Home > Marvel Comics > Exiles #51

Exiles #51

August 20, 2004

Quick Rating: Good
Title: “The Big M” Part 2

In a universe where Mimic went bad, will the Exiles be able to break him out to save the day?

Writer: Tony Bedard
Art: Mizuki Sakakibara
Colors: JC
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Editor: Mike Marts
Cover Art: Mizuki Sakakibara
Publisher: Marvel Comics

When Andrea [Speed, of CXPulp.com] did the advance review for this issue, she didn’t seem to like it very much, but cautioned that I was probably going to enjoy it more than she did. Well, she was right. (Thanks, Andy, I’ll try to return the favor with The Losers next time.) Last issue, the Exiles found themselves with the task of reforming this universe’s Brotherhood of Mutants, then breaking “The Big M” out of prison. They went about their mission, certain that they would again come face-to-face with Magneto, only to learn that this universe’s “Big M” was a version of their own teammate, Mimic, gone bad.

Tony Bedard opens up this issue with a revelation that seems so obvious you’ve got to slap yourself, then go look at last issue again to see if he left enough clues to be satisfactory. From there, it’s a very fast-paced issue, with only a few slow sequences before the big jailbreak attempt that races us straight towards the finale.

In fact, this is the only real fault I find with this issue – the ending was far too abrupt for my tastes. Bedard builds the whole issue around what happened to this world’s version of Mimic as opposed to the one we’re familiar with, and then just as we get to that moment of ultimate tension, the story ends and we’re left with a one-page epilogue. While the ramifications of that epilogue for that world are satisfying, I felt that more could have done, both with the mutants of this world and with our own heroes as they piece together all of the things that happened to them in this story arc. In this age where so many stories get stretched out far beyond any point necessitated by logical storytelling, this storyline felt a bit too compressed… if Bedard had given this just one more issue, I suspect it would have earned a higher score than just plain “good” from me.

Sakakibara does a nice job with the artwork this issue as well – the fight scenes and effects are very good, but she also manages to humanize the characters. Blink, from certain side angles, has a face that looks more realistic than your average comic book uber-beauty, Avalanche looks like an average schlub, and Pyro displays a little paunch that shows he should reconsider the spandex.

The cover is a nice touch as well, mirroring last issue’s cover but replacing the Exiles with the Brotherhood – put size-by-side it’s a clever effect that successfully rescues both issues from Marvel’s chronic case of Irrelevant Cover Syndrome.

This was the first storyline that really made me feel like I was getting what I expected when I started reading this title – tales of “other” Marvel universes and the neat twists and turns that explain how they got that way. As it was, it was an entertaining story, but if Bedard had taken his time, I feel like it would have been a lot better.

Rating: 7/10

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