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Exiles #19

Issue Date: January 2003

Story Title: So Lame - The Exiles in Mojoverse - part 2

Staff: Judd Winick (writer), Mike McKone (penciler), Jon Holdredge (inker), Transparency Digital (colors), Paul Tutrone (letters), Nova Ren Suma (assistant editor), Mike Raicht and Mike Marts (editors), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description:
Mojo continues to blackmail Morph into serving him by threatening to again torture Nocturne. Morph does as told and becomes the star of Mojo's Motion Pictures and his shows are a huge hit, partially because they are the only program and everyone is being forced to watch. The other four Exiles break into Longshot's prison with ease and want him to aid in their teammates rescue, but the former free spirit is scared and frightened. Mimic tries to convince him, but as it has no effect, Longshot is forced along. In Mojo's capital, Nocturne tricks a guard into unshackling her, and she phases into him, possessing his body. In this guise she makes her way to Morph and together they try to escape. They are re-captured by Mojo, right as the rest of the team and Longshot break into the palace. Still, Morph wants to fight Mojo alone and, letting loose like never before, he is about to kill the Mojoverse's ruler. The Timebroker interrupts, explaining that he can't allow this as the timestream is already screwed enough. Morph takes all of this rather hard, but Nocturne tells him she doesn?t blame him for anything that has happened to her. The team is teleported away to their next mission.

Full Synopsis:
Both Morph and Nocturne have been kidnapped by Mojo and, by torturing Nocturne, Mojo forces Morph to be the star of his TV productions. Morph can only hope that the other Exiles will rescue them and, until then, he has to do Mojo's bidding.

The Morph Show is on air. In a typical, late night show setting, Morph asks a young starlet how long she has been one of Mojo's genetically engineered slaves. All her life, the female answers. Morph wonders if Mojo gives a dental plan, but then has second thoughts. Maybe the slaves do not even have to brush their teeth? They could have fluoride genetically excreted from their gums or something. Morph stretches his neck to better inspect the starlet's teeth as he asks his co-host, Pete, what he thinks about dental hygiene and gingivitis. From his desk next to Morph's band, Pete answers that he favors it, the hygiene that is. Gingivitis, on the other hand, is serious trouble.

Morph asks the girl to tell her more about the next Mojo Motion Picture she is in. What's the name, Chimp World? The starlet corrects him, it's Planet of the Chimps. Morph answers they would get sued over it, that is if the Mojoverse had any laws. He asks whether it was fun making the film. At least she wasn't killed with most of the cast, which places her in a somewhat better position. The girl answers that it was challenging. She had to learn monkey movements and there was all this make-up... "Uh oh," says Morph, as some crewmen appears with a giant powder puff. Shouting "Make Up," he slams it in the starlet's face and she is buried beneath lots of powder. In front of his puzzled guest, Morph tells his audience that the talk show was boring him anyway, so on with the hillbilly sketch.

The concierge of a hotel looks down at the strange fellow that has just arrived and asks, "Can I help you, sir?" Morph, wearing a T-shirt, an open shirt and a baseball cap, and carrying two hens under his arms answers that his name ain't "sir," but Jimmy-Jack-Earl-Raymond Griffith, but everybody calls him Laverne. With a think accent, he explains that he is from the South and he needs a room, as he is too tired after spent the day staring directly into the sun, making fun of ethnic people and romancing his cousin. The concierge tells him that there are rooms available, but he is not sure about something proper for the chickens. Morph says that they are the payment for a night in the hotel. The concierge is confused and says they usually don't barter, but Morph already presents a pig as well, as the concierge drives a hard bargain. The concierge says that animals aren't allowed, but surely they could make up ...

"Uh oh!" Again, the man with the giant powder-puff appears, while Morph is shielding himself with an umbrella. Now standing in front of the powdered concierge, who is still holding the pig, Morph addresses his audience, telling them that they'll be back after a short break. Lots of commercials are now on the screen, all praising Morph related movies and merchandise. "Morph gone wild!" Then, Morph is back on and wraps up today's show. He tells his audience that today they all learned something - never shave a pitbull, don't put spackle in a microwave oven and always keep more than one fire extinguisher on set during a cooking segment. Goodnight everybody. In the credits of the show, Mojo's name appears behind all jobs.

In the studio, a whole audience of Spineless Ones goes wild. Mojo walks over to his star and congratulates him on the marvelous show. Surely he is the best performer in over one hundred years and they are getting the highest ratings ever. Morph replies that this might have something to do with the Morph show being the only thing on and Mojo forcing everyone to watch it, but Mojo doesn't want to hear about it. He is proud of Morph, but the Exile tells Mojo not to touch him. Mojo tells him not to be modest, he is the champ, but still he tried to escape this morning. Mojo orders his minions to contain him and Morph is again strapped into his containment device. Mojo says it's not that Morph broke so many guards, they can be easily replaced, but he wants Morph to enjoy himself. Morph says he doesn't, he hates all of this. Whatever, Mojo doesn't care. He doesn't want Morph to try to run away again. Else he will be forced to torture Nocturne even more. Morph has no choice but to agree. As Morph is wheeled away in his containment chamber, Mojo says that the next show is due in three hours. Morph silently hopes for the other Exiles to save them - soon.

Still strapped in the torturing devices of her cell, Nocturne recognizes that there is a new guard outside her door. She calls him over, claiming that she needs to relieve her bladder, but the guard answers that he is not permitted to speak with her. He'll alert command central to send a jailer to unshackle her. Nocturne pleads with him that the jailer always takes an hour and she needs to go now. She has already endured enough and she 'd like to keep this last sort of dignity. The guard takes pity and opens the cell door with his electronic key. Unfamiliar with her shackles, he asks what he is supposed to do and Nocturne says he needs to unlock the shoulder plate first. The guard does as told, unaware that this is the inhibitor collar. Now able to use her powers again, Nocturne phases into the Guards body, possessing him. Now inhabiting the guard, she sets out to find Morph.

The other Exiles are breaking into Longshot's jailhouse. Between Sasquatch's strength, Sunfire's flame and Mimic's vast range of abilities, the guards are easily defeated. Blink grabs one of them and demands to know where Longshot is held. After he gives away the desired information, Sasquatch knocks him out and the four Exiles proceed to Longshot's cell. Sasquatch breaks the door and Blink is surprised that the scared, cuddled figure inside is the famous Longshot. She kneels down and explains who the Exiles are and that two of them have been captured by Mojo. As Longshot was the only one to ever defeat Mojo, they need his help.

Longshot understands the problem but apologizes; he can't be of any assistance. Blink is puzzled by this statement and Mimic steps in, reminding Longshot how they have fought together a number of times. Despite his year-long imprisonment, he should not forget that he is a hero. He has been the Mojoverse's savior time and again and, sometimes, you can't chose your destiny, you can only accept it. Longshot stares into nothingness, as he explains that he doesn't want to. Even if he wins, Mojo always comes back - he is sick of losing. Mimic is fed up. He tried it the nice way but it didn't work, so he orders Sasquatch to pick Longshot up. As the Exiles leave the prison, Sunfire tells Longshot to get his act together, while Heather complains about always being bossed around. Sure she is the team's powerhouse, but they could divide up the chores.

In the Morph Show Green Room, Morph is preparing for his next show, with several guards, actors and film crew around. Morph wonders where Mojo is, as he usually gives him some idiot pep talk before he goes on air. One of the guards says that "his majesty" is busy otherwise. Morph sarcastically remarks that he feels diminished when another guard addresses Morph and tells him not to worry, it surely will be a good show. Morph wonders why this guard calls him by name instead of "slave performer" and the guard, whose eyes are glowing yellow, answers that he is feeling friendly because he is wearing a thong.

Morph finally understands that it is Nocturne. On T.J.'s command, the two of them spring into action, knocking out most of the guards before they even realize what's happening. Phasing out of her ride, Nocturne tells Morph to hit the third door from the right, as she knows a way to get out. Morph does as told and the two Exiles run down a corridor. TJ wants to zip out of a skylight and head ... "absolutely nowhere because you'll be dead!" says Mojo, finishing her sentence. He comes up from behind and grabs both Morph and Nocturne by the heads. Mojo feels a little bit disappointed. The girl, he understands, as they kept electrocuting her, but Morph was a star - where is his loyalty? Mojo goes on that from now on he won't be so nice to them, as some more players enter the fray.

The Exiles have crashed in through one of the walls and Longshot starts threatening Mojo. Sunfire is slightly annoyed, they beat an entire battalion and break through the wall, and then Longshot takes charge - Blink soothes her and reminds her to concentrate on the matter at hand. Shapeshifting out of Mojo's grip, Morph announces that this is his fight. Fed up with the "murdering, spineless, narcistic blob", Morph lets loose, transforming his skin into a scaly hide. Mojo hopes that someone is filming the all of this, as Morph keeps hammering on and on, slicing through the wires around Mojo's head. Mojo doesn't have a chance and soon lies fallen in front of a wall. Morph stands triumphant over him and intends to end Mojo's reign once and for all. He transform his right hand into a saber and takes aim, but is interrupted by a "Freeze !".

It's the Timebroker and he tells Morph to get off of Mojo; the show is over. Morph refuses, but the Timebroker explains that he can't kill Mojo. The timestream is already screwed up enough. He's sorry. Mariko asks how bad it is, will they still be able to get home? Blink adds that they didn't do too much, they only busted Longshot out of prison. The Timebroker reassures them that although Longshot is a problem, it will be someone else's problem. Sasquatch wonders why it too him so long to arrive and, once more, the Timebroker explains that he is no sentient entity, but a construct of the team's collective consciousnesses. The Exiles' quest is like a human body, with Mojo being a disease and the Timebroker being the Antibodies.

Mimic wants to know what will happen to Mojo now, will he just get away with it? The Timebroker says no, the time is like a bull and if someone messes around too much with it, he'll eventually get the horns. If Mojo keeps up this sort of thing, his reality will collapse in on itself. Blink wants to know what happens next and she is told that the team will be transported out in about a minute. The Timebroker apologizes that it has come to this. Mojo was never a part of the plan. Thinking that this apology came actually from their own minds, Blink wonders what it's worth.

Nocturne realizes that Morph is standing a little bit apart and walks over to him. She asks if everything is all right and, after at first saying he's fine, he admits that he thinks this all being his fault. Mojo was after him, which got the entire team dragged to the Mojoverse and Nocturne being tortured. TJ hugs him and says she might need a new haircut, but she'll live and it's not his fault at all. Morph says that their entire situation sucks, he just wants to go home. TJ cheers him up "We will. Some day." The Tallus does its trick and the Exiles are spirited away.

Characters:
Blink, Mimic, Morph, Nocturne, Sasquatch, Sunfire (all Exiles)
Timebroker

Mojoverse :
Longshot
Mojo
guards, actors, film crew and several other citizens of the Mojoverse

Notes:
Longshot was at one point a member of the X-Men in Mimic's reality.

This Issue has been reprinted in:
Exiles Vol. 3: Out of Time (Trade Paperback)

Issue Summary written by: Peter Luzifer


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