Did you ever read The Exiles? It was a fun Marvel comic series that lasted up to about a year ago. It featured alternate reality versions of various X-Men characters (The first team consisted of Age of Apocalypse’s Blink, a younger and more heroic version of Mimic, an offspring of Magneto and Rogue, a version of Thunderbird that was turned into the horseman War by Apocalypse, a daughter of Nightcrawler and the Scarlett Witch, and the comic relief of Morph), jumping into other dimensions and righting wrongs while meeting new versions of existing Marvel characters. The first few volumes were amazing, but sadly the series lost steam after the hundredth issue mark or so. It’s been canceled and renewed more times then I’d like to count.
How would I save the series? I wouldn’t. Instead, I would take the “untold tales” approach and do a few mini-series based on older versions of the team. I think one problem the series had is it would start the team over completely from scratch, leaving you high and dry if you’ve come to love the characters introduced early on.
My first idea would involve the team including Mimic, Blink, Sasquatch, Nocturne, Morph, and Sunfire. They arrive in a world barren of any modern technology. Upon closer inspection, the group realizes they’re what appear to be biblical times. They approach a temple, but are quickly accused of heresy based on their appearance. They hesitate fighting the crowd, but the scene is interrupted when the Hulk appears, making the crowd disperse. Amidst the confusion, a robed figure gets the Exiles attention and draws them away.
He leads them to a secret room where the team quickly notices other Marvel characters, dressed in biblical attire. The robed figure takes off his hood to reveal that he is, in fact, Peter Parker. “My name is Peter. Welcome to the den of the disciples!” Most of the team seems pretty shaken up by the events, except Blink, who takes everything at face value (living in the Age of Apocalypse, she has no idea what a Bible even is). Peter quickly makes introductions. “You’ve already met David here, although a bit more…green,” he says, pointing to a Bruce Banner analogue. “This is Stephen, almost as strong, but not quite as temperamental,” he mentions, pointing to a dead ringer for Steve Rogers. “And this is Marie and Joseph. The master’s parents.”
Staring at the Rogue and Magneto lookalikes, Blink asks “‘The master’s’ parents? Who’s ‘the master?'” “You mean to tell me you came all this way, and you were not seeking his wisdom? I find that really hard to believe. I’m talking about our savior, of course!” As he says this, a door opens, and people begin to kneel. Charles Xavier enters the room. “Ah, new members of the flock, I see!”
In this world, Xavier is a bit of a messiah to mutant-kind (more so then normal). There’s not the level of persecution that has been seen in other worlds, but mutants are definitely second class citizens. The team goes on a mission with some of the disciples to free a few mutants from slavery. After the mission, the Tallus informs Blink of their mission. They have to stop Xavier’s plans.
This quickly eats away at Mimic, who recently had to kill a version of Xavier in another world. He even questions the validity of the Tallus, since they can’t question all the good Xavier has done for mutants in this reality. However, this comes into doubt as they notice Xavier possesses powers that definitely DON’T belong to Professor X. He displays them while telling a few parables that equally jostle the team. “If your enemy comes at you, stand as tall as a tree,” he says while changing his size. “Let nothing tear you down. Make them move for you.” Morph whispers “Not exactly ‘turn the other cheek, is it?'”
Over time, Xavier seems to be getting angrier, even more violent. Blink tries to convince Mimic that they need to put a stop to things, or at least TALK to Xavier, and after time he finally agrees. Unfortunately, just as they are about to talk to him, the local soldiers come in and capture him. Xavier puts up no resistance and assures his disciples all will be well.
At the temple, Xavier is put on display for plotting treason. A giant crowd has gathered, including his disciples and the Exiles. When questioned about the charges, Xavier says “I can assure you. It’s all true. For too long, the mutant race has been enslaved or subjugated by a race that has outlived its time on this earth. I have come in his name to burn a new earth into existence. Where only the strong survive.” Upon hearing this, Blink cringes. As Xavier speaks, familiar tattoos appear on his skin. At the end of his speech, he looks more like Apocalypse then Professor X. “In the name of En Sabah Nur, I deem you…unworthy!” With this, he sets fire on the crowd.
“To me, my disciples! Prove you are worthy to rule by my side!” A few of the disciples join in the attack, while the Exiles try to protect the crowd the best they can. While the Hulk rampages, a few crowd members are almost crushed by a toppling building. Peter jumps in to save them. “Peter? My most loyal disciple? You would deny me?” “Sorry, boss. This isn’t what I signed up for.” With that, he and a few of the other disciples join the Exiles in taking down Xav-alypse and his followers.
After the battle, the team examines the damage. “We could have avoided this,” Mimic says. “It’s not your fault. You had no idea what he was capable of,” Blink tries to reassure him. “But YOU did. You’ve lived this before. None of us were prepared for what he was capable of.” “Does it matter? We stopped him. We finished the mission.” “Yeah? Tell THEM that,” he says, pointing to the now-directionless disciples. With this, the team disappears, onto the next mission.