Credits: Jim Lee (plot & breakdowns), Art Thibert (finishes), Scott Lobdell (dialogue), Tom Orzechowski (letters), Joe Rosas (colors)
The Upstarts learn the location of the C-Synthesizer from Wolverine’s memory, as Psylocke reveals that she’s broken free of Matsuo’s control and fights back. Maverick frees the X-Men and they quickly deal with Sabretooth. Wolverine fights Omega Red until the building begins to explode and the team escapes. The C-Synthesizer is revealed to be inside the grave of Janice, the double agent Sabretooth killed earlier. At her gravesite, Maverick kills Dr. Cornelius, and Wolverine hands him the C-Synthesizer.
This issue is at least better than the previous two issues of this storyline. It’s certainly less confusing than the other parts and isn’t as nonsensical. At least you can follow the action, and it doesn’t have the frenzied feel of the Uncanny X-Men issues of this time. I like seeing Sabretooth under Psylocke’s mental control. You would think that all of those telepaths in the mutant comics would do this more often.
There’s still not enough to save this mediocre storyline, though. The story never explains why exactly Maverick wants the C-Synthesizer (his thought balloons suggest that the X-Men wouldn’t like the reason why he’s there…why?). Plus, Sabretooth never contributes anything to this story, and just disappears in-between pages in this issue. I can understand why Lee wanted the story to have Maverick, Wolverine, and Sabretooth brought together in the present and in the flashbacks, but Sabretooth should’ve been given more to actually do. This is also the second X-book I’ve read in as many days that ends the main story because the building is blowing up.
This issue tries to continue the sympathetic portrayal that Dr. Cornelius received in the Weapon X serial, but it doesn’t really work. In Weapon X, Cornelius is recruited into the project and doesn’t immediately realize what exactly is being done. In this storyline, he just shows up working for Matsuo with no real explanation given. Lobdell does a nice job of conveying Cornelius’ guilt over his participation in the Weapon X experiment; but if he really felt bad, why is he still torturing Wolverine today?