The inter-dimensional travelers land in a world where everything looks a little cartoonish in Exiles #2. Is it good?
Saladin Ahmed’s script is having a lot of fun, especially his Valkyrie inspired by Tessa Thompson’s performance in Thor: Ragnarok but dialed to 11. As fun as she is, Wolvie might take the cake – a cartoon take on Wolverine, Ahmed is clearly having fun highlighting the similarities between the clawed hero’s personality and the whims of a child. Javier Rodríguez’s artwork really shines with Wolvie, maintaining the Saturday-morning cartoon look of the character and his world even as the other more natural looking characters enter it.
Rodríguez’s lineart throughout the issue is pretty stellar; Exiles is a book that highlights differences, and the subtleties of the characters and their worlds come through in Rodríguez’s designs for them. Rodríguez’s action beats are also strong, and a showdown with The Watchers makes for an unpredictable end to the issue.
Unfortunately, not all of the art works as well. Chris O’Halloran’s color palette is incredibly muted, and with all the chaos that happens throughout the story, that makes the action run together. Part of this seems deliberate; the issue becomes notably more vibrant when the ragtag team lands in Wolvie’s world, but it might have been preferable to kick everything up and let Rodriguez’s line art differentiate the cartoon world from the other characters (the cartoon style features much less detail in the pencils). Sadly, the rest of the book feels a bit muddy.
Is It Good?
Exiles #2 continues to build up the cast and the conflict, with writer Saladin Ahmed wisely getting the team together early on. Multiple worlds get visited, and if the series continues with the creativity shown here, this new Exiles should be a blast. While the artwork is a bit of a mixed bag, it doesn’t take too heavily from the story and it gives the series an opportunity to grow as the story moves forward.
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