Weapon X (3rd series) #24

Issue Date: 
November 2018
Story Title: 
Weapon X-Force, part three

Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers), Luca Pizzari (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: 

Some time ago, Pyro, Sauron and Hairbag found themselves captured by Reverend Stryker. Today, Sabretooth, Domino, Omega Red, Deathstrike, Deadpool and Monet St Croix have been taken prisoner by Stryker, at his facility in Colorado where Mentallo was running a cult scam. Sabretooth and his team are given a set of weapons which they are expected to use in an upcoming fight. Before the fight, Sabretooth and Monet take some time to talk about what happened to them since they last saw each other, before the six are led to an arena, where Mentallo and his many followers are ready to watch some battle – a battle against Sauron, Pyro, Hairbag and several other mutants. Sabretooth realizes the mutants have been mind-controlled, and as he battles Sauron, Stryker joins the battle, ordering his thralls to force Weapon X-Force towards a pit of spinning blades. Sabretooth and Monet nearly fall into the pit, before Deathstrike and Domino spread the Nuke pills out across the crowd, which causes them to turn their attention onto each other, and to Mentallo. Mentallo's distress means he cannot continue to mentally ensnare the other mutants, and after Sauron knocks Stryker into the pit of blades, the mutants escape the facility with Sabretooth and his team. They take some time out in the woods to assess their situation, and when a portal, opens up above the facility, Sabretooth suggests they go back and take down Stryker once and for all. Everyone agrees, and they head back towards the facility, Sabretooth impressed with his team.

Full Summary: 

Inside a darkened back room of Moe's Liquor Shack in Darien, Connecticut, where three unique individuals are playing a game of poker: 'So... I heard Stryker's back, Kidnapping mutants' Michael Suggs a.k.a. Hairbag remarks as he reclines on his chair, with his feet on the table. 'Oh yeah? What for?' St John Allerdyce a.k.a. Pyro asks as he looks at his cards, a stack of cash next to his hands. 'I dunno. But he got Lenny last week You know, someday he's really...he's really gonna kill us all!' Hairbag declares. 'Whoa! Buzzkill!' Pyro tells him. '...unless we stop him' Hairbag suggests. 'I'm trying to play cards here' Karl Lykos a.k.a. Sauron snarls at Hairbag, who tells him that they have all seen what Stryker does – he comes back again and again. 'And unless we do something -' Hairbag begins, but Sauron interrupts him, reporting that the last he heard, Stryker was just a feeble old man with some primitive cybernetic enhancement.

'I'm an energy vampire with the body of one of prehistory's greatest predators! What could he do to me?' Sauron asks, before suddenly, he is struck by a blast of red energy, which causes him to shriek. 'I got an upgrade' Reverend William Stryker boasts as he tears open the roof of the back room and looms over the criminals in his large cyborg form. 'Stryker! Why're you bothering me? I'm not even a mutant!' Sauron calls out as he struggles to get up from the floor. 'You consort with them. Now, you can die with them' Stryker exclaims, eyes flashing red with energy.

Later, in Aspen, Colorado, Victor Creed a.k.a. Sabretooth rubs his head as he comes to inside a cell. Arkady Rossovich a.k.a. Omega Red stands at the cell bars, his carbonadium coils flicking about. Yuriko Oyama a.k.a. Lady Deathstrike examines the cell, while Neena Thurman a.k.a. Domino sits up, 'Whoa. What the heck...' she asks, looking at her wounded arm. Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool and Monet St Croix sit slumped against the cell wall. Omega Red them starts to shake the cell bars, while roaring. 'Get back!' a cult member wearing a red cloak snaps, using an energy weapon to knock Omega Red back from the bars. 'What the hell is this?' Deathstrike asks. 'Magic. Or to be precise, demonic energies' Monet explains, adding that she is not sure of all the details, as when she was under Mentallo's control, things got a little fuzzy – but Stryker sold his soul to Hell.

'Wait a minute, isn't he the Reverend Stryker?' Deathstrike asks. 'Yeah, with a church and everything!' Domino replies, adding that Stryker thought the Big Guy was telling him to kill all mutants. 'And that didn't really work out for him... so... given the clear lack of divine support for his mission... he could either give up his hatred to mutants...' Monet points out. '... or switch gods' Deathstrike realizes. 'Whoa' Domino gasps. Sabretooth turns to the cloaked cult member standing guard and asks 'So you guys got devil sticks now? You think that'll hurt us?' he asks. 'Obviously' the cult member smiles from beneath the red hood covering their head. 'But the Reverend's got something special planned for you' the cult member adds, pressing a button on the wall, which opens a panel in the ceiling above the cell, releasing dozens of weapons like swords, axes and maces into the cell with a loud clang.

'Dang! Can't a guy get any sleep around here?' Deadpool asks as he wakes and stretches his arms overhead. The cult member tells the mercenaries to pick out something they like, as the games begin in ten minutes. 'Games?' Domino asks. 'This is bad' Deathstrike remarks, while Deadpool takes an arrow from the pile of weapons. 'Ooh! Shiny!' he exclaims. Sabretooth takes a sword and tells his team that it is pretty obvious where this is going – Stryker wants them to play with his food a little. 'Let's see if we can at least get stuck in his craw' Creed suggests. Monet has picked up a large axe, and Creed walks over to her, telling her that he is sorry – it looks like he busted her out only to get her into a worse mess. Monet turns to Creed and tells him not to apologize, as it sounds weird coming out of his mouth.

'I'm... I'm serious, though' Creed tells Monet. He looks at the sword in his hands and remarks that Monet has been one of the few people who treated him decent. Creed looks slightly forlorn as he reminds Monet that she worked with him when everyone else thought he was just faking being a good guy. 'And then when you got into trouble, I wasn't there for you' Creed adds. Monet assures him that it is not his fault, and reminds him that she was possessed by Emplate. 'I was a straight-up monster' Monet declares. While Deadpool, Domino, Omega Red and Deathstrike collect their weapons, Sabretooth puts a hand on Monet's shoulder and tells her that is exactly why he should have been there for her. 'I mean, who else knows better'n me what that's like'. Sabretooth is about to tell Monet something else, when Omega Red comes between them, interrupting them, he tells Creed not to be sorry, and points out thaty at least Monet is no longer mind-controlled. 'She will die free' he exclaims. 'Yeah. That sounds great' Monet mutters.

'Come on! Nobody's gonna die!' Deadpool calls out, several weapons now attached to belts and buckles. Domino tells him that she wouldn't have pegged him for the inspiring speech moment. 'Seriously, though. I mean, you've got that ridiculous luck power thing going on' Deadpool tells Domino. 'I don't know if that -' Domino begins, when suddenly, one of the crossbows Deadpool is in possession of releases – straight towards Domino's face – but the arrow misses her, clangs against a pipe and then against the wall – and then into Deadpool's head. 'You were saying?' Deadpool asks her. 'Okay. Right. Good talk' Domino tells Deadpool, who starts to remove the arrow from his head, and points out that the rest of them have incredible healing factors. 'They can't kill us. And besides, we're all in other books, right?' Deadpool adds. 'What are you talking about?' Monet asks him. 'Oh, riiiiight... except you' Deadpool mutters. '... and you...' he adds, turning to Omega Red. 'Huh?' Omega Red remarks, confused. 'Shoot. And you, too' Deadpool points out, looking at Deathstrike. 'Hmp' she mumbles, folding her arms.

The cult member outside the cell tells everyone to move it, and opens the cell bars. 'Okay! Forget I said anything! Have fun! Play hard!' Deadpool tells the others as they walk into a large arena, lined floor to ceiling with seats, filled with cultists who throw their arms up in the air, and Mentallo, who sits on a platform extended out from the cultists. 'Friends! I present our first offerings!' Mentallo exclaims, and the cultists shout and cheer. 'So, what – they're just bloodthirsty maniacs now?' Domino asks. 'No more “church for prosperity” or whatever?' she enquires. Monet explains that they are all being mind-controlled by Mentallo. She supposes that there is no need for the bad guys to sugarcoat things anymore. 'To hell with this. We're carving right through 'em and busting out of here' Creed tells the others. 'Charge on three. One, two -' he begins, as Deadpool interrupts him: 'Wait, does that mean we charge when we say “three” or do we say three and then charge on four?' he asks. 'Come on, man! I just said charge on -' Sabretooth begins, when suddenly, 'THREE!' Sauron shouts as he appears in the arena, waving a large hammer around, which narrowly misses Sabretooth, but slams into Deadpool's face.

Hairbag rides on Sauron's back, while Pyro unleashes a burst of flames alongside them. The warriors known as Agent X, Snare and Turk run along behind them, along with seven other beings. Snare lunges at Omega Red, forcing him to the ground, while Domino faces off against a man in a black costume with a mask over his mouth, and some sort of energy powers that glow green. 'That was pretty good. Credit where credit's due' Deadpool utters. Deathstrike finds herself up against Pyro, while Omega Red is under assault from a woman with a white bathing suit style costume, and a dark body suit underneath. Monet knocks aside two of the other combatants as Creed calls out to Sauron. 'You don't have to -' he begins, to which Sauron responds by opening his mouth and blasting a flaming energy across Sabretooth's body. Sabretooth informs Deathstrike that the others are mind-controlled and asks her to inject them with her nanobots – but before she can do so, Deathstrike finds her deadly claws under attack by Pyro, who sets them alight. Deathstrike screams, and Deadpool fires a crossbow at two of the others, 'Tch. No solo book for you' he tells Deathstrike, while Monet flies towards a woman in a green costume with yellow hood and cape, who fires a light green energy at Monet, but misses her.

Sabretooth runs from Sauron and asks him what the hell he is even doing here. 'You're not a mutant' Sabretooth reminds Sauron, who replies that he iis a friend to mutants, particularly when he can partake of their life energies. Sauron grabs Sabretooth's wrist, and begins to drain his energies. 'Tell ya what, pal...you can have all the mutant life energy you want...long as you start with them!' Creed exclaims as he hurls Sauron towards Pyro and several of the others, where he collapses on top of them. Suddenly, Reverend Stryker drops down into the arena, and tells Sabretooth that his mutant cunning may buy him a few more minutes, but that his sad story ends today. 'Rev Stryker... always talking big. Why don't you just kill us instead of yapping about it if you're so hot now?' Sabretooth asks. 'Ix-nay on ill us-kay, dude' Domino calls out.

Energy whirls around Stryker, who announces that his new master likes a little ceremony before the blood sacrifice. 'Thralls! Force them to the pit!' Stryker shouts at the other combatants, as a panel in the ground opens up, revealing a large pit with several whirling, razor-sharp blades inside it. Mentallo uses his psionic control over the combatants, 'You have heard the Reverend, friends. You have cast your lot in with him. So cast his enemies into the pit' Mentallo orders them. The battle continues to rage, with Omega Red, Domino, Deathstrike and Deadpool amongst thr thick of it. Sabretooth and Monet are on the edge of the battle, as Sauron swoops down towards them, pushing them closer to the pit – and the razor sharp blades within. 'Monet...I'm sorry...' Creed calls out. Monet tells Victor to stop apologizing and to think of something. 'Or I'll shove you in the pit myself!' Monet warns Creed, while a blade whirls near her head. Sabretooth grins, 'Ha! All right, all right' Creed replies, before calling out to Deathstrike, asking her if she still has that stash of Nuke pills.

Deathstrike looks up from where she is holding Hairbag to the ground and tells him that she does. 'But I don't see what – ah. Yes. I see' Deathstrike replies as she tosses the bag of Nuke pills towards the cultists in the audience and calls out to Domino, telling her to make some luck. 'Way ahead of you, Dee' Domino replies as she flips backwards, as Deadpool trips over Hairbag, and lets go of the crossbow, which Domino catches, then aims at the bag of Nuke pills, shooting the bag, the pills explode over the cultists. 'How do you do that?' Deadpool asks, while Mentallo watches in shock, as the remains of the pills float down over his flock – who suddenly become aggressive and start to fight with each other. 'Wait! Friends! No! Please!' Mentallo calls out to them, suggesting that they just say “no”. The cultists, however, turn their attention on to Mentallo and swarm around him, grabbing at him. 'Gah! Your minds! So disordered! Listen to me, you morons!' Mentallo calls out psionically. 'Your true enemy is – ah ' he begins, before screaming 'Not me! Not me!' Mentallo calls out to Stryker who is still down in the arena, and begs him for help. 'Idiot' Stryker mutters.

Sabretooth and Monet have meanwhile freed themselves from Sauron, who looks confused, and turns to Stryker. 'Whose ass do you wanna kick?' Sabretooth asks. 'Well, your life force is, frankly, delicious...' Sauron replies, before flying towards Stryker, and grabbing him, informing Creed that he is now second on the list,  as he begins slashing away at Stryker, before tossing him into the pit of razor sharp blades. 'Let's take this outside!' Sauron calls out, blasting a hole in the wall, he leads everyone out of the arena towards some woods surrounding the facility. 'You don't have to tell me twice' Domino replies as she follows. Stuck in amongst the pit of blades, Stryker calls out to Mentallo, but Mentallo is still surrounded by his cultists. 'Sorry' he utters, when suddenly, Stryker roars, and a huge amount of crimson energy spreads upwards through the citadel it forms a large wave of energy in the sky overhead.

Everyone comes to a stop once they are far enough into the woods. Hairbag thanks Sabretooth and tells him that he supposes this means they owe him one. 'Yeah? Cool. Cause I got a job for ya' Sabretooth replies. Hairbag asks him what that might be, to which Sabretooth announces that they are going to circle back and kill that piece of garbage once and for all. Everyone stares at Sabretooth in surprise. No one speaks, until Domino breaks the silence by pointing out that this is usually the point where Warpath or somebody says “We don't kill”. Sauron remarks that he doesn't see Warpath around, and as she puts a hand on Sabretooth's shoulder, Monet adds that she doesn't, either. Sabretooth and Monet turn and walk alongside each other, back towards the facility, followed by Deathstrike, Deadpool, Omega Red, Pyro, Hairbag and Domino, while Sauron flies overhead, and the others follow or fly behind them. 'I love this team' Sabretooth smirks.

Characters Involved: 

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





Rev William Stryker


Agent X III, Hairbag, Pyro I, Sauron, Snare, Turk

Unidentified mutants


Story Notes: 

This issue has the legacy numbering of Weapon X #52.

Pyro died of the Legacy Virus in Cable (1st series) #87. He was resurrected by Selene as one of her army of dead mutants during “Necrosha” and although it was never confirmed he survived the resurrection when Selene was defeated, it appears that he has. A new Pyro, Simon Lasker, has been appearing in X-Men Gold, it is unknown whether the original Pyro knows of this.

Hairbag most recently appeared in Uncanny X-Men (4th series) #15. Prior to that he hadn't appeared since X-Factor (1st series) #104-105.

Agent X III, Snare and Turk all debuted in as the origina Next Wave team in Ghost Rider (2nd series) #29, and then appeared in Silver Sable & the Wild Pack #7, 11-12 and Ghost Rider (2nd series) #56-57. Snare had not appeared since, while Agent X III was mentioned in the Civil War Battle Damage Report and Turk was seen in the recent Kingpin series #2-5.

Issue Information: 
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