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Wolverine’s Best Forgotten Lore Is Back in the Perfect New Form

The unused original plan for Wolverine and Sabretooth’s familial relationship has now resurfaced in a way that provides some great character depth.

Warning! Contains spoilers for Sabretooth #4!

Of all the characters in Marvel Comics, Wolverine easily has one of the most complex and rich histories, and one of his villains is bringing back a forgotten detail from his past in a perfect way. While having a rather complicated personal biography, being much older than most other heroes, and forgetting much of his past, the character also has had an interesting publication history. Wolverine is very much the product of many different creators, and each had various ideas for his origin and relationship with other characters.

One of the prime examples of this is the character of Sabretooth. Sabretooth is one of Wolverine’s most iconic villains, sharing Logan’s healing factor and vicious fighting abilities, but initially, he was an Iron Fist villain without mutant powers. Eventually, Chris Claremont developed him into the iconic X-Men villain he is today. In the Krakoan age of X-Men, Sabretooth is notable for being the first mutant to break the new Krakoan laws and being cast into the depths of the island as punishment. The currently running Sabretooth series has delved into what he has done while trapped inside the pit and in doing so has explored his twisted psyche.

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Related: Wolverine’s Greatest Rivalry Secretly Saved the X-Men

In Sabretooth #4, written by Victor LaValle and penciled by Leonard Kirk, Sabretooth admits to the various other mutants imprisoned with him that he has never actually beaten his father, no matter how much he has tried. This is a great detail that explains a lot of why Sabretooth is the way that he is, but it is also a genius callback to an obscure tidbit about the villain. Initially, Chris Claremont wanted Sabretooth to be Wolverine’s father. He wanted that to add to their dynamic, and explain why Wolverine could never beat him in a fight since Sabretooth was the original version.


Sabretooth talks about his father.

This backstory unfortunately never actually made it to the page, but it is still a compelling idea. Sabretooth being built up as a villain that Wolverine could never defeat would then make the reveal of their familial connection hit even harder. This makes it incredibly exciting to see that idea arise here, albeit in a slightly different form. It explains a lot about Sabretooth’s motivations while also transposing his initial dynamic with Wolverine onto himself, giving the reveal another layer of depth.

At the end of the issue, Sabretooth is released from the pit after leading an insurrection on Krakoa while imprisoned. It is unclear what he will do when he is free, but this detail about his past will likely make his actions more understandable. It is poetic that Sabretooth’s originally intended dynamic with Wolverine is instead being applied to himself and it both deepens his character while being a delightful easter egg for the most devoted of X-Men fans.


More: X-Men Successfully Disproves the Biggest Criticism of Its New Era

Sabretooth #4 is now available from Marvel Comics.

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