Marvel Comics’ Guardians Of The Multiverse

SPOILERS FOR THE SEASON 1 FINALE OF WHAT IF…? SAVE THIS POST AND COME BACK AFTER WATCHING THE EPISODE TO AVOID SPOILERS!

Well, it’s safe to say What If…? season 1 ended on an epic battle, with our variant heroes teaming up to become the Guardians Of The Multiverse.

But, is there a group of multiverse guardians in the comics? Where did this idea even come from? I have a guide right here to explain all!

The short answer is no, there is no group in Marvel Comics called Guardians of The Multiverse. But, there is a group called the Exiles, who work in a very similar way, although the line up is rather different!

Who Are The Exiles?

The Exiles are a group of heroes from various realities across the Marvel multiverse, who have been put into a team together to repair the damage to the various realities. The team usually consists of Mutants, but, other heroes do join (such as Captain Carter) on occasion.

Exiles issue 90 cover by Paul Pelletier

Who Is In The Team?

The team line up changes frequently, but Blink is usually the leader of the team. As for other members, the line up has included: Sabertooth, Valkyrie, Iron Lad, Magik, Polaris, Scarlet Witch, Sage, Beast, Valeria Richards and many, many more.

All of these heroes are not our ‘regular’ heroes from Earth 616, but are instead from multiple universes – think of them as variants from our usual heroes.

What Do The Exiles Do?

Essentially, the Exiles repair damage done to the multiverse. A group of aliens called the Timebreakers pulled them from their universes, and set them up on a crystalline fortress outside of time and space called the Panoptichron.

Insectoid in nature, the Timebreakers appeared to the Exiles in the form of the Timebroker – a humanoid creature – and gave them Tallus, a machine which gave the group the ability to jump between the multiverses and gather information about their missions.

Panel from Exiles volume 2, issue 6 by Salva Espin

From there, the group have gone through a lot, including losing their team mates, being reunited with others, and saving realities from terrible fates. If it helps, think of the Exiles comics as having a similar premise to What If…? comics, only with the team generally staying the same and with longer stories going across multiple issues.

Where Can I Read More?

In the Exiles comics! There hasn’t been that many over the years, but there’s still a decent chunk of comics to dive into since its debut in 2001.

Personally, I’d recommend starting at the beginning with the Exiles Ultimate Collection Book One by Judd Winick, this Ultimate Collection goes on for six volumes, which collects the original 100 Exiles issues. I’d also recommend reading Age Of Apocalypse before reading this, as Blink comes from that reality.

After that, there is the New Exiles by Chris Claremont, starting with Die By The Sword, going onto New Life, New Gambit, Soul Awakening, The Enemy Within and Away We Go. This is not the most popular Exiles run, and it also replaces Age Of Apocalypse Blink with Earth-616 Psylocke. Die By The Sword also acted as a wrap up for Claremont’s New Excalibur run too, so be prepared to look that up too, for some context.

New Exiles issue 13 cover by Alex Garner

You can also read Exiles: Point Of No Return by Jeff Parker, which sees Blink return to the group.

Then we come to the latest run by Saladin Ahmed, which is only two volumes (Test Of Time and Trial Of The Exiles) long. This one is definitely one to look into if you’re a fan of the What If…? series, as Ahmed’s run is where Captain Carter makes her comic debut! But, make sure you’ve read Original Sin first, as the first few pages spoil that event!

And that’s everything you can read with the Exiles! Are you going to pick any of these up, if so, which ones? Or, if you have any questions whatsoever, leave them down in the comments!

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