Exiles #42 Review

Reviewer: Chris Delloiacono
Story Title: A Nocturne’s Tale: Part 2

Written by: Jim Calafiore
Penciled by: Jim Calafiore
Inked by: Eric Cannon
Colored by: Transparency Digital
Lettered by: Dave Sharpe
Assistant Editors: Cory Sedlmeier & Stephanie Moore
Editor: Mike Marts
Publisher: Marvel Comics

When Cyclops’ attacks!

Exiles has a been a directionless, overly-published book ever since Judd Winick signed as a DC exclusive more than a year ago. Fitting in already written scripts by Winick with those by Chuck Austen has created a flux on the book that has led to some good and other not-so-good tales. The worst part has been the two-a-month publishing the book has seen since the summer. It’s far too much of a book that’s just not that good, and certainly has lost the elements that made this the only Marvel-Mutant book that I read.

I’m sure a lot of big X-fans love the strongly mutant oriented direction the book has taken of late; unfortunately that’s a real bummer for me. I know it’s an X-title so that’s a fair way to go; it’s just that prior to Winick moving on, this book was a really an X-book in name only. This was about time hopping mutants moving through various versions of the Marvel Universe. Yes, mutant storylines were commonplace, but they didn’t rule the roost. This used to be a What If? book with a continuing cast. Now it’s just another mutant book, and the cast I came to love, is rarely in place. It’s unfortunate, but the magic it has been lost over the last several months.

An artist’s tale…

Jim Calafiore has been the closest thing to a regular artist that Exiles has seen since original artist Mike McKone left for the world of DC. Calafiore is pulling double duty writing and penciling this issue and the last. His story focuses on T.J. Wagner known as Nocturne of the Exiles, in a past tale of her life just prior to being pulled from the timestream.

Nocturne’s version of the Marvel Universe has Wolverine serving in the role of the now dead Professor X and Cyclops working as his opposite number as leader of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Last issue closed out Cylcops and his bro’s showing up at the X-Mansion to start some trouble.
This month advances T.J.’s origin of sorts, showing a bit of how she became the mutant we know now, and also where her “supercool” hairdo came from. It’s a typical mutant-centric tale set in a world even darker than the Marvel Universe we all know and love. The story comes to a pretty satisfying conclusion, but doesn’t really offer up much new information about Nocturne. This is classic filler material for a book that needs to ease down on its publishing and not continue to churn out material that doesn’t advance the main cast’s story.

It’s not Jim or Chuck per se…

I like Jim Calafiore’s artwork and Chuck Austen has done a fairly good job working on Exiles since Judd Winick left, but I’ve finally resigned myself to this title’s newfound mediocrity. It was with great reservation that I began reading an X-title, and it’s with some real sorrow that I now say my farewell. What was at one time my favorite Marvel Comic has fallen so far beneath my expectations, coupled with the fact that I’m forced to read the book far too often by Marvel’s boneheaded publishing, mixed with the ridiculous cover price, all tell me now is the time to say au revoir. I only wish I’d dropped the book a few months ago when most of the joy was already gone. Que sera, sera.