Hasbro / Dark Avengers / Uncanny X-Men: Exodus #1
Note: The indicia indicates an April 2010 date but this wasn’t released until June 2010. Other comics with an April 2010 publication date were actually released in February 2010, so take your pick about what date to assign this collectible. The cover is marked, “Not for Resale” as seen in this larger version.
Released as part of a Marvel Universe Comic Pack by Hasbro in the summer of 2010, this comic comes with two figures, Dark Spider-Man (Venom) and Dark Wolverine (Daken) from the Dark Avengers. The series started out as a Secret Wars line with two figures and a reprinted Secret Wars comic per pack, but has since changed themes to a Marvel’s Greatest Battles line. Depending on how you reckon the series, it’s either the first release from Wave 5, or it’s the first release from Wave 1 of Series 2 if you prefer to group four waves from the Secret Wars line into Series 1 and the Greatest Battles line into Series 2.
The package clearly indicates that the comic sealed up inside the plastic is Dark Avengers #1 in the upper right, and from what can be seen from the outside of the package, it appears to contain a copy of Dark Avengers #1 with the very familiar regular Mike Deodato, Jr. cover. However, in what might be the finest example of Batesian mimicry in the Comicus Bookus taxonomic classification, the actual comic is NOT Dark Avengers #1!!!
Instead, the book is a partially reprinted and sanitized version of Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus #1. In the original version, Northstar appeared as a regular member of the X-Men and Madison Jeffries appeared as a regular member of the X-Men Science Team during a battle with Dark Beast at the conclusion of the Utopia storyline.
Seven pages of story and a few choice words have been removed. Since it’s targeted for kids aged 4 and up, the kid-inappropriate two page opening bedroom scene by the Dodsons with Scott and Emma has been removed. A four page sequence, also by the Dodsons, featuring Emma’s psychic take-down of The Sentry has also been removed, not because it contains any racy material, but just to save space. In the original, that sequence was an abrupt change in art style bookended by Deodato’s pages, and in the reprint, it actually flows just fine (better?) while being a logical choice for omission. Another page in the final battle sequence is removed so as to correct facing pages, also without much impact on the flow of the story. The two pages where Northstar and Jeffries appear are reprinted whole.
Note: an additional 17 non-story pages were removed, including several advertisement pages, the introductory page, the concluding page with the credits, and a seven page preview of X-Necrosha #1. The last page, inside back cover and back cover were replaced with new advertisement pages.
The sanitized text is not surprising, removing three Hells, two Bastards, three Damns and a Crap. Here is a detailed list of the changes:
Marvel: –th’ Hell?
Hasbro: –th’ %&!#
Marvel: Where the hell did–
Hasbro: Where the %#!@ did–
Marvel: I’m right here, you murderous bastard.
Hasbro: I’m right here, you monster.
Marvel: You might not have wanted a war but you damn well got one–
Hasbro: You might not have wanted a war but you got one–
Marvel: I borrowed power from Mistress Hela herself to make sure you stay the hell down.
Hasbro: I borrowed power from Mistress Hela herself to make sure you stay down.
Marvel: Stop smiling, damn you!
Hasbro: Stop smiling!
Marvel: Damn you Summers–
Hasbro: You lose, Summers–
Marvel: So kill the bastards, I don’t care.
Hasbro: So kill them all, I don’t care.
Marvel: You actually believe the crap you’re shoveling?
Hasbro: You actually believe the stuff you’re saying?
Some of the sanitized versions aren’t so well thought out, notably the one illustrated above where “Hell” is replaced by a string of symbols, which could imply even more badder curse words in its place. Also, it’s not exactly clear how “So kill them all, I don’t care” is appropriate in any way for a four year old. In any case, after the notoriety this site gained from posting very unsanitized text, it feels good for Alpha Flight Collector to wash its mouth out for a change.