New Exiles #12

Issue Date: 
December 2008
Story Title: 
Wild Child!

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

Brief Description: 

Sabretooth finds himself being transported away from the clutches of Hydra through a most unconventional nature, phasing through the ground itself while it rotates on Earth’s axis. When they’re far enough away Cat and Sabretooth head aboveground and try going home, but the Tallus isn’t working. It’s time for Plan B and Cat phases them underground once again, getting them closer to the shoreline and a nearby landing strip. Cat makes some modifications to an airship and they both take off, only to phase out the bottom and return to land. Sabretooth and Cat take cover, staying intangible, hoping to throw Hydra off their trail. The ship is eventually destroyed, but that doesn’t stop Wolverine from finding their cozy little hiding spot. It starts off Wolverine versus Sabretooth, but the latter isn’t healed up well enough so Cat kicks him off the cliff and goes toe to toe with Wolvie. Using some ingenuity, Cat phases the anchors that keep his claws connected, causing them to fall off. Cat proceeds to kill Wolverine with some vicious hacking and slashing. Later, she retrieves Sabretooth and having taken care of their transportation problem the two travel home. Later, at the Palace observation suite, Cat finally tells someone else the Omniverse is dying.

Full Summary: 

Earth #4321

Madame Hydra and her crew search around in angered disbelief. Only moments earlier, when Wolverine had him on the ropes, did Sabretooth suddenly and inexplicably disappear into the ground below. With gritted teeth Wolverine swears he’ll be there when Sabretooth reappears, and will finish him once and for all.
Slaymaster looks over at his teammate Wolverine, the constant thorn in his side. He wonders if Wolverine realizes what really happened to Sabretooth. Better yet, he wonders if he should even bother telling Susan, or leave it up to chance.
Meanwhile, the aforementioned Sabretooth finds himself powerless as the world slides by him. His body seems to be staying in place while the innards of the world race alongside. Before he can run out of oxygen he encounters an open pocket of space. He takes a deep breath of the rancorous air before entering the solid ground once again.
Soon after, Sabretooth emerges aboveground. He takes another deep breath and then falls to the ground. He just lies there on the grass, thankful he’s remaining solid on the surface. He thanks Cat for saving him, noticing her appearance is totally different from the bookish girl he left behind in the Crystal Palace. Cat tells him to relax for a moment and as soon as he’s healed a bit they’ll make their exit to the Palace.
Sabretooth slowly, painfully gets to his feet, because to him there’s no time like the present. Cat tells him to give his healing powers some time to get him back in order. The ever stubborn Sabretooth refuses her advice and passes out from the strain. Cat gives him an “I told you so” and warns him Susan will be on their trail soon, reinforcing the need for him to get his strength back. Sabretooth ignores her and gets right back up. Cat tells him he’s the most stubborn man. Sabretooth says he’ll take that as a compliment.
Sabretooth looks out over the mountainous landscape before them. Cat calculates their little trek took them about 10 miles away from their original position, which, given the nickel-iron mountain range between them and the bad guys, gives them a decent amount of time to effect their escape.
Creed doesn’t want to run, though. He wants to take care of Slaymaster for all the versions of Betsy he’s been killing. He stumbles backwards as he says this and Cat catches him before he falls down. Cat emphasizes he’s in no shape to fight, that they have to leave. Sabretooth finally agrees and tries activating the Tallus. It doesn’t work, though. “This is so not good.” Cat exclaims.
Back at Hydra’s locale, Susan laughs, holding some sort of technological device in her hands. Somehow she managed to block access to the Exiles’ transport-module. This device also gives her a fix on their location, 15 km due west. Sue guesses with him so close to the shore he can’t “disappear” like that again. She tells her men she wants this finished.
While 15 km due west, Cat jumps through Sabretooth, dragging him back down below. Sabes asks what she’s doing. Cat says she’s trying to get more distance between them in case Hydra’s “blocker” has a limited range.
The Exiles reach the end of the line. If they were any closer they’d be swimming. They’re also near a landing pad with an airship parked on the tarmac. Cat races off towards it. Creed asks if she has a plan. Cat tells him to rest while she takes care of things.
A bit later, Cat helps Sabretooth down into the vehicle. Sabes asks how much time they have left. Cat guesses none at all, so at least they’re not caught off guard if they do show up. After Sabretooth is set in the passenger seat Cat phases through him much to his discomfort. She starts the ship and off they go.
Cat starts hooking up some stuff together on the dashboard piquing Creed’s curiosity. Cat explains the little gizmo is what took her so long. Sabretooth hopes she knows what she’s doing. Cat smiles and tells him “Always, boss.” And with that she grabs his hand, phasing them both through the bottom of the ship sending them careening back down to the ground below.
As the two plummet Sabretooth tells Cat it would have been nice for a little heads up. Cat sarcastically asks if he doesn’t like surprises. Sabretooth tells her Howlett’s going to get their smell from the air. Cat begs to differ, pointing out as long as they’re intangible they shouldn’t register to their sensors or to Howlett’s nose. You hope, Sabretooth yells before they both once again fall into the earth.
Cat emerges from the ground and slowly, but surely, pulls Sabretooth up with her. She holds onto his arm as they both lie motionless on the ground, staring up at the sky. Sabretooth can’t believe this is her plan. Cat points out it’s working so far. Sabretooth says he feels mostly dead and asks what happens when Hydra does find them.
Cat questions why Sabretooth thinks they’ll still come after them. After all there’s a ship registering their bio-signatures flying full-speed down the coast and they don’t have any flyers. Sabes assures her they’ll catch the plane, and Cat adds it’ll crash impressively into the ocean. Sabretooth doesn’t think Hydra will buy that. Cat says it’s worth a try.
Moments later, Cat announces the ship has crashed. Sabretooth asks how she knows. Cat says she’s got some sort of connection with her devices. Creed doesn’t look happy when he points out they’re faster and smarter than Cat gave them credit for. Cat says it won’t happen again.
Much later and still no sign of the Hydra team. Sabretooth points out he doesn’t seem to be healing. Cat says it’s her fault as part of keeping him intangible inhibits his neuro-platforms, which prevents his powers from working. She apologizes, but Creed tells her not to worry and then asks if she’s done this before. Cat doesn’t answer so Creed prods some more. Cat jokes they’re being hunted by psycho killers, enough to make anyone squirrelly.
Sabretooth believes she’s putting on a front, but before continuing his line of questioning asks what a “squirrel” is. Cat can’t believe he doesn’t know that. Sabretooth says he came from a rough world and guesses so did she. Cat said it had its moments. Creed just stares at her making Cat uncomfortable. She finally asks what he wants from her. “Truth’d be nice. Trust’d be nicer,” he replies.
Cat doesn’t say a word, just lies there next to Sabretooth. He doesn’t ask again either. Problem is, Cat has all the time in the world to think and it’s her thoughts which turn to her past…
Cat’s flashback:

It seemed like only yesterday when Charles Xavier and his assistant Sage arrived to meet her parents, but Emma Frost got there first and Cat was enrolled with a full scholarship at the Massachusetts Academy. Under the White Queen’s watchful eye Cat became one of the core members of the Hellfire Club’s strike force. The problem was Cat never felt like she belonged and no matter how hard Frost tried to sink her hooks into Cat’s mind and soul the girl proved too intangible.

Cat stirs and looks at Sabretooth staring wide awake. She wonders if she was sleeping and then staring into his eyes sees the reflection of Wolverine leaping towards them. Creed jumps to his feet and knocks Cat aside. Wolverine sinks his claws into Sabretooth’s gut, a wicked smile on his face. He tells Sabretooth he hopes it hurts for there’s more coming.
Creed asks him why he thinks it’ll be that easy, first punching him in the jaw, and then in the gut and following it all up with a slash going up Wolvie’s chest. Wolverine falls to his back, but quickly somersaults and pulls out a gun. He fires six quick shots, but the bullets pass clean through Sabretooth, causing the Exiles leader to exclaim, “What the devil?!”
Wolverine looks back at his smoking gun and comments he’s out. Cat kicks Sabretooth over the cliff edge and says it’s her turn. Sabretooth has just enough time to ask her what she’s doing before crashing to the ground below. Cat wishes him a happy landing and then sets her sights on Wolverine.
Cat tackles Wolverine and they both go tumbling down the slight slope of the rock. Wolverine pins her to the ground and brings back his fist to slash her. She smiles, grabbing his gun and phasing it, causing it to completely fall apart. Wolverine draws his hand back, his claws dripping with dark blood. “Not so smug now, are you little girl.” Wolverine snides.
Cat gets back to her feet and looks down at her carved stomach. She can’t believe what she’s seeing. She was intangible after all. Wolverine takes another swipe at her, but Cat hops out of the way. Wolverine admits he was going to keep her alive so she could watch him kill Sabretooth, but admits it’ll probably be better if Sabes watches him kill her instead. He takes a few more stabs at her, but Cat performs some nifty acrobatic moves and remains unscathed.
Cat tells Wolverine she has a better idea and drop kicks him in the face. Wolverine seems unfazed; pointing out there’s nothing she can do to him that he can’t heal from. Wolverine tries a few more times to skewer her, but the ever nimble Cat avoids them all. Wolverine tries to intimidate her, mentioning his claws are equipped to neutralize her phasing power. “Wanna bet?” Cat asks before phasing into the ground.
Wolverine isn’t impressed and pulls some sort of doohickey out of one of the cargo pockets in his belt. He tosses the device on the ground saying he’s fought people who can turn intangible before. The device explodes with a loud “Boom!” and Cat comes flying up through the ground.
Wolverine walks over to her and asks how she could have thought herself a match for him, especially considering what he did to Sabretooth. Wolverine smiles and asks if she has any last words. Then he looks at her, puzzled, for Cat’s back on her feet and ready to fight. She tells him things aren’t always what they seem.
Wolverine leaps at her assuring her she’ll be dead. He stabs her in the gut, but his claws pass right through her stomach. He pulls his hand back and is surprised to see his claws no longer attached. Surprise, Cat yells as his three claws fall harmlessly to the ground.
Wolverine looks at her shocked, still clutching his clawless hand. Cat explains that’s what happens when you make the anchor-links connecting the blades intangible with the body as well. She then says it’s only the beginning.
Down below, Sabretooth slowly gets up from the rock where he landed. If he notices the powerful yells of anguish coming from Wolverine high above, he doesn’t show it.
Not much later, Cat comes leaping down near to where Sabretooth landed. Her wounds are bandaged and Wolverine’s six claws are tied to a rope slung about her shoulder. She apologizes to Sabretooth for the tough landing. He just looks at her angrily, saying that’s easy for her to say and telling her that wasn’t very nice. Cat points out she saved him. Sabretooth reluctantly agrees and asks where Howlett is. Cat says he’s done and tosses her blade necklace to the ground.
Sabretooth says she’ll have to give him all the gory details. Someday, maybe, Cat replies. She then helps the big lug to his feet and asks him to get them home. Sabretooth asks about the inhibitor. Cat says she took care of that. And with the press of a button the two are transported back home.
Crystal Palace

Some time passes and Cat’s back in the observation suite running through the computers. Her teammates return from their mission and go off on another; still unaware the Omniverse is dying. Cat knows she should tell them the truth, but is torn and scared by past failures.
Cat’s flashback:

Cat’s mind turns once more to her past, to her discovery that Emma Frost, her headmistress, was actually being controlled by the Shadow King. Instead of fighting, Cat simply chose to run away from it all.

She thinks fate is what brought her to the Palace, and has given her a chance to finally prove herself, to start over again. Cat starts to cry, determined to set things right.
Cat’s flashback:

Past thoughts turn to more recent ones as Cat recalls the horrendous affair with Wolverine. She hacked and slashed her way until Wolverine was dead, even using his own claws to achieve the near-impossible feat of his death.

Her thoughts are interrupted by someone entering the room. Cat wipes her tears away and apologizes; she thought she was alone. Cat asks the mystery person if they have time to talk because there’s something she’s been meaning to get off her chest. The Omniverse is dying!

Characters Involved: 

Cat Pryde, Sabretooth (all Exiles)
Madame Hydra, Slaymaster, Venger, Wolverine (all Hydra)
Cat’s flashback

Cat, Cyclops, White Queen (all Massachusetts Academy)
Jean Grey, Sage, Charles Xavier (all X-Men)
Shadow King

Story Notes: 

The rest of the Exiles 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.
In Cat’s flashback to her past in this issue Sage is shown sporting red glasses, an X-uniform and her hair tied up on top whereas the flashback in New Exiles #05 shows Sage in a similar uniform to Cat sans the shades and with her hair down past her shoulders. Did the mystery of Cat’s past get more mysterious or was it an artistic error?
It’s unknown who Cat was talking to at the end of the issue and is never revealed.
Mystiq answers the letters this issue.

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.

Issue Information: 
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