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Sabretooth #1 Review: A Deep Look Into the Pit

Out of the Pit arrives the first issue of Sabretooth and we’re here to review it!

Written by Victor LaValle

Art by Leonard Kirk

Colors by Rain Beredo

Letters by VC’s Cory Petit

Sabretooth #1 starts with the first failure of Krakoa as a government. Despite the promise of amnesty for all mutants, Victor Creed is made an example of and into the Pit he goes. And there he’s been for 27 months in our time. Sabretooth #1 answers the question of what he’s been up to: a lot.

Despite the promise of Xavier that there would be no prisons on Krakoa, the opening issue of this series makes it clear that Sabretooth’s “exile” in the pit is nothing more than a prison with a fancy sci-fi trapping. Instead of having bars and a warden, Creed is trapped in his own mind and living through hallucinations.

The result is a comic that slips from the superhero into something more closely resembling a horror story. It’s only through a deal made with an unlikely partner that Creed can gain a sense of freedom, even in his limited capacity. The story fluctuates between his fantasies in his mindscape and the horror of an unending, seemingly infinite imprisonment. Through data pages of Sabretooth’s internal monologues, LaValle critiques prisons and asks who they’re are really for. It’s not the blissful void that Xavier had implied but instead the worst prison imaginable.

Leonard Kirk does a great job with the art in this opening issue. There are a few fight scenes, but what really stands out is how Sabretooth is depicted. There’s a brutal, simple efficiency to how Sabretooth is shown fighting other mutants that make it feel out of place in the superhero genre.  It makes some of Creed’s more fantastical hallucinations later in the issue funny by comparison.

I came into this miniseries relatively blind and not sure what to expect. Sabretooth is not a character I typically think of as being introspective. If he hadn’t been in the Pit for the last two years, I probably would not have even thought much about him. But what LaValle does in this issue and what he sets up for the rest of the series is overwhelming with a fantastic look into Creed’s head. Sabretooth isn’t a superhero in his current state, but LaValle makes Creed a fascinating narrator for a series that goes deep into the dark underbelly (literally, even) of Krakoa.

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