Some characters in Marvel Comics cannot go without the others, and coincidentally (or not), Wolverine and Sabretooth are one of those characters. Wolverine first appeared in 1974, while Sabretooth came three years later. Wolverine mostly stayed the same, but the comics have repeatedly changed Sabretooth’s origin story. The duo even appeared in the X-Men movies in the 2000s, particularly in Wolverine centered movie X-Men: Origins. The latter movie raises the question if Wolverine and Sabretooth are brothers. So, are they?
In Marvel Comics, Wolverine and Sabretooth are just enemies without any sibling relations. They aren’t even cousins. They are enemies because Logan killed Victor Creed’s brother, Saul, whom he abused his whole life. In Marvel’s X-Men movies, it is established that Victor Creed and Logan are half-brothers. Despite being siblings, Wolverine and Sabretooth were enemies because Victor’s rage was too much, as presented in X-Men: Origins movie.
We will discuss this topic by explaining Wolverine and Sabretooth’s relationship in the comics and movies, if they are related, and mention their most iconic fights. If you are interested, stay with us until the end.
Wolverine and Sabretooth’s relationship has changed a lot in Marvel Comics
Mutants in Marvel Comics became prominent in the 1960s when most appeared during the so-called Silver Age of Comics Books. Of course, the post-WWII era procured many iconic characters of today, like Professor X, Magneto, Scarlet Witch, and the Fantastic Four, directly competing with DC’s Justice League of America.
However, Sabretooth and Wolverine came after the year 1970, when the Bronze Age of Comics arrived and changed the landscape of comic book media. Despite having similar aspects to the Silver Age, stories and characters of the Bronze Age dealt with darker themes, like drug addiction, violence, and social justice.
Racism and gender equality were also heavily featured during the 1970s and 1980s, and interestingly enough, comic book media flourished for the first time after the 1940s. More and more people started to notice the change and returned to reading comic books. The creation of Wolverine helped the popularity of comics immensely because his story was particularly interesting but simultaneously disturbing.
James Howlett, also known as Logan/Wolverine, is a mutant with animal-like senses, a man who has enhanced physics and an incredible healing factor. Wolverine was created by Roy Thomas, Len Wein, and John Romita Sr. and debuted in the Incredible Hulk #180 comic book in 1974. Logan was truly the product of his era since his antihero persona is what made him the staple of future characters of that era.
He was aloof, brooding, and a lonely man whose life didn’t spare one second. Wolverine quickly became the fan favorite and stayed popular to this day. When it comes to Victor Creed, also known as Sabretooth, his character debuted only three years later, and his origins story was changed multiple times.
Interestingly enough, Sabretooth first appeared in the Iron Fist comic book in 1977 and was supposed to be Danny Rand’s and Luke Cage’s nemesis. However, his popularity rose when Chirs Claremont introduced Sabretooth as the enemy of Wolverine.
Interestingly enough, Sabretooth was supposed to be Wolverine’s father; however, in 1991, Wolverine Vol. 2 issue #42 confirmed that Sabretooth and Wolverine aren’t related at all.
Another comic book story, X-Men Forever, written by Chris Claremont, returns to the original idea of Sabretooth being Wolverine’s father. However, this comic book story isn’t canon for the main universe of Marvel Comics since it was set on Earth-161.
Today, Victor Creed and Wolverine are enemies whose history stems from Wolverine killing Creed’s brother Saul and Sabretooth seeking revenge. According to X-Men: Origins – Sabretooth comic from 2009, Victor Creed seeks Logan every year on his birthday for them to fight. Not very surprising since Creed is extremely insane, and Wolverine doesn’t reject the chance to fight. But what about movies? Are Creed and Logan related? Let’s find out.
Wolverine and Sabretooth in the X-Men movies have different origins from the Marvel Comics
In Marvel Comics, Wolverine’s past life before Weapon X was unknown. The character himself stated multiple times that he could barely recall his past, but that changed with the release of Origin, a six-issue comic book that tells the story of James Howlett and his childhood and life before Weapon X in late 19th century Canada.
This story was reluctantly released since some of the writers felt Wolverine would lose his appeal if they released Logan’s origins story. For decades, no one, even Wolverine himself, didn’t know the origins story of the most popular X-Men character. However, Origin became successful, and Wolverine’s character got richer.
To prepare for the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie, the scriptwriter David Benioff reread three Wolverine-centered stories – already mentioned Origin, Claremont’s, and Miller’s limited series from 1982, and Windsor-Smith’s Weapon X story.
Ultimately, we got the movie where Wolverine and Sabretooth are related – they are half-brothers. The whole movie follows Wolverine and Sabretooth hunting each other despite spending most of their lives together. They lived and served in WWI, WWII, Vietnam War, and Team X, where everything fell apart.
In the movie, Wolverine and Sabretooth’s origins are based on the fact that Creed’s father, Thomas Logan, killed James’ Howlett father, John. Young James saw everything, and, driven by fear and intense emotions, awakened his mutant gene and bone claws that led him to kill Thomas Logan.
With his dying breath, Thomas Logan reveals to James that he is actually his biological father, which shocks the young boy, and he flees the house. Victor follows his friend James outside and promises to protect him, bringing us to decades of their being together.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine isn’t a really good movie, but it showcased the fight between Sabretooth and Wolverine multiple times, which were really good.
Most iconic fights between Wolverine and Sabretooth
Wolverine and Sabretooth are animal-like mutants whose rage can take over their minds, especially Creed, who doesn’t want to control his rage and taste for blood. Their battles are one of the most bloody in the Marvel Comics, and there are many of them to mention.
As mentioned, the comic book run, Wolverine, presented us with bloody fights between Wolverine and Sabretooth. One that comes to mind is from Wolverine #10 when Logan spends his time alone on his birthday. Suddenly, Sabretooth bursts into a crowded bar and causes a massive brawl, where Creed almost kills Wolverine on the spot.
This was a really bloody fight, and it happened before the retcon, where Wolverine had bone claws before Weapon X and Adamantium. Wolverine barely survives the fight, with his bone claws shattered and Creed leaving Logan unconscious on the floor. At that time, Sabretooth was stronger than Wolverine, but that obviously changed later in the comics.
This epic fight was adapted into the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie, and despite not being bloody like in comics, the bar brawl was really cool to see.
Another epic fight between Sabretooth and Wolverine comes in Wolverine Vol. 3, issue #55, where Sabretooth’s human persona is gone, and Logan needs to do something he never really wanted to do – kill Victor Creed.
After seeing Sabretooth viciously killing everyone in sight, particularly Feral, Wolverine stops at the X-Men mansion, gets his Muramasa sword, preventing mutants from healing, and kills him on the spot.
The last human part of Sabretooth actually tells Wolverine to kill him, and Logan does it.
There have been other insane fights between these two, but we will leave this topic for another time. Nevertheless, Wolverine and Sabretooth have different origins in the comics and X-Men movies but are still one of the most famous rivalries in Marvel Comics.