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'Wolverine' #41 is a bold and wickedly violent opening to 'Sabretooth War'
Marvel

Comic Books

‘Wolverine’ #41 is a bold and wickedly violent opening to ‘Sabretooth War’

The ten-part ‘Sabretooth War’ kicks off today with ‘Wolverine’ #41.

Marvel promises a few things with the new 10-part story “Sabretooth War,” including it being the most violent Wolverine story ever. They’re sure of themselves, they’ve plastered that on the cover. Also promised is a blood feud between Sabretooth and Wolverine, which is exciting since Sabretooth was largely absent during the Krakoa era until Victor LaValle did many interesting things with him. Now, LaValle and Benjamin Percy are co-writing this new arc, and by the end of the issue, I dare anyone not to gasp due to that promised violence.

The second page of this book may give you nightmares. The gore is twisted and masterfully drawn by Geoff Shaw, who draws the first half of the issue. The claim Marvel put on the cover seems pretty much spot on, with Sabretooth doing some serial killer twisted stuff later on.

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The story is simple enough. The Sabretooth of the 616 universe leads a group of Sabretooths from the multiverse. Commanding them in an Orchis ship, they’re returning to the 616 universe, completely unaware of what happened at the Hellfire Gala. The main mission involves visiting Wolverine and trying their darndest to utterly ruin his life. That’s something Sabretooth is quite good at, especially since Wolverine has picked up a lot of mutants who see him as a father figure.

Wolverine #41

Dang. Poor Cyclops.
Credit: Marvel

Adding to the bite of the violence and gore is the fact that mutants can’t be reborn at the moment. That’s huge since death hasn’t had as much impact since the Krakoan era began. The writers do a good job reminding us Sabretooth truly loves tormenting Wolverine, adding a malicious layer to the violence. There’s a psychological undercurrent present, especially early on, as they remind us Kid Omega is like a son to Wolverine or how much Wolverine respects Laura. Wolverine may be unkillable, but he wears his big old heart on his sleeve, and that certainly can be attacked.

The issue is well-paced and plotted. It never feels old or stale. Characters aren’t standing around talking but heading to places and discovering things. One gripe I was worried about was multiverse fatigue, and seeing Sabretooth with a bunch of other selves feels a bit tiring. Thankfully, most of these versions of Sabretooth aren’t too prominent and instead hang back like soldiers at the ready.

Closing out the issue is Cory Smith, who does a great job capturing Sabretooth’s evil nature. How he and his other selves stand and almost sneer at the opportunity to bring Wolverine pain is felt. There’s an incredible fight between Sabretooth and a character close to Wolverine you won’t want to miss. Smith slashes up the panels into diamond shapes, some of which overlayed on each other. It creates a nice chaotic effect while letting your imagination fill in the blanks as we see a close-up of an eye in shock or simply blood splattering.

As a Wolverine and Sabretooth jam session, I did find Logan a bit absent from the book. The issue concerns Sabretooth’s rise in power and attack, with Wolverine mostly checking in on those he cares about. It’s all set up, though, for Wolverine to go solo and go full berserker mode, which will be fun to read as we haven’t had these two fighting in some time.

If you weren’t yet, Wolverine #41 will get you excited for “Sabretooth War.” This is a take-no-prisoners story that’s as bloodthirsty as it is wicked.

'Wolverine' #41 is a bold and wickedly violent opening to 'Sabretooth War'
‘Wolverine’ #41 is a bold and wickedly violent opening to ‘Sabretooth War’
Wolverine #41
If you weren't yet, Wolverine #41 will get you excited for "Sabretooth War." This is a take-no-prisoners story that's as bloodthirsty as it is wicked. 
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.6
You don't often see superhero comics go this hard with the violence and gore
Both artists do a great job with each half
Establishes Sabretooth well
Seems to lack Wolverine in some respects as it's more about those he speaks to
You might feel a bit of the multiverse fatigue concerning Sabretooth's new position
9
Great
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