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Best Battles in Comic Book History: Wolverine vs. Sabretooth (UNCANNY X-MEN #213)

This vicious fight between the popular X-Man and his violent archenemy is easily one of best brawls to ever take place in a comic. Come see why!

If you have a segment called "Best Battles in Comic Book History," it's simply a fact that, sooner or later, Wolverine's going to show up. Over the past few decades, the adamantium-laced X-Man has had so many iconic brawls (e.g. Grey Hulk, Silver Samurai, Omega Red), but one timeless battle more than deserves our praise right now: Wolverine vs. Sabretooth in UNCANNY X-MEN #213. Written by Chris Claremont and illustrated by Alan Davis, this is not only one of Wolverine's most intense fights with Victor Creed, but debatably one of his most epic fights ever.

Creed's a villain who can can sink his claws into Wolverine both physically and mentally. Sure, he's been treated as a jobber more than a handful of times in the modern era, but at one point, James Howlett was afraid of the mass-murderer. And, the one thing Creed enjoys more than slashing Wolverine's body is toying with his life and the people he cares about. He's a twisted and bloodlusted character, essentially the man Wolverine fears he could become if he lets loose and gives in to his inner-animal.

They've had countless melees worth praising, but their second skirmish during the Mutant Massacre is without question one of the greatest. In this issue, Victor's already viciously defeated Rogue and then has Psylocke at his mercy. Storm is able to save Psylocke and before Creed can pursue them, Wolverine challenges the feral foe. Get ready for awesome.

Wolverine obviously has the skill edge over Creed, but there was once a time where the villain's physicals compensated for that. Nowadays, Logan makes swift work of the guy with a few well placed attacks, but previously, a brawl between these two was a back and forth hurricane of blood, claws and even teeth. Enough babbling about it, though, let's see the initial clash.

And so begins the fight. Cinematic, yeah? The captions make it clear: this is a fight where no one's holding back. Both characters fully unleash and it's so hectic that it literally explodes out of the room and sprawls across the entire property. Seriously, Creed literally throws Logan through a window on the roof and then the two go tackling off the top of the building like it's no big deal whatsoever.

This is just the tip of the brutal iceberg, too. The fight's described in the captions as a blur (and understandably so given the impressive speed of both these characters), but the creative team makes so many brilliant decisions to help capture all of the intensity in this fast-paced and graphic fight. As if they weren't doing enough of an excellent job already, Claremont and Davis then decide to slow down the fight even further, highlighting individual clashes during this tornado of violence.

Everything about this physical struggle is phenomenal. Claremont crafted a fight for the ages between these two rivals which perfectly shows how animalistic they can truly become. It puts them on roughly equal footing and it ends just as superbly as it began. Meanwhile, Davis delivers on both the speed and brutality of this fight, fully conveying the swift motions while also letting the toll of each hit sink in. Simply put, it's a topnotch fight and absolutely one of the best in comic book history.

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Posted by Wolverine08

Hey everybody! Looks like this was back when Sabretooth wasn't Wolverine's punching bag!

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Edited by Xwraith

Didn't Psylocke play a big part in this fight? I know this is the issue where she joined the X-Men (and it's the most valuable comic I own - all of 30 dollars).

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Posted by Life_Without_Progress

Sabertooth wasn't much of a wuss back then eh?

Posted by Wolverine08

Sabertooth wasn't much of a wuss back then eh?

Yeah, he could actually give Wolverine a big challenge back then. This is what he does nowadays though:

Been stomped 6/6 by Wolverine in their last encounters to be exact.

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Posted by RulerOfThisUniverse

Cool.

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Edited by Master_Thief

I hate how Sabretooth is just Romolus's little lap dog

Posted by ComicStooge

Will Invincible (and Atom Eve) vs Conquest feature in this segment sometime down the line?

That was one sick fight.

Posted by SOG7dc
Posted by Wolverine08

@sog7dc: It is easy on the eyes to say the least!

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Edited by DeathandGrim

@life_without_progress said:

Sabertooth wasn't much of a wuss back then eh?

Yeah, he could actually give Wolverine a big challenge back then. This is what he does nowadays though:

Been stomped 6/6 by Wolverine in their last encounters to be exact.

He took the Marvel jobbing job?

Posted by Wolverine08

@deathandgrim: In a way, yes. Taskmaster is still the premier jobber in Marvel though.

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Edited by Timotheus316

I was inspired by the art and writing at the time and actually drew, inked and colored a panel of my own to highlight the fight back when this happened and I was much younger. Would ad a pic but the word bubbles are corny.

Posted by Tensta

Good issue, good times. This is how I want to see Creed

Edited by superior_prime_maybe

Shit! Creed so awesome!
I wonder how hes being treated in Japans Most Wanted series....

But this is great! He was suppose to be logan's Luthor/Joker/Green Goblin

Posted by StMichalofWilson

Badass!!! Truly one of the best!

Posted by Emequious_Swerve

Ah, back when the X-Men were awesome. This always was a real good issue

Posted by Deranged Midget

Chris Claremont's characterization was spot on.

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Posted by RisingBean

@wolverine08: I just picked up the trade with that fight. Is it just me or did Sabretooth lose that fight and win the bigger war?

Edited by Wolverine08

@risingbean: Victor has always won the bigger war in the end. He's never really wanted to beat Wolverine in a physical fight (Though he was able to beat him silly in Logan's younger days). He's just wanted to dear Logan down and make him miserable. He's always been annoyed by James being trying to be more, make a better life, and improve as a person. He wants to tear James down and make him be a piece of trash like he is. That's always been the big goal for him.

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Posted by Super_SoldierXII

@deathandgrim: In a way, yes. Taskmaster is still the premier jobber in Marvel though.

Think they're building Creed back up. Apparently, there are many clones of Victor running amok (courtesy of Sinister). These are the "jobber" versions we see oh so often.

The real Victor remains a force of nature to be feared and has shown up but rarely. When he does, Wolverine suffers. Then suffers some more;

Yeah, yeah, I realize Cornell is purposefully throwing Logan through a weird loop sans healing factor, but still, I truly hope they retro Creed as the top tier villain he always should have been - the clone excuse could really work. I miss Claremont's treatment of the X-Men. I really do. No one has been able to write the characterizations Chris did back in the day. You really cared about the characters.
Posted by Wolverine08

@super_soldierxii: The clone explanation courtesy of Mr. Sinister is something that could really work if it's executed properly. Could help n Victor becoming a legit threat and someone who can be actually taken seriously. They could play up his cunning a bit more like they did recently in Uncanny Avengers by showing that he one upped James by selling the video tape of him drowning Daken in a puddle to Red Skull. Logan having to lose the healing factor for Victor be any kind of threat really doesn't really do him justice.....

And agreed about Claremont. His stories got a little bit too expository/monologue filled at times, but he absolutely excelled at characterization with the characters he was working with.

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Edited by Pokergeist

I remember this issue. Back then Creed was capable of KOing Rogue with a hit! lol

He also killed Psylock if I remember right.

Back then he was a true threat.

Will Invincible (and Atom Eve) vs Conquest feature in this segment sometime down the line?

That was one sick fight.

Oh hell yeah!

Edited by RisingBean

@wolverine08: I'm tracking all that. I've been behind in trades lately. It's just that he loses that fist fight and lets Logan go on a rampage only so that he become the Shogun of Asia. Sho' Nuff!

That was what I meant.

@super_soldierxii Oh, man I would love clones to be responsible for the jobbing. I like a 'Tooth who can go the physical distance with Logan.

Edit to include Supersoldier

Posted by Wolverine08
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Posted by Super_SoldierXII

@cadencev2:

I still hold that those instances involved the "real" Victor Creed. The others, according to Claremont himself when he left off on the series, were supposed to be Sinister clones. Chris just never got the chance to conclude. Loeb tried to involve the clone thang, but ultimately failed miserably to deliver.

Regardless, it remains inconclusive. But if the creative talent is smart moving forward, they'll keep the "real" Victor as the A-grade threat he was always meant to be and his jobber counterparts as cheap Sinister imitations of the real McCoy that Victor has been using as decoys while he schemes from behind the scenes.

Posted by Wolverine08

Creed needs to get on a high protein diet! Come back bigger and stronger than ever and show everyone who's boss! Eat your vegetables Victor!

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Posted by Pokergeist

@cadencev2:

I still hold that those instances involved the "real" Victor Creed. The others, according to Claremont himself when he left off on the series, were supposed to be Sinister clones. Chris just never got the chance to conclude. Loeb tried to involve the clone thang, but ultimately failed miserably to deliver.

Regardless, it remains inconclusive. But if the creative talent is smart moving forward, they'll keep the "real" Victor as the A-grade threat he was always meant to be and his jobber counterparts as cheap Sinister imitations of the real McCoy that Victor has been using as decoys while he schemes from behind the scenes.

I hope your right, I remeber the Real Victor killing Wendigo!

I own that Trade paperback. Also have Death Hunt, however that one was not as cool.

Edited by Mrfuzzynutz

Very good entry. It is a shame that every great villain has been neutered at some point in their histories. Hard to resist the stories of redemption with those guys, just like you want your hero to kick their asses they way they truly deserve.

But you can push that needle so far to make that awesome villain lose everything that made him awesome in the first place lol

Posted by Rainja

Damn, Those were some awesome posts some of you did with sabretooths physicals. I Just think marvel is trying to focus on how dangerous sabretooths ambitions can be compared to the normal savage henchman usual. He.has come pretty far to say, Controlling Most of Japan, and Madripoor through the Hand. Sabretooth is very relevant to Wolverine as of recent, Maybe he aint gonna show up himself and try to off wolverine, but you better believe most attempts on wolverines life as of recent was orchestrated by Him in some fashion. I do agree,Marvel needs to show that Sabretooth is still very formidable if not superior to wolverine on a physical level when need be.

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Posted by 2cool4fun

I guess this would be a perfect place to ask, Since they never really talk about who sabertooth is in the comics, and I don't really think he's wolverine's brother like they said in the movies, do these 2 have any other relationship except mortal enemies? Like former friends?

Edited by Tensta

Some personal favorite moments

Posted by Watcherg6

@wolverine08: ok i don't read much x men Sabretooth is a wuss now?

Edited by dagmar_merrill

So whats a good Wolverine/Sbaretooth story? Besides this one.

Posted by Fetts

Looks freaking epic!

Edited by Jake Fury

Man, Creed was a BAMF back in the day. Easily fighting Wolverine to a standstill on numerous occasions, taking out Rogue with ease, slicing Psylocke to ribbons and maybe his best feat was almost single-handedly defeating the original 5 X-Men after he escaped the mansion.

Posted by The_Titan_Lord

Nice.

Posted by bladewolf

Awesome! Great to see classic Wolverine vs. Sabretooth!

Posted by YoungDoctor

This was the first X-Men story I read when it was printed in 1988's UK's Marvel Super-Heroes Omnibus (although it also reprinted Amazing Spider-Man 282 which featured X-Factor)!!!

Edited by Akihirojr

I hate how Sabretooth is just Romolus's little lap dog

Actually not anymore.Since Romulus is inprisoned,which as it seems might be part of Sabretooths plan.

Posted by Immortal777

Wolverine sucks.

Posted by jashro44

Creed was so badass....

Edited by DarkDay

@rainja said:

Damn, Those were some awesome posts some of you did with sabretooths physicals. I Just think marvel is trying to focus on how dangerous sabretooths ambitions can be compared to the normal savage henchman usual. He.has come pretty far to say, Controlling Most of Japan, and Madripoor through the Hand. Sabretooth is very relevant to Wolverine as of recent, Maybe he aint gonna show up himself and try to off wolverine, but you better believe most attempts on wolverines life as of recent was orchestrated by Him in some fashion. I do agree,Marvel needs to show that Sabretooth is still very formidable if not superior to wolverine on a physical level when need be.

Personally I'd like them to do with him what they did with Tombstone in the Gambit series. They made him an awesome mob boss with a nasty reaching web of control, contacts, and power but also a seriously dangerous and scary physical threat. Honestly, it fits really well and I could totally see it.

Posted by THEMARD2
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