Sabretooth (3rd series) #4

Issue Date: 
July 2022
Story Title: 
There and Back Again

Victor LaVelle (writer), Leonard Kirk (penciler), Craig Yeung (inker), Rain Beredo (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Cory Petit (letterer & production), Tom Muller & Jay Bowen (designers), Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer & Frank Martin (cover artists), Marco Mastrazzo (variant cover artist), Lauren Amaro (assistant editor), Jordan D White (editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Within the Pit, Third Eye uses his powers to keep the other prisoners – Nekra, Madison Jeffries, Oya and Melter – connected. At the same time, he projects his form onto Krakoa, but is almost discovered by Jean Grey. Elsewhere on Krakoa, Bling tries to convince Shark-Girl that she saw Nekra and Oya, while Skin and the Blob discuss Skin's encounter with Madison Jeffries, and about how Blob thinks things are changing on Krakoa. Sabretooth's astral form meanwhile finds himself in an old mansion, while at the same time, a strange version of him grows up through the vines on Krakoa. In a cave, Mole is meeting with Magma, and tells her that he has an idea on how to rescue the prisoners, but he needs her help. The Sabretooth who arrives at the mansion finds the Feral Council waiting for him and they discuss how the Pit is no longer big enough for them all, but Sabretooth reveals that he thinks he has a way out. Outside the mansion is a small dock, where Third Eye stands and pulls the other prisoners up through the water – including Melter, who no longer looks human, but now appears in some sort of molten form. Sabretooth appears and invites the other prisoners into his old house. They are suspicious of Sabretooth for trying to kill them while Madison Jeffries thanks Third Eye for keeping them all safe. Several of the prisoners discuss what happened to them when their powers manifested, while Sabretooth tries to rally them against Krakoa, and points out that thanks to their recent actions, they have friends on Krakoa who are willing to help them. A projection of Sabretooth who appears as a prisoner in an orange jumpsuit meets with Cypher, who acts as Krakoa's lawyer. They are discussing a new deal, before there is a rumbling, and a hand breaks through the surface of Krakoa's ground.


Full Summary: 

'Anyone can visit the Astral Plane' Third Eye thinks to himself as he explains that most people do at least once – when they're born, and a smaller group comes through again as they die. And some, like him, learn to travel back and forth – it was his father who taught him he could cross the veil. When he transitioned, he tried to catch his father as he crossed – but he was too young, didn't have control of his power. So he lost him. Third Eye doesn't want anyone feeling sad about it, as the man raised him to be an “arcane assassin” and trained him real well – but he doesn't do that work anymore. When Melter went buckwild, Sabretooth's mind flared like a generator blowing up – the shock would have killed them all. Third Eye supposes that it did kill them in a sense, their consciousnesses anyway. But, Third Eye has learned a lot since he lost his dad, and he held on to the others – Madison Jeffries, Nekra, Oya and Melter – in the hope they could all recover and return. He did consider letting Melter go. 'But I've made mistakes too' Third Eye admits.

As his companions recover, Third Eye uses his psionic abilities to keep an eye on things above them, too, and finds Jean Grey and Charles Xavier standing over Wolverine, who lies on a table. 'Plug me in' Wolverine calls out as Xavier prepares to place a Cerebro helmet on his head. Jean Grey suddenly looks up – she knows someone is watching her. 'Uh-oh' Third Eye tells himself, quickly retreating, he decides not to try sneaking up on Jean Grey again. But he has learned something – they are distracted.

At Nanny's Cove, Krakoa, Shark-Girl swims up to the side of a small boat where Bling is standing on the deck, and asks her if she is starting to lose hope. 'Do you still believe I saw Nekra and Oya formed out of rock and sand?' Bling asks. '...Yes?' Shark-Girl replies. 'Don't make me come down there!' Bling snaps. 'You would sink to the bottom of the sea!' Shark-Girl exclaims. Bling asks her to get back to the rudder modifications, to which Shark-Girl turns and starts swimming back down under the boat. 'Fine, fine' Shark-Girl mutters. 'Obrigado!' Bling exclaims.

On a cliff at the edge of Krakoa, Skin stands with the Blob. 'I got crucified once, can you imagine that?' Skin asks. 'I'm just going about my business, being cool as can be, and then I'm dying on a cross. I wouldn't recommend it'. Hands in his pockets, the Blob tells Skin that he has been turned into a baby. 'Now I'm picturing you as a baby, but with that same mustache' Skin smiles. 'I'm just staying, you stick around long enough and you're going to see some things. Hell, I've seen two Logans running around this island. And one was all sparkly' Blob adds. 'So if you tell me you saw Madison Jeffries, then I believe you, Skin' Blob assures the younger mutant, putting a hand on his shoulder. Skin thanks the Blob, and remarks that he thinks everyone else ran out of patience with him a while ago. 'Things are changing, everyone can feel it. I'm gonna miss what it was. But when there's a sudden power vacuum, it's good to have friends. A Brotherhood' Blob remarks.

Sabretooth was the hardest for Third Eye to hold on to, as his death came the most sudden – but it isn't just that – Sabretooth has had a lot more practice with dying. And his mind took him not out but in. as if he knew he could hide in his memories while his body did the work of healing. Third Eye supposes that Sabretooth was trying to find somewhere safe, someone he could trust. But who can you run to when you're the type that runs everyone over? Needing someone isn't the same as loving someone.

Sabreooth finds an old abandoned mansion. He looks around, going through several rooms before he comes back outside and finds an old car. He sees a machine gun covered in blood on the ground, and then picks uo a dead bird – and lets out a silent scream.

Sabretooth is getting better at using this island – it is part of him. He is a part of it, and right now, a form of his grown from the vines of Krakoa has manifested outside a cave. A small fire glows at the entrance of the cave, where inside Mole tells someone 'Look, I hate the guy, but the Quiet Council threw Sabretooth in jail for a crime that wasn't even a crime yet. And to make it worse, he was working for the home team when he did it!' Someone sitting opposite Mole asks 'How do you know this?' to which Mole reports that he has a guy on the inside. Mole adds that half of the X-Men have killed as many people as Sabretooth, but Sabretooth has gone to prison because he had a bad attitude. 'What kind of justice is that?' Mole asks. 'Why come to me with this. Mole?' Amara Aquilla a.k.a. Magma asks as she sits in her fiery form. Mole reveals that he has an idea about how to rescue them, and that Magma's gifts are what he needs. Suddenly, they hear a SNAP, and Magma stands up. 'Did you see -' Mole begins as they move to the edge of the cave. 'I feel like someone just stepped on his grave, while some bones lay scattered at the entrance to the cave.

'Victor...' a voice calls out as Sabretooth makes his way down a flight of steps into a basement where the “Feral Council” is meeting. 'Who the hell are you?' Sabretooth asks a man in a suit – it's Victor Creed, this version called the Captain. 'Come down here, I'll tell you' the Captain replies. Sabretooth finds a large feral version of himself called the Beast, and a small boy version of himself with red marks around his mouth called the Boy, seated around the table, while a cat sits on the table. 'I seen a lot, but I've never seen this' Sabretooth utters, wide-eyed. 'That's your place, if you want it' the Captain remarks, motioning to an empty chair at the table. Sabretooth takes his seat, while the Captain notes that the Beast has grown even wilder now that Sabretooth is here. 'This place is becoming too small to hold us all' he adds. 'Maybe we won't have to stay down here much longer' Sabretooth suggests, revealing that he heard something today, something that surprised him – almost as much as all of this. 'In the cave. Yeah, they were talking about us. But not in the way I expected. It's got me thinking – but if I need to find the others if my idea is going to work'.

Third Eye stands on a dock, 'You're almost there. Come on now!' he calls out as he holds his hand out above the water under the dock. 'Stir the waters' he calls out, as Oya suddenly emerges from the water. 'Come on, sis. I've got you' Third Eye assures Oya as he pulls her ontro the dock. 'Nekra? The others?' Oya asks, before the water begins to boil and another figure starts to emerge. 'I think that's...' Third Eye begins, as Oya exclaims 'Melter!' as she stares at him, wide-eyed – something is different. 'Is my zipper open?' Melter asks, confused. 'You've come back through the veil and been transformed' Third Eye explains, referring to Melter's new form – he appears as some sort of molten slag, and looks at his hands, glowing, and grins 'Righteous'. There is then a creaking noise as more bubbles appear in the water, and Third Eye reports that the others are arriving.

'Oh, good. The gang's all here' a voice calls out, and Sabretooth appears, standing on the porch of a large house near the water. 'We never had visitors. My father was too ashamed of me. It would mean a lot if you all came in and shared a meal at my table' Sabretooth remarks. 'Watch those eyes, Mister' Oya warns Sabretooth 'Or I'll yank them out of your skull' Nekra threatens Sabretooth as she follows Melter into the mansion. 'There's days when I think about just going back to tearing you all apart in Hell' Sabretooth snarls as he follows Nekra through the door, deciding that he has to keep his eyes on the prize.

Shortly, 'Take. Eat. This is -' Sabretooth begins as Nekra, Oya, Jeffries, Melter and Third Eye gather around a table where a banquet has been laid out. 'If you finish that sentence I'm going to tear off your head!' Nekra snaps. 'Doubting Thomas' Sabretooth smirks, while Jeffries supposes that they have Third Eye to thank for their survival. 'I would've been lonely without you folks, that's all' Third Eye replies as he picks up a drink. 'The modest type' Oya jokes. Sabretooth sits down and tells the others that it is strange sitting here, and that in a way he feels like he never left this house. 'No matter how hard I fight, I never beat that old man' Sabretooth laments. 'My pops raised me to believe in a cause that ruined him. And me' Third Eye remarks. Oya covers her face as she reveals that when her powers manifested, she burned her family alive. 'I never stop hearing my parents... screaming...' her voice trails off.

Nekra puts a hand on Oya's shoulder and tells her that she ran away from home when she was a teenager, and that her parents are both Black – but she came out looking like this. It was the radiation at her mother's job, apparently. 'But try telling that to my father'. She explains that things were tense between her parents, and they would take it out on her. 'For years,  I focused on how they mistreated me, but now you know what I think about? Eating Hoppin' John on New Year's Day with my grandparents. All my cousins, playing with me till the sun went down. I couldn't stay stuck in the bad memories. I had to grow up, get perspective' Nekra explains. 'Lucky you' Sabretooth snarls.

Shortrly, the mutants are gathered around a fireplace in a living room, and Sabretooth reminds them that they all came to Krakoa because it seemed like the good place they deserved. 'Even me. I did the job that got me thrown in the Pit for free. Charity and Sabretooth are not a common occurrence'. Sabretooth continues, explaining that after he did that for the Council, they took a vote, the twelve leading lights of paradise – the evil and the good, they all voted the same. 'That was Krakoa's first great test. Could they do what most of the world can't? Could they find a new way to deal with someone like me? Or would they just throw me away? They say they're better than the humans but when it came down to it, what did they do?' Sabretooth asks, before pointing out that thanks to the  five of them, they have friends back up on Krakoa who are going to rescue them.

Cypher sits opposite Sabretooth in the cell, and tells Sabretooth that they were being kind to him, and now he is causing all this trouble. 'You can't put a Band-Aid on a gaping wound' Sabretooth replies casually. 'What does that mean?' Cypher asks. 'Your paws ain't clean. When they told you two to imprison me, you should've said no' Sabretooth responds. Cypher reminds Sabretooth that he signed a contract and made a promise. Cypher pulls the contract from the briefcase – actually Warlock – sitting beside him on the table. 'I'm going to make a counteroffer. A simple one' Sabretooth suggests as he tears the contract up. 'Why should we accept it?' Cypher frowns. There is a rumbling, and Sabretooth smirks, suggesting that Cypher should accept the new offer because word is spreading up there and people are going to keep digging for the truth. 'Fine' Cypher mutters, closing his eyes.

And, on Krakoa, a hand reaches up through the ground near the Quiet Council's secret meeting place. He. Is. Risen!

Characters Involved: 


Madison Jeffries, Melter, Nekra, Oya, Third Eye

Bling, Blob, Magma, Mole, Shark-Girl, Skin

Jean Grey, Wolverine, Professor X

Cypher, Warlock

The Beast, The Boy, The Captain, the Cat (all Feral Council)

Story Notes: 

Melter seemingly destroyed Sabretooth's body in the Pit at the end of last issue.

Skin was crucified in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #423.

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

This issue includes a text-only page of notes from Third Eye. In these notes, the reasons why he, Nekra, Oya, Jeffries and Melter are in the Pit are elaborated on further: Nekra and Oya murdered mecenaries who entered Krakoa's waters in an attempt to do harm to Krakoa. Jeffries tried to build the robot he loved, Danger, an environment on Krakoa, but Krakoa's laws forbid the use of artificial technology. Melter was thrown in the Pit for destroying rocks on Krakoa when attempting to practice his powers, but the real reason is because he was trying to earn a bigger role on Krakoa, while Third Eye broke the law against making more mutants, by speaking out against the amount of mutant babies being born, and the parents who were creating the children without care and leaving them to pile up like old shoes.

Oya claims that she killed her family, but previously it was stated that a mob killed her family because she was discovered to be a mutant (Uncanny X-Men #528).

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