These three story arcs mark the return and second
departure of Judd Winick, as well as the contents of the
Exiles: Fantastic Voyage trade paperback that
ships early next year.

General Information

Title: Exiles #31-37, including “Avengers Forever,” “A
Second
Farewell,” and “Fantastic Journey.” These issues will be
collected as
the next trade paperback, titled “Fantastic Journey,” when
it comes
out in January.

Author: Judd Winick

Illustrator(s): Jim Califiore, Tom Mandrake, Clayton Henry,
and Mizuki
Sakakibara

Original Publication Date: August through November 5,
2003.

ISBN: 0785111972

Cover Price: $2.99 US / $4.75 Can per issue

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Premise

A Blinkless team must deal with vampire Avengers, love,
and a
rampaging Thing.

High Point

“Like a Fellini film, only less linear.” Very funny, and not
even Morph!

Low Point

Switching artists in the middle of a three issue story arc.
Man,
that’s irritating.

The Scores

The first story arc was the kind of thing the Exiles often do:
figure
out where this reality diverged from the rest, and beat the
right
people up until it’s back on track. It gets more
original
from there, including one issue in which nobody gets hit
much at all.
I give it 4 out of 6.

The artwork by Henry and Calafiore is good.
The work by
Mandrake doesn’t impress me. The work by Sakakibara
would have been
fine had it not been the second issue in a three part story
in which
the other two issues were drawn by Clayton Henry. I give
it 4 out of
6.

The stories told are all entertaining, even if the
first
isn’t that fresh. Judd Winick’s last issue for a while (in light
of
his exclusive contract with DC) ends on a pretty strong
note, too.
I’m not surprised to see that the next two story arcs won’t
continue
directly from this point. (Issues 38-40, by Chuck Austen,
are about
the Weapon X team. Issues 41-42, written and drawn by
Jim Calafiore,
are about Nocturne’s life before joining the team.) I give it
5 out
of 6.



The characterization is here, and is stressed
in the “A
Second Farewell” story arc. The other five issues have
clear and
consistent characters, but the only real developments take
place in
those middle issues, and issue 37. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced was
fairly good. I
laughed several times, and enjoyed a lot of the arcs. (I
have
definitely noticed that I respond better when I’m familiar
with the
story that “went wrong” from the normal continuity, though.)
I give
it 4 out of 6.

The flow was well done, keeping a rapid pace
through the
action issues and a slower pace for the character issues.
I give it 5
out of 6.

Overall, it’s not as strong as the previous sets,
but well
worth picking up. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Exiles #31-37 receives 31 out of 42.