Weapon X (3rd series) #22

Issue Date: 
October 2018
Story Title: 
Weapon X-Force, part one

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: 

Mystique meets with the Breakworlder Gar-Kuva, planning to sell him a supply of Nuke pills – but he double-crosses her by surrounding her by his men – fortunately for Mystique, she has back-up in form of Sabretooth, Domino, Omega Red and Deathstrike. They defeat the Breakworlders, take their cash and keep their Nuke Pills. Domino informs the group that she is going to try and find Warpath, before Sabretooth informs them that he has another mission – Monet St Croix's parents have hired him to find her as she disappeared. The others know that Sabretooth and Monet were close, and mock him for this, before all agreeing to help him. Disguised as Swedish woman Andrea Jorgenstern, Mystique arrives in Aspen, Colorado, where a large religious facility has mysterious appeared – someone is preaching self-help and salvation, and making a lot of money from it – and somehow Monet is involved. Once inside the facility, a bald man speak to a large congregation gathered, talking about business opportunities and networking, and that any material benefits they may gain from this study group are an accidental side benefit of the spiritual benefits. A woman in a white cloak appears on the stage, ready to cast her lot with them, she offers to leave behind her bank accounts and jewelry. Mystique thinks the cult leader is familiar, while Sabretooth picks up a familiar scent. The cult leader asks the cloaked woman what she wants as a gift, to which she tells him she wants to give her gift to another – one whom she summoned here through her parents – Monet then reveals herself and exposes Sabretooth. This causes a fight to break out with some guards, while Monet informs Sabretooth that she brought him here to save him. Mystique contacts the others and tells them that they need extracting. Omega Red, Deathstrike and Domino burst into the facility, and the fight continues, with Monet easily evading the Weapon X members, before Sabretooth falls under the control of the cult leader – the psychic called Mentallo. Before any harm can be done, Deathstrike injects Sabretooth with nanobots, freeing him of Mentallo's control. Before Monet can do any more further damage to Omega Red, Deathstrike injects her, too. She is furious at being manipulated by Mentallo, but as she and Sabretooth close in on him, an explosion knocks them backwards – courtesy of Deadpool!


Full Summary: 

Golden State National Gas Processing Facility, Oakland, California, where Raven Darkholme a.k.a. Mystique, wearing a revealing orange costume, announces that, as promised, she infilitrated the Weapon X-Force team. 'And look what I've got... genuine Santo Marcan Reds. Perfect reverse-engineered Nuke pills. Each worth 1.5 million dollars' Mystique announces, holding several of the pills in her hand as she looks up at Gar-Kuva of Breakworld. The large alien tells Mystique that this is fantastic, and just what he needs to clean house. 'We said payment upon delivery...' Mystique remarks. 'Yeah, well, since you kept to our terms and showed up here all alone...that ain't happening' Gar-Kuva declares, as several Breakworldians emerge from the shadows and surround Mystque. 'Really' Mystique replies, unimpressed, before her teammates in Weapon X-Force suddenly appear, and launch an assault on the Breakworldians.

Victor Creed a.k.a. Sabretooth, the leader of Weapon X-Force, has returned to wearing a orange and black costume more that resembles his classic costume, and he grins as he slams his foot into the back of one of the alien's heads. Arkady Rossovich a.k.a. Omega Red, also wearing an orange and black costume, lashes his carbonadium coils ahead, wrapping one of them around an alien, as Yuriko Oyama a.k.a. Lady Deathstrike slices her razor-sharp claws across the face of one of the Breakworldians, and Neena Thurman a.k.a. Domino opens fire at Gur-Kava, who holds up a briefcase to protect himself. 'YEEEE-HA!' Domino shouts, both she and Deathstrike also wearing orange and black costumes. Creed tells Domino to watch it, as these tanks around them are filled with natural gas – too late, as a bullet strikes one of them, and an explosion follows. 'Whoa' Domino utters. The mercenaries look up from the bodies of the Breakworldians that lay strewn about the ground, and as money from the briefcase floats around them, Domino smiles and tells her teammates that she meant to do that.

Later, Gul-Kuva and his associates have been tied up as Weapon X-Force collect the money that had been floating around them. Sabretooth stands with his hands on his hips and laughs, declaring that making bank and busting goons is the kind of thing they could have been doing all along. 'All right, five equal shares...' Mystique tells the others, as Gul-Kava tells them that they can't just steal that. 'Watch us' Sabretooth replies, kicking Gul-Kava in the face. Domino then tells her teammates that it has been a pleasure, but her work here is done. Sabretooth is confused, to which Domino reminds him that she has been saying from day one she is in it for the money, and admits that she still feels a little bad about ditching Warpath, so she is gonna go find him and buy him some flowers or something. 'No. Chocolate' Mystique suggests. 'Yeah' Deathstrike agrees. 'Definitely. And milk chocolate. No nuts' Omega Red remarks.

Creed tells Domino to hang on and reports that Mystique has another gig for them. 'I'm good, babes. I mean, I'm greedy, but I already got more'n I can really count' Domino replies. Sabretooth tells her that this isn't about the money, so Deathstrike asks him what he is talking about, as she thought they were all about the money now. 'Okay, okay... you guys know Monet St Croix? Prissy frail from Xavier's?' Sabretooth asks, adding that he and Monet were teammates a while back, and then she went bad, possessed by her brother, then she disappeared, and now, her parents have hired them to get her back for them. 'Monet. As in “Sabretooth's ex-girlfriend” Monet' Deathstrike points out. 'Awww! Really?' Domino asks, smiling. 'Shut up. It wasn't like -' Sabretooth begins, folding his arms and turning away from the others. Domino punches Sabretooth playfully on his back and tells him that is adorable, and that she is in. Domino heads towards a car and suggests to the others that they go. 'Chocolate later, da?' Omega Red asks. 'Da! Double da! And no nuts!' Domino calls back. Deathstrike tells Creed that she is still in it for the money, and Mystique tells her not to worry, as they are infiltrating some kind of religious cult – and they always have plenty of cash.

Aspen, Colorado, a white limo drives up a slope towards a high-tech facility built at the top of the slope, overlooking mountains and forests. Mystique sits in the back of the limo, which is driven by Sabretooth, who is wearing a gray suit and glasses. Mystique remarks that the locals say it took less than eight months to build this place, and explains that it was bankrolled entirely by some “prosperity gospel” guru preaching a combination of salvation and self-help. She adds that whoever he is, he's tending to the souls of the rich, which is never a bad business plan. She tells Creed that playing spiritually empty rich people will be their cover. 'Though I question the necessity of the Banner specs' she adds, referring to Creed's round glasses. Creed explains that he is trying to disguise himself here, and the only way to do that is to make him look not-awesome.

Mystique suggests that they go over their stories again. 'What is my name?' she asks Creed. 'Smurfy McElfskin' Creed replies. 'No. Andrea Jorgenstern. I am Sweden's leading investigator in self-sustainable biotech' Mystique corrects Creed, before telling him that she knows he is basically unkillable, so everything is a big joke to him, but Monet St Croix, is a mutant, and powers or not, she is a mere mortal. Mystique switches her appearance into that of a blonde woman as she tells Creed that if he could somehow maintain at least the bare semblance of professionalism until they find her alive, and thus have some chance of finishing their contract, she would appreciate that. The limo arrives at the front of the large facility, and Creed tells Raven to calm down, that he was just being funny. 'I do care about Monet. Like the little sister I never had, or something' he explains 'Riiiight' the disguised Raven replies as they walk up the front steps of the facility. 'Psh. That's what I get for talking about feelings and crap' Creed mutters.

'Feelings?' Mystique asks. 'Look, you don't have to believe me, but don't worry. I'm not screwing this thing up' Creed assures Mystique, who admits that she never quite believed this “inversion” thing until now and wonders if Creed really has changed. Several guards stand at the entrance to the facility, and one of them states that this is a private party, asking for Ids, he tells the other guards to check them against the list. “Andrea Jorgenstern” introduces herself and hands her identification to the guard. 'This is my security...' she begins. 'Dick Steele' Creed grins.

Once inside the facility, several people are gathered around a stage, where a bald man in a suit thanks them all for coming, adding that he knows they have been told of all the networking and business opportunities available from their little group, adding that he shoud stop calling it that, as it keeps growing larger and larger by the day. He smiles as he tells the cynics among them that he wants to remind them that any material benefits they may gain from the group are an accidental side benefit from the spiritual benefits. A woman wearing a white cloak walks onto the stage, and the man in the suit announces that this young initiate says she understands this, and that she is ready to cast her lot with them. He asks her what she wishes to leave behind for atonement, and the woman holds up a basket with credit cards and jewelry, reporting that she leaves everything she has of material value.

'Yeah, there's the scam... babe, we are in the wrong racket, I'm telling you' Creed mutters to Mystique, who asks Creed if the cult leader looks familiar at all to him. 'Huh? No, just another geek to me...' Creed replies, before he sniffs the air, and tells Raven that now she mentions it, he is getting kind of a familiar scent.

The man on the stage accepts the basket, and tells the initiate that she has cast her lot with them, and thanks her. 'What do you wish to keep for yourself?' he enquires. 'Nothing, friend' the woman replies, announcing that she wants to give the gift to another. The bald man tells her that this is generous, and asks her who that person is. 'One I have already summoned here. Through my parents' the young woman reveals, before her cloak falls backwards, 'HIM!' Monet St Croix  announces pointing at Sabretooth, outing him to those gathered. 'Aw, crap' Sabretooth snarls. Everyone turns to look at Sabretooth, 'Mr Steele, wait -' “Andrea” tells him, before Creed begins fighting with the guards who gather around him, 'Well, on the bright side, I already forgot what your stupid codename is, so now I don't have to worry about remembering it' Creed tells Mystique.

Creed moves closer to the stage, 'C'mon, St Croix, you're coming with me!' he calls out to Monet, informing her that he and his team are here to save her. 'Shall you tell him, or should I, friend?' the bald man asks Monet. 'I will, friend' Monet replies, removing her white cloak, revealing her black and white X-Factor Investigations costume, Monet tels victor that she appreciates the thought, but she brought him here to save him! Monet then slams her fist into Creed's face, knocking his glasses off his face. Mystique has transformed into a guard, and as she punches another, she radios Domino. Mystique keeps changing her appearance to copy each guard she comes up against, confusing them and enabling her to easily take them down. As she switches to her default form, Mystique touches her earpiece and informs Domino that there is a slight change of plans: 'Now we're the ones who need extracting' Domino reveals.

'No prob... here comes the cavalry, baby! Domino shouts as she, Omega Red and Lady Deathstrike burst into the facility on motorcycles. 'Ah! New friends. Excellent. Make sure they don't leave without casting their lot ewith us, friend' the bald man tells Monet. 'Of course not, friend' Monet responds. Deathstrike and Domino prepare to face Monet, who leaps towards them. 'Remind me what abilities this one has?' Deathstrike asks. 'Like, all of them' Domino mutters. 'It's like she got caught in an explosion at a super-powers factory or something...' Domino adds, when suddenly, 'Delicious' Omega Red snarls as he captures Monet in his carbonadium coils. 'No... monster once... this might have slowed me down... but my friend has unlocked my full potential!' Monet exclaims as she frees herself from the coils, then grabs one of them and uses her strength to pull the coil, raising Omega Red into the air and slamming him down onto the ground, knocking Domino and Deathstrike backwards in the process.

'All right, “Friend” what's your trick?' Sabretooth asks as he approaches the bald man. 'Come a little closer and I'll show you' the bald man responds. While Domino and Omega Red continue to fight Monet, Deathstrike rushes towards Creed and tells him not to, as the bald man is a mind-controller. 'I prefer the term “Master of Psionics” the bald man declares as he and Sabretooth stand only a few feet apart. 'Now kneel to the will of Mentallo!' the villain smirks as he attempts to put Sabretooth under his control – as Deathstrike suddenly shoves a claw into Sabretooth's shoulder. 'What the hell?' Creed asks, turning to Deathstrike, who informs him that she infected him with nanobots to protect him from Mentallo's powers. Deathstrike admits that her nanobots wouldn't work against an omega-class like Jean Grey or Emma Frost, but this guy isn't that powerful. 'Psh. Power is limitless...when you have the right friends' Mentallo replies, while Monet slams Omega Red into the ground, then rushes towards Deathstrike – who shoves a claw into Monet's shoulder.

'Huh -' Monet begins, confused, before turning to Mentallo: 'You little worm...' she snaps, while Sabretooth grins and asks 'Who's saving who, now?' Monet tells him that she was going to say thank you, but he makes that kind of hard. 'Ah, don't sweat it. I know ya love me' Creed grins at Monet, before the two of them move in on Mentallo. Sabretooth tells Deathstrike to go “nanobotify” any cult members she can find, while he and Monet take care of Mentallo. Suddenly, though, a voice calls out 'Haaaaang on, kids – can't let you kill my boss – before I think up an awesome one-liner!' and Sabretooth and Monet are knocked back by an explosion that is detonated right in front of them – by a mercenary standing on a balcony, weapon smoking – it's Deadpool!


Characters Involved: 

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










Story Notes: 

This issue has the legacy numbering of Weapon X #50, which totals Weapon X (2nd series) #1-28 and Weapon X (3rd series) #1-22. The numbering excludes Weapon X (1st series) #1-4, which was the Age of Apocalypse series starring Wolverine/Weapon X.

Sabretooth and Monet were teammates in Magneto's X-Men team, as seen in Uncanny X-Men (4th series), the two grew close during their time on the team.

Monet was possessed by Emplate in Uncanny X-Men (4th series) #10.

Monet was last seen in Generation X (1st series) #85-87, where she was freed from Emplate's control.

When Sabretooth says that Monet's “parents” have hired them to find her, he presumably means her father, Cartier St Croix, as Monet's mother died long ago, killed by Emplate in a flashback scene in Generation X (1st series) #40.

Sabretooth was inverted during the “Axis” event.

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