SABRETOOTH’S IN CHARGE, PART 2: Sabretooth’s in trouble as his first outing as leader may be cut short by Omega Red. Can Weapon X help him in time? Some of them may not even want to.
WEAPON X #18
Authors: Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente
Artists: Yildiray Cinar
Colors: Frank D’armata
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
What You Need to Know:
While recovering from wounds, Logan has transferred leadership of Weapon X over to Sabretooth. Their first mission is to take down Omega Red, but the mutant has taken over a mutant prison in Russia. When Weapon X shows up, they’re overwhelmed by the rioting prisoners while Sabretooth is carried off into the wilderness by Omega Red.
What You’ll Find Out:
Even as Omega Red pulls Sabretooth into the forest, hoping to drain the lifeforce of Weapon X’s new leader, the rest of the team battles the mutant captives in the Russian prison. Omega Red continues to attempt to siphon life force from the feral mutant, but Sabretooth can smell the nanobots inside Omega Red. They’re preventing Red’s powers from working fully. Sabretooth then offers a chance to Omega Red, but suddenly a trio of tigers attack.
Inside the prison, Warpath finally manages to calm down the rioting prisoners, but that opens up a debate amongst Weapon X. Most are ready to go after Sabretooth to save him. But not Warpath. He’s done with the team.
Back to the forest, Sabretooth has little trouble with the tigers, but Omega Red is being overwhelmed. As he cries for an unseen voice (“Vasily”), Sabretooth decides to give him a hand. With the three tigers dead, Sabretooth finally makes an appeal to Omega Red, to join with him. Maybe all Omega Red needed was someone to treat him like a man instead of an animal.
They walk off into the sunset…with a baby tiger. (okay, it wasn’t a sunset…it was the dark forest)
What Just Happened?
Okay…so, yes. I fully recognize that Omega Red is one of the worst villains to come out of the 90’s. As someone once put it, his entire backstory is “a mutant angry with Wolverine for stealing his inhaler”. His power never seems to kill anyone of value (only nameless background characters), despite being touted as “deadly” (yeah, right). He represents everything that was wrong with the 90’s and I fully maintain that he’s popular only because he was introduced by Jim Lee in what was a great story, but ultimately was great in spite of Omega Red, not because of him.
However, I have a certain soft spot of one-dimensional villains who are given depth by a talented writer.
And so Pak and Van Lente have done what I didn’t think possible at this point in my life…they made me mildly interested in an Omega Red story.
I thoroughly enjoyed this issue. The art from Cinar is fantastic as always and the colors from D’Armata gives almost a claustrophobic feel even out in the open forest. The shadows and snow really make you feel like there’s nowhere to escape.
The pseudo-fourth-wall-break when Lady Deathstrike scolded Warpath for recapping the previous issue (the recapping is common practice in both comics and TV shows) was hilarious. Maybe a little out of place, but not quite at a Deadpool level and so it didn’t ruin the issue…just added a little humor.
Most of all, I enjoyed Sabretooth’s interaction with Omega Red. His offer to Red and his empathy with the Russian mutant gave Red a depth that I haven’t really seen before. It made Omega Red more than just a “mutant angry with Wolverine for stealing his inhaler”.
Still…. It’s Omega Red.
Final Thoughts: Omega Red is back…and despite the fact that it’s Omega Red, Pak and Van Lente (helped with some outstanding art by Yildiray Cinar and colors from Frank D’Armata) give us an unexpected treat of a story. It’s more fun than I expected and worth the read.
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