Review: New Exiles # 1 and 2
Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Tom Grummett
New Exiles is a cast of dimension hopping heroes out to save various worlds, living in a pink crystal palace. Why has the series relaunced? Well, mostly so the cast can be entirely legendary X-Men scribe Chris Claremont’s characters. These characters include the normal versions of Psylocke and Sage, and alternate versions of the following: Sabretooth, Mystique (Mystiq), Morph, Rogue, and Shadowcat (Cat).
Well, issue one is the possibly the least subtle work of literature I’ve ever encountered. It’s all character pieces as the Exiles have down time. There’s a game of football where Sage wrestles with inner demons… which appear on panel. Sabretooth watches, wondering motivations in drawn out exposition, while Cat has her motivations questioned, then acts blindly rudely to Sage a few panels later. None of this compares to Mystiq flirting with Psyclocke followed by her wondering “Is he flirting with me?” Never have I been so bludgeoned with what’s going on.
The team decides on a mission, but naturally not before some more overwhelmingly obvious characterization and new costumes. Nothing like stopping to get new clothes before trying to save a planet I suppose… and as soon as we get to the new world, we get a cliffhanger, which has nothing to do with anything that follows.
Well, this isn’t a story; it’s just a bunch of explanation. Strangely, even as explanation, there isn’t much to these characters to care about. There’s mystery and angst, but not much else. If you’re going to go all out and give background in a first issue more than this needs to be introduced, and in far less time.
And at this we pick up issue number two with a randomly, unexplained fight. Of course, massive exposition introduces everyone, it just fails to give anything approaching proper motivation for the fighting. Once this ends (with Sabretooth rather unconvincingly trying to kill someone, but punching instead of using claws for some reason), we get Rogue meeting this planet’s Gambit who explains everything, being remarkably comfortable that Rogue isn’t from this planet.
The rest of the issue is content with playing off 615 relationships as everyone meets and reacts to counterparts in the normal Marvel Universe. Much of this makes no sense, such as Gambit being Sue Storm and Namor’s son, but, well, here we are. The rest of the issue sets up a “major” conflict, solved easily, elsewhere by a different part of the task. All of this is, at best, far fetched.
The men all look like Greek gods, the women look like porn stars and are three-quarters naked at all times. The action is big and flashy in both issues.
Okay, let’s review. Tons and tons of exposition, characters with no depth, coincidences upon coincidences, relationships that are illogical, and flashy art with no substance. This is some of the worst of comics and why the genre is looked down upon. Skip this.