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Too Awesome To Miss: EXILES

Each week, we'll take a look at a story, series, or any aspect of a comic that new readers may have missed out on and let you know the details.

As a comic book fan, you can't read everything. It's impossible. Hundreds of books come out every week, and sometimes, a classic may slip through your fingers. Maybe you got into comic books AFTER something awesome came out. Don't worry, we plan on getting you caught up on some series or a concept that may have slipped through your fingers.

This week, we delve into the first collected volume of a series near and dear to my heart, and one of the comic books that reignited my passion for comic books: The first collected volume of Exiles: Down the Rabbit Hole.

In 2001... wait... 2001? Has it really been 11 years since Exiles came out? Apparently so... Anyway, in 2001, a comic came out that blew me away. It was called "Exiles." The series ran for 100 issues before it was cancelled. The first collected volume of this series came out in 2002 and contained issues 1-4.

These four issues consisted of a dynamite creative team, and some people say it was the best team the book ever had: Mike McKone on art (Uncanny X-Force starting with issue 25) and Judd Winick as the writer (Batwing, Catwoman). These first four issues also feature Mark McKenna on ink.

It was this insane mixture of the traditional super-hero comic with incredibly familiar science fiction elements. For me, it stood above the rest. Exiles mixtures a time-tested, classic team comic book, filled with memorable characters with multi-dimensional travel.

What's most appealing about this first volume is the sense of familiarity most Marvel fans will have with these characters. The original team, within these first four issues, consists of Mimic, Morph, Blink, Nocturne, Thunderbird, and Magnus. Now, all of these characters come from different universes from within Marvel, and none of them are from Marvel's main universe, 616.

This comic brought back a fan favorite character from the realm of Age of Apocalypse, Blink. As well as what looked like to be Morph from that same time line, which you quickly find out that there are an amazing amount of parallel universes and from time-to-time, character will recognize each other with out ever having truly met. Fans will also be familiar with a few of the world's and tasks these characters have to accomplish, since they were once major events or stories in the Marvel U.

All these characters follow the "guidance" of a character called the Timebroker, who readers know little to nothing about for most of the series. The goal of this team is to travel to other universes and fix something that has gone wrong or that universe will cease to exist. If the team does not comply, it will affect their universe or their lives drastically, and in most cases, said character will die.

One idea that readers will get accustomed to right away is that no one is safe from death... no one. Because none of these characters are from the 616 Universe, it gives this book more leeway to do whatever they want with these characters.

The book is a lot more than a group of people accomplishing goals. The book deals heavily with character's pasts and their ability to cope with the human experience, even if they are super-human. Friendships are made, some that blossom into romances. Friends and lovers accomplish great feats, and others perish in battle.

If I could say anything about this book, it's that it's Marvel's grand experiment to do whatever they want with characters and stories, with minimal fan repercussion. While Down the Rabbit Hole may not get heavily into these topics, there's a wonderful set-up to future story lines, and a brilliant set-up to how this book works. I won't reveal much, but as a set-up to an on-going series that breaks most standard comic book rules, it's four issues that will keep you hooked.

All-in-all, it's a trade that will get you hooked to a series featuring characters new and old you'll quickly fall in love with. While the series had it's up and down moments, this first collection, along with the rest of Winick's run on this series, is fantastic and worth checking out.

Exiles: Down the Rabbit Hole is a brilliant mixture of super-hero comics you are familiar with and science-fiction, blended together into one of my personal favorite Marvel series of all time. This is a trade that is too awesome to miss.

Have you guys read Exiles: Down the Rabbit Hole? What do you guys think?

Mat "Inferiorego" Elfring is a comedian, writer, and host of the internet show no one watches, Barely Watchable. Follow him on Twitter: @inferiorego

34 Comments
Posted by ArtisticNeedham

I loved the whole series. It was best in the beginning by Winick and McKone. The comic was great. I sort of stopped reading when Claremont took over, but that was because most of the original characters were gone, and Mimic had just gone mad because of the Brood and tried to kill everyone and they had to kill him. Mimic was such an awesome character. Loved this stuff.

Posted by ivolution2k1

mimic, sabretooth and morph made this title amazing

Posted by haydenclaireheroes

I would love to see you guys write about the Spider-girl series

Posted by KRYPTON

Mimic had the coolest superpowers in the Exiles series

Posted by nomadicxnightmare

They don't write em like that anymore... Loved the Exiles.

Edited by bigsoto74

I am a big fan of the Exiles and would love to see something more happen with the title. The relationship between Blink and Mimic in my opinion was one of Marvels best couples. Sabretooth was the an awesome addition to the team and he was actually a great leader. to see another side of Sabretooth was a welcome change and actually made me reread my old Age of Apocalypse comics. Mimic is still by far my favorite character and I wish he never died. I still have trouble believing that he is dead. I know Proteus drained all his energy and killed him, but he did have the Healing power of Wolverine and Deadpool. It would be pretty easy to bring him back to life. The best team make up to bring back in my opinion is Mimic, Blink, Morph, Sabretooth, Nocturne and Spider-Man 2099.

Posted by MarvelMan1985

One of the best new concepts in over a decade I can say in honesty. This series made Mimic my favorite hero for some time. But Morph, Sabretooth and Blink made this series rock solid as well. Too bad the series went down the gutter starting with issue 90 (in my humble opinion).

Posted by revbucky

This looks very interesting.

Posted by evilvegeta74

King Hyperion!!!

Posted by inferiorego

@evilvegeta74 said:

King Hyperion!!!

Oh god.... I just had some hatred boil up in my stomach.... Best villain ever

Posted by KainScion

god i miss namora

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Haven't read Down the Rabbit Hole but definitely a fan of exiles. Neat!

Posted by redhood21

Exiles was great!!! Mimic from Exiles is still one of my all time favorite comicbook characters.

Posted by Mercy_

YESSSSSSS

Moderator
Posted by Mumbles

this title was good. read it from the beginning, but didn't finish the series. not sure why though?

Posted by GothamRed

The reason this series was made: The characters were so awesome that they would have hijacked any other X-Book they were put in. It was so bad they had to send them to different universes, but they always came back.

Posted by Renchamp

This is a great idea for a feature. I was always interested in this title. I just may pick this up when cash flows more freely.

Moderator Online
Posted by eldestrisk

Great idea guys. And Exiles would always be a part of us.

It would be great to have this section for non big comic companies also.

Posted by BatWatch

I'm much more of a DC fan, but two must read Marvel titles are Exiles and Runaways. I was very disappointed when they destroyed the original team and came up with that other messed up version. What was it? New Exiles? Exiles Extreme? Anybody know what caused that abortion?

Posted by Or35ti

I've always been interested in this series and I'm really glad you guys are starting this weekly article :D

Posted by n25philly

The series was awesome during Winick's run, but started to go downhill afterwards because they started screwing with the concept and it lost the thoughtful and emotional stories.

Edited by feebadger

Dammit! I was just about to start a series of blogs on this subject and you've beaten me to it! Damned fine job though and Exiles is a great starter for it.

Posted by Billy Batson

@feebadger said:

Dammit! I was just about to start a series of blogs on this subject and you've beaten me to it! Damned fine job though and Exiles is a great starter for it.

LOL, Babs didn't write this.
BB

Online
Posted by feebadger

@Billy Batson: Ooh, how embarrassing! Thanks for pointing that one out BB! now, WHY did i think that was who wrote this!?

Posted by Scribbles

Exiles made Mimic cool again. That's all you need to know.

Posted by inferiorego

@feebadger said:

@Billy Batson: Ooh, how embarrassing! Thanks for pointing that one out BB! now, WHY did i think that was who wrote this!?

Because Babs and I look exactly alike...

Don't worry, in the three years I've been working here, that's not the first time that's happened.

Posted by fodigg

I loved this book, then Claremont took over writing...

Posted by charlieboy

loved the whole series.

Posted by Diamondblade

Was my ultimate favorite... I miss the eXiles.

Posted by feebadger

@inferiorego said:

@feebadger said:

@Billy Batson: Ooh, how embarrassing! Thanks for pointing that one out BB! now, WHY did i think that was who wrote this!?

Because Babs and I look exactly alike...

Nah, Babs has a better beard X)

Posted by wsst

IS NOT SPAM:

I'm leaving COMICVINE. I would like to donate my profile.

username = wsst

password = iceman

change password and enjoy!

Posted by Shoe

exiles was fantastic. the whole first run of 100 issues never dissappointed me. Vol 2 was crapola, but the 5 issues of volume 3 that made it out were also a great book. Too bad the crappiness of vol 2 killed it.

BRING BACK THE EXILES. NEEDS ME SOME MORE ALT-U GOODNESS!

Posted by SupremeHyperion

Exiles is a must read series for anyone who missed it. wish we had more books like this today.

Posted by KidSupreme

i am not gonna check this out.