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Wolverine by Benjamin Percy Vol. 8: Sabretooth War Part 1
Marvel Comics

Comic Books

‘Wolverine by Benjamin Percy Vol. 8: Sabretooth War Part 1’ is a gory race to the end

Sabretooth War looks to be cooking an excellent conclusion to both series that have been working toward it.

Wolverine approaches the end of its run with brutality and philosophical pondering. This is the kind of ending the Krakoa era deserved. 

Wolverine by Benjamin Percy Vol. 8: Sabretooth War Part 1

Yeah, Victor, but not in this book.
Marvel Comics

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Benjamin Percy’s (and friends) run on Wolverine has been a highlight most of the way through. It’s had its highs and lows, but it’s almost always been able to have some depth even while primarily being an action comic. This—along with so much cast overlap—made it the natural place to have Sabretooth writer Victor LaValle be able to bring his triptych to a satisfying close along with the era. Co-writers can make for messy or inconsistent books, but I think the two are able to find a nearly perfect balance between their interests, with LaValle’s helping to add real substance to Percy’s in a way that the Wolverine title has lacked for at least some of its run. 

Wolverine by Benjamin Percy Vol. 8: Sabretooth War Part 1

Something something because of woke.
Marvel Comics

This first half of the ten-issue conclusion picks up after X-Force’s…messy conclusion, and after the Fall of X is well underway. Logan and X-Force are protecting and rebuilding a small community of mutants away from genocidal eyes. The Sabretooths are making their way back toward our Earth so they can ruin as many days as they can. The Exiles are busy with their own community, ensuring they don’t make the same bad decisions Krakoan leadership did. Then, all the stories collide in the most tasty  and satisfying ways possible. 

My favorite comparison this collection draws is between the three groups and how each operates. Team North Pole is primarily made up of mutants trained and ready for combat, and it shows. They aren’t ones who want to be holed up, waiting for a fight, but it’s the smart thing to do, and the only way to keep being alive in the short and long term. They are generally unhappy with their situation, but they’re working together, and happy to be alive (for now). 

The Sabretooths, on the other hand, and fully on the offensive—toward what exactly they’re not really sure—and falling in line behind the guy strong and crazy enough to kill the others if they have to. A group of insane and murderous monsters struggling to remain united.

Finally, we have the Exiles, a group who chose to form a community after surviving Sabretooth and Orchis. Choosing to train together and keep each other safe, is they depict a community formed out of both a need for protection and community in general. They’ve found a way to not have to fight for their lives while also fulfilling each others communal needs. Where X-Force—really the X-men in general—struggle to find a purpose outside of a never ending fight, the Exiles find fulfillment in the needs of the group. 

 

Wolverine by Benjamin Percy Vol. 8: Sabretooth War Part 1

Queen.
Marvel Comics

Of course, this is a Wolverine comic, so everyone has to get wrapped up in the fight somehow, and the Exiles find their way in there, but it is still driven by the desire to protect their community, or at least someone adjacent to it. 

The comparison of these different communities allows Percy and LaValle to both comment on both the Krakoan project and the X-Men as a whole in critical ways that I appreciated. It also allowed for things to get crazy out of hand and escalate in insane and gruesome ways.

Wolverine by Benjamin Percy Vol. 8: Sabretooth War Part 1

It’s so nice to have such loving adversaries.
Marvel Comics

The art in this collection gets to lean into how messed up it would be to fight either Wolverine or Sabretooth. There might be more dismemberment in this comic than any other I’ve read, maybe just counting Logan alone (and in his case it was self-inflicted!). Shaw and Smith enhance the brutality every chance they get, from panels of suffocating kids, to  jaw removals, and general disembowelments. This book really goes for it with the brutality, and it’s pretty sick. Victor and Logan really know how to escalate things, and sometimes it means ripping your own arms and legs off to do it. 

Wolverine by Benjamin Percy Vol. 8: Sabretooth War Part 1

Marvel Comics

The cliffhanger the book leads to also feels anticipatory and also fulfilling. The book does a good job of pitting Victor as an evil man who refuses to change against Logan’s complicated man who’s trying to get better, and leverages those philosophies against each other to good form, but the conclusion is a nice promise of what that clash might be. 

With all of that, Sabretooth War looks to be cooking an excellent conclusion to both series that have been working toward it. Especially if you have a stomach for all the body parts strewn across the lawn. 

Wolverine by Benjamin Percy Vol. 8: Sabretooth War Part 1
‘Wolverine by Benjamin Percy Vol. 8: Sabretooth War Part 1’ is a gory race to the end
Wolverine by Benjamin Percy Vol. 8: Sabretooth War Part 1
The first half of a fitting conclusion to both the longest run of the Krakoa era and maybe the best comic of the Krakoa era. Both writers are bringing their best, and the artists really get to go wild with the heads and assorted limbs getting ripped off.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.2
Logan loves his kids, man. More than his arms or legs.
All the community building is great.
8
Good
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