TOOTH DECAY

Jul 4, 2022

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Sabretooth 5 Cvr

It’s very rare to have a solo comic series that impacts so many other characters. Usually the creators goal is to advance one hero (or in this comics case a villain?); to give them a “push” towards the spotlight. In this final issue of Sabretooth, Victor LaValle does much more with the spotlight. But does this mean that Victor Creed can finally savor the first sips of “a drink best served cold”?

Sabretooth # 5 (of 5)
“The Magnificent Eight”

Marvel Comics

Writer: Victor LaValle
Penciler:: Leonard Kirk
Color Artist: Rain Beredo
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit

For three years, at least in our world, Sabretooth has been a prisoner in the pit. Until the arrival of five additional mutant inmates the rest of Krakoa was not aware of this portion of the island. To be honest, we the readers weren’t either. How many maps of the island have shown up in X-Men comics since then; did any of them mention the prison? While the secrets of mutant resurrection were to be hidden from outsiders there were to be no secrets for citizens of Krakoa. The Quiet Council was meant to be the representatives, but even the first seat appointments were not democratic. And now the first decision of Xavier’s round table is the beginning of the first Schism on the island paradise.

While primarily about confinement, Sabretooth is a series about the purpose of prison and the pursuit of freedom. Whatever environment Creed found himself in, whether space, his hellish region of Krakoa, or finally reaching the surface, Rain Beredo bought a vivid look at ‘Tooth’s quest. Leonard Kirk showcases several mutants many of us don’t get to see a lot of. This means that if their look didn’t resonate well they probably won’t be on anyone’s solo list. I am happy to say for an obscure to the casual fan list, no character looks like they were simply doodled in (even the one who tries to hide). There is a clear focus on giving the reader a good look at each of these mutant criminals. Or are they just mutants who bought into a lie?

I have known since reading Sabretooth: In the Red Zone what Victor LaValle writes in Issue # 3 of Sabretooth; Creed is no dummy. As someone who has grown to appreciate Victor Creed, I knew I would like this series, but the promise of Creed getting revenge on Professor X was at first just a simple plot. One based on a simple, spite-filled promise. What I did not imagine was the strategy. Using Charles own tendencies to do it. How democratic was Xavier in choosing his team and even students in Westchester? How many mutants still feel abandoned or bullied by all that Xaviers stands for?

The tag for this line of X comics has been “Krakoa is for All Mutants”. Along with the Hellions series, Sabretooth # 5 shows this statement isn’t completely correct. Even on their own island not everyone is equal. Meltor will never be on the council; Third Eye cannot help show anyone another way. Also, the island’s hidden habit may prove Krakoa isn’t a good place for mutants.

Sabretooth has taken on many roles over the years. Soldier, mercenary, Marauder. In alternate realities he has been an X-Men and an Exile. Not once could I have imagined him as a revolutionary. And though I don’t expect to see Creed at a power to the people rally, Sabretooth # 5 has left a mark on the island.

And if this version of Xavier’s dream ends it will be because of a Tooth with a chip.

Score:: 8.8

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