Exiles #3 review

That’a a bit of a dull cover from the talented Dave Bullock, showing the Exiles traversing dimensions – it looks like a final issue deal rather than a third issue image. And I know cartooning is all about exaggeration, but Polaris looks less like a person here than a stick of green licorice.

The first arc in the latest Exiles revival comes to a close with the new members – Blink, Polaris, Beast, the (Scarlet) Witch, the (son of Storm and Black) Panther and Forge – ending an alternate Magneto’s reign in an alternate Genosha.

It’s a low key close to a not-terribly exciting debut storyline. Writer Jeff Parker’s done a good job of introducing his cast, but hasn’t given them anything very interesting to do. Blink notices that their mission to right wrongs hasn’t
necessarily met with total success, and I’ve no doubt Parker will return to this scenario down the line, but for now, it all felt a bit flat. The last iteration of Exiles – Chris Claremont’s New Exiles – flopped so surely it makes sense to begin again with a real grabber of an adventure. Instead we’ve had a pretty standard ‘what if’ scenario, some amusing chat, little displays of power and an anti-climax. Parker can do a lot better than this.

Artist Salva Espin draws people pleasantly, but the art’s very quiet for a superhero title. The bodies lack, as the old Charles Atlas ads might put it, dynamic tension and the more exciting moments, such as Panther attacking Havok, look awkward. The best panel sees Jean Grey let Magneto know what she thinks of him, and I’d like more moments of such intensity.

The last few pages of the book – nicely drawn by Casey Jones and Karl Kesel – see the team arriving at their next assignment on a world apparently ruled by three very strange bedfellows. I’ll pop back next month to see if pace and tone pick up some, but this book needs to up its game to earn a regular place on my reading pile.

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