Sabretooth (3rd series) #1

Issue Date: 
April 2022
Story Title: 
The Adversary

Victor LaVelle (writer), Leonard Kirk (artist), Rain Beredo (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Cory Petit (letterer & production), Tom Muller (designer), Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer & Frank Martin (cover artists), Todd Nauck & Rachelle Rosenberg (Headshot Variant cover artists); Ryan Brown; Mico Suayan & Frank D'Armata (variant cover artists), Lauren Amaro (assistant editor), Jordan D White (editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Sabretooth is exiled to the Pit, the mysterious underground of Krakoa where problem mutants are sent. Within the Pit, Sabretooth spends his time hunting a bear, then when several heroic mutants confront him, he uses their own powers against them and kills them. In some sort of prison meeting room he is visited by Cypher who acts as his lawyer. Cypher offers Sabretooth a bargain, which would provide Sabretooth with mental freedom, but that his body must remain in prison. Sabretooth imagines killing Professor X, tearing off Iron Fist's hands and slaughtering Feral, Wolfsbane and other lupine-like mutants. Versions of Sabretooth – the child, the Captain and the killer, gather to discuss their conquests. Sabretooth becomes Creed the King who slaughters armies and leads a version of the Starjammers. On Krakoa proper, Black Tom thinks he sees Sabretooth appear trapped within some vines in a forest, and he's not the last to think they see Creed, either, as Rhapsody, the Blob and Mole all have close encounters with a spectre-like Sabretooth. Creed's reign over hell rages on, where he kills the Quiet Council in brutal, violent ways, until his reign is interrupted by five mutants who are banished to the Pit – Nekra, Madison Jeffries, Oya, Melter and Third-Eye – and Sabretooth is going to start his rampage of Krakoa by taking them out first, the moving on to those above.

Full Summary: 

'I am in hell' Victor Creed a.k.a. Sabretooth thinks to himself as he stands in the center of the Quiet Council. 'Look at these clowns. How does Xavier even see out of that helmet?' Sabretooth wonders as he looks over at the table where Xavier, Magneto and Apocalypse sit. He decides that Magneto passing judgment on anyone is a laugh, although he admits to himself that he has always liked “Purple Thunder's” style, referring to Apocalypse. He then turns to Nightcrawler, Jean Grey and Storm, and decides they are “the kids' table”, who look like they are playing dress up. 'Merchant and Ivory presents...' Sabretooth jokes to himself as he looks at the smirking Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw, who tugs at the scarf around his neck. 'And here we've got the Rainbow Gang' Sabretooth decides as he looks at Sinister, Exodus and Mystique. 'Can't even look at me, Leni?' Sabretooth thinks to himself as he looks at Mystique, who has her eyes closed.

'You think I'm just going to take this? I'm making a list and now you're on it... along with your kids. And then their kids. I will make your line extinct' Sabretooth snarls. 'Are you listening to me?' he calls out as he starts to move towards Xavier. 'Douglas...' the ever-calm Professor X utters. Sitting nearby, as Doug Ramsey a.k.a. Cypher, who turns to the manifestation of Krakoa itself and speaks to Krakoa in its native language: 'Bad news. It looks like leniency is out the window. I guess you know what to do'. The ground in the middle of the Quiet Council then opens up, and Sabretooth is dragged into via dozens of vines which wrap around his body. ' are exiled' Xavier states. Xavier turns away from the gaping hole in the earth and tells his fellow Council members that he knows it is distasteful. 'No prison can hold me. I'll be free before you even notice!' Creed calls out from the hole – before it closes up over him.

(in dream)
Sabretooth sits on a snow-covered ledge within a forest, blanketed by snow. 'Told ya' he thinks to himself. Suddenly, his nose twitches as he picks up a scent. He rushes through the forest, leaping up into a tree, where he rests on a branch. 'I know what I am' Sabretooth tells himself as he looks down to a large brown bear which lumbers across the ground beneath him. 'Not many people can say that' he decides as he leaps from the tree, down onto the bear's back – then chomps his own razor-sharp teeth down into the bear's shoulder. 'Most people tell fairy tales about themselves. Anything to avoid true knowledge of themselves' Sabretooth thinks to himself, while the bear fights back, biting down onto Sabretooth's leg. Sabretooth responds by ripping the bear's own face off. 'I've always known what I am' Sabretooth decides. 'Coward!' someone calls out. 'That bear hardly counts as competition. Why don’t you try us?'

'Well, look who's here' Sabretooth responds, turning, he sees Wolverine, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm and Nightcrawler standing nearby. 'I embarrassed Baldilocks, is that it? He said I'd never be free, and yet here I am' Sabretooth snarls, blood dripping down his face. 'Quiet' Jean utters, telepathically rendering Sabretooth unable to speak. Cyclops suggests they wrap this up, and remarks that they will be home before his coffee gets cold. But, suddenly, 'One head scrambler ain't enough. You shoulda brought two!' Sabretooth exclaims as he rips Cyclops' face off. As he does so, Cyclops unleashes a powerful optic blast. No longer able to control the blast, it tears up through the forest. 'Let's not waste this' Sabretooth decides, while Jean Grey screams out to Cyclops. Sabretooth grabs Cyclops and holds him up, aiming his optic blast towards the others – and it rips through Jean, Storm and Wolverine, tearing their flesh from their bodies.

Nightcrawler is able to dodge the blast, but looks over at the remains of his friends. 'Ach' he utters, before he teleports towards Sabretooth. 'Say your prayers, Blue Boy!' Sabretooth calls out. 'I will send you to hell first!' Nightcrawler responds. Sabretooth decides that the problem with Nightcrawler's power is that he gets to close. Nightcrawler reappears in front of Sabretooth – his hand inside Sabretooth's chest. But it's too late, as Sabretooth bites down into Nightcrawler's neck. 'And that's where I do my best work' Sabretooth tells himself. He then hurls Nightcrawler aside, breaking his arm so that it is still stuck inside his chest. Sabretooth drops to the snow-covered ground, knowing that Nightcrawler thought he could tear his heart out. 'But everybody knows I don't got one' Sabretooth thinks to himself, before realizing that this one is going to hurt bad. He then roars as he pulls Nightcrawler's hand out of his chest – the hand holds Sabretooth's heart. Sabretooth wishes that he could have torn Nightcrawler apart with his bare hands, but otherwise, he has no regrets. 'I know what I am. That's always been my super-power' he thinks to himself, before he closes his eyes.

(in dream)
'What the hell?' Sabretooth asks as he finds himself in some sort of interrogation room. He wears standard orange prison garb, and is shackled, with chains that keep his from moving too far, the chains connected to the floor. 'Hello Mr Cr-' a young blond man remarks as he enters the room. 'I got questions' Sabretooth interrupts the new arrival. 'I know you do' the blond man tells him, before introducing himself as Doug Ramsey, District Attorney. 'I remember you. You were in court when I was sentenced' Sabretooth remarks. 'I was there, but I didn't get a vote' Doug replies as he sits at the opposite side of the table to Creed. He places a black and yellow techno-briefcase on the table. 'That's why you're still breathing' Creed utters as he leans across the table. Two large, wide eyes look up from briefcase with fear – it's Warlock. 'I represent the... state' Doug announces as he holds up some papers which he pulls from the briefcase. Warlock's face on the briefcase appears and frowns.

Doug continues, informing Creed that the state feels he has been judged too harshly. 'I get it. You all found me while I was comatose and healing. After I beat the Furious Fivve. You brought me to Krakoa and threw me into -' Creed begins, looking at the shackles around his wrists, which change to vines. 'Tell me how you escaped!' Doug exclaims, interrupting Creed. But Creed just smirks and points out that if he tells, he won't be able to do it again. 'You can't tell me how you escaped because you didn't escape' Doug remarks, pointing to some notes on a piece of paper. 'Enough of this $#%&!' Creed snarls as he lunges forward, breaking the vine shackles, and decapitating Doug's head, which bounces off the wall and onto the floor, pools of blood forming around the head. 'Are you done?' Doug's head asks. 'I didn't know you could do that' Creed replies. 'I can't! Except in here. Now put me back on the table, please'

Creed picks Doug's head up and puts him on the table, next to the Warlock briefcase, whose eye glances at Doug's  head. 'You and I had some version of this conversation before' Doug remarks. Creed asks if this is the first time he has beheaded Doug, to which Doug replies 'No'. Creed asks how come he doesn't remember it, and Doug explains that Krakoa thought it would be better if he didn't, and it was meant at kindness. 'Sounds more like a con' Creed mutters, before Doug tells him that Krakoa won't do that to him again. Referring to the papers on the table, Doug tells Creed that he is offering him a bargain – Krakoa can't free him, but if he signs  the contract, willingly, Krakoa will grant him mental freedom, and this time, he won't forget. 'So my mind if free, but my body stays in jail?' Creed asks. Doug's head is back on his body now, and tells Creed that until the Council changes its mind, it is the best they can do. He adds that it is an act of mercy, and that Creed should accept it.

'And if I say no?' Creed asks, narrowing his eyes. 'Maybe rip your head off again?' Creed suggests, leaning towards Doug, who replies 'Then Krakoa leaves you to the fate Professor Xavier decreed. “Alive but immobile...unaware but unable to act upon it...”' “forever” Creed concludes, sitting down. Doug tells Creed that if it is any solace, Professor Xavier swears that there will be no prisons on Krakoa, and at the very least, nothing like this will happen to another mutant again. 'Like I care what happens to other mutants' Creed replies. 'It's the best deal you're going to get, so -' Doug begins, before Creed tells him to just give him in the pen – but that they shouldn't pretend he really has a choice.

Sabreooth then appears sitting in a tree, signing a long scroll, while Cypher sits opposite him in another branch, and looks at the face of Krakoa that appears in the tree.

(in dream)
'Don't get my wrong, there were good times' Creed thinks to himself as he stands over the severed body of Charles Xavier, blood splattered about.

(in dream)
'I caught up with some old acquaintances' Creed decides, while holding up the severed hands of Iron Fist, energy still crackling from them, as Iron Fist himself sits in the snow, looking at his bloody wounds.

(in dream)
'And I took down every mutt who ever dreamed they were top dog' Sabretooth boasts as he stands in a corridor holding up Feral by her neck – her legs have been cut off. The suited Maximum Lobo lies motionless nearby, while Wolfsbane lies still, blood pouring out of her mouth. Wolf Cub is hanging against the wall – well, what's left of him is. Wolfsbane's son, Tier has a metal spike through his chest, and Wild Child can be seen hanging upside down by the chain around his neck.

(in dream)
Sabretooth sits calmly on the edge of a snow-covered ridge. A funny thing has happened. After he killed every enemy, after he tore out the guts of every living thing that ever hurt him, he had time to consider what came next – to wonder what he could be when he wasn't the lackey or the heel or the paid assassin. He had always prided himself on knowing what he was – but was that actually true? Maybe he never got to imagine what else he could be – and suddenly, he opens his eyes.

(in dream)
Creed is dressed in a black suit, and stands at the bottom of some stairs, which lead into a cellar, where a table and chairs are set out in the middle of the room. 'Welcome, and please be seated. Call me the Captain. I greet each of you, my brothers' Sabretooth calls out. A boy with red stains around his mouth walks down the stairs. 'The Boy' the Captain remarks. Sabretooth wearing his traditional costume steps down next. 'The Beast' says the Captain. The three of them take their seats around the table, and the Captain announces that they are ther Feral Council. A cat can be seen sitting on the top of the stairs, and the Captain states that they are here to decide how they spend eternity.

'We can have anything we want?' the Boy asks, looking at a cake on the table. 'Only one thing I want' the Beast utters, hanging his head. 'We have killed every one of our old enemies' the Captain announces. 'Drank their blood and chewed their bones' the Beast grins. 'They screamed and screamed!' the Boy gins as he shoves the cake into his mouth. 'You know who really made a racket when he died?' the Captain asks, putting the tips of his fingers together. 'BANSHEE!' they all yell in unison. The cat at the top of the stairs continues to watch, as one of them remarks 'But now let's dream even bigger. Victor can go anywhere, do anything. What should it be?'

(in dream)
And so began the age of Creed the King. He sits upon a cold throne, and traveled the Feral Lands with only his unbreakable blade, Bright Fury, slaying strange creatures and countless soldiers who challengeb him. And where he went, he left the Mark of Creed, a bloody claw print seared into the flesh of the dead.

(in dream)

And then came Sabretooth and his Starjammers, the scourge of seven solar systems! The Acanti, the Shi'ar, the Centaurians and the Kymelliams – every one of these civilizations fell thanks to the secret machinations of the Starjammers. Basically, they are the CIA, but in outer space. Six versions of Sabretooth-esque looking Starjammers leap through space.

On Krakoa, Black Tom Cassidy is looking at a copy of himself that has formed from the trunk of a tree. He wishes that he didn't have to leave, but won't let the Professor travel to Terra Verde without him. There is a rustling noise in the forest behind Tom, and Tom turns, to discover one of the copies in the trees has taken the form of Sabretooth. 'Well, that was interesting. Did you see it too?' Tom asks the visage of Krakoa that has appeared in another tree.

Black Tom is the first to see Victor Creed today, but is not the last. On the shore of Krakoa, Rhapsody is playing her violin, while a ghostly apparition of Sabretooth appears nearby. Some pass it off as a trick of the eye, a flash of light in a dark corner. The Blob is behind the bar at the Green Lagoon when a ghostly version of Sabretooth appears. Others assume it is simply a nightmare – after all, Sabretooth has starred in more than a few of those. Mole is in bed when he sees the Starjammer version of Sabretooth appear and point his sword at him.

(in dream)
Victor Creed meanwhile has found the place where he feels most at home – if his body had been thrown into the Pit, his mind has chosen to go even lower. Krakoa finally had a hell – and on its throne, a king. Sabretooth watches as Exodus and Emma Frost burn in a raging fire. Worm-like demons engulf Apocalypse, Magneto has been skewered on several large spikes, Sebastian Shaw's head has been ripped off by a large demon, and another demon is about to bring an axe down on Mystique.

Suddenly, something happens that has never happened before. Lightning crackles in the dark clouds that loom over Sabretooth's hell. Something is out of his control – something not altogether unpleasant. Something new. Sabretooth looks up as the lightning parts the dark clouds, and five beams of energy drop down into the Pit. Sabretooth stands up and walks over to where five shadows can be seen on the barren land beneath his feet. 'I wasn't expecting company' Sabretooth calls out'. 'What is this place?' someone with pale white skin asks as they dig their fingers into the ground. 'Just a little something I threw together' Sabretooth grins, before announcing that he had been told there would  be no others down here with him. 'And yet here you are. This isn't what you expected to find. Or what  you deserved. But you're right to be scared – because no one is coming to save you' Sabretooth tells his new companions – Nekra! Madison Jeffries! Oya! Melter! Third Eye! The ground then erupts around Sabretrooth as he rises up above the new arrivals and announces that he is going to practice on all of them – and that once he gets real good at putting them through hell, he is going to do the same to every mutant on this island!

Characters Involved: 


Madison Jeffries, Melter, Nekra, Oya, Third Eye
Black Tom Cassidy, Blob, Rhapsody

(in flashback)

Apocalypse, Exodus, Emma Frost, Jean Grey, Magneto, Mr Sinister, Mystique, Nightcrawler, Sebastian Shaw, Storm, Professor X (all Quiet Council)

(in dream)
Cyclops, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Storm, Wolverine

(in dream)
Cypher, Warlock

(in dream)
Professor X

(in dream)
Iron Fist

(in dream)
Feral, Maximus Lobo, Tier, Wild Child, Wolf Cub, Wolfsbane

(in dream)
The Beast, The Boy, The Captain (all the Feral Council)

(in dream)
Creed the King


(in dream)
Binary, Ch'od, Corsair, Hepzibah, Lilandra, Raza Longknife (all Sabretooth Starjammers)

(in dream)
Apocalypse, Exodus, Emma Frost, Magneto, Mystique, Sebastian Shaw (all Quiet Council)

Story Notes: 

Sabretooth was sentenced to the Pit in House of X #6.

Sabretooth refers to Mystique as “Leni” which is a reference to Leni Zauber, the alias she used when they slept together.

This issue includes a text-only analysis on what the Pit could be, written by Sabretooth. He contemplates that it is either Krakoa's belly, butt, heart or brain, knowing that as Krakoa is a living being, it must be within Krakoa itself, although he is more interested in how he will make his escape.

This issue also includes a text-only page consisting of Sabretooth's thoughts about prisons.

Mole is a Morlock who appeared in X-Factor (1st series) #51-53, where it was suspected he was killed by Sabretooth, however Sabretooth (4th series) #2 establishes that Mole was never killed. Mole additionally appears in X-Men Legends (1st series) #11, which takes place chronologically before his first appearance.

Nekra has scarcely been involved in mutant affairs, instead she has been an enemy of Daredevil, the original Spider-Woman and Alpha Flight, among others. Her first foray into mutant issues was during the “Dark Reign” and “Utopia” storylines. This issue marks her first appearance on Krakoa. She most recently appeared in Savage Avengers (1st series) #14, 16.

Longtime Alpha Flight member Madison Jeffries had a lengthy history with the X-Men during the “Utopia” era. He was last seen in the “Age of X-Man” and this issue marks his first appearance on Krakoa.

Oya is one of the Five Lights. She has appeared in brief cameos on Krakoa.

Melter a.k.a. Christopher Colchiss is a character from Dark Reign: Young Avengers and Avengers Undercover. This marks his first appearance on Krakoa.

First appearance of Third Eye.

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