By Saladin Ahmed and Rod Reis
Exiles is always an interesting book whenever it comes out. What makes it so intriguing is that every character is on the table to die with the exception of maybe Blink. It’s alternate universe versions of familiar characters, so we usually feel a connection to them, but they’re also disposable. This new team has been a fun ride and has done a good job of mixing existing characters, like Iron Lad, and new ones like Old Lady Kamala. The first arc is over and we move on to the next chapter in the series. Hopefully it will be as enjoyable as the last chapter.
Saladin Ahmed has done a good enough job making this new rag tag group interesting. It’s always great to see Iron Lad and Blink back on the page of any book. The trip to the old west works for this issue and these characters because we have a couple of characters who rely on technology to get by and now they’re in a time when technology is non-existent. Ahmed also is fairly creative on who the villains are and what their motive is. That’s one of the great things about Exiles, you never know which weird version of your favorite character is going to show up, which is exciting. One of the biggest gripes with this issue, and series so far, has been lil’ Wolvie. While he does serve a purpose, he’s a very annoying character and has a tendency to take a reader out of the story. He’s similar to Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars: the Phantom Menace. Perhaps he’s on the team to represent innocence and light hearted fun, but he just seems to take the seriousness out of panels, an he doesn’t really make you laugh or smile. As a whole, this was an entertaining issue that has set up for a good story arc.
The pencils and colors this issue are handled by Rod Reis. Reis’ pencils always impress, no matter what book he’s on. His work brings a realistic look to many of these characters. While a man in an iron suit and a war ready warrior would be hard normalize, they look as realistic as they can get in this issue. The backgrounds and set up of the old west is well done too; the saloon and the surrounding stores almost seem like you’re watching an episode of Westworld. The only problem with the art this issue is in the colors. At some points in the issue, Blink is a really vibrant pink. This can be seen on panels when she’s on the beach. In later panels, near the end of the issue, her color isn’t as sharp and is dulled down a bit. There is just a small inconsistency with her coloring. That aside, the book looks great. Lil’ Wolvie has a different feel than the other characters, which is interesting. Reis does a great job of matching characters skin tones so they look even more realistic. Rod Reis always works wonders on his books, and this is another good example of that.
Exiles #6 is a pretty decent read this week; Saladin Ahmed is crafting an interesting narrative that takes the cast out of their comfort zone. There isn’t too much to complain about when Rod Reis is on pencils and colors, because he’s so good at what he does. If you’re looking for a fun book to escape with this week, Exiles is a good selection.