MEMBERSHIP: Catapult, Dr. Rachel Deming, Deadeye, Ghoul, Mustang, Tinsel, Trax;
Amber Hunt, Mastodon (neither ever actually joined)
PURPOSE: To assist and train Ultras afflicted with the Theta virus
AFFILIATIONS: Heather Faraday (staff at the Stronghold)
ENEMIES: Bloodbath, Bruut, Entity, Malcolm Kort, Hot Rox, Supreme Soviet
BASE of OPERATIONS: the Stronghold (island headquarters), off the coast of California), Earth-Ultraverse
FIRST APPEARANCE: Exiles I#1 (Ultraverse) (August, 1993)
HISTORY: Some variation on the normal jumpstarts caused certain individuals on Earth to develop the Theta virus. The virus did not appear to actually be contagious (at least it was not shown to be), but rather than just cause people to become Ultras, it also would rapidly progress to death.
BTS - Dr. Rachel Deming, herself a victim of
the Theta virus, developed a means to cure the terminal side
effects. After curing herself, she set up a base on an island off
the coast of California, which she named the Stronghold. From the
Stronghold, she began to locate others developing the Theta
virus, cure them, train them in their abilities, and recruit them
to help her effort. She hired Heather Faraday as her assistant.
The order in which she gathered her team of Exiles (so named
b/c there powers set them apart from all others, I guess--maybe
they were contagious?) is not clear, but over time, she
recruited Catapult, Deadeye, Ghoul, Mustang, Tinsel, and Trax.
At some point Dr. Deming and the Exiles began to develop some opposition from Malcolm Kort, who sought to control the Theta virus-infected Ultras for his own benefit.
(Exiles I#1-4) - The Exiles succeeded in
gathering Amber Hunt, despite the efforts of Kort's agent, the
Supreme Soviet. Trax was injured in the battle and taken off
active duty to recover. Deming sought to explain what was
happening to Amber, and what it's potential consequences were,
but the spoiled rich girl was initially quite resistant. Deming
sent Mustang and Catapult after their next target, Timothy
Halloran, but this time they were defeated by Kort's agents
Bloodbath and Bruut. They killed Timothy's mother and brought
Timothy back to Kort's base.
Deming gathered the rest of the active Exiles, herself included, and headed off to Kort's base to rescue Timothy. Amber finally realized that she needed the treatment or she would die, and she was worried that Deming might not return in time. Deming assured her this would not be a problem. Kort's head scientists, Dr. Deeters was working on treating Timothy's virus, but he had not mastered the techniques which Deming had designed and kept secret. Halloran mutated violently and exploded from his containment device just as the Exiles arrived.
In their initial assault on Kort's base, Tinsel and Ghoul were captured, Deming herself narrowly escaped falling to her death, and Halloran escaped. Deming named the rescue/capture of Halloran as the number one priority, which they ultimately failed at--and it took much longer than expected. Tinsel was killed fighting off a sexual assault from Bloodbath. Ghoul killed Bloodbath, and then blasted Kort's equipment, which blew up, destroying Kort's offices and killing everyone in them.
Amber, meanwhile, rightfully feared for her life if the treatment was delayed, and so she tried to rig the equipment herself. Heather Faraday probably could have prevented this and operated the equipment successfully herself, but she was distracted by Trax (who was being quite the piggy-boy). Only when Amber overloaded the equipment and alarms started sounding, did Heather realize anything was amiss. Heather rushed in and managed to begin to reverse the damage, when suddenly a burst of energy from the sky (actually from the Entity) pushed the machinery beyond all limits. Amber, the recipient of the energy blast, survived, flying from the resultant explosion, her mind under the control of the Entity. Trax and Heather were incinerated instantly. The rest of the Exiles were returning to the Stronghold just as the explosion occurred. Dr. Deming was tossed through the air and ended up with cracked ribs and other injuries, Catapult was badly injured and ended up in a coma, Deadeye narrowly survived, and Mustang was killed by the combination of the explosion itself and the force with which he landed.
(Ultraforce I#2 - BTS) - Ghoul visited the Dr. Deming and then the graves of the other Exiles and tried to commune with them, unsuccessfully.
(Ultraforce/Avengers Prelude ??) - Ghoul was assaulted by what appeared to be the reanimated corpses of their past associates. Among these were Dr. Deming's Exiles. However, the whole thing ultimately APPEARED to be a hoax perpetrated by Loki (of Earth-616) in an effort to occupy the various heroes opposing him.
The Exiles traveled to missions via sky sleds.
COMMENTS: Created by Steve Gerber, Tom Mason, Dave Olbrich, and Chris Ulm (writers) and Paul Pelletier (penciler).
Amber's adventures under the control of the Entity continued into the Break-Thru series, and can be seen under their own entries.
In the top image, the characters are, clockwise from the top: Tinsel, Catapult, Ghoul, Trax, Deadeye. Mustang is in the center. Dr. Deming is not pictured.
The Exiles was not marketed as a limited
series, and it was not doing poorly in sales. However, Gerber and
the other writers decided to proceed in this fashion to catch
everyone off guard and show that in the Ultraverse, actions had
consequences. They also didn't want (or at least claimed not to
want) to exploit the characters' deaths as a selling point.
Actually, the inside scoop, to the best of my understanding, is that the Exiles were not actually intended to be in the Ultraverse originally. They had been intended for Malibu's Genesis line, but it just never came together. When the Ultraverse was being set up and they decided to kill off a character (or characters) to establish realism, they decided to kill two birds with one stone. They apparently even ran promo ads for Exiles# 5 and 6 (featuring the Hoaxter, and the Carnival of Lies...oh, NOW, I get it!!) to catch fans unprepared.
While certain members were skilled combatants,
Tinsel was naive and inexperienced, Catapult didn't appreciate
the life-or-death nature of the battles, Trax was more interested
in Heather's body than in fighting the war--and Deming simply
refused to admit all of this to herself until it was too late.
Who knows what would have happened if the Ultraverse had continued beyond a few years? Ghoul, who was obviously beyond normal life and death, was the only one to return throughout the course of the Ultraverse saga. The others who died...stayed dead...refreshing. Catapult went into a coma and stayed there.
The whole find-the-characters-with-surfacing-powers-first thing reminds me of the early days of the original X-Men, although Kort's no Magneto, and Deming's certainly no Professor X.
Dr. Deming's Exiles should be distinguished from:
In general, Ultraverse characters have no connection to characters from Earth-616 (mainstream Marvel Universe) or any other alternate Earths or dimensions
Heather was the personal assistant to Dr.
Deming. She was a victim of the Theta virus as well, but was
cured by Dr. Deming and emerged completely normal after the
treatment. She apparently had some degree of medical training, as
well as experience with Dr. Deming's advanced machinery and
processes. She was very strongly attracted to Judd Sheppard (Trax),
but she was constantly put off by his aggressive advances and
groping. She was trying to explain this to him when she left Dr.
Deming's laboratory unattended, allowing Amber to attempt the
process herself. Heather nearly had quelled the overload when the
burst from the Entity caused everything to explode. Heather was
instantly incinerated by the energies released from Amber after
Exiles I#1 (August, 1993) - Steve Gerber, Tom Mason, Dave Olbrich & Chris Ulm (writers), Paul Pelletier (pencils), Ken Branch (inks), Chris Ulm (editor)
Exiles I#2 (September, 1993) - Steve Gerber (writer), R.R. Phipps (pencils), Ken Branch (inks), Chris Ulm (editor)
Exiles I#3 (October, 1993) - Steve Gerber (writer), R.R. Phipps (pencils), Scott Reed (inks), Chris Ulm (editor)
Exiles I#4 (November, 1993) - Steve Gerber (writer), R.R. Phipps (pencils), Dave Simons (inks), Chris Ulm (editor)
First Posted: 06/16/2002
Last updated: 07/25/2003
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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