Weapon X (2nd series) #3

Issue Date: 
January 2003
Story Title: 
The Hunt for Sabretooth - part 3

Frank Tieri (writer), Georges Jeanty (penciler), Dexter Vines (inker), Tom Chu’s Color Dojo (colors), Paul Tutrone (letterer), Mike Raicht and Nova Red Suma (assistant editors), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

Agent Zero has received orders to bring in Sabretooth. His search begins at a New York City morgue, where he discovers that Sabretooth has been killing people for three weeks now. Using his knowledge of Sabretooth to patrol his potential hunting grounds, he tracks the madman. Suddenly and inexplicably, he receives a note from somebody who can tell him where Sabretooth is.
At the Weapon X headquarters, Aurora’s bandages are removed and it turns out that Sabretooth has scarred her face. The Director, who went through a similar thing, now wants to help her. Wild Child doesn’t seem to be too happy about that idea. Disguised, Agent Zero meets up with his informant: Omega Red, who claims to have become a legitimate businessman. It turns out that Sabretooth has been selling the information he stole from Weapon X and plans to sell his information to other countries so they can set up their own Weapon X programs. Later, Sabretooth arrives at the Waldorf Astoria hotel to make a deal, but he finds Agent Zero instead. Agent Zero defeats him and wants to kill him, but Weapon X stops him by activating his implants. Zero takes a handcuffed Sabretooth to the Weapon X compound to an overjoyed Director, who welcomes Sabretooth back.

Full Summary: 

At the New York City morgue, a body is examined by a forensic examiner while two policemen are watching. The body has been cut by claws, bitten by fangs, and partially consumed. One of the policemen stops eating his sandwich and gags at seeing the body. The forensic confirms that this girl was killed by the same killer from recent cases. The policemen talk to each other and the forensic, concluding that they have found eight bodies in three weeks and haven’t got a clue concerning the killer’s identity. One of them even tells the others that he doesn’t know any man capable of that. Hiding in the dark, Agent Zero thinks to himself that he does.

Zero looks at the body of the victim and keeps thinking about Sabretooth: how he has been wondering what would happen if he and Sabretooth meet again and that the detectives will never find him, since you have to know Sabretooth to catch him. Zero starts to search the alleyways and the bus stations, places where Sabretooth would come. Zero starts to think like Sabretooth, seeing people as prey or as competitors. A pimp tries to sell a (probably underage) girl to Zero, but Zero hits him. He asks the pimp why he shouldn’t kill him and the pimp tries to talk his way out of it when a knife with a note attached lands into a board next to them. Zero reads the note and it says that he should meet up with the writer in Carmine’s Restaurant in Brooklyn. The writer has information about their “mutual friend.”

In the Weapon X compound, Aurora is lying in bed, her face and arm still wrapped in bandages and Wild Child is watching her. The Director enters with the medical staff of Weapon X. They explain to him that Aurora hasn’t suffered only physical trauma, but also mental trauma. The Director wakes up Aurora, telling her that they want to look at her. Aurora tells them to leave and the Director is surprised why the usually social Aurora now wants to be left alone. The bandages are removed and they see Aurora’s badly scarred face. She tells them that she thinks she’s a monster now. She asks them why they didn’t let her die, but the Director comforts her. Aurora questions him: the Director turned her down before, why would he be interested in her now? The Director lays her hand on his own-scarred face and tells her that now he understands what she is going through and that he wants to help her. Beneath the bed, Wild Child is looking very displeased with this.

In Brooklyn, Agent Zero, in disguise, enters the restaurant and finds Omega Red, the former Russian Super Soldier and current Red Mafia kingpin and his two bodyguards. Omega Red tells him that he has information that Zero needs, but Zero replies that he doesn’t need any help. Red asks Zero whether he even knows why Sabretooth is in New York. When Zero remains silent, Red answers that he has received the information in his new role as honest businessman. Zero laughs at Red’s claim to be honest and Omega Red suddenly thinks that he knows Zero and that the poor disguise (raincoat, head and a pair of glasses with nose and moustache attached) betrays that Zero isn’t sure whether he wants to hide his identity or not. He asks his bodyguard Boris about it, but he doesn’t recognise Zero. Omega Red comes to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter if Zero knew him before, since now he is a changed man.

Zero decides to play along and Omega Red and tells him that Sabretooth has been selling the Weapon X information on just about every mutant in the whole world to everybody who was willing to pay the price. Some of the mutants in the files have received jobs and friends from being found, others have been killed. Zero thinks to himself that this is why Sabretooth always seemed one step ahead of him. It wasn’t only him, but also his clients were chasing Weapon X’s recruits. Omega Red then tells that Sabretooth has decided to expand his scope and sell the info to countries. Zero immediately understands: Weapon X-like programs will be set up all around the world and there will be mutants serving governments whose agendas may differ from the USA. Omega Red tells Zero that he has the address where Sabretooth is supposed to meet the representatives of various countries and claims that, as an honest citizen, he thought it was his job to inform the government about it. Zero then tells Omega Red that he thinks that Red simply wants revenge on Sabretooth for betraying him some time ago. Zero tells Omega Red that indeed he has changed: he is more dangerous than ever. He leaves with Omega Red wondering whether he has met Zero before.

In the Waldorf-Astoria, Sabretooth enters, smiling and thinking about the amount of money and prestige he will get for tonight’s deal. However, he gets a shock when he enters the room and finds all the representatives murdered. While he is still standing there, Zero steps behind him and slits his throat. Sabretooth tries to run away, while Zero comments about how he always wondered if Sabretooth’s healing factor was fast enough to heal him from a slit throat before he drowned in his own blood. He shoots Sabretooth several times, telling him that he was supposed to bring him in alive, but that he isn’t really listening to the program anymore. Agent Zero removes his glove and, when Sabretooth attacks, he uses his new powers, given to him by the Weapon X program, to produce a corrosive enzyme that attacks the healing factor of his opponent. Sabretooth hand starts to smoke and it is badly burned when Zero lets go. The healing factor of Sabretooth in this case only amplifies the damage.

Zero then gets his knife and prepares to remove Sabretooth’s head when the program contacts him, asking him what the hell he thinks he is doing. He calmly replies that he is going to kill Sabretooth. The Director activates the implants in Zero’s brain, which causes him great pain. He still tries again to kill Sabretooth, but gets another shock. Later, at the Weapon X compound, Zero arrives with an unconscious, handcuffed Sabretooth and he delivers it and walks out without a word. The Director congratulates Zero on his good work and then ecstatically welcomes Sabretooth back.

Characters Involved: 

The Director

Agent Zero, Aurora, Wild Child (all agents of Weapon X)

Sabretooth, former agent turned traitor

Omega Red

Boris, bodyguard of Omega Red)

Story Notes: 

Omega Red was betrayed by Sabretooth at the conclusion of the Logan Files storyline in Wolverine (2nd series) #175.

Issue Information: 

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