Welcome back to X-ual Healing, the weekly recap column where we obsessively read every X-Men and X-Men-adjacent comic that Marvel publishes, tell you what happens, provide additional context where necessary, and examine whether the comic makes good use of the long and convoluted history of the X-Men by referencing it in a way that’s accessible to new readers — because we here at X-ual Healing love the X-Men, and we want everyone else to love them too.
The X-Men are returning to their rightful place of prominence after a decade of insults and neglect by a Marvel editorial that feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, which means it’s finally time for X-fans to enjoy some…
If you need to know more on the premise of this column, check out the longer explanation here.
WEAPON X #17
GREG PAK & FRED VAN LENTE (W)
YILDIRAY CINAR (A)
Cover by RAHZZAH
SABRETOOTH’S IN CHARGE Part 1
• After the shocking events of the last issue, Old Man Logan can’t lead the team anymore!
• This ain’t a popularity contest, it’s about who’s the biggest dog in the yard…
• …and Warpath won’t be happy about it!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
Weapon X #17 is the first issue of the new ‘Sabretooth’s in Charge’ storyline, where Sabretooth becomes obsessed with the 1990s sitcom Charles in Charge and just hangs around the base binge-watching it on Netflix. Just kidding, it’s where Sabretooth takes over as team leader and we all place bets on how long this book can last without Wolverine before getting canceled or rebooted. To be clear, we’d still read the comic about Sabretooth watching TV.
This one opens in a labor camp in Russia where two mutants named Levi and Tamara have escaped during a power outage. They decide to use their powers — one is a dolphin-girl and the other can generate flames, to survive the harsh climate outside. Before they can make it, however, they’re captured by Omega Red, who in case you were wondering was resurrected back in X-Men Gold #9 and #10 (no caption here to tell us that, sadly).
Now we cut to Weapon X on a plane, and it’s time for some X-position Old Man Logan revealing he is going to remain in charge of the group in an advisory capacity while Sabretooth is the field leader and he recovers from Sabretooth trying to kill him last issue. That way, he’s not too far away in case they need a sales boost. Some of the team are skeptical of Sabretooth’s leadership qualities, but as we discussed in the previous X-ual Healing: Weapon X, Sabretooth has good inside him ever since being inverted during the AXIS super-mega-crossover event.
But Sabretooth is practically a Wolverine himself, Logan X-plains, murderous tendencies and all, so this should all go smoothly. Sabretooth and Warpath have a dick measuring contest, but Logan interrupts to present their mission (and reveal via X-pository dialog that Kitty Pryde has given them the new blackbird jet): go to Russia and stop Omega Red, who is killing mutants in a Russian mutant gulag.
Sabretooth is about as flippant about facing Omega Red as your typical Marvel editor about explaining references, but Logan, a man after our own heart, cares deeply about X-position, so he lectures Sabretooth and explains Omega Red’s powers.
Logan sends the team on their way and tells Warpath to kill Sabretooth if he has to, because Warpath is also a good Wolverine.
As the jet approaches the prison in Russia, Sabretooth takes a phone call from the mercenary/assassin/’80s @#$% rock band Foreigner. When Domino, Warpath, and Lady Deathstrike walk in on him, he deflects. They infiltrate the prison, and their chatter explains that Russia has recently rounded up all its mutants into prison while telling the world that they don’t exist. Typical Russia stuff. WWE is probably working on setting up an event there. They break into the main facility and find it empty, so Sabretooth splits the team into two groups, the good guys and bad guys, and go their separate ways (for Warpath, reluctantly).
Deathstrike tells Sabretooth that she knows he’s working on an evil side deal and she wants in on it, while Warpath and Domino find a quiet place to make out. Warpath and Domino begin to feel woozy as if there’s some kind of poison permeating the air of the facility. They stumble upon a room full of mutants hung upside down from the ceiling.
They’re alive, for now, but Omega Red attacks from the ceiling as Warpath realizes too late that Omega Red’s pheromones have already weakened them. Omega Red is going to absorb all their life energy, but Sabretooth and Deathstrike intervene. Turns out Sabretooth was using the other two as bait. But actually, the joke’s on him, because Omega Red decides orders the other mutants to attack Weapon X while he kidnaps Sabretooth.
Well, we guess you should have taken this job more seriously, Sabretooth.
If you can’t get enough Wolverines… seek help! If that doesn’t work, however, this book will scratch the itch, even with less actual Wolverine.
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