Weapon X (3rd series) #21

Issue Date: 
October 2018
Story Title: 
If He Dies, He Dies, conclusion

Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers), Ricardo Lopez Ortiz (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: 

Aboard the SICKLE Mothercarrier, Warpath and Sabretooth fight each other, until the Winter Guard arrives and begins to fight them. Deathstrike and Domino join the fight, while Omega Red continues to taunt his brother, Vassily. Vassily reveals a gun and points it at Omega Red, wounding him and causing him to drop Vassily, who makes a run for it inside the Mothercarrier, but not before ordering the Winter Guard to destroy the traitor Omega Red. Weapon X work alongside their new ally Omega Red to fight the Winter Guard. Vassily makes his way through the Mothercarrier, when suddenly, Warpath and Sabretooth, still fighting, catch up to him. They call a truce when they realize their allies need help against the Winter Guard. They return topside in time to witness Domino being blasted off the Mothercarrier. Warpath is unable to help her, but luckily Omega Red extends a coil and rescues her. Warpath notices the Blackbird spinning out of control and Sabretooth points out that he better got do something. Warpath flies towards the Blackbird where he finds a weak Old Man Logan unable to keep control of the jet. Warpath is still frustrated about Sabretooth taking over Weapon X, to which Logan tells him that you have to believe that sometimes people can change. At that moment, Vassily attempts to escape in an emergency pod, only to be confronted by General Zaslon, who he thought was dead. Vassily wants to talk through their differences, but Zaslon isn't interested, and uses her mutant powers to freeze the escape pod, ejecting Vassily out into open air. Zaslon announces herself as the new director of SICKLE and instructs the Winter Guard to stop fighting Weapon X. Sabretooth and Zaslon part as allies, with Zaslon giving Weapon X an aircraft. Sabretooth then reveals to Deathstrike, Domino and Omega Red that the Foreigner has lined up work for them – that they are going to get paid for mercenary jobs – and the Foreigner reveals herself to be Mystique!

Full Summary: 

The SICKLE Mothercarrier, over St Petersburg, Russia, where James Proudstar a.k.a. Warpath is now fighting his former Weapon X teammate, Victor Creed a.k.a. Sabretooth.

'This has been a long time coming!' Warpath exclaims as he slams his fist into Creed's chest, knocking him back, Creed slams into a nearby wall. Creed pulls himself from the wall, and tells Warpath that might be in his mind. 'See – maybe you got big muscles and can fly like Peter Pan –' he begins, interrupting himself when he realizes that one of his ribs is going to need a few minutes to heal, he then continues, boasting that he can dish out as well aa take it. 'We ain't even in the same league, kid!' Creed exclaims as he rakes his claws across Warpath's face, causing Warpath to cry out in pain, but he gathers himself, and carries Sabretooth up into the air, while Neena Thurman a.k.a. Domino and Yuriko Oyama a.k.a. Lady Deathstrike watch. 'We should... break this up, right?' Domino asks. 'Why? Where's your sense of fun?' Deathstrike replies. Domino mutters that she hates being the responsible one on the team, that it feels so weird.

Suddenly, the Winter Guard arrive on the Mothercarrier. Major Mikhail Urkolivitch a.k.a. Ursa Major, Nicolai Krylenko a.k.a. Red Guardian, Laynia Petrovna a.k.a. Darkstar and Dimitiri Burkharin a.k.a. Crimson Dynamo. 'More foreign mutants! You will be detained until we can lodge formal protests with your home governments!' Red Guardian declares. 'Which one? I've got fifteen passports' Domino grins, before she finds herself surrounded by a force bubble of Darkforce. 'Get your freaky Dark Force offa me, lady!' Domino calls out, kicking the force bubble.

Deathstrike lunges at Ursa Major, while Arkady Rossvich a.k.a. Omega Red tells his brother, Director of SICKLE, Vassily Rossovich, that he has to hand it to him – after disappearing from his life for decades, his reappears as head of SICKLE to torture him under the guise of granting him freedom, but to see all of this mad chaos that has resulted from that scheming and plotting, it almost makes him proud to call him “brother”.

Omega Red uses one of his carbonadium cables to lift his brother into the air, while Warpath tosses Sabretooth aside. Vassily can't speak as a coil wraps tighter around his neck, and Omega Red tells him not to worry, as he will  still kill him anyway, and slowly, unaware that Vassily reaches behind his own back for a gun. The tiger cub, Kotik, roars quietly, and Omega Red turns to the cub, whom he holds up by another carbonadium coil, and tells Kotik to have patience, as his brother was his first mortal enemy, and he wannts to savor his life force as he consumes it. Suddenly, 'Die, you abomination!' Vassily shouts as he opens fire, several bullets striking Omega Red's stomach. 'Nice shot...but you know bullets can't kill a filthy mutant like me' Omega Red snarls as he clutches his wound. Vassily calls out to the Winter Guard and introduces himself as the Director of SICKLE and a senior member of the President's People's Front.

Vassily claims that his life's value to the party is unparalleled, and tells the Winter Guard that they must protect it with their own. Ursa Major roars as he, Crimson Dynamo and Red Guardian rush towards Omega Red. Vassily turns and runs in the other direction, 'Destroy this traitor Omega Red!' he shouts. 'Psh. Always looking to others to do your dirty work' Omega Red mutters, when Kotik suddenly runs after Vassily. 'No! Come back!' Omega Red calls out.

'DESTROY!' Ursa Major shouts as the Winter Guard, now with Darkstar alongside them, move closer to Omega Red. 'Bah! Come on, government stooges! You have been bred to die for the state! I and I alone am here to grant you your wishes!' Omega Red calls out to them, whipping his carbonadium coils in front of them. 'You totally committed to that “alone” part, Red?' Domino asks as she and Deathstrike appear alongside him. 'Eh? X-Men help me?' Omega Red asks them. 'I keep telling you. We're Weapon X. Different thing all together' Deathstrike reminds him. Sabretooth tells them that they look like X-Force. 'Weapon X, X-Force, whatever floats your boat' Domino smiles. 'Okay, then Weapon X-Force... after you' Omega Red tells the women. 'Don't mind if I do!' Domino replies as she and Deathstrike move forward and shove their elbows into Ursa Major's stomach. 'All I ask is that you leave enemies alive so I can feed!' Omega Red tells Domino and Deathstrike as he extends two coils ahead, one of which wraps around Red Guardian and slams him into the ground, and the other knocks Crimson Dynamo backwards. Domino starts to tell Deathstrike that it always creeps her out to see anyone's life force get drained, when Darkstar swoops down and knocks both women over. 'But hey, if you mess up that witch a little bit I ain't stopping ya!' Domino calls out to Omega Red, as Darkstar begins to fire beams of Darkforce energy at Omega Red.

Meanwhile, inside the Mothercarrier, Vassily pants for breath as he makes his way through the facility. He hears a roar and stops in his tracks, as Kotik drops down in front of him. Vassily smirks. 'Persistent' he tells the cub, aiming his gun at the tiger, he remarks 'Going to do you a favor, little one. My older brother, Arkady, see... I know from my childhood... he's not so good with pets'. But before Vassily can shoot, Warpath rushes past him, pushing Sabretooth through two walls. 'Dammit, Victor! You're driving this tem to destruction!' Warpath booms. Vassily looks at them, frightened, and decides that perhaps he has a higher priority, so he turns and starts to run. 'You high, son? There wouldn't be a team without me!' Sabretooth tells Warpath , who bursts up through the floor as the two men continue to fight. Kotik leaps over the large gaping hole in the ground, but doesn't quite make the edge. The cub clings on, before Sabretooth grabs it. 'Don't worry, bud' Sabretooth tells Kotik.

Creed looks up at Warpath, who stands on the edge of the floor, while Creed and Kotik remain down in the hole. 'Good thing one of us still cares about saving the little guy' Creed remarks, while Warpath tells him that he isn't fooling anyone. 'Yell it to the tiger, Jimmy. It's a whole new me. Time to believe' Creed calls back, while Kotik growls. Sabretooth climbs out of the hole, and Warpath tells him to put the cub down. 'Forget it, pal' Creed replies. 'Victor, I'm not screwing around any -' Warpath begins, when suddenly, there is a loud KRAKOOM! Sabretooth tells Warpath that he doesn't want to shake up his self-righteous misconception of heroism too much, but he thinks the good guys could use their help up there right now.

Outside on the Mothercarrier deck, there is a massive explosion as the battle rages. Deathstrike lunges towards Red Guardian, while Domino fires her gun at Crimson Dynamo, who dodges the explosion. Ursa Major is knocked through the air, while Omega Red's coils lash about, unable to latch onto Darkstar. Sabretooth tells Warpath to make himself useful, but Warpath replies that he is not taking orders from him. Another explosion sends Domino careening through the air. 'Neena!' Warpath calls out to Domino, but he is unable to go to help her, as Ursa Major holds him back. 'RED!' Sabretooth booms, while Warpath shoves his elbow into Ursa Major's neck and tells him to go find a picnic, or something. Omega Red understands what Sabretooth wants him to do and extends one of his coils, he wraps it around Domino, rescuing her before she falls from the Mothercarrier. 'Dang. Every time I think my luck might be running out...' Domino grins. 'We make own luck' Omega Red tells her.

Warpath looks shocked, so Sabretooth asks him what the matter is. 'Can't handle all the winning?' he asks, as Kotik snuggles up in Creed's arms. Domino runs past Warpath and tells him that they are Weapon X-Force now, and that he should join back up. 'It'll be fun!' she grins. Warpath spins around as Crimson Dynamo approaches him, he slams his fist into the armored Dynamo, slamming him into the deck and tells Neena that Victor is a maniac. 'This whole thing's gonna end in -' he begins, before noticing that the Blackbird, hovering above, is starting to fall towards the Mothercarrier. 'It's coming in too hot – something's wrong with Logan' Warpath realizes. Sabretooth points out that Warpath is the only one who can fly. 'I know!' Warpath retorts. 'You go save him!' Sabretooth declares. 'I'm already doing it!' Warpath calls back once he is already flying towards the Blackbird. 'Good job obeying your leader!' Creed exclaims. 'You are not my leader!' Warpath shouts, angrily, to which Creed just laughs.

Meanwhile, Vassily pants for breath while trying to open a door to another part of the Mothercarrier. 'Almost there' he mutters to himself, but as the door clangs open, he stares inside the other room in shock: 'Standing loyally by your men while they fend off foreign mutant invasions has fallen out of fashion, I see?' a woman asks Vassily. 'Zaslon! You're alive and... and here!' Vassily gasps, as General Toma Zaslon sits before him. 'How are you here?' Vassily asks. Zaslon tells Vassily that if he is asking how she is on the Mothercarrier, then the answer to that is Sabretooth's team brought her. 'If you mean, how am in the escape pod...it's because you are nothing if not predictable' Zaslon declares from inside the escape pod, before asking Vassily if he is not happy to see her. 'Yes, of course! Such a blessing to us all!' he claims, sweat pouring down his face.

Vassily suggests to Zaslon that with her alive, they can talk to the mutants and settle their differences. Suddenly, ice forms around Zaslon's hands, and she mockingly tells Vassily he is so sweet to think of it, before declaring that, as a mutant, she has often feared that she lacked support among friends such as he. 'I knew it! I knew all along you were a dirty, stinking -' Vassily begins, to which Zaslon tells him there is no need to say anything more, and she creates some sort of ice explosion that knocks Vassily through the escape pod, where he screams as he falls into open air. 'I consider all our differences already settled' Zaslon calls out to Vassily as she stands at the edge of the broken escape pod, ice surrounding her.

Zaslon then makes her way to the deck of the Mothercarrier, 'General Zaslon! You're – you're alive!' Darkstar calls out. 'Yes. And as the newly appointed Director of SICKLE, I declare these mutant foreigners friends of Russia' Zaslon announces. 'Wait – you're the newly appointed – what?' Darkstar asks as she flies over to Zaslon, who tells her that the government can take swift and decisive action when the times demand it, and they demand it now. She adds that after this debacle, Director Rossovich lost all his friends in the Kremlin, and she kept all of hers. 'Winter Guard! Stand down! That's an order!' Zaslon shouts at the others, who stop fighting and look at her. 'By your command, General!' Ursa Major responds, saluting Zaslon, before Omega Red punches him in the face. 'Nice' Sabretooth smiles, handing Omega Red the tiger buc, Kotik. Omega Red thanks Sabretooth.

At that moment, Warpath uses his incredible strength to lower the Blackbird to safety. 'What are you doing here, Jimmy? I got it all under... under...' Old Man Logan calls out from inside the jet. Warpath makes his way inside, and finds Logan slumped over the control console, and asks him if he is all right. 'Never better. But it's all good... Victor's doing okay after all ain't he?' Logan asks. 'Logan... no... he's insane' Warpath replies. 'Well, yeah. There's that' Logan mutters, before telling Warpath that he did a good job keeping him honest. Warpath frowns 'He's never been honest, Logan! He's a killer and a liar and -' he remarks, but Logan smiles and tells him that he knows, but for now, Victor is leading a team of X-Men, and they kinda of just saved the day. Logan admits that Victor will make mistakes, will go too far, but he is starting to believe that his heart is in the right place. 'So like I said, keep an eye on him...but what the hell, Jimmy. Sometimes you gotta believe people can change' Logan declares.

On the Mothercarrier, with Domino, Deathstrike and Omega Red at his side, Sabretooth shakes hands with Director General Zaslon, who has the Winter Guard standing behind her 'Thanks for the wings, Zas!' Sabretooth calls out as he, Domino, Deathstrike and Omega Red climb into a carrier jet that Zaslon gave them. 'Be well, Weapon X-Force. And know you have friends in Moscow' Zaslon calls back. Creed turns to Deathstrike and asks her if she has debuged this thing. Deathstrike reports that seventeen monitoring devices have been detected and disabled. 'Good' Creed replies, before telling everyone that now they are rid of the runt and the boy scout, he wants to tell them what is really going on. 'We're going mercenary' he reveals. 'You mean – you mean we're getting paid?' Domino smiles. 'Woooo-hooo!' Sabretooth holds up his phone and a man can be seen on the screen. Creed introduces the man as the Foreigner, and explains that he is getting them back in the game, so they shouldn't say anything nasty to his face. 'Hello. But now that we're all in business, let's dispense with the formalities' the Foreigner replies, and suddenly, transforms into her true guise – Mystique!


Characters Involved: 

Domino, Lady Deathstrike, Omega Red, Sabretooth (all Weapon X-Force)


Old Man Logan


Mystique / “Foreigner”


Crimson Dynamo V, Darkstar, Red Guardian VIII, Ursa Major (all Winter Guard)




General Toma Zaslon

Vassily Rossovich

Story Notes: 

This leaves it open whether the original Foreigner - an assassin and mercenary Sabretooth used to work for -  has always been Mystique in disguise.

Written By: