With this new era of X-Men, a plot thread that has been simmering since House of X was released in 2019 is the fate of Victor Creed, aka Sabretooth. House of X #3 saw the big baddie getting dragged into the depths of Karkoa, the Pit, for a banishment that was equally as harsh as it was mystifying. What would the Pit look like; would it continue the symbolism at the basis of Krakoa, a literal Garden of Eden? That’s where this new series steps in. Sabretooth #1 is published by Marvel Comics and written by Victor LaValle with art by Leonard Kirk, colors by Rain Beredo, and letters by VC’s Cory Petit.
We begin exactly where House of X #3 left Sabretooth—being judged, exiled, and used as a lesson for every other mutant who might step out of line. It’s an excellent start since it’s been a couple of years since that big moment. But if the few opening pages aren’t enough to jog your memory, the additional page of summary will get you caught up.
Sentenced to an eternity of torment, just what would that look like for someone like Sabretooth? At first, it’s nothing spectacular and oddly doesn’t look like too much of a punishment: dreaming of killing and maiming all his enemies and escaping the Pit but forgetting everything just to start all over again. That is, until Krakoa and Doug (Cypher) offer some mercy. While they can’t free Sabretooth’s body, they can free his mind. As a result, Sabretooth has a lot of time to think about who he is, try on a few costumes, and settle on a new role.
As the name suggests, Sabretooth #1 focuses on Sabretooth alone, simmering in his thoughts and imagination. But this is really where the writing shines. Sarcastic, flippant, witty, and morbid, LaValle has the chance to explore the character through some very ridiculous and weird situations. But despite the absurdity, and perhaps a little because of it, LaValle perfectly writes a Sabretooth that, for better or for worse, reinvents himself in the depths of Karkoa. Add in plenty of dark humor, and Sabretooth #1 is just a plain ol’ fun read.
LaValle isn’t the only person on the creative team who understands the brutality that is Sabretooth. Kirk’s art brings the cruelty front and center. More often than not, the panels are awash in action, blood, gore, and dismemberment. It’s vicious and ruthless, and the emotion that Kirk instills in every panel, especially the sadistic glee on Creed’s face, pairs perfectly with the writing.
And with so many changing scenarios and locations, it’s a wonder how Beredo can keep pace. Nevertheless, the color palettes compliment the art, shifting with every new page. From the grays of an interrogation room and the dark gloom of Creed’s inner mind to the vibrant palette of colors that make up Krakoa’s paradise, Beredo effortlessly sets to mood wherever Sabretooth’s mind wanders.
Last but not least, Petit’s lettering keeps the pages uncluttered and lets the art shine. Since we’re in Sabretooth’s mind, the lettering helps readers easily differentiate between Sabretooth’s thoughts and his spoken word.
One of the most infamous X-Men villains is back, and it’s a wild ride. LaValle’s writing is witty and dark. Add in the artwork from Kirk and Beredo, and you have an issue that perfectly matches Sabretooth’s brutality. Sabretooth #1 is just a fun read, and I can’t wait to see what the repercussions are for letting Sabretooth’s mind run wild.
Sabretooth #1 is available now wherever comics are sold February 2nd.
LaValle’s writing is witty and dark. Add in the artwork from Kirk and Beredo, and you have an issue that perfectly matches Sabretooth’s viciousness. Sabretooth #1 is just a fun read, and I can’t wait to see what the repercussions are for letting Sabretooth’s mind run wild.