Exiles #2 // Review
The dimension hopping adventure continues in issue two of Exiles. Writer, Saladin Ahmed and artists Javier Rodriguez and Chris O’Halloran, introduces two new members and the plot of the overall series seems to begin.
In the previous issue, original Exile member Blink is involuntarily tasked with gathering together a new team for the sake of the multiverse. She first recruited a gruff and grizzled adult version of Kamala Khan, aka, Ms. Marvel. Then they meet Iron Lad, a benevolent, future/past version of Kang the Conqueror. In this issue the readers are introduced two new members, Valkyrie and Lil Wolvie. These are both very entertaining characters, especially Lil Wolvie. Wolvie comes from a dimension modeled mostly after toddler cartoons where all the characters are also toddlers dealing with problems like Magneto not sharing. He has an innocent nature, and it will be interesting, and maybe depressing, to see his naive and childlike worldview challenged by some of the atrocities of the other dimensions.
Valkyrie will be immediately recognizable to anyone that has seen the most recent Thor: Ragnarok film, as she is directly influenced by Tessa Thompson's portrayal, with some noticeable differences. One is that she isn’t the drunk cynic like in the film, so anyone hoping for a dry-witted warrior will most likely be disappointed. The other difference is that she considerable larger than Thompson. This Valkyrie is more like the typical battle-loving Asgardian that is present in Thor comics: jovial and pretty friendly with other “warriors”.
Much like the last issue, not much time is spent in these other worlds before they’re destroyed by the “Time-Eater”. It’s a shame too, because, while Valkyrie’s dimension wasn’t terribly interesting, the Lil X-Men was pretty funny to look at and it would’ve been fun to see the other toddler X-Men show up, but that’s not to say they won’t pop up again in the future.
Now that the team is formed, the real story seems to kind of kick into drive, with the Watchers showing up to punish the Unseen, resulting in the Tallus being shattered and sending the Exiles, unguided, into the multiverse. While this is next big conflict, it doesn’t really seem to addressing what this “Time-Eater” is or what it wants exactly. It's obvious that is connected, at least partially, to Galactus, based on the design, but it’s odd that none of the other members seem to notice that.
The art, by Javier Rodriguez and Chris O’Halloran, shines more in this issue, and that seems to be due to the presence of more Kirby-inspired designs. Kirby’s influence is felt throughout this entire issue, especially in the monster that Valkyrie fights and the Watchers’ appearance at the end. One other stand out part is the Lil X-Men segment; it really captures that all-ages comic feel and it's especially weird to see the more “normal” looking characters interact with it.
Issue two still suffers from some pacing problems and readers may feel like the plot is somewhat meandering, but the characters are still fun to read and, with the inclusion of Lil Wolvie and Valkyrie, shows that the comic is focused more on character interaction than deep storytelling. Hopefully, when all the members are more settled in the story will shine as much, but, as of right now, the comic is still fun to read and to look at.