Personal Favorite X-Spinoff Book: Exiles

It wasn't until a couple of Christmases ago when I actually began reading comics. I grew up watching comic-based shows galore (X-Men TAS, X-Men Evolution, Batman, Superman, etc.), I played various comic-based videogames, and I read up more on characters via online. Therefore, my comic book knowledge was basic. I knew the Exiles were a group of reality-jumping heroes that were X-Men related. I thought it was a cool concept, but that was it. After having read decades of Uncanny X-Men comics via disc, I then got a subscription to marvel digital comics. I have read QUITE a bit since, including the original Exiles series. 
After the first couple of issues, I was hooked. The writing (dialogue and plot) and art were superb, and I was always kept entertained by the jokes, ACTION, and character interactions. In my opinion, the team (pictured to the left: Mimic, Blink, Nocturne, Morph, Sunfire, and Sasquatch) meshed together so well. While reading, I actually believed that they were best friends and a family, which I have found to be rare/not to the same degree in some of the other X-books. Also, they had a gread diversity in powers that all contributed to the team.
It was also refreshing to see various new versions of characters and places from the X-Men comics that I had become very familiar with. I remembered Mimic as that jack*ss that forced his way on to the original X-team. Let's just say that it didn't take long for Exiles' Mimic to win me over as the kind, team-playing, strategic, and great fighter that he turned out to be (He seemed vaguely similar to the 80's/90's Cyclops). Morph was definitly better (funnier and more powerful) than the Changeling that I remembered from his short career in the 60's. I loved Heather Hudson as the bright, confident, beautiful, and strong female that she turned out to be. I really can't compare her to the original Sasquatch since I only saw him when Alpha Flight made a couple appearances in the X-books. Similarly, Mariko turned out great, but it is hard to compare her to Sunfire & Mariko from Earth-616 since they didn't make that many appearances in Uncanny X-Men. However, I did like the youthful, playful, fun, and loving girl that she was written to be in Exiles. I also liked that she had a deep love and respect for her parents (like the Earth-616 Mariko) without being so uptight and duty bound. I'm glad that Exiles' Mariko didn't try to pretend that she wasn't gay and remain subservient to her father. Nocturne turned out to be a great, sexy, confident, and caring woman as well, which I thought was really good. Finally, Blink. I still haven't read any Earth-616 Blink, but I'm sure Exiles' Blink would trump. She was the novice leader that rose to the occassion and ended up doing a great job despite her worries. She brought the team together, and she was the right choice to lead. 
Sadly, I thought this title began to slide once the team's roster changed from the one pictured above. Illyana was a psycho but at least tolerable, Namora was a full of herself/unruly prick, Beak never made sense to me (he was very lame and didn't contribute in a fight), and the roster just went down hill from there. It was also sad that when Chris Claremont began writing for the title, the magic that the team pictured above had never came back. However, I do recommend that one reads the rest of the series despite the decline. I'm sure you'll feel loyalty to the book by that point. 
After that, I read New Exiles, hoping the book would return to its former glory. Sadly, that was a dud. Then I tried Exiles vol 2, which was better but ended prematurely. Therefore, I didn't get enough of a feel for it to say the Exiles were back where they should be. However, I found some promise in what I did read. 
No matter, I can't stress enough that if you are an X-phile, give Exiles a shot if you haven't already. I can't say that it will be your cup of tea, but I know that I was hooked. Maybe Marvel should consider getting Judd Winick to comeback and write an Exiles Forever (I'm not sure what Winick is up to nowadays but he was the best Exiles writer!). He would pick up from where he left off (Exiles vol 1 #37) with the team (Blink, Mimic, Morph, Sasquatch, Nocturne, and Magik) mourning the loss of Sunfire, surprised by the return of Blink, and angry at Mimic for hiding the fact that he had a Brood egg. There is plenty of stuff he left off to build off of and there are many story possibilities to go from there. Personally, I would hope the team would grow closer again, the team would forgive Mimic, and Mimic would learn from his mistake. Also, I wouldn't mind him shipping Illyana off to the reality jumping group Weapon X (which was still in existence when Judd left! Would like to see them come back as well with the dark Storm that I thought got killed off way too soon) or just kill her. Then make the mini-series or whatever have a fresh start with a new Exiles member.  
There you have it. This was my first blog so hopefully it wasn't too bad. Feel free to comment