REVIEW: ‘Sabretooth,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Sabretooth #3

We’re finally ramping up to a proper jailbreak. Sabretooth has spent a long time in suspended animation. Unfortunately for Nekra, Oya, Melter, Third Eyes, and Madison Jeffries, he’s transformed the Pit into literal hell. But, on the bright side, Sabretooth has discovered a way to manifest his consciousness through the island so he can walk on the surface. Now, in Sabretooth #3, he recruits the other prisoners of the Pit to orchestrate the island’s first jailbreak. Sabretooth #3 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.

The best part of this escape plan is that Sabretooth is showing his true colors, keeping everyone else in the dark while working behind the scenes as a cunning manipulator. He’s an interesting combination of brutal and guileful, and it’s hard not to love this take on a Sabretooth that is more than just a beast. He’s knavish, and while no one trusts him or his plans, he’s one step ahead of them. It’s a great look into this character that many have a tendency to gloss over; Sabretooth as a series is certainly evolving to become a character study, which honestly shouldn’t be a surprise.

Sabretooth #3 finally delves a bit into the other characters who ended up in the Pit. However, there’s still plenty to be revealed, and the reader would probably benefit from reading other series to really become familiar with the other characters. Similarly, if you’re interested in the timing of this issue in the new X-Men reboot, you’ll have to read other series to catch the few hints available. Nevertheless, prior reading or anything more than a limited understanding of the reboot is not needed to enjoy this issue.

We see a lot of focus on Melter this issue. LaValle has written Melter to be an easy character to empathize with. Rounded corners on his flashbacks panels give a softer tone to his sad past. We see more of what got him put in the Pit, and it brings about questions not only of Melter’s intentions on Krakoa (is he really all that innocent?) but also the nature of Krakoa itself.

Sabretooth’s characterization feels off at times, particularly because the dialogue is so serious. But perhaps that’s a result of a good chunk of the dialogue coming from the more eloquent fraction of the Feral Council. LaValle is doing some exciting things with Sabretooth’s psyche by fracturing it into three distinct parts, each making up what he calls the Feral Council. It further delves into who Sabretooth is at his core but also adds a flavor of psychopathy. I mean, who wouldn’t be a little fractured after being in the Krakoa equivalent of solitary confinement?

While the art is still wonderfully done, with great emotion coming from the characters and a multitude of different mutants featured in this issue, it just isn’t as diverse as the last two issues, with minimal action or fantastical location-hoping. In addition, the colors ground the art, with the use of dark, dull colors for the underground Pit and Sabretooth’s dark machinations, while Krakoa is bathed in a palette of pastels. And while the letters are easy to follow and the speech bubbles never overshadow the art, there’s not much diversity. I can’t complain much about the letters, but it would be nice to see more done to accentuate the dialogue or the characters.

Sabretooth #3 is ramping up the plot with an exciting escape plan and a good character study on the titular character. While this issue finds itself lacking in comparison to the past two issues in terms of action and fantastical locations, it’s nevertheless a good step in the right direction plot-wise.

Sabretooth #3 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Sabretooth #3
3.5

TL;DR

Sabretooth #3 is ramping up the plot with an exciting escape plan and a good character study on the titular character. While this issue finds itself lacking in comparison to the past two issues in terms of action and fantastical locations, it’s nevertheless a good step in the right direction plot-wise.