EXILES #1 / Writer: Saladin Ahmed / Artist: Javier Rodriguez, Alvaro Lopez & Jordie Bellaire / Letterer : Joe Caramagna / Marvel Comics / April 11th 2018
Saladin Ahmed (the man behind the masterpiece that was Black Bolt) is back with his next foray into the Marvel Universe, in Exiles #1. This book has endless potential and possibilities; it features a diverse cast of characters who come together to rescue the multiverse from an ominous being called the Time-Eater. The creative team and premise behind this idea were enough to get me excited, way back in January when it was announced, and I can confirm that the hype was worth it.
Blink is back, enjoying what seems to be a perfectly nice and quiet life, when the Tallus calls to her and leads her to The Unseen (better known as Nick Fury, Sr.). When the latter tasks our protagonist with saving the multiverse, she is sent out to by the Tallus, which seems to be assembling a team for the upcoming conflict. The plot of this book is simple enough, despite the premise being grounded in concepts that can be somewhat confusing. As someone who’s never read the original Exiles run, I didn’t feel out of place reading this issue. The relevant information is given quite clearly in the first few pages (there is a whole lot of info dumping, but it didn’t feel forced or overwhelming). This first issue acts as the first part of the team formation portion (though, it seems this will be completed in the upcoming issue, if the cover for issue #2 is anything to base my assumptions on). I’m happy to see Ahmed make use of Nick Fury, Sr. and his new status quo. I’ve always kind of wondered what was going on with him since Original Sin. I feel his use for this series is the most logical choice for his character; this series is a great way to showcase him a little more often in the Marvel universe.
Exiles #1 is a good start to the series; not perfect, but good. It was a lot of set-up, so there were only glimpses of characterization that shined through, but it makes sense, given that the team needs to be brought together before being able to immerse fully in the characters. Knowing what Ahmed did with Black Bolt, I have all the faith in the world that we will get some amazing character moments in the future, so I’m staying patient. Something I loved was the stakes of this comic; they are incredibly high, which gives off this feeling that this book is important. Hopefully, Exiles will have some reference or link with Secret Wars, since the multiverse was rebuilt after the event (the Time-Eater could be somehow related to that). I can’t wait to find out.
The art is a really strong point of this issue. Rodriguez, Lopez and Bellaire’s work mix perfectly to give off this fun upbeat tone. Despite that, the panels that looked the best were the darkest and grim ones that featured The Unseen. It opened up the book perfectly, and had me hooked from the first minute. It features a great range of talent from the artistic team, who prove themselves able to showcase both bright, vibrant colors and dark, ominous ones back-to-back without leaving the reader disoriented. The panel work in this book is also something to be praised. The creativity behind how they moved and were used to display the planet destruction was simply brilliant.
Overall, this first issue of Exiles was solid. The entire creative team brought their A-game and are building up to an epic story. This issue included a lot of exposition, which made the start a little slow. Though this makes sense for the first issue, and it gave me enough mystery to want to keep reading without getting bogged down in what can be complicated concepts. The entire team did a great job, and I simply can’t wait to see all the possibilities explored for our team of multiversal hoping misfits.
Verdict: 4 out of 5 zombified Galactus heads.