Exiles # 26
Illyana Rasputin joins the Exiles team for her first mission in a world where practically every super hero is for hire, and the first clues to her unpredictable and homicidal nature comes to light. This is an extremely fun issue, as Chuck Austen leaves Magik's morals and ethics at the door, in favor of mindless bloodshed. When the Tallus informs the Exiles that they must kill the Avengers in order to move on to the next world, the team struggles to find an answer to their dilemma. Magik, however, takes a more direct approach. After bombing the Avengers' jet, Illyana proceeds to slaughter them with her Soul Sword. Granted, this is an alternate reality title, but it is nonetheless shocking, as Magik lays waste to everything in her path.
I love this issue. It combines Clayton Henry's great art with good dialogue, with just enough suspense and intrigue to fill twenty-two pages with bloody mayhem. Hard Choices sets the stage for the events to follow, hinting that the Exiles' new teammate may not be as cooperative as she pretends to be, and is only out for herself. Exiles # 26 is quite a ride, and I recommend it to Magik lovers, and admirers of good art and storytelling, in general. Initially, I found it difficult to support the ruthless counterpart to my favorite comic book character, but once I shed my own reservations, I was able to simply enjoy the tale, knowing full and well the opportunity of Illyana sticking around for too long was not likely.
I give Exiles # 26 4 out of 5 stars. It's like eating a Happy Meal from McDonald's. It's fun, full of useless calories, and it's colorful. I am not to dismissing the creative team's endeavors in the least, but in the days of epic story arcs and cross-overs. it's nice to enjoy a solid two-part story, without feeling like I need to make an indefinite commitment to the title. Enjoy! I did!