Marvel Fanfare (2nd series) #6

Issue Date: 
February 1997
Story Title: 
Second Chances

Jamie Campos (writer), Stephen Jones & Gabe Alberola (penciler), Mike Witherby & Hilary Barta (inkers), Ul Higgins (letterer), Brian Bioccelate (colorist), Prof Felder (editor), Bob Haras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Sabretooth escapes from X-Factor when he learns that his former partner, the Constrictor, is killing various men who worked for them. His travels take him to San Francisco, where Power Man and Iron Fist have become involved in tracking down the serial killer. When they learn that it is the Constrictor, they agree to team up with Sabretooth to capture him. Given their history, things are strained between Power Man, Iron Fist and Sabretooth, but they eventually locate the Constrictor before he kills his last victim. Sabretooth’s restraining collar comes off in battle with the Constrictor, and he beats his former partner to unconsciousness. X-Factor soon arrive on scene and apprehend their escaped team member, leaving Power Man and Iron Fist to take the Constrictor to the authorities.

Full Summary: 

Somewhere in New Orleans, the man called Sabretooth a.k.a. Victor Creed, stalks through an office building. On one floor, he holds the limp body of a young man dressed in a suit, blood pooling on the ground beneath him. The office has been trashed, with papers everywhere and furniture in a shambles. Sabretooth is a psychopath and a feral mutant. Only the restraining collar around his neck keeps him from ripping apart his enemies. And everyone is his enemy. ‘It was nice knowing ya, anyway, Morty. But your being dead ain’t helping me none’ Creed remarks as he drops the young man on the ground, and pushes a desk away. More bodies are revealed on the floor, when suddenly, Sabretooth finds a file lying on the ground. ‘Well, well, well…Roland, old pal - guess who’s coming for supper’ Sabretooth snarls as he holds up a file which has an address on it: Roland Perry, 190 Harrison, San Francisco.

Outside an airport in San Francisco, Luke Cage a.k.a. Power Man stands beside a red car. He is a very muscular man with a lot on his mind. His current case started only weeks ago - capture an escaped murderer, the Constrictor. But he didn’t think he’d be chasing the villain across the United States, or that the case would reunite him with his old partner, Danny Rand a.k.a. Iron Fist. But, both reasons have brought him here. ‘It’s about time! You couldn’t call to tell me you gonna be three hours late?’ Luke asks. Danny smiles and replies that it is payback. ‘Because you still haven’t told me why you wanted to meet here’ Danny explains. ‘I think you’re getting smaller’ Luke remarks as the men hug, to which Danny replies ‘Get real. Stop eating your Wheaties’.

Danny asks Luke what’s up, and whether he is just here to drive him around in his new car. Luke replies that he is afraid not, and tells Danny that Heroes for Hire have one last job. ‘I thought you might want in - considering who we’re dealing with’ Luke tells Danny. ‘The Constrictor’ Danny remarks, while Luke turns to his new red car and tells him that he will fill him in on the way. Luke looks at the car and sees that the cars parked at the front and rear of it are parked very closely. ‘Ha, I don’t think we’re going anywhere…for a while’ Danny points out. Aside from his super human strength, Luke also has bullet proof skin. He uses these gifts to protect humanity, but, occasionally, he likes to help himself, and does so right now, by lifting his car up with one arm, moving onto the road and out from its cramped position between the two cars.

‘I know, I know. You’re jealous’ Luke remarks, while Danny claps. Luke points out that they don’t have time to wait for Mr Inconsiderate Driver to come back, while Danny asks him if he is proud of himself. ‘I’m a lot happier. Let’s get moving’ Luke says back. They get into the car and speed off down the street.

Shortly, at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, where cars have come to a stand still, as police cars surround a body on the bridge. An ambulance officer places a blanket over the body, while Luke and Danny have stepped out of the car and watch the scene from the sidewalk on the bridge. ‘The Constrictor sure does get around these days’ Danny remarks. Luke tells his friend to keep it down, and adds that the cops have no idea who their “serial killer” is. ‘If we give that away -’ he begins, to which Danny remarks ‘ - we’ll have to worry about them getting too close too soon’, and adds that the plan is to figure out where the Constrictor would go from here.

‘Heads up - I don’t think our friend ran fast enough’ Luke remarks as he sees a shadow descend down nearby. He adds that he wasn’t planning on any action tonight, but that he sees no reason to disappoint the man. ‘Come on out, Constrictor. We’re ready for - you!’ Danny declares, when they see that is isn’t the Constrictor skulking about, but Sabretooth! ‘Top of the evening to ya, ladies. I know you were expecting Frankie - but I’m much better looking - and I ain’t gonna run away from ya’ Sabretooth announces. ‘SABRETOOTH!’ Luke and Danny exclaim in unison. Luke goes over to Creed and remarks that he should have known he would be here. ‘You and the Constrictor were partners before -’ he begins, to which Creed smiles, and remarks ‘Aw, geez. Such memories’

Creed asks Like if he is still ready for some action, and calls him “Power Boy”. ‘I don’t need Frankie around to whip your -’ he boasts, while Luke shouts ‘You’re on!’, until Danny pulls his friend backwards, telling him to relax, and points out that Sabretooth is just playing with him. ‘He’s here for a reason. I wanna know what it is’ Danny adds. Sabretooth tells the heroes that they are all on the same side here. ‘I’m a hero now - just like you!’ he claims. Cage narrows his eyes and calling Creed a “psycho”, tells him that he is not in the mood for his games. ‘I haven’t killed you yet because of this collar’ Sabretooth replies, adding that it was designed and voice activated by Forge of X-Factor, his new home sweet home. Creed adds that X-Factor “helps” the government.

Sabretooth crouches down beside the body and announces that he cannot be touched, and that he is here because he worked with the Constrictor. ‘These guys worked for both of us’ he adds, referring to the bodies. ‘You wanna fight, fine. But me and Frank got one pal left he hasn’t killed. Fight me and you won’t have time to catch Constrictor’ Creed tells Luke and Danny. Danny remarks that it looks like they are teaming up on this, whether any of them like it or not. He warns Creed to remember that they are both half a step behind him. ‘Been a while since we messed with Sabretooth…’ Luke tells Danny. ‘…Power Man and Iron Fist were household names back then’ he adds.

Flashback, narrated by Power Man:

As Power Man, Cage was determined to protect those households from Sabretooth, then known as Slasher, who had just tried to slice up Cage’s girlfriend. She lay in a hospital bed while Slasher went out for a drink. Power Man and Iron Fist confronted him, and it was supposed to be the end - Sabretooth and the Constrictor - to the death. Slasher was more than willing to agree to the terms, and he attacked Power Man, shredding his shirt. ‘Don’t back down now, pretty boy! We’re just getting started!’ he snarled. Cage’s bullet proof skin kept him from getting even a scratch, while Iron Fist took on the Constrictor who was also in the bar. ‘Oh, don’t worry. I won’t even rest - until I’m positive there’s no way you’re ever getting back up’ Power Man warned Sabretooth.

It was supposed to be the end, Creed was never going to hurt anybody again. Cage slammed Creed’s head into the ground, cracking the floor, and wrapped his hand around Creed’s neck, ‘A little tighter “Slasher” and I’ll finish what I came here to do’ Cage declared. He turned as Iron Fist called out to him. He saw Danny standing over the defeated Constrictor, while Luke remarks that Danny is always there to keep his head and conscience clear. ‘You don’t want to do this, Luke’ Danny told his friend. ‘I can’t stop you, we both know that. But killing Sabretooth won’t serve justice. If you kill him, he wins. How fair’s that?’ Danny remarked. They promised to the death, so as far as Cage is concerned, Danny saved Sabretooth’s life that night.


Cage and Danny have changed into their costumes, and with Sabretooth stand outside an apartment block. ‘Okay, ladies. The quickest way to find Frankie-boy is to split up’ Creed tells them. ‘You two tough guys can -’ Creed begins as he starts to walk towards the building, while Cage grabs him by the shoulder and tells him to keep dreaming. ‘Like I’m gonna let you out on your own’. Luke tells Cage and Creed to chill out long enough to remember that they are here to save a man’s life, and warns them to keep the personal stuff to a minimum. Danny strides out into the street, and a car drives past, the driver honks the horn at him, while on the sidewalk, Creed mutters ‘Touchy, ain’t he?’, while Cage calls out to Danny, asking him to start with the basement, and that they will catch up. ‘Feel like I should know better than to leave you two alone’ Iron Fist mutters.

Danny finds a window at pavement level, and crouches down, pushing it open, he climbs through it, head first. ‘Years of discipline and training in the martial arts…and I’m the one stuck squeezing into the basement’ he mutters to himself, while hoping that Luke can keep himself from killing Sabretooth. ‘I trust him, but - Sabretooth really does seem different. If he’s telling the truth’. Danny makes his way into a corridor, and wonders ‘Now what have we in here? From the mess, somebody’s already been here’. He searches the messed up apartment, and reading through a file, decides that Sabretooth may have reformed, but that his buddies have not. A shadow descends into the room, and a weapon is aimed at the back of Danny’s head, while Danny supposes that once Roland’s life is saved, all of this evidence will send him straight to prison.

Suddenly, Iron Fist realizes someone is behind him, and he spins around, grabbing the weapon, which happens to be the Constrictor’s deadly whips. ‘Y’know…it’s been so long, Constrictor…I was afraid I wouldn’t recognize you. But, yeah…you’re as stupid as ever’ Danny declares as he flings the Constrictor across the room, slamming him into the wall. The Constrictor knocks aside one of the desks and replies that Iron Fist still likes to talk tough when he should be fighting, and hurling the desk at him, tells him he will teach him to keep his mouth shut, permanently. Danny dodges the desk, and lunges towards Constrictor, but the villain cracks his whip, and it cuts into Danny’s side. ‘I’ve improved my coils, as you can feel right about now. That’s why there’s always been so much blood from my victims’ Constrictor boasts.

‘I’ve made some other improvements I’d love to show you…’ the Constrictor tells Danny as he walks towards him. Power glows around Danny as he clenches his fist, while telling himself that his speed is the only thing that got him out of that. Danny decides that Constrictor has gotten better, but not enough that one of his old tricks won’t work. ‘Hey, Frankie do me a favor - feel my Iron Fist!’ Danny exclaims as he spins around and leaps upwards, punching Constrictor hard in the face and knocking him backwards. Danny does this by calling upon his chi, his inner life energy, focusing it to his hand until it becomes a thing like unto iron.

Danny walks towards Constrictor and tells him that it is over. ‘Yes, but it has been so long you’ve forgotten - my bullet-proof chest armor. Not stronger than your Iron Fist, but you gave me long enough to recover. And now an old trick you’ve definitely forgotten’ Constrictor declares as he hurls his coils forward, wrapping them around Iron Fist’s body. Danny struggles to break free, but the Constrictor’s “old trick” comes into play as he electrocutes him through the coils. ‘An oldie, but a goodie. See you on the other side, pup’ the Constrictor declares as he exits the room, leaving Danny’s body on the floor.

Nearby, Cage and Creed walk up some stairs, but begin to run when they hear someone scream for help. ‘If I’d known I’d end up working with you Heroes for Hire, I would’ve killed you and your friends when I had the chance’ Creed mutters. Luke grabs him by the fur around his collar and pulls Creed back, asking ‘Is that so? But you ain’t ever gonna have that chance again - my promise to you. I’ll see to it personally’. Creed snarls and asks ‘Why all the whining? We could settle this right now. Just use your strength and help me get this restraining collar off’ he suggests. Luke replies that he would love to, but points out that a man’s life is at stake here. ‘There should be plenty of time to put your butt in a sling later’ Cage warns Creed.

Power Man enters the room where the scream for help came from, and he finds Roland, tied up to the roof by several of the Constrictor’s coils. ‘Oh, thank God! Help me! The coils are tearing into my skin! I’m gonna die!’ he pleads. Cage calls out to Sabretooth, but then realizes that he is gone. ‘Run while you can, man, you only get one chance’ Cage mutters.

Sabretooth makes it to the building rooftop, and calls out to the Constrictor, telling him that he knows he is up here. ‘I caught your scent…two blocks away’ he calls out. The Constrictor emerges from the shadows, and replies ‘I’m honored, and I can’t begin to thank you for being stupid enough to bring yourself right to me’. The Constrictor boasts that he has got Sabretooth right where he wants him, and hurls his coils forward - but suddenly Creed grabs them, and yanks the Constrictor towards him, holding onto the coils still, he punches the Constrictor in the face. ‘I’m starting to get the feeling you didn’t miss me like I missed you’ the Constrictor mutters, before falling to the rooftop.

Sabretooth snarls at him, and the Constrictor tells his former partner that he heard about his restraining collar, but couldn’t believe it. He sends another coil forward, and wraps it around Sabretooth’s neck, remarking that while it means Creed is prevented from killing him, he has the advantage. ‘I looked out for you. But you left me to rot in prison while you went and joined the government!’ Constrictor exclaims as he electrocutes Sabretooth, who cries out as the current rushes through his body. The Constrictor tells Sabretooth that he doesn’t know how he can live with himself, to which Creed replies that a strong healing factor will beat out Frankie’s coils any day. ‘But I just don’t know what Forge is gonna have to say when he finds out - you just trashed my restraining collar!’ he snarls, grinning wickedly, saliva dribbling from his mouth.

Creed pulls hard on the Constrictor’s coils, and rips them from his wrists, causing Frankie to cry out in pain. ‘Not that I have a problem with it. I get to kill you a whole lot sooner now’ Creed adds, while telling the Constrictor not to worry, that he won’t have to suffer long, and lunges forward, using his razor-sharp claws to slash the Constrictor’s chest armor from him. Creed pulls his arm back, ready to strike again with his claws, ‘And with one clean strike, it’ll all be over -’ he begins, before Iron Fist comes between the two of them. ‘Excuse me - coming through!’ Danny exclaims as he knocks Sabretooth back with his powerful iron fist.

Power Man joins them on the roof, while Danny tells Sabretooth that he beat the Constrictor, so now they need to leave him alone and let the authorities at him. ‘Sure thing. What do you say, Power Boy? The collar ain’t working - still wanna play dirty while ya got the chance?’ he asks Power Man. Danny tells Luke to take it easy, and points out that without the collar, nothing will hold Sabretooth back from killing him. ‘Good. After all this time, that’s exactly the way I want it’ Luke replies, when suddenly, Sabretooth moves towards him and slashes across his chest once more. ‘Oh, stop now. You’re scaring the daylights outta me!’ Creed mocks. He tells Cage to get up, and adds that even he knows he cannot rip Cage’s skin.

‘If you insist’ Cage replies as he gets up and punches Creed hard in the face. ‘I’ve waited years to pay you back for the people you’ve killed and hurt - and for everything you’ve done against me and the people I love’ he adds as he punches him again. Sabretooth falls to the rooftop, and Power Man tells the mutant that he has got nothing left. ‘It all ends tonight. Now’ he warns him. ‘Not…yet’ Creed replies as he recovers. ‘What the - how did you -?’ Cage asks, surprised. Creed smiles back and declares that this is gonna take longer than Cage thought. ‘Wanna keep dancing?’ he asks. ‘No more games!’ Power Man shouts as he smacks Sabretooth backwards. He begins to choke Sabretooth again and declares that his healing factor cannot help him breathe. ‘It’s…over!’ Cage announces. ‘Think so? ‘Cause if I get the chance, I’m going after all of ‘em. T’kill all of the friends and family of yours I missed before’ Sabretooth announces. Cage gets angry, and his eyes go wide, both hands are wrapped around Creed’s neck.

‘You getting weaker, Power Boy? Or are you -’ Creed begins, before Cage pulls away from him. ‘Letting go? You wanna even try to hurt anybody else - and I get the chance to hurt you again…worse’ Cage warns him. Sabretooth frowns and calls Luke a fool, as he spins around and lunges towards the Constrictor, who is lying motionless nearby. ‘The Constrictor’s life is mine!’ Sabretooth shouts , when suddenly, several darts strike him in the neck, and he collapses.

‘Step away from Sabretooth, Heroes. We’ll handle him from here!’ Forge calls out as he and his X-Factor teammates are magnetically lowered to the rooftop from their ship, which hovers in the air above. The magnetic lift is thanks to Lorna “Polaris” Dane. With them are Dr Valerie Cooper, Kyle “Wild Child” Gibney and the mysterious Shard. ‘X-Factor?’ Power Man asks. ‘It’s about time’ Iron Fist mutters. Wild Child lands on Creed’s chest, ready to strike should he wake from the tranquilizer. ‘Oh, man. If I had a nickel for every time I prayed to be in this position…’ the young mutant mutters, while Forge tells him to relax, as he places another restraining collar around Sabretooth’s neck.

Forge tells Power Man and Iron Fist that X-Factor appreciate their efforts, and announces that the situation is under control. ‘You call this “under control”? What possessed you people to let him out on his own in the first place?’ Iron Fist enquires, annoyed. ‘You did your job, kid, not let us do ours’ Valerie tells him sternly. X-Factor load Sabretooth into the ship, with Forge turning to Luke and Danny and remarking ‘You two play heroes for the people that need it. Stick to a game you can play’. Sabretooth smiles and tells everyone to relax. ‘We heroes gotta stick together, right, Power Boy?’ he snarls.

Soon, X-Factor’s ship takes off into the sky, and Power Man throws the motionless Constrictor onto his shoulders. ‘Kid? I’m not that young!’ Danny mutters, referring to Val’s comment. ‘Maybe it was the whining’ Luke suggests to him, before remarking that at least this is over. Danny tells Luke that he has a question: ‘No one could’ve stopped you from killing him - so why didn’t you?’ he asks. Luke tells his friend that it was close, but that if he killed Sabretooth, he would be no better than Sabretooth himself. ‘Once heroes start letting the world down, what good are we anymore?’ Cage asks. ‘Wow, you figured that out on your own, huh?’ Danny asks. Luke puts his other arm around his friend and as they walk off, tells him that he isn’t that young, just short. ‘Keep eating your Wheaties’ he jokes.

Characters Involved: 

Forge, Polaris, Sabretooth, Shard, Wild Child (all X-Factor)

Dr Valerie Cooper

Power Man & Iron Fist


Body of victim

Office workers

Police officers

Ambulance officers

In Flashback:

Sabretooth / Slasher

Power Man & Iron Fist


Story Notes: 

The original Marvel Fanfare was an bi-monthly anthology style series that lasted sixty issues from 1982 until 1992. This second series began in 1996 as a monthly anthology series, but only lasted six issues, and was cancelled with this issue.

This issue takes place between X-Factor (1st series) #126 and Sabretooth & Mystique #1-4 and X-Factor (1st series) #127.

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