SABRETOOTH: Page 10 of 12

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


Creed’s permanent moral inversion had time to develop beyond the initial few days the others experienced. This paradigm shift gave him a deep sense of empathy and regret for his past actions. Seeking redemption, Sabretooth remained a willing prisoner of the Avengers as he looked for ways to atone for the death and violence of his life. He was still a vicious fighter with animal instincts and the will to express them, but Creed now proved to be capable of restraint. Although locked up between missions and sometimes literally kept on a leash, Sabretooth made his tracking skills and fighting prowess available to the Avengers Unity Division for a time. He fought against Ultron, the Descendants and opposed the High Evolutionary on Counter-Earth. [Uncanny Avengers (2nd series) #1-5, Avengers: Rage of Ultron] Official Avengers records were mixed, but he may have even achieved official associate status during this period. [Deadpool (5th series) #8]

The Arcadia mission was not forgotten, however, and Creed eventually reconnected with Mystique, Shogun and the others once they were ready to move. The Wolverines team attempted to retrieve Logan’s body from the remains of the Paradise facility, hoping the residual healing factor in his genes could be used to save the lives of Shogun and his allies. Many in the group were unsettled and suspicious of Sabretooth’s new demonstrations of sympathy and concern. The mission was a failure after Mr. Sinister arrived and stole Logan’s body for his own experiments. At the Fortress Sinister, it became a debacle as the X-Men intervened and secured Logan’s corpse from Sinister, while half of Shogun’s allies defected to Sinister in the hopes that he could save them instead. Shogun, Junk and the Wolverines were ready to disband until Mystique forcefully revealed she had her own plans for the group, and intimidated them into remaining on the Changeling ship under her command. [Wolverines #1-7]

Before they could get on with Mystique’s business, the Changeling was attacked by Fang of the Imperial Guard. A drinking buddy of Logan’s, Fang decided to mess with Wolverine’s former enemies since his friend couldn’t make their annual rendezvous. He brought Creed to confront the J’Grajj space pirates, vicious and sadistic butchers that he planned to fight with Logan. Sabretooth eagerly carved his way through them until the J’Grajj universal translators kicked in. They begged forgiveness and revealed the J’Grajj had found religion, forsaking their centuries of enslavement and brutality. Instead, they now killed other races quickly and mercifully. Fang caught up with Sabretooth and took over the weapons of the space fleet. He asked Victor if he wanted to eliminate the rest of the J’Grajj for their past or futures crimes, and what he thought Logan would have done in the same situation. Creed struggled to decide what the right choice was and told Fang to kill the killers, only to immediately regret it. He took Fang’s lesson to heart, for morality cannot be magically imposed on someone. Creed was not suddenly a “good guy” because he woke up one day with conscience. His current state would make him question the righteousness of his choices, not help him make better ones. [Wolverines #8-12]

After their encounter with Fang, the Wolverines were strung along by Mystique for a time. Unbeknownst to them, she had received a set of pre-recorded instructions from her dead lover Destiny on how to resurrect her and would not be deterred by anyone. They were lured into a trap by Mr. Sinister to take revenge for their previous transgressions, and Shogun’s allies shared the Control words with Essex. Mr. Sinister took over Sabretooth, X-23 and Deathstrike, turning them on the others. Shogun began reciting the Erase words, but Mystique used an ultrasound emitter to keep Creed from hearing the word long enough for him to murder their teammate, Junk. This act undermined Sabretooth’s efforts to contradict Raven when she issued orders to the others on how to escape. The Wolverines became Mystique’s prisoners as she turned Syphon on the group, draining their healing factors and using the accumulated energy to power a portal meant to bring back Destiny. However, Destiny’s plan had been a lie and the old lovers did not reunite in the end. [Wolverines #14-20]

[Note: Many of the Last Days stories before Secret Wars were no longer in continuity after the universe was rebooted. This avoids questions over how Sabretooth got his healing factor back or whether he and the others were really killed in their final fight with Mystique.]

Time passed, and the mutant race began to face a new threat. The Inhumans’ sacred cloud of Terrigen mist was released into the atmosphere and began floating over the world. It induced Terrigenesis mutations in people with Inhuman genes, but surprisingly proved deadly to mutants. A sickness known as M-Pox developed from those exposed to the T-Cloud, and the X-Men had a mixed reaction to the crisis. Beast liaised with the Inhumans to find a cure while Storm led a team into seclusion at the X-Haven in Limbo. Magneto had more assertive intentions towards protecting mutantkind, and he formed his own team of X-Men to defend mutants from those who would exploit them during this crisis. Sabretooth was kicked out of Avengers Mansion in an undocumented incident [Deadpool (5th series) #10] and was free to express his wild side for a good cause under Magneto’s leadership.

These X-Men included Psylocke, acting as Magneto’s conscience while caring for Archangel, who had been reduced to a fugue state and served only as a mindless attack drone. The last member of this team was Monet St. Croix, who needed an outlet for her anger after her friend Jamie Madrox was first to die to M-Pox. Creed and Monet made an odd pair, with Sabretooth acting protective towards the invulnerable powerhouse and M often trying to provoke a reaction from her savage defender. Magneto’s X-Men dealt with the Dark Riders executing mutant healers to ensure natural selection progressed through M-Pox, and the Someday Corporation harvesting and experimenting on mutant dupes who sold their bodies to hide out from the clouds. After blowing up their temporary base on Genosha while eliminating the Riders, Magneto moved his team to War Room X in the Savage Land. [Uncanny X-Men (4th series) #1-5]

Sabretooth faced an odd moral quandary when Deadpool came after him for the murder of his parents. Wade Wilson had been slowly recovering the memories damaged from his time under Butler’s “care,” and he remembered enough to connect Creed with the arson of his parents’ home. Deadpool attacked Sabretooth on the road and tried to take his revenge. Once Creed realized the situation, he made the decision to own the kills. Victor thought he would spare Wade the pain of knowing the truth, and the responsibility for one more person hating him seemed easy to bear. What he hadn’t considered was how thoroughly Deadpool had planned for killing somebody with his healing factor. Wade was prepared to draw and quarter Sabretooth, decapitate him, drop his head in acid and introduce Terrigen into his system for good measure. Deadpool recognized the truth before he went through with his plans, though that hardly left Creed off the hook, considering he murdered Vanessa and countless others. Still, Wade didn’t go through with it, and the two of them parted on neutral terms. [Deadpool (5th series) #8-11]

Sabretooth accompanied Monet when she received an anonymous tip about mutants in danger in Manhattan. Monet’s choice of partner proved ill-advised when her contact was revealed as Callisto of the Morlocks. Callisto had rebuilt the Alley to home a new generation of humans and mutants hiding from society and the T-Cloud. However, the last person from whom she wanted to accept help was a former Marauder, no matter how much he claimed to have changed. Sabretooth allowed Callisto to get in a few good hits, but his animal aggression started to spike as she continued. Monet stepped in to separate the two, and pressed Callisto for why she called. They discovered Monet’s brother Emplate was feeding on the mutant population of the Alley, in dire straits as he sought to preserve his vampiric existence. Emplate saved himself by using the St. Croix siblings’ unique connection to bond with Monet. He now inhabited her body and shared his hunger with her. Monet decided to keep this a secret from her teammates, and Sabretooth was willing to help her while offering himself as occasional nourishment to manage Emplate’s influence. [Uncanny X-Men (4th series) #6-10]

Creed’s animal instincts began to hamper his redemption arc. At a very primal level, Sabretooth still felt the urge to stalk prey, claim territory and feed the beast within. He tried to satisfy his needs by hunting in the Savage Land, but nevertheless found himself losing control. Accommodating Monet did him no favors, either. When the X-Men and Inhumans finally went to war, a good portion of Inhumans were teleported into Limbo to remove them from the efforts to destroy the T-Cloud. Monet gave in to Emplate’s hunger and started hunting down stray Inhumans. Instead of helping her cope, Creed began covering for her kills. His artificial moral compass and the animal within were at odds, and Sabretooth abandoned the X-Men after the war ended, with he and Monet parting ways soon after. [Uncanny X-Men (4th series) #11-19]