Sabretooth stands before Krakoan vines and surrounded by flames.

Sabretooth #1 Review

Written by: Victor LaValle

Art by: Leonard Kirk

Coloring by: Rain Beredo

Lettering by: VC’s Cory Petit

Wolverine is fighting Sabretooth head-to-head.
I just want to see Wolverine kill this guy already.

Sabretooth is a villain through and through. He’s a petty, small, insignificant animal, who’s up there with the Joker with just how terrible a person he is. Hell, not only has he murdered people by the hundreds, but he’s also a rapist and the kind of character who fridges other characters’ wives. There is nothing he can do to earn redemption, yet Marvel tried it during Axis. They flipped his personality to arbitrarily make him good, but that didn’t stick.

Instead, now they’re putting him through hell, so maybe we can find entertainment in just how evil he is, or to make us sympathize with him. I can’t tell which, but I can tell one thing… I’m never going to feel sorry for Sabretooth, and I don’t feel comfortable reading another issue with him as the main character.

Sure, what the Quiet Council did to him back in House of X was wrong, but it’s also what Sabretooth deserves. He deserves to be in hell, he won’t keep the peace or so he can’t be on Krakoa. The first issue of this new series spends its whole time showing us why. He’ll never change, he’ll always try to hurt someone, he’ll always try to make the situation worse.

Sabretooth alone in black darkness.
Let him live in darkness along like he deserves.

This book makes the important distinction of not making Sabretooth likable or sympathetic. It’s not insulting in any way like that. It also has gorgeous art that makes this psychedelic setting make sense from page to page. Being comic with a metaphysical setting could have been really confusing but it works really well here.

I know a lot of people are excited and like this issue, and while I think it’s well made and well-written, it’s not for me. It’ll be a hard pill to swallow for people who know half of what Sabretooth has done. Honestly, I really wish they had given a solo to someone else (the superior Wolverine). This kind of feels like Tynion’s Joker comic, where it’s well made but all about the worst human being in that universe. Here’s hoping the icky feeling I get just looking at Sabretooth on the cover was intentional. That’s all I can feel when I look at him.

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