New Exiles #11

Issue Date: 
November 2008
Story Title: 
The Killing Field

Chris Claremont (writer), Paco Diaz Luque (penciler), Norberto Fernandez (inker), Wilfredo Quintana (colorist), Simon Bowland (letterer), Damien Lucchese (production), Jordan D. White (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (senior editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Michael Golden (cover)

Brief Description: 

On an unknown Earth Madame Hydra’s crew arrive and kill the family of an alternate Victor Creed and Elizabeth (presumably Braddock). Creed arrives too late to protect his kids, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to kill every bad guy in sight. He succeeds in killing the newest recruit, Boy-Bob Banner, but Elizabeth’s arrival distracts him and Wolverine slices off his head. Elizabeth is equally unfocused by the disaster before her and is killed by Wolverine, much to Slaymaster’s dismay. Much later the Exiles’ Sabretooth arrives in this reality, surveys the horror and swears vengeance. He heads back to the Palace and finds Cat hard at work elsewhere. In truth, Cat is trying to discover how to stop the Omniverse from dying, but is unsuccessful so far. When she journeys back to the observation suite she finds Sabretooth missing. She resorts to the computer to find him and has to hack her way in because Sabes set up some blocks. She stumbles upon the Hydra disaster and footage of Sabretooth training Psylocke to defeat Slaymaster. Meanwhile, in a futuristic, floating city on Earth #4321 Sabretooth stalks Madame Hydra’s apartment and waits for an opportunity to strike. When Wolverine goes out by himself Creed follows him and a battle begins. They end up falling off the city edge and when they crash-land Creed isn’t well enough to fight. Wolverine is and the rest of his teammates teleport in to watch the execution. Before the killing blow can be delivered Sabretooth mysteriously sinks into the ground below, enraging Madame Hydra and her crew.

Full Summary: 

Unknown Earth

Boy-Bob Banner, Slaymaster and Wolverine arrived just before dawn, when the staff was busy getting everyone ready for school. And although their security was the best in the realm, they didn’t even realize they were under attack until people started dying. Victor Creed arrives too late to prevent the slaughter, but that doesn’t mean he can’t try to avenge it.
And it’s on the house grounds that Creed finds himself in a world of trouble. Wolverine leaps at him, forcing Victor into a defensive posture. He manages to turn Wolverine’s attack against him, slashing through his chest and sending the sadistic murderer back from whence he leaped.
The rock-star powerhouse, Boy-Bob Banner, moves in next, but Creed ducks, avoiding his overhand left. He then painfully catches another punch with his hands and pushes the green-skinned behemoth to the ground. Banner gets back up, but going into a berserker rage Creed begins hacking and tearing and slashing at Banner’s chest. Banner finally succumbs to his wounds, falling to the grass below, a pool of green blood coalescing around him.
Wolverine gets back to his feet and tells Victor he’s impressed. Creed isn’t amused and the two tango once more. Creed moves to strike, but Wolverine dodges his attack this time and scores an adamantium slash across Vic’s face.
Wolverine lands and takes a look at his now blind adversary, joking that he bet that hurt. Sabretooth grabs him the throat and tells him it’s no game. He then tosses the little punk into a nearby tree, the impact of his body snapping it in half.
A car pulls up just in time to see the tree fall crashing to the ground. Elizabeth steps out, hardly believing her eyes. Creed tells her to get away and leave the fight to him. Unfortunately for her that option is taken away by Slaymaster who runs his sword through the hood of her car.
Also unfortunate, Creed’s momentary distraction allows Wolverine the upper hand. He drives both sets of claws through Creed’s back and out his chest. He falls to his knees and tells Betsy he’s sorry, that he really tried… his last few words barely more than a whisper.
Slaymaster looks solemn as he tells Creed they will remember him for that. Betsy, on the other hand, looks shocked. Then there’s Wolverine, with the killer smile and his chest wounds already healed. He brings his claws down in a swooping arc from either side, cleanly separating Creed’s head from his neck.
Betsy, tears streaming down her face, immediately goes after Slaymaster, manifesting a psychic dagger and trying to stab him with it. Slaymaster is too good and leaps out of harm’s way. She then calls out for Brian, Celia and William. Wolverine runs over and asks if she’s calling for her children, then tells her, her husband is already on his way to joining them. Slaymaster yells out to him, but it’s too late. Wolverine impales her through the back.
Slaymaster yells at Wolverine for taking his kill, the deceased Betsy lying on the ground between them. Wolverine defends himself saying it looked like he was in trouble and was just trying to save his butt. Wolverine asks if he’s got a problem with that. Slaymaster looks like he does and starts to say something, but Wolverine warns him to choose his words carefully.
Madame Hydra makes her grand entrance and comments on what a nice fight that would be, and suggests the winner might come as a surprise. Wolverine tells her that’ll be the day before grabbing her for a kiss. Slaymaster looks at him wildly and quietly says that’s a day he’s looking forward to.
Much later, Sabretooth arrives to check out the carnage. He finds his alternate version headless on the ground. He then checks on Psylocke cradling her neck with his hand. Next, he moves into the house and finds servants and children alike, dead and slaughtered. A fury rages within him, especially after seeing the children. He picks up a stuffed animal from the floor and promises to himself their deaths will not go unavenged.
Crystal Palace

Sabretooth arrives back at the Crystal Palace and begins looking for Cat. She’s not in the transit lounge or the observation suite so he asks out loud where she could be. The palace responds by bringing up a visual of Cat running some sort of test on the crystalline structure of their home.
“There you are—wherever the devil that is,” Sabretooth comments. He tells her next time to leave a note so they have a decent chance of finding her body. Cat tells him he’s one to talk. Sabretooth tells her rank has its privileges. Cat doesn’t seem to care and asks Sabretooth if it can wait as she’s busy with something.
Sabretooth resigns himself to waiting, surprised at the temper on that girl. He wonders what’s got her in such a huff, it’s not like the Omniverse is dying. Creed recognizes he doesn’t really know much about her, or about any of the other Exiles for that matter. He sits down at the computer station and brings up a battle between Slaymaster and Psylocke, thinking the best way for the Exiles to cope with each other is in how they deal with their secrets.
Cat, meanwhile, is still running her tests on the Palace, exploring areas that even Sabretooth is unaware of. Although it seems for every answer she finds, more questions are brought up.
Cat drops her tools in aggravation and starts yelling out “No!” She starts to cry, frustrated at her inability to figure out why the Omniverse is dying. She tightens her fists and tells herself she’s not with the Exiles by accident, that she can find the answer.
Moving her gloved hand to her cheek, Cat wipes away her tears. She gets up to her feet and yells that she’s done with death. “D’you hear me, reaper? You’ve left your last scar on me!” she cries out, “Do you hear me reaper?! I will Not let this disaster happen! Whatever’s required, whatever it takes—I will find a way to Win!”
Cat makes her way back to the observation suite only to find Sabretooth no longer there. She wants to apologize for her harsh words earlier, but he’s nowhere to be found. She even runs a scan on the residence grid, but no dice. Then a recording of Sabretooth pops up. He tells Cat something came up and he had to step out for a short while.
Cat looks up at the hologram of her leader, ready to spit nails. She’s furious Sabretooth didn’t explain where he went. She runs a bio-trace, but it turns out Sabretooth messed with the system, creating files and locking her out. Cat’s surprised “Mr. Muscles” was able to figure out how to do that, but she knows she’s better and she’s determined to meet his challenge.
Finally breaking through into the system, Cat is alarmed at what she finds. It’s a recording of the recent disaster involving Madame Hydra’s team.
Then, another Sabretooth hologram pops up and explains what’s happening. An image of the four surviving Hydra members appears and Sabretooth explains who each one is and where they’re from and that they have some way to transit dimensions just like them.
Sabretooth then explains their apparent mission statement. Madame Hydra is looking for recruits for her team, while Slaymaster bides his time killing analogues of Psylocke. Creed explains that in Psylocke’s first mission they battled, but he never had the chance to kill her. Creed supposes this spoiled his perfect record and now he’s going to kill every version of her until they’re extinct.
The video then moves onto a training sequence between Psylocke and Sabretooth, though he’s visually cloaked to look like Slaymaster. Sabretooth yells at her to stop thinking and then punches her in the face. He tells her a fraction of a second is all her adversary needs to take her down. He then ends the program and asks her how she feels. Psylocke feels horrible. Creed tells her to catch her breath so they can do it again. Psylocke asks if it’s so he can slam her one more time. Sabretooth, looking like himself again, opines that at least she gets a second chance for the real Slaymaster won’t be so generous.
The hologram Sabretooth adds that with his training Psylocke’s getting better, but Slaymaster has her spooked, and as long as that holds true she’s never going to be able to beat him.
Earth #4321

A futuristic city lies hovering 20 stories above the ground. Flying vehicles bustle to and fro as waves slam against the rocky shores below. It is in this city that team Hydra calls home. They all seem to be chilling except Slaymaster. Susan’s in the hot tub while Venger and Wolverine are hanging out with just their shorts on.
Too bad Sabretooth has found them. He thinks it’s no coincidence they chose this place. There isn’t an analogue of any of the Exiles naturally born to this dimension so he guesses it’s neutral turf.
Sabretooth bides his time until an opportunity arises. Finally it does, as the group leaves and goes their separate ways. Susan gets into a car while Slaymaster and Venger head off together. Sabretooth is left with Wolverine who wanders off alone. He follows Howlett until he’s sure they’re alone and then drops-kicks him in the back of the head.
Wolverine is knocked into a post bordering the edge of the city. Sabretooth tells him he’s been looking forward to this and is ready to settle the score for the version of him Wolverine killed a while back. Sabretooth closes ground quickly and starts punching him in the gut saying it’s also for the woman he loved and their kids.
Sabretooth is forced to pause when a knife is lodged into the back of his shoulder. Slaymaster apologizes, but says he can’t let Sabes kill his teammate or do him any harm. Even they have a code of honor, Slaymaster finishes.
Wolverine tells Slaymaster to shut up because the longer he talks the longer a chance he has to heal. Sabretooth says he doesn’t need to heal to finish him off. With that, Sabretooth grabs Wolverine and they both go over the edge. The two of them plummet to the ground far below.
As they fall Sabretooth wonders how the devil Slaymaster got the drop on him. He never even caught a whiff of Slaymaster’s stink. His thoughts distract him and Wolverine starts to wriggle free. They begin duking it out in the air, up until they connect with the side of a mountain.
They bounce and bounce until they finally meet the ground. Sabretooth isn’t quite healed well enough to fight. Wolverine is, however, and asks Creed if he’s ready to die. Wolverine’s three teammates teleport in and he tells Sabretooth he’s lucky that his friends want to see the show so he has a few more minutes to live.
Wolverine asks his woman if she has any reason to keep Sabes alive. Susan tells Wolverine to end him. Slaymaster interjects, asking Wolverine to keep him alive a bit longer so he can use him to find the Psylocke that escaped him and finally kill her. Wolverine tells him he’s gotta do what his woman wants and drives his claws downward into Sabretooth’s chest.
Except, Sabretooth suddenly disappears into the ground below. Wolverine’s claws dig deep into the dirt, and that’s all. He can’t believe what happened and asks Susan if she saw that. Susan asks if he thought it would really be that easy. She orders the group to start a search because unless he was teleported he couldn’t have gone too far. And as if she actually had to say it, she orders Sabretooth and whoever’s helping him killed.

Characters Involved: 

Cat Pryde, Sabretooth (all Exiles)
Boy-Bob Banner, Madame Hydra, Slaymaster, Venger, Wolverine (all Hydra)
computer display

Psylocke, Sabretooth (all Exiles)

Madame Hydra, Slaymaster, Venger, Wolverine (all Hydra)
three alternate Psylockes (pilot, barbarian, 19th century Briton)
Unknown Earth

Victor Creed

dead bodies (servant, two children shown)
Earth #4321

random citizens

Story Notes: 

Michael Golden is incorrectly listed as Michael Bolden in the staff credits.
According to the narrative captions Victor Creed of the unknown Earth was a wanderer, explorer, and secret agent, much like Betsy, and they spent their lives together seeking out Earth’s secrets and battling evil-doers who sought to steal and exploit them.
The last time we saw Madame Hydra she was recruiting Venger in New Exiles #06.
The rest of the Exiles are absent because they are off protecting a world from a French invasion as depicted in the previous story arc.
At this point only Sabretooth and Cat are aware the Omniverse is dying.
Cat answers the letters this issue.
According to Tallus About It the mini-Marvels hail from Earth #99062
Another trivial fact, according to Tallus About It there’s a Kenneth Proudstar from Earth #9055 who likes to wear a lot of scarlet.

As discovered in the letters pages of New Exiles #14, the reality #1234 was seen before in Marvel Universe: The End where it was conquered by Akhenaten. The editor's response to this letter is that time passed quickly and it's circa 3-400,000 years later that the Exiles arrive which is how the Earth is repopulated and all futuristic looking.

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