Sabretooth: Open Season #1

Issue Date: 
December 2004
Story Title: 
Open Season - part 1: A Cold Day in Hell

Daniel Way (writer), Bart Sears (penciler), Mark Pennington (inks), Mike Atiyeh (colors), VC's Cory Petit (letters), Warren Simons (editor), Axel Alonso (executive editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

On Lake Superior, the Captain of a U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat and his first officer enjoy a drink, when a distress call plays over the radio, begging for help at Isle Dupree. The captain calls for assistance, but finds that his boat is the closes one to the signal. Upon arrival, they find a number of corpses along with the message Leave or die torn into the side of a log cabin. A crew, led by officer Hamilton, sets out on foot to investigate, finding the corpses dismembered, and no female bodies. Hamilton goes into the cabin and checks downstairs, where he finds two children cowering in the corner. At that moment, Sabretooth arrives upstairs, brutally murdering Hamilton's crew, but pushing him down a ladder and letting him live.Captain Mitchell loses all contact with his crew, but a strange figure crawls through the ice, asking to board. The Captain checks his identification - an Alpha Flight badge with Canadian security clearance. Mitchell suspiciously asks Sasquatch how he possibly could have known that they needed help.

Full Summary: 

Lake Superior, U.S.S. Polar Sun - An officer walks about the deck, taking his meteorological readings, and picks up a chunk of ice from the deck. It is January 20th, and the temperature is a frigid -30 degrees Fahrenheit. He goes back inside, offering the ice to the Captain. The Captain smiles and lets his first officer, Hamilton, know that the ice isn't going to fit as he holds up his glass of whiskey. He pours Hamilton a shot of the whiskey and tells him the story of how his father was a captain in the Navy during World War II, and how he managed to sink a German U-Boot by spilling hundreds of gallons of paint overboard to cloud the German instruments. Hamilton smiles and shakes his head, asking why he bothers to listen to such stories. Captain Mitchell smiles, tilting his glass, and replies that Hamilton listens for the same reasons he does.
Suddenly, a distress call plays over the radio.A woman is frantically alerting the U.S. Coast Guard for help, saying that a monster is coming for them. Mitchell asks for a location - the woman says she is on Isle Dupree, but the transmission is cut with only a bloodcurdling scream to frighten the men listening. Mitchell tells Hamilton to alert the station at Duluth that they are changing heading, and to call for assistance. Mitchell announces that they will arrive at Isle Dupree by sunrise.

Isle Dupree - Sabretooth, clad in his brown costume with an assortment of furs, snickers at the woman's corpse in front of him. The woman has a radio clutched in her bloody, outstretched hand. Sabretooth says that he warned her not to talk to strangers. He then leaves the station behind, as he can see the Coast Guard ship approaching.

Aboard the Polar Sun, Mitchell tells Hamilton that the island has never been more than a gas station for lakers, and isn't of much use, especially in the winter. Hamilton stutters, and hands a pair of binoculars to the captain. Ahead, on the Dupree station's cabin, a message is scrawled: LEAVE OR DIE Mitchell tells Hamilton that this wasn't the scenario he had envisioned. Mitchell orders his crew to contact the rest of the fleet, but his communications officer reports that the storm is keeping assistance more than thirty hours away at best. Mitchell shakes his head, running out of options to provide assistance to the lakers. He tells Hamilton to assemble a twelve-man security detail and arm themselves; they don't know how bad this is going to get.

Hamilton complies, and kisses a photo of his family before heading to the shore with his team. They scout everywhere, finding trails of blood in the deep snow. Following the trails, they find where it came from: A large number of lakers has been decapitated or dismembered, with the corpses littering the front steps of the fuel station. Hamilton reports that the people aren't going to need the first aid kits anytime soon. One of his crew asks if a bear could have dragged the bodies here. Hamilton mutters under his breath that bears don't write on walls. He remembers that the woman on the radio was screaming about her children as well, so they continue the search, as the pile contains no corpses of women or children.

Hamilton kicks a door open at the cabin, and orders his men inside. The chimney is still blowing smoke, and the hut is warm. Still, nobody is inside. Hamilton checks the floor, finding a locked trapdoor. He shoots the lock, and his men aim their weapons at the open grate, ordering whoever is there to come out. Instead, all they hear is childish moans for help. Hamilton climbs down, and finds two young boys huddled under some furs. The kids ask if he is gone. Hamilton's eyes widen, wondering who it could be, but he realizes too late that something is wrong. Gunfire echoes from upstairs, coupled with the screams of his men. Hamilton tries to dash up the ladder to help, but Sabretooth is on top of him, and kicks him to the bottom. Hamilton struggles to remain conscious, while Sabretooth tells the children that they aren't supposed to start any fires, as it alerted the Coast Guard. He looks Hamilton in the eyes, and tells him that he is alive for a reason, but his friends aren't. Creed climbs the ladder again and leaves.

Aboard the Polar Sun, a large, bestial figure approaches, but the crew cannot make out what it is. Captain Mitchell is receiving a warning from Duluth that a major storm is about to break, and that they need to take cover. Two crewmen usher him out to the deck, where they tell him that someone is attempting to board. One officer hands him a flipbook that the person threw to the deck - it is an Alpha Flight badge, identifying Dr. Walter Langkowski. Mitchell looks overboard, and asks if the Sasquatch is really a doctor, as his credentials claim. Sasquatch says that he is, and that he came to help. Mitchell glares down at the Canadian, suspiciously wondering aloud how Sasquatch could have possibly known that they needed help.

Characters Involved: 


Captain Mitchell

Officer Hamilton

Several officers of the U.S.S. Polar Sun (U.S. Coast Guard)

Story Notes: 


Issue Information: 

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