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.