They let Austen get his grubby little mitts on
another X-book. Again.

General Information

Title: Exiles: A Blink In Time

Author: Chuck Austen, Jim Calafiore

Illustrator(s): Jim Calafiore

Original Publication Date: Issues 38-45 were
published between last
winter and this April.

ISBN: 0-7851-1235-9

Cover Price: $19.99 US

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Premise

There are three story arcs here. The first, “King
Hyperion,” spans
the first three issues, and is a Weapon X story. A
version of
Hyperion joins Weapon X, and decides to ignore the
Timebroker and take
over the world they are sent to. The second,
“Nocturne’s Tale,” is
the one written by Calafiore. It’s a two issue story
about a
significant part of Nocturne’s life before she became
an Exile. She’s
telling Blink about it way back during the
vacation we saw at
the end of volume 2. The third story arc, “A Blink
In Time,” is
through the last three issues, in which the Exiles
and Weapon X are
dumped on a single planet where they are required to
kill each other
off until only six people are left who will then form
a single team,
just in time for the X-Men: Reload promotion. This
third story picks
up exactly where issue 37 left off.

High Point

The Calafiore issues are much, much better than the
other six, which
Chuck Austen wrote.

Low Point

The third story, which was significant enough to
become the name of
the trade paperback that will collect all of these
issues, is the
least entertaining. It’s also one that leaves too
many questions
unanswered. For example, Blink didn’t go home when
she left the team,
yet nobody questions that. (You could argue that she
felt more at
home where she went, but wouldn’t that further
disrupt these
realities? Shouldn’t she have been forced back where
she came from?)
Furthermore, the math didn’t work out; their mission
must not have
been correct, since they were down to six survivors
and the mission
still wasn’t over. Finally, the odds of that
particular group being
the survivors are pretty low. I get the impression
that all of
Austen’s contribution was to cash in on J. Michael
Straczynski’s
excellent Supreme Power run going on right
now. (I wonder if
Austen is bitter that his own The Eternal
wasn’t nearly as
well received.)

The Scores

This scores points for originality due to
Hyperion’s actions,
and the telling of a major story that takes place
pre-Exiles. I give
it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is by Jim Calafiore, who has
defined the look of
this title as far as I’m concerned. I’m sorry that
he’s out with the
X-Men Reload, particularly given the quality of his
replacement. I
give it 5 out of 6.

The story rating varies from story to story.
Austen’s work
is weak in both cases. I’ve already nitpicked the
second story arc,
but I haven’t even started on the first one, in which
Colossus needs
air while in his armoured form. (I swear the guy has
never read
Claremont’s run on Uncanny X-Men, which is a
problem since
he was writing on that title for a few years.) The
Calafiore work was
excellent, but it’s only a quarter of these issues,
so it only brings
things up to 4 out of 6.



The characterization in Calafiore’s work is
excellent, which
again compensates somewhat for Austen’s bland
contributions. I give
it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response was disappointing in
the outcomes for
the Austen work, and very satisfying in the Calafiore
portion. I give
it 4 out of 6.

The flow within stories works, but the
chronological
arrangement of these, putting two stories before a
direct continuation
of a previous story arc, just reads like they were
stalling for time.
When Winick told stories out of sequence, it was for
the appropriate
emotional release, to give vacations when the readers
needed them. I
give it 3 out of 6.

Overall, it’s not terrible, but you may want
to get the
Calafiore issues (41 and 42) and skip the rest. I
give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Exiles: A Blink In Time receives
29 out of 42.