Writer – Tony Bedard
Artist – Paul Pelletier
“Superguardians Part One”
My first trip to Eide’s Entertainment in 2021 was on Friday to pick up some comics I missed over Christmas break. I decided to dig through the dollar bins to look for some Marvel Comics to review since the Comic Book Club has been reading Marvel Comics – The Untold Story. One of the books that piqued my interest was Exiles #87.
Back in the early 2000s, I tracked down every trade paperback of Exiles to read in order to catch up with the seriesand I was able to start with Issue 69 up until the hundredth and final issue. I enjoyed the premise because it was a mashup of Sliders and Quantum Leap. New and familiar heroes were sent to fix alternate Earths in the multiverse. Once a mission was completed successfully, the Exiles would move onto the next world. The Timebroker, in charge of the Exiles, would sometimes visit the heroes and send one of them home to their own reality as a reward for their hard work. A replacement hero would then join the ranks of these reality-hopping heroes before they were sent on their next adventure.
Exiles #87 opens with Blink and company sent to Earth-552, only to find that the Earth has already been destroyed! As they try to find out the cause of Earth’s destruction, they fly through outer space onboard a spaceship they teleported onto. The group soon encounters the Silver Surfer in fierce battle with the Shi’ar Imperial Guard. The Exiles discover their mission is to protect a giant stone deity caught in the middle of the warring sides. The deity uses Blink’s powers to banish the Silver Surfer far away near the Planet Saturn. Both the deity and Blink collapse from exerting their powers. The X-Man Longshot uses his power of psychometry to touch the deity and learn about his origins. In this reality, the deity is Galactus, Restorer of Worlds! He uses his power cosmic to help restore planets affected by blight and decay. Norrin Radd sacrificed himself to help with Galactus’ quest for peace, tranquility, and sustainability. However, the Silver Surfer soon betrays Galactus and tries to take all of the power cosmic for himself. With Galactus near death, the Exiles must help Manta bring the god to Imperial Center to heal him. A final showdown looms large for the Exiles, the surviving members of the Imperial Guard, and the Surfer. Can the Exiles stop the Silver Surfer and complete their mission?
I enjoyed how Galactus and the Silver Surfer’s roles are reversed in this alternate reality. The Exiles are outmatched on this mission and I’m curious to see how they will stop the all-powerful Silver Surfer next issue. I can’t remember the resolution in Part Two, so I am definitely going to re-read Issue 88 at some point in the near future. I have always been a fan of Marvel Cosmic stories and the battle between Gladiator and the Silver Surfer is a tussle between titans that features an ending you won’t see coming. Although Rated A (for All Ages/Everyone), there is a scene in the story that I am surprised they got away with putting in there. Even the fun-loving Morph is shocked at what happens when he responds with a “Holy Cheez…”
If you have the Marvel Unlimited app, the entire original Exiles run is available to read. If you are a fan of What If ? stories and out of continuity romps through the Marvel multiverse, this is the series for you. I’m disappointed that the numerous attempts to bring the Exiles back together in recent years have been met with failure. I think that this source material is ripe for an animated or live action series on Disney Plus. Here’s hoping! Finger crossed!