Warning: SPOILERS for War of The Realms: Uncanny X-Men #3
Marvel Comics just killed off two fan-favorite X-Men characters in the War of the Realms crossover event: original New Mutants member Sunspot and Wolverine's notorious rival, the supervillain Sabretooth. The two shocking deaths occurred in the span of just a single issue, not long after Marvel promised to stop killing so many characters.
Roberto Da Costa has spent most of his superhero career with the New Mutants, the X-Men, and X-Force, but in recent years Sunspot became more closely with Earth's Mightiest Heroes, as a satellite ally to the Avengers. Current readers may even know him best as the director of the U.S. Avengers team. Sabretooth, on the other hand, needs no introduction thanks to years spent as an opponent of the X-Men--and Wolverine's greatest enemy.
With Marvel's War of the Realms pitting the evil Dark Elf Malekith and other prominent villains against the Avengers, the X-Men, the Asgardians, the Defenders, Spider-Man, the Punisher, and more, the battles couldn't all be given a share of the main miniseries. So it's in the tie-in pages of War of the Realms: Uncanny X-Men that Cyclops and Wolverine's team of mutants get involved in the action. The third and final issue of the series concluded with the deaths of Sunspot and Sabretooth.
Despite hailing from Earth, Sabretooth chose to lead some of Malekith's warriors into a battle with the X-Men. With the mutant heroes at a disadvantage, Sunspot makes the ultimate sacrifice by blowing himself up to give his friends a fighting chance. And despite the superhero habit of defying even the most noble deaths, the final page of War of the Realms: Uncanny X-Men #3 clears up any confusion about the character's fate. In the aftermath of the battle, Dani Moonstar is seen conversing with Sunspot, which confirms that the former Avenger, New Mutant, and X-Man is dead.
Sunspot's death is able to buy the rest of the X-Men and mutant heroes some time to save civilians, but once the battle is won, Wolfsbane and Magik head straight for Sabre tooth. There's only so much revenge you can take on a Villain with incredible healing abilities, but to get vengeance for Sunspot that will actually last, Magik decapitates Sabretooth with her sword, before kicking his head through a portal to Limbo.
It's hard to see Sabretooth coming back from this defeat... but he has done it before. Years ago he was beheaded by Wolverine, but made a return when it was revealed that he had been cloned. Sunspot, on the other hand, has just become the second original New Mutant to die since April. Uncanny X-Men #16 --which takes place after the events of War of the Realms -- features the death of Wolfsbane, as well. It is worth pointing out that Marvel Comics is planning a massive X-Men event which starts in July, which some are speculating could effectively undo these deaths.
The House of X and Powers of X miniseries are expected to shake up the status quo for the X-Men, so it remains to be seen if these stories will somehow bring back Sunspot and Sabretooth.
War of the Realms: Uncanny X-Men #3 is on sale now from Marvel Comics.