This week I have an X-Men guide update that is not meant to be an X-Men guide, although it is actually an extremely X-Men guide. Confused again? I hope this update helps ease your confusion, because today I rebuilt my Exiles Guide!
Here’s my simple pitch for Exiles: imagine if Marvel What if? had a single team visiting all of the many realities it explored, and most of them were mutants.
(Or, if you’re as old as me, imagine Cursorsbut with mutants!)
This aptly describes Exiles as it was originally launched by Judd Winick and Mike McKone. It was anchored by Age of Apocalypse’s beloved Blink and featured a version of Morph that resembled his X-Men: The Animated Series incarnation, but all other characters were alternate versions of the Marvel-616 mutants. Or, in one case, a potential new generation of mutants with the introduction of Nocturne – Nightcrawler’s daughter!
Part of the enduring charm of the original 100-issue series of Exiles is that it’s a straight-up sprint that isn’t involved in any Marvel-616 mutant shenanigans. It included mutants, but it was NOT a tangled X-book with the rest of the lineage. Other than a single story in Unlimited X-Men and a banter in three numbers with House of MExiles was 100% self-contained since issues 1-99 and Annual 1.
Then Chris Claremont came along.
Fresh out of his race Weird X-Menhe had alternate plans for this team – dropping Blink and bringing in Psylocke for a series reboot as New exiles. Whether fans missed Blink or it just exhausted its welcome, the series only lasted a year of accelerated release. Jeff Parker revived it as Exiles (2009) a few months later with Blink intact, but it only lasted one arc.
There is still some love for this concept and these characters. Greg Pak’s X-Treme X-Men (2012) lifted the concept from the ground up, but wisely didn’t co-opt the name since the book centered on Marvel-616 Dazzler. Much later, Saladin Ahmed launched Exiles (2018) with Blink back in the lead role but with more non-mutant members from across the Marvel Universe.
This Exiles guide is now rebuilt from the ground up, which included re-checking EVERY ISSUE to make sure I captured every collection! The guide now includes more specific locations for annuals, one-shots, and die by the sword; continuity notes for Blink and Nocturne; comments on when each writer started their run; and the modern CK standard of ISBNs, digital purchase links, and Marvel Unlimited reading links for each title in the guide.
I’m starting to run out of X-Guides to update, but fear not – there are still some big ones to finish in this series of weekly updates before moving on to another major franchise. However, I am taking a week-long break from this update series next week, as I will be in the middle of a special week-long update series. Log back in on May 5 for the next X-Guide update!