Sabretooth (1st series) #2

Issue Date: 
September 1993
Story Title: 
Death Hunt - part 2: A Kiss before Dying

Larry Hama (Writer), Mark Texeira (Artist), Marie Javins (Colorist), Michael Bair (Art Assistant), Richard Starkings (Letterer), Bob Harras (Editor), Tom DeFalco (Chief)

Brief Description: 

Sabretooth returns to his Vancouver mansion. In a rage, he kicks in the door, yelling for Birdy. He looks out the window to see her getting into a car trying to escape. He chases after her but she gets away. He goes to his garage to get another car but finds that she has slashed all of his tires. Angered by this, he then rips open a hole in a wall to reveal a hidden motorcycle. Creed catches up to Birdy on the freeway and ends up chasing her into a dead end. Birdy turns around and hits Creed on his bike and drives over it. She looks back and she notices that he’s not there. Suddenly, he jumps in the car. She grabs a gun and tries to shoot him but she misses. With her helpless, he tells her to do it. Birdy reluctantly enters his mind and sees his meeting with Tribune. At Tribune’s headquarters, he gets a briefing on Creed’s target: Mystique. Birdy and Sabretooth arrive at his Seattle mansion and notice someone has spray-painted PARIS on a wall; it’s the location of his target. In Paris, Mystique talks on the phone about a meeting. At the same time, Sabretooth stalks her from the rooftops. Once he arrives in the building, he jumps through the window, catching her by surprise. She is able to escape by throwing alcohol on him and lighting it on fire. She escapes to the subway, with Creed in pursuit. He tracks her though the cars and finally catches up to her but, before he grabs her, she changes into his mother. Shocked, Creed flashes back to his childhood and remembers when his father was going to kill him with an axe but ended up killing his mother. He returns to reality and is enraged by this; Mystique takes off out of the subway. As she gets in the elevator of the Eiffel tower, she further goads him by saying that’s what she wanted to do: remind him of his past. Sabretooth climbs up the side of the tower and catches up to her. He wonders how she knows about his mother. She says that he told him in Berlin. But she wants to let Creed discuss it with her dinner date. From the shadows, a voice tells her that he’s not much for talking. Wolverine steps out of the shadows and says he’s going to let his adamantium do the talking.

Full Summary: 

At Sabretooth’s Vancouver Mansion.
Sabretooth returns to his mansion and kicks the door in, yelling for Birdy. As he searches for her, he yells that he’s home and “now you’re gonna get yours!” and that he now “knows what kinda bird you are! A Stool Pigeon!” Creed asks if Tribune “paid her in Roman coins, thirty pieces o’silver?” As he makes it upstairs, Creed wonders if the Birdy’s flown the coop. He looks out the window and sees her getting in his best car. Creed jumps out the window, lands in front of the car and tells her he just wants to talk to her. Birdy tries to drive past him but, as she does, Sabretooth rips off the door. As she drives off, she tells him that he “only has meaningful conversations with people when you’re killing them.”

After Birdy dives off, Creed heads to his garage to get one of his many cars, but finds that she slashed all of the tires. In a rage, he rips a hole in the wall, revealing a hidden room with a secret inside. Birdie continues down the road. She hears a noise and wonders what it is. It’s Sabretooth. As he catches up to her, he asks her, “ain’t you seen a Harley on nitrous before?” Birdy drives through freeway traffic, closely followed by Sabretooth. She then breaks through a barrier but has to slam on the breaks because the freeway isn’t completed.

Birdy turns the car around and heads back towards Creed on his bike. She hits him, drives over the bike and drags it a hundred feet. She looks behind the car sees the bike, but Creed’s body is missing. She wonders where it is. No sooner that she says it, Sabretooth jumps into the passenger seat. Birdy pulls a gun on him and tells him she’ll shoot. She does but he slaps the gun away. She tells him to stop, that they’re going to hit the rail. They hit it head on. As they are falling, Creed looks into Birdy’s face and tells her to do it. She reluctantly agrees and uses her powers on him.

Birdy is suddenly inside of Creed’s mind. She is attacked by the young Creed. She says that this just warps their perception of time, knowing that Sabretooth can hear her, and, when they come out of this, they’ll still going to… She is interrupted by young Creed. He tells her that they can’t see or hear them but they don’t want to miss this. They witness what happened to Sabretooth after the soldiers took him away. His meeting with Tribune, the mission for Sabretooth to kill Mystique and Creed being knocked out again. She also sees Tribune talking to his assistant on the monitor. Back in reality, the car hits the ground. As the car drives away, Birdy asks if he’s better. Creed agrees and tells her he wouldn’t know what he would do without her, “I might just feel bad for a whole two or three minutes if I was to really rip yer head off one o’these days!”

(Elsewhere at Tribune’s headquarters)
Tribune relaxes in front of a large control panel with his helmet off. He is surprised that Creed has caught her already. He asks his assistant, Ellie, if everything was in place at his Seattle mansion. She confirms this and gives him some surveillance reports on Mystique. She also informs him about the finalized detailed background inquiry on her. She comments that “she’s no printemps poulet is she? These filthy mutants, they’re either teenyboppers, old codgers or from the future. Hardly a boomer in the crowd.” Tribune asks if she made sure if none of these inquiries could be traced to him. Ellie tells him that security is absolute and all loose threads have been severed.

(in Seattle)
Creed and Birdy arrive at his house, closely followed by a ninja. Creed is annoyed that PARIS is sprayed on a wall by a “soon-to-be-dead geek.“ Birdy comments that Paris is a weird handle for a graffiti artist. Creed tells her that it’s not a handle; it’s a place, the location of his target. She asks if he’s really going after Mystique and “isn’t she now one of the X-Men?” He tells her that he can’t keep track of them. That’s her job and, now, it is to get two tickets to ‘froggy-land’. Birdy asks if he’s not going to kill her now? As Sabretooth backhands the ninja, he tells her “not for the time bein’.”

(in Paris)
Mystique talks on a phone, “le café de la tour? In an Hour? Fine? A’ tout a l’helire.” She hangs up and says she should change into something more appropriate. As she pours herself a glass of cognac, she thinks to herself, “to think that I used to fret over ‘not being myself’ and ‘losing my identity!’ I’m a shape-shifter and that’s all there is to it. That ‘Blue weirdo’ isn’t the real me, I’m whatever I want to be at the time! And right now, I want to be a bad girl! ” At the same time Sabretooth runs across the rooftops, Birdy tries to keep up with him on the ground. She complains about him and wonders why he “couldn’t just put a raincoat on over the costume and go up the stairs like a normal assassin.” She contacts him when he reaches the building where Mystique is staying.

Sabretooth perches himself on the ledge of the building across from Mystique’s room and comments to himself. “A full moon, a warm night in Paris and somebody to kill, what more could I ask for?” He crashes through the large window, catching Mystique by surprise. He grabs her by the throat and comments that she looks just like the picture, but a shape shifter could still change her appearance instantly. Sabretooth then smells her and recognizes the scent, but isn’t sure from where. Mystique throws her glass of cognac into Creed’s face. Creed tastes it and recognizes it as Martell VSOP, “just the thing to get the ol’ blood goin’!” Mystique says it’s also good on crepes suzette, “especially served up nice and hot, en flambé!” With that she uses a liter to ignite the alcohol that she threw on Creed. She takes off as Sabretooth goes up in flames.

After the flames go out, Sabretooth takes off after her. Once he reaches the street, Birdy pulls up in the car; she tells him that Mystique went down into the metro. He asks why she didn’t run her down. She replies by asking how long is she going to last after he kills her? Sabretooth just growls at this. Mystique runs down the platform trying to blend in. She changes appearance until she then gets on the subway, as it takes off. Sabretooth follows closely and jumps onto the back of the last subway car. Inside the car, Mystique, disguised as a nun and tries to work her way through the crowded car. Sabretooth climbs on the roof of the subway, sniffing along he says he knows her perfume, her scent, her own scent, and that he “knows it from another time, maybe a long time ago.” He rips through the door of the car Mystique is in. She asks him if he remembers her and then changes appearance.

Creed is stunned by her new look; it’s his mother. Creed then flashes back to his childhood. He remembers his mother trying to stop his father from killing him with an axe. His mother says that they wouldn’t do this to a dog. But his father replies by saying; “if he was a dog and done what he did, I’d a put him down on the spot!” She steps in front of him, “He ain’t no dog! He’s our…” His father stops her, from finishing, telling her not to say it. As he raises the axe, he reminds her of what he did to her when he went to pull out his teeth and claws. She jumps in front of Creed, as his father brings down the axe. As it strikes her in the head, Creed comes back to the reality. He yells at Mystique; “You ain’t my ma!” Mystique says that, of course she isn’; she’s dead as she runs out of the subway. Sabretooth wants to know how did she know this and, either way, he’s going to wring it out of her. He then notices that they are at the Eiffel Tower. Mystique runs to an elevator in the tower. She asks if she upset him, made him feel bad? And as the doors shut, “Well, good! That’s what I was trying to do!”

Sabretooth climbs up the side of the Tower. He says that he’s going to take time and get the whole story out of her, one shriek at a time. He questions himself on how Mystique knew about his mother, even wondering if Birdy sold him out. Mystique interrupts him and tells him that he told her himself. He told her his darkest, bloodiest secrets to her in Berlin, before he went into the secret program and had all the blocks put in. Creed is surprised by this revelation. Mystique tells him that he can discuss the whole thing with her dinner date. He was in the same program with him. A voice in the darkness tells her that he’s not much for jawin’. He then steps out of the shadows; it’s Wolverine, who tells them that he’s going to let the adamantium do the talking.

Characters Involved: 




Young Creed
Creed’s Parents

Story Notes: 

When referring to Roman coins and thirty pieces of silver, Sabretooth is, of course, referring to the price Judas Iscariot was paid to betray Jesus, as relayed in the New Testament.

Martell VSOP is a French cognac first produced in the early 18 century. Its bottles bear the medallion of French “Sun King,” Louis XIV.

Mystique was last seen in Uncanny X-Men #301-302 and expressed insecurity about her identity in those issues.

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