SABRETOOTH: Page 5 of 12

Publication Date: 27th Jul 2023
Written By: Douglas Mangum and Monolith.
Image Work: Tanwer and Binaryan (Ryan Jones).


In truth, Ferro had used his abilities as Psi-Borg to cover Sabretooth’s escape. In exchange for his assistance, Ferro sorted out Creed’s implants to restore his true memories, and drove him back to Sabretooth’s mansion in Vancouver. There waiting for him was an ambush of ninjas, which only served to annoy Sabretooth, as they had not already been dispatched by his assistant, Birdy. As she lived in fear for her life, Birdy sought a way to end her relationship with Sabretooth and deactivated the mansion’s alarm system, allowing a team of mercenaries inside. Though he put up a fight, Sabretooth was nonetheless captured by the mercenaries of Tribune, an armored individual who needed Sabretooth for a mission, the assassination of the shape-changer Mystique. To ensure his loyalty, Tribune had a doctor implant an explosive device next to Sabretooth’s aorta set to detonate in exactly 48 hours. Though Sabretooth agreed to kill his assigned target, he vowed that he would return to come after Tribune. [Sabretooth (1st series) #1]

Sabretooth returned to his mansion only long enough to pick up Birdy, whom he declined to kill for the moment. Together the two tracked a lead to Paris, where Sabretooth made his first attempt on Mystique. Though he was sure they had never met, her scent was familiar. Through quick thinking, Mystique managed to evade Sabretooth, who gave chase and finally cornered her atop the Eiffel Tower. There Sabretooth was taken aback as Mystique morphed into Leni Zauber, whom he had known in Berlin decades before. With the arrival of Wolverine complicating things, Sabretooth agreed to a sit-down at a restaurant, joined by Birdy. During the following conversation, Sabretooth learned the truth about Leni from so many years before, as well as the existence of their mutual son. Enraged at the turn of events, Sabretooth decided to forgo the contract and attack directly at Tribune while he still could. With the help of Birdy’s telepathy, Sabretooth managed to recall key details about the Tribune’s location and together he and Birdy returned to New York to settle the score. [Sabretooth (1st series) #2-3]

With less than 15 minutes to spare, Sabretooth attacked Tribune in his office and tossed him out of the building to the street below. Then, locating the doctor who had installed the explosive, Sabretooth ordered him to walk him through the process of its removal, with Sabretooth doing the surgery on himself. The procedure was finished with moments to spare and just in time for Sabretooth to use the doctor’s body as a human shield when Tribune climbed back up to the office floor. With Tribune now out of ammo, Sabretooth made short work of Tribune’s armor and removed his helmet to see the man inside.  Curious as to his identity, Sabretooth ordered Birdy to use her telepathy to investigate. To his disgust, Sabretooth learned that Tribune was Graydon Creed, his son with Mystique. Born a human, rather than mutant, Graydon had learned what his mother was early in life and grew to hate her and all mutants. The entire scenario had been orchestrated to trick his father, Sabretooth, into killing his mother, Mystique. Enraged, Sabretooth moved to kill Graydon but was rebuffed by Birdy. Recognizing her name and her role as his escape valve, Graydon murdered Birdy on the spot. Ironically, the murderous action gained the respect of Sabretooth, who decided it was the action of a son of his and thus decided to let Graydon live. Sabretooth departed, unsure what he was going to do, now that Birdy was dead. [Sabretooth (1st series) #4]

Within a short time, Sabretooth’s bloodlust accelerated uncontrollably without “the glow,” far enough where even he himself wished he could stop. Though he had possessed no compunction about committing murder previously, he had always killed as part of a job or sport. However now it was a need which he could not control. Desperate for a telepath to replace Birdy, Sabretooth traveled the globe but eventually decided on a reckless subject: Charles Xavier. Already aware of his goal from Maverick, who had been hunting Sabretooth on his rampage,  the X-Men were prepared and Sabretooth was ultimately captured. Determined to rehabilitate him like he had with former villains turned heroes, Xavier promised Sabretooth that he would help him end the killing. In the meantime, however, he would be kept in a cell below the mansion. [X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #3]

The decision to keep Sabretooth on the premises deeply divided the X-Men, many of whom saw no sort of redemption from the mass murderer. Their concerns were heightened by Logan’s recent departure from the mansion due to injuries, leaving Sabretooth’s greatest foe unavailable to voice his opinion of letting the beast in their house. As the days and weeks passed, Sabretooth became more and more belligerent and took great joy in either threatening or taunting those who came to feed him. All the while, however, Xavier and Jean Grey refused to bestow upon him his much requested “glow,” instead hoping that depriving him of it would allow him to wean himself eventually off of the cravings altogether [X-Men (2nd series) #28-30]

Though the X-Men believed the presence of their new “guest” a secret, Sabretooth’s stay did not escape the detection of the mutant tracker Caliban, who still desired revenge for the massacred Morlocks. Realizing that the X-Men would not hand him over without reason, Caliban kidnapped Jubilee as ransom and demanded Sabretooth be brought to him. Hoping for a peaceful resolution, Xavier finally granted Sabretooth his “glow” in exchange for him accompanying Shadowcat into the Morlock tunnels. It was hoped by Xavier that Kitty’s history with Caliban would help in the negotiation of Jubilee’s release. Reluctantly, and not without physical coercion, Sabretooth led Shadowcat to Caliban’s location. Once there, however, Caliban sprung his trap, attempting to flood the chamber in which Sabretooth was trapped. Though she could have escaped by phasing, Shadowcat engineered hers and Sabretooth’s mutual escape. Unfortunately for her, Sabretooth used this opportunity to make his own move and used Shadowcat’s phasing power to break free of his manacles. He then set about savagely beating Caliban, and would have killed him if not for the intervention of both Jubilee and Shadowcat, who managed to stun him long enough to replace his manacles. Shattered both by his failure and his current state before the woman for whom he had once been in love, Caliban allowed Shadowcat to return to the X-mansion with both Jubilee and Sabretooth. [Uncanny X-Men Annual (1st series) #18]

While working to ensure that the mansion’s energy core had not suffered damage after a recent confrontation with Magneto, the Beast inadvertently triggered a failsafe, which severed power throughout the estate. Unfortunately for the X-Men, this unlocked Sabretooth’s cell, allowing him to escape. Sabretooth’s first target was young Jubilee, whom he intended to kill screaming. Luckily for her, she surprised Sabretooth with a flurry of fireworks and escaped. Sabretooth next ran into Bishop, who held his own, but it was the return of Jubilee with a taser which allowed Sabretooth to be recaptured. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #311]

Despite his continued intent on escape and the threat he posed if he did so, the few X-Men who remained free had no choice but to turn to Sabretooth when the alien Phalanx attacked the mansion. Together with Banshee, Emma Frost and Jubilee, Sabretooth fought against the alien incursion and rid the mansion of them. During a subsequent battle with the Phalanx, Sabretooth’s manacles were damaged enough to allow him to escape.

Much to the surprise of the heroes, Sabretooth returned to their side in full costume, fighting the Phalanx on a freighter by the docks, where they had been holding a group of young mutants. When the fight was won, Sabretooth refused to answer directly any question as to how he followed them or why he even bothered to do so. His presence was doubly valuable when his senses detected that the mesh costume worn by young Paige Guthrie was actually a Phalanx, allowing him to destroy it before it could operate maliciously. Before Sabretooth could even offer what his next plans were, the group was attacked by another, more powerful Phalanx. By the time the Phalanx was defeated, Sabretooth had been knocked unconscious, rendering the question moot. [Phalanx Covenant crossover]

Once back at the mansion, Sabretooth seemed of a different mood, yearning for escape like never before. While venting at Wolverine, who had returned to the mansion after an absence, he tested the limits of his cell’s force field, which would deliver a devastating electrical charge when pressed against. Coming to the conclusion that he could endure its charge, Sabretooth ran against it and succeeded, only to find Wolverine waiting for him on the other side. Weakened by the experience with the force field, Sabretooth found himself no match for Wolverine who, after an extended struggle, threatened to put a claw through his brain. Possibly the result of his long captivity with no apparent hope of escape, Sabretooth goaded Wolverine into doing it. Pushed to the edge, Wolverine complied and impaled Creed’s brain on his middle claw. [Wolverine (2nd series) #90]

Surprisingly, Sabretooth survived and medical scans soon revealed something unexpected. The single claw up through Sabretooth’s jaw and into his skull had had the unexpected effect of a lobotomy. Though the damaged section soon healed, it was an open question to the X-Men if the Victor Creed who now existed would in fact be the same man. For the weeks that followed, Sabretooth’s personality seemed between that of a child and a general fugue state. The change was enough for the X-Men to allow the simple-minded Sabretooth freer rein of the compound, though never without supervision. Wolverine, in contrast, tried his best to convince everyone that this was nothing but an act on Sabretooth’s part and that he would strike when the time was right. [Wolverine (2nd series) #91-92, Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #323]

Wolverine’s opinion of Sabretooth was joined in by both Gambit and Caliban, the latter of whom had since become a member of X-Force, which had recently moved back into the mansion. Each on separate occasions entered Creed’s cell in the Danger Room to enact their own revenge on their old foe, who no longer seemed to have the ability to fight back. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #326, X-Force (1st series) #46] Creed did not receive universal condemnation, but instead found kindness in Boomer, who saw in the child-like Creed someone who needed help. The obsession Boomer seemed to have with Sabretooth worried her teammates, who went so far as to form an intervention. [X-Force (1st series) #45-48]

As it happened, their fears were warranted. As Sabretooth healed, his original personality and memories returned as well. For a brief time, Sabretooth managed to keep his mental recovery a secret. However, after Jean Grey peeked into his mind and saw the truth, she informed Xavier, who decided that the entire experiment of redemption was a failure. Sabretooth was informed that he would be turned over to Valerie Cooper and the U.S. government. Now with no choice but to escape, Sabretooth took the first opportunity that arose, when Boomer entered his cell to emotionally berate him for fooling her into caring for him. Preying on her personal history, which she had shared during their time together, Sabretooth tricked Boomer into exploding one of her time bombs, which shattered his manacles and freed him. Luckily for Boomer, Psylocke was nearby to intervene. However, she quickly learned that Wolverine’s lobotomy had the unexpected side effect of rendering Sabretooth immune to her psychic assault. In his vicious rage, Sabretooth gutted Psylocke and escaped. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #328]

Immediately, Sabretooth took the sewer connections of the mansion into Manhattan, with the intention of boarding a train to Boston to find the children of the Generation X school and kill them. No longer in the thrall of the addiction of “the glow,” Sabretooth felt the need to kill as part of a choice. However, hot on Sabretooth’s trail was the entire X-Men team, which thwarted him at every turn. Before he could even board the train, he was downed by a combination of Cyclops’ optic blasts and shots from a SWAT team. Down for the count, Sabretooth was taken into government custody by Val Cooper. [Sabretooth: In the Red Zone]