Weapon X (3rd series) #18

Issue Date: 
July 2018
Story Title: 
Sabretooth's in Charge, part 2

Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers), Yildiray Cinar (artist), Frank D'armata (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Caramagna (letterer), Rahzzah (cover artist), Jay Bowen & Anthony Gambino (graphic designers), Chris Robinson (editor), Jordan D White (X-Men group editor), C B Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (president), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Omega Red has Sabretooth prisoner, and drains his energy as he drags him across the Siberian tundra. Sabretooth tries to free himself, to no success, then remembers the events that led to him becoming leader of the Weapon X team. In the correctional facility, Domino, Deathstrike and Warpath are forced to defend themselves against innocent mutant prisoners who Omega Red drained energies from and ordered them to attack the foreigners. Warpath is angry with how Sabretooth has botched this mission, and prevents Deathstrike from killing one of the innocent mutants. Omega Red's hold over the Russian mutants soon fades, and Deathstrike tells Warpath and Domino that they need to go find Sabretooth – but Warpath refuses, he thinks that the Russian mutants should be their priority. He confronts Deathstrike about the scheming Sabretooth has been doing with someone, but Deathstrike tells him that all she knows is that Sabretooth has a client who can pay them well. Domino tries, although not very hard, to get Warpath to stay, but he refuses, and leaves with the Russian mutants. As he continues to be dragged across the tundra, Sabretooth realizes that Omega Red is in communication with someone called Vasily, and he tells Vasily that they will be there soon. Sabretooth senses some creatures nearby, and leaves a trail of his own blood for them to track, as he tries to distract Omega Red by asking him why he is taking orders when he is the most powerful mutant in Russia. Omega Red appears to be unwell, and Sabretooth realizes that he has nanobots inside him. Sabretooth continues to irritate Omega Red, when the creatures – three large tigers – lunge at him. Sabretooth escapes while Omega Red battles the tigers – but an instant later, Sabretooth returns and helps Omega Red against te powerful beasts. They kill the three tigers, and Sabretooth, realizing that Omega Red needs help, tells him that they will fix his nanobot situation and treat him like a person for once, after they find his team. A small tiger cub runs towards them, and Sabretooth and Omega Red keep the cub as they head back towards the correctional facility, with Sabretooth deciding that he is going to be the best damn X-Man there ever was.

Full Summary: 

Siberia, where Omega Red trudges through the snow-covered ground. More snow falls from the night sky, and a trail of blood seeps behind Sabretooth a.k.a. Victor Creed, who is yanked across  the snow by Omega Red who has Creed trapped in a tangle of carbonadium coils.

'You don't know what you're getting into, Omega Red! I'm Victor Creed... Sabretooth... the toughest, meanest, deadliest mutant who ever lived!' Creed boasts.

'Also...whiniest' Omega Red points out. Sabretooth growls as he tries to run his claws across Omega Red's calves, but misses. 'Stupid' Omega Red mutters, kicking Sabretooth in the face. He moves the coils above himself and warns Creed that he is not enemy – but rations. The coils glow with energy and Sabretooth roars as his life force is drained by Omega Red. The Russian lets Sabretooth fall back into the snow, and carries on forward, remarking that there is precious little life force in the tundras. 'Do not make me kill you. Would be... inconvenience' Omega Red decides.

'Dammit... ain't supposed to be like this' Creed thinks to himself as he is once again dragged across the snow. Creed thinks that he finally showed Replacement Logan who is the best, once and for all – that's why he was put in charge, running the team. Creed remembers fighting Old Man Logan, and going up the Nuke Platoon. Sabretooth decides that he has been sloppy – he knows that he is always tearing it up just for the hell of it, but he has been wild, running right into trouble. 'Then again, who cares, right?' Creed wonders, as he is always going to heal – no one can kill him, not even Weapon H, remembering the fight against the behemoth. Creed groans again as more energy is zapped from his body, and he realizes that maybe this Russkie can kill him.

Back in the Stranniy Corrective Labor Camp, Neena Thurman a.k.a. Domino, James Proudstar a.k.a. Deathstrike and Yuriko Oyama a.k.a. Lady Deathstrike are fighting the Russian mutants they just rescued. 'Kill the foreigners! Kill them all!' the dolphin-like mutant called Tamara shouts in her native Russian. Warpath holds one of the mutants back, 'Stop! We're X-Men – and we're here to help you!' he tries explaining, but Deathstrike tells him not to waste his time, as Omega Red has turned them against them. 'And they prolly don't speak English, anyway' Domino points out.

Warpath looks annoyed and declares that this is Creed's fault, that he used them as bait to draw Omega Red out, and then he got himself captured and dragged off into the tundra. Warpath looks at the gaping hole in the facility wall, as Deathstrike tells him 'Enough recapping. Let's finish this'. She releases her claws and lunges towards a mutant, but Warpath pushes her back, 'NO!' he shouts. 'What are you -' Deathstrike asks, him, as Warpath reminds her that Omega Red scared these mutants into attacking them. A large stone-like mutant slams his fists against Warpath's back, but Warpath doesn't retaliate, he just asks Deathstrike if she really wants to eviscerate someone, then she should save it for Creed.

Back outside, Omega Red tells Creed not to die yet, as they still have more ground to cover. Creed doesn't answer him, he just tells himself to remember who he is, remember what he does best. 'You're better than Logan. Better than anyone else. You're gonna show 'em all' Creed tells himself, while he hears Omega Red remark, in his native Russian, 'Yes, Vasily. Yes, I will be there soon. How do I know how soon? Soon soon' Omega Red declares, while Sabretooth glances to his left and sees a shadow of a creature on a nearby ridge. He tells himself that he has the senses of the greatest predators on the planet, and the smarts and skills that someone would only get from surviving this insane world for 200-some-odd years. Creed uses his claws to cut his own skin, creating a fresh trail of blood that follows him as he continues to be dragged behind Omega Red.

Shortly, as a creature lurking in the shadows moves closer, Creed sniffs the air, and in Russian, informs Omega Red that he can speak Russian. 'Huh?' Omega Red responds, turning back to Sabretooth, who asks him who he has been babbling to this whole time. 'Cause it ain't been me' Creed remarks, adding that it sounds like Omega Red has been taking orders. 'But you're the strongest mutant in Russia. You should be giving orders. Telling the voices in your head to pipe down' Sabretooth suggests. Omega Red coughs, and declares that he knows his mind. Creed sniffs the air again, and asks Omega Red 'What about your body?' and points out that he is not feeling well. 'What'd they do to you in that prison?' Creed enquires. Omega Reed starts to keep over and coughs repeatedly, before using his coils to drain more of Sabretooth's energies and snarls that food should be tasted and not heard. Omega Red drops to one knee and Creed points out that he is stealing a lot of life force, but that it is not doing too much for him.

Sabretooth sniffs the air once more and remarks that he can smell it in Omega Red's blood, that it is familiar – kind of like what he smells inside Lady Deathstrike's body – Nanobots. 'They shot you full of something in that place, didn't they?' Sabretooth asks. 'Silence!' Omega Red snaps, to whih Omega Red tells him that is humilating, he knows, he has been there. 'If I were you, I'd be mad as hell' Sabretooth remarks. 'One voice in head is enough!' Omega Red cries out, using his coils to drain even more energy from Sabretooth, who cries out in agony, but sits up and tells Omega Red that he is on his side, and bets that he could even help him, with more of his life force – which actually doesn't seem to be doing Omega Red much good anyway. Omega Red's coils lift Creed into the air Creed suggests that Lady Deathstrike could tap into him or something and figure out – but Omega Red interrupts him: 'No. You X-Men... you do nothing but hound and imprison me. Claim to fight for mutants. But only mutants who yield. Who obey' Omega Red declares, explaining that Vasily's voice is invisible, but he trusts it more than he trusts Sabretooth.

Sabretooth smirks and replies that he doesn't know who Vasily is, and asks Omega Red if Vasily would give him the same chances that he does. 'Chances? You are out of chances to give' Omega Red replies, when suddenly, there is a mighty roar, as three large Siberian tigers leap towards Omega Red, as Creed grins and suggests 'Well, how 'bout I give you these instead'.

Back in the correctional facility, 'ENOUGH!' booms Warpath as he slams his fists to the ground, creating a massive shock which knocks all of the Russian mutants backwards. 'WE'RE HERE TO HELP YOU!' Warpath shouts, clearly frustrated. The Russian mutants look around as they start to get up, and the stone-like mutant who attacked Warpath earlier announces that he can feel his strength returning. Warpath explains that Omega Red's death factor only works when he is in close proximity, but that he is gone now, so they are all safe. 'Safe... safe from what?' the stone mutant asks, pointing out that the government still bans them, that they are still criminals from the day they are born. Deathstrike tells Warpath that they don't have time for this, that they have to find Sabretooth. 'No, we don't' Warpath declares as he stands with Tamara, the stone mutant, and the mutant called Lev. 'What are you talking about?' Domino asks.

Warpath points out that these mutants need their help, to which Domino reminds him that they were sent here to take out Omega Red. 'Logan made Sabretooth the field leader. We've got to -' Domino adds, as Warpath interrupts her, turning to Deathstrike, he asks if Sabretooth has been making phone calls, scheming with someone. 'I don't know what you're talking about' Deathstrike mutters, glancing sideways. Warpath tells her not to lie to him, and asks her what Sabretooth has planned, and when the two of them were going to betray the rest of them. 'Don't be so dramatic. We're just looking to finally get a payday here' Deathstrike reveals, 'Whoa – whoa! Payday?' Domino asks. Deathstrike explains that a client has need of services that they can provide, and that the rewards will be considerable. Wide-eyed, Domino smiles and suggests they get Creed and go make some money.

Warpath turns his back on Domino and Deathstrike and tells them that they can do what they want, but he is going to help these mutants. 'Uh, okay. We've got, like, a plan then. Team A and Team B, right?' Domino smiles. Warpath narrows his eyes, then turns back to Domino and tells her that there is no more team – just some mercenaries. 'Jimmy, come on!' Domino exclaims, but Warpath tells her that it is all right, that this has been a long time coming, and he is not judging. 'Sure you are' Domino frowns. 'Maybe a little' Warpath admits. He clenches a fist, as Domino calls out to him again, but he doesn't answer, and doesn't look at her as he walks out of the room with the Russian mutants.

At that moment, Omega Red roars as one of the tigers bites down on his right hand. The two other tigers dart around him, circling him, while he cries out for Vasily, asking for assistance to be sent. Sabretooth is finally free of the carbonadium coils, and tosses them aside, 'Hah! Nature: one. Supernature: zero...' he mutters as he starts to trudge away through the snow, but he stops as Omega Red screams 'Vasily! HELP! I'm dying out here!' Sabretooth then roars and an jumps into battle against the tigers, as Omega Red wraps a coil around one of them. One of the tigers lunges at Sabretooth, who shoves his claws into its stomach, gutting it. He then leaps at the third tiger, shoving it to the snow, he drops his cellphone in the process. 'Why?' Omega Red asks, looking up at Sabretooth, who climbs off the unmoving body of the third tiger. 'I told you I'd give you a chance. That's the law of my jungle' Sabretooth, covered in blood splatter, replies. The first tiger lies motionless near Sabretooth, who tells Omega Red that they are going to find his team, fix his Nanobot situation and treat him like a person for once.

'Really?' Omega Red asks, standing up, as suddenly, there is a roaring noise – and a tiger cub bounds into view, hissing and roaring as Omega Red releases a coil towards the cub, picking it up, he holds it in front of him, and Sabretooth smiles: 'That's what I'm talking about'. Omega Red tells the cub that its family is no more, and that he envies it. 'Ignore Mr Warmth. C'mere' Creed smiles as he picks the cub up, and lets it bite down on one of his fingers. Creed holds the tiger cub in his arms and then looks at Omega Red, informing him that they animals have to stick together. They both walk near each other, trudging across the snow. Omega Red holds the tiger cub up in the air with one of his coils, and Sabretooth looks back at Omega Red, and boasts to himself that he is the toughest, meanest, deadliest mutant who ever lived – and the best damn X-Man there ever was.

Characters Involved: 

Domino, Lady Deathstrike, Sabretooth, Warpath (all Weapon X)

Omega Red

Lev, Tamara and other mutant prisoners

Kotik (tiger cub)

in Sabretooth's memories:
Old Man Logan & Sabretooth
Weapon X
Nuke Platoon

Written By: