke about how The Invisible Woman beat him once and never shuts up about it.
- Retcon: The savvy, fast-talking, clever Timebroker turns out to be a Simulacrum run by giant insects who can barely speak english.
- Hardly a retcon, the Timebroker has always been a simulacrum, he said so in his first appearance that he was constructed by the subconcious minds of the Exiles, and was the only ready interface the Timebreakers could use to interact with the team.
- The crystal palace, according to Claremont, is an evolved, sentient Kang the Conqueror.
- Actually, it was Jeff Parker's run that came with this idea, not Chris Claremont's.
- Sacrificial Lion: Magnus. Arguably Namora.
- Seasonal Rot: A fair number of fans disliked Chris Claremont's run, especially how Psylocke was shoe-horned into the team, taking the leadership role away from Blink almost automatically.
- Psylocke couldn't take something that didn't belong to Blink at the time. Sabretooth was the Exiles leader, ever since the original series run, and it even involved him and Mimic butting heads over the fact.
- Send in the Clones: As mentioned on that page, one storyline featured the use of alternate reality Wolverines to deal with an alternate reality Wolverine. That and the Annual, where the Exiles find out about an alternate reality team of Exiles...
- How do you defeat an evil Hyperion? Why you send two good Hyperions to fight him of course!
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The team is sent to various realities to fix incidents which will cause damage to spread throughout The Multiverse.
- Shout-Out: The Monster World arc, one long love letter to Kaiju films and Super Sentai.
- Shape Shifter: Morph
- Split Personality Merge: Morph and Proteus actually come to terms with being in each other's body and mind, respectively in Claremont's New Exiles Annual.
- Straight Gay: Exiles Beast who was actually in a relationship with his 'verse's Wonder Man. Really it was just taking the Ho Yay from their 616 counterparts to its logical conclusion.
- Well, if one assumes that men can't have good friendships without sexualizing them that works, otherwise it doesn't seem logical. It does seem a bit cynical about men.
- According to the script for the unreleased Issue 7 of Exiles II, Beast was supposed to be straight. It seems his relationship with Wonder Man was put in solely for the reason of him staying with the team.
- The Multiverse: Over the course of the series, the Exiles have visited or had members from Earth-616 (the mainstream Marvel universe), the Age of Apocalypse timeline, Earth-2099, the Mojoverse, and a whole lot of previously unknown ones.
- Too Good to Last: Sadly, Jeff Parker's well written run did only last 6 issues.
- Touch of Death: One of Magnus's powers turns anyone he touches into steel.
- Wrench Wench: Kat Pryde