Rogue Report: Liev Schreiber’s Sabretooth

by Ryan Rigley

Wolverine may be the best there is at what he does, but Sabretooth is certainly a close second. This, of course, would explain the age old rivalry between the two Weapon X alumni. But as we all well know by now, “The Wolverine” is largely based on the Japan-set comic books by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller — which means that unless The Silver Samurai calls in sick, Sabretooth is going to have to sit this one out.

Sabretooth (otherwise known as Victor Creed) has already been featured quite prominently in multiple “X-Men” films, with his most recent appearance being in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” as played by Liev Schreiber. But how did Liev’s incarnation of the villainous mutant match up against his comic book counterpart? Click past the jump to find out!

What Worked
“Origins” does a terrific job of showing us the inner workings of the relationship between Victor and Logan. In the comic books, Victor first meets Logan on a CIA covert ops team called Team X. Similarly, “Origins” opens on a montage of the two mutant mercenaries fighting alongside each other during the American Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War. As in the comic books, what starts as a partnership ends in a bloody battle for supremacy. These two characters clearly have a long history together, which is what makes their rivalry so profound and interesting in the long run.

What Needed Work
While Logan does everything within his power to contain his animal instincts, Victor can’t help but embrace them. Liev Schreiber’s Sabretooth certainly moves like a wild animal, but does not look like one in the slightest. If Sabretooth were really as berserk as he claims to be, wouldn’t he not keep his hair at a reasonable length or even wear clothes for that matter? In the comics, Sabretooth is obviously more beast than man; sporting a full mane of fur, wolf-like talons, and long, razor-sharp teeth. Sabretooth is supposed to look more like an animal than Wolverine; that’s the main difference between the two of them.

What Was New & Interesting
In “Origins,” Victor is supposedly Logan’s half-brother. Although there is no mention of this in the comic books, it would make complete sense for the two characters to be related. In fact, when Chris Claremont first created Sabretooth he had intended for Victor Creed to be Logan’s father. Perhaps, this is why Sabretooth has always considered Wolverine to be second-rate. Making the two of them half-brothers works on a whole different level; transforming their regular, run-of-the-mill rivalry into a sibling rivalry of epic proportions.

The Rogue Report looks at comic book movie villains past, present and future to see how they handled the transition from the paneled page to the big screen. Suggest a villain for our next column in the comments or on Twitter!