I’ve never read an issue of Exiles before, but I had to pick this issue up because it has a connection to one of the lamest lines of comics of the 1980s: the New Universe. The NewU was intended to be like the world outside our window, where life is normal until a great event happens and gives people super-powers. In concept, it’s actually rather clever, and came before other universes started popping up. In practice, though, it stunk worse than the end of a busy day at Kindercare. Most of the heroes were lame, the quality of the creators was low, and the books in general had a low-rent feel to them.
Naturally, I love the damn comics. I can’t resist them. I’m a dork.
So I had to pick up this book to see what’s up with my old pals. I found myself reintroduced with Justice, who’s a vigilante able to see the evil in people’s souls. Justice has a nice battle with an Exiles dude who I assume is called Mimic and who has bony claws like Wolverine. We also meet up with NewU characters D.P.7, who are kind of an X-Men type of “everybody hates us so we have to band together” sort of group. The team actually has some life and fun to them in this story, a fun repartee that I’d like to remember they had.
But the main star of the NewU is Star Brand, so he had to be in this comic. Kenneth Connell is the Star Brand, so named because the big space event that created him tattooed his hand with some powerful icon that makes him the most powerful guy in the universe. Which, since he’s a loser, doesn’t change his life one bit. Connell still has no luck with girls, still lives in a crap apartment. I love it how Mimic visits Connell’s apartment and analyzes him; it’s obvious that Bedard has a real affection for these characters, too.
Pelletier and Magyar do a better job of presenting the New Universe than we got at the time (if memory serves, Magyar inked a few NewU issues back in the day). The art is dramatic and respectful of the characters, but is also light and entertaining.
So I came to this comic in kind of the opposite way of most readers. I don’t know who the Exiles are (and don’t much care, after this issue), but I loved seeing the NewU characters again.