Wolverine and Sabretooth don’t have a complicated relationship: they hate each other. Across realities and retcons, that is the one constant between them. Everything else in their past, though, well, that’s another story.
Sabretooth and Wolverine both had their comic debuts in the 1970s, as antagonists for already established superheroes – Wolverine memorably as an opponent for the Hulk, while Sabretooth was a hired killer butting heads with Iron Fist. It took nearly a decade before both furry foes finally fought. A fraught history between the two was immediately apparent, though the specifics have changed over the years. Sometimes father and son, sometimes teammates, but always enemies, Victor Creed remains the dark reflection of what Logan might become if he isn’t careful.
The other inevitability between the two? Cruelty. There is no relationship filled with as much animosity and downright savagery as theirs. Even death – and they’ve killed one another a bunch – can’t keep them from tearing each other apart.
So if you’re ready, bub, let’s dive into Wolverine and Sabretooth: The 15 Most Vicious Fights.
15 Power Pack #27, Uncanny X-Men #212-213, #222
Who remembers Power Pack? Yeah, same here. But that’s where this whole rivalry begins, with Sabretooth and the rest of Mr. Sinister’s Marauders ravaging the sewer-dwelling Morlocks, and the X-Men being called in to stop them. While Uncanny X-Men #212 has rightly gone down in history as being the first fight between Wolverine and Sabretooth, it’s actually Power Pack #27 that can claim their first shared cover.
After the Marauders have begun their Mutant Massacre and killed several Morlocks, Wolverine is separated from the X-Men and runs into Sabretooth, the feral villain using a KO'd Morlock as bait. Wolverine proceeds to collapse a tunnel on Sabes so that he and the Morlock can escape. Not stopped that easily, Sabretooth later launches a solo attack on the X-Mansion, stalking Psylocke through the home, only for Wolverine to show up and fight him out a window. Eventually, they rumble their way off a cliff and into a lake, allowing Sabretooth to escape.
A few issues later, the Maruaders ambush the X-Men again and Wolvie’s mutant powers get nullified. Seeing an opportunity, Sabretooth pounces, only to break his hand against the Ol’ Canucklehead’s adamantium skull. Wolverine immediately stabs Sabretooth in the heart.
14 X-Men (1991) #5-7
The Hand have reanimated Omega Red and kidnapped the X-Men in an effort to capture Wolverine. Unbeknownst to them, Maverick, an old teammate of Logan’s, has beaten them to the punch.
Transported to a lab in Berlin, some of the X-Men have gotten loose and are fighting Omega Red, while Wolverine’s handcuffed in another area of the lab by Maverick. The memory of his time as a CIA operative on Team X coming back to him, Logan flashes back to the time he, Maverick, and Victor Creed first met Omega Red. During the encounter, Creed murdered a scientist in cold blood and he and Logan came to blows over it, before being pulled apart.
In the present day, Sabretooth – working with Omega Red - shows up at the lab and Logan, convincing Maverick to cut him loose, goes to attack him. Sabretooth whoops his butt in 30 seconds flat and imprisons him with the rest of the X-Men. Soon enough, though, Wolverine breaks loose and attacks Omega Red. Before he can turn his attention to Sabretooth, Cyclops blasts the furry villain through a wall.
13 X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Let’s get this out of the way: X-Men Origins: Wolverine was not a good movie. That said, the first third – everything before the Blob shows up in all his corpulence and it goes off the rails – was actually decent. And Liev Schreiber was a pretty great choice to play Sabretooth, much better than that wrestler from the first movie. So, for the sheer thrill of seeing these two go at it on the big screen, this one makes the list.
Anyway, this brawl plays out a lot like their first canonical fight, with Wolverine confronting Sabretooth in a bar after Sabes killed Logan's lady, Silver Fox. Almost immediately, Schreibertooth tackles Hughverine through the wall of the bar and proceeds to stab and cut him, with Wolvie barely able to put up any defense. Eventually, Sabretooth drops a ton of lumber on Wolverine, digs him out and throws him into a passing truck, and then stomps his bone claws off.
The less said about their other fights in the movie, though, the better.
12 Uncanny X-Force #11
Wolverine’s on a new X-Force team, along with Deadpool, Psylocke, and some others. They join up with the Age of Apocalypse’s Dark Beast to get a Life Seed to keep their own Archangel (currently the Horseman of Death) from going evil, turning into the next Apocalypse, and ushering in a new era of darkness.
When they get to the extra-dimensional dystopian New York, the team fights that universe’s Nightcrawler, Sabretooth, and Wild Child. Nightcrawler decapitates Deadpool and stabs him in the head, while Sabretooth and Wolverine brawl. Before too much damage can be done, however, Psylocke breaks up the fight, telling Wolverine the Sabretooth he’s fighting isn’t the same as the one he hates so much in the real world; this one's actually a good guy. Wolverine very begrudingly doesn't murder him.
11 Wolverine #126-128
Wolverine’s marrying Viper for reasons, and all the other ladies in his life – Jubilee, Jean Grey, Kitty Pryde - are there to try and talk him out of it. Meanwhile, the Hand and Hydra are planning to attack Wolverine so they can destabilize Madripoor, only to get wiped out by Sabretooth without anyone else knowing.
Later, at the wedding, Sabretooth attacks the happy couple, killing the officiant and injuring Viper, despite Shadowcat phasing the bride to safety. As Wolverine and Sabretooth battle, Kitty thinks back to an early training session with Wolverine, where she realized that adamantium was such a dense material that it could hurt her even if she was phased. Putting two and two together, she shouts to Wolverine, but it’s too late: An adamantium-infused Sabretooth breaks all of Wolverine’s metal-less claws. Before the villain can do any more damage, Kitty phases herself and Logan away.
By the next issue, they were all working together to protect Madripoor.
10 Marvel Zombies
A zombie contagion has spread over the earth and all the zombified superheroes and villains have made quick work of eating all the regular humans. Eventually, Silver Surfer shows up, still acting as a herald to Galactus in this universe, only to have his head bitten clean off by an undead Hulk. Wolverine, Luke Cage, and some others get in on the action, eating Silver Surfer’s body and finding themselves imbued with the Power Cosmic. The superpowered zombies go on to torch all the other zombies, trying to make them taste better.
Soon thereafter, Galactus shows up, looking for his herald. A horde of zombie villains, Sabretooth included, attack the purple giant, followed by the Power Cosmic zombies, and Galactus falls. As the supervillains try to claim the body, a scrap ensues. The superpowered zombie heroes make short work of the villains, with Wolverine dispatching Sabretooth easily. The heroes go on to devour the world devourer and take over his role as the planet-eating bane of the universe.
9 Wolverine (Vol. 4) #5
So, Logan’s in Hell, having a chat with his dad, as one does. It’s not long before Sabretooth shows up and interrupts them, wielding Satan’s soulcutter sword. Ready to end things once and for all, Sabretooth attacks Wolverine with the weapon, only for it to quickly escalate into a full-on brawl.
Wolverine eventually gets the sword into his own hands and proceeds to immediately slice and dice Sabretooth into a pile of parts. Because he's the one now wielding the sword, Wolverine is declared the new Lord of Hell, only he doesn’t want the gig. Hell doesn’t agree, so Logan ends up fighting his dad and a bunch more demons, before finally getting a chance to say goodbye to Mariko and climb out of Hell with Alpha Flight’s Puck.
8 Wolverine #145
While most often remembered for the battle between Wolverine (as the Horseman of Death) and the Hulk, this issue also features flashbacks to a huge Wolverine/Sabretooth fight.
Shortly after Wolverine had been kidnapped and replaced on the X-Men by a Skrull imposter, he was forced to fight a similarly kidnapped Sabretooth for the right to be Apocalypse’s Horseman of Death. Wolverine, fearing what the unhinged Victor Creed would do with that power and convinced that he himself would be able to shake off the mind control, Logan whoops his adversary’s furry behind and is rewarded with Sabretooth’s adamantium. Also, he's forced into being Apocalypse’s servant, but, hey, these things happen.
7 Ultimate X-Men #11-12
An operative of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Weapon X department, Sabretooth was sent to capture and return the recently escaped Wolverine. Proving unsuccessful, Sabretooth was then “upgraded” with an adamantium-laced skeleton and four claws on each hand. He returns to the hunt and tracks down Wolverine.
Not content to merely capture his prey, Sabretooth taunts him by burning the S.H.I.E.L.D. paperwork containing all of Logan’s history, and he and Wolverine have it out. There’s the requisite stabbing and slashing and, before long, Sabes is holding Wolvie underwater, trying to drown him – the one surefire way to kill someone with a healing factor.
With his head underwater, Wolverine does what he has to and stabs Sabretooth in the family jewels. Reeling backwards, Sabretooth lets go, allowing Wolverine to tackle him off a cliff. (Wolverine really likes tackling Sabretooth off cliffs.) While not shown, it’s heavily implied later that Wolverine woke up from the fall first and killed Sabretooth.
6 Wolverine #301-302
A splinter group of Hand ninjas hires Sabretooth – back from the dead without explanation (they’re saving that for “Sabretooth Reborn”) – to join them in their fight against Wolverine. This is a pretty quick battle, but it doesn’t lack for brutality, with Wolverine stabbing Sabretooth in the throat at one point and then just walking away to fight more ninjas. As Sabretooth bleeds out on the floor behind him, Wolverine tells him that the reason he’ll never win is that he has nothing worth fighting for.
Later on, there’s half-naked, motorcycle-riding, chainsaw-wielding Yakuza, and then Wolverine pops into Hell for a spell. He immediately gets attacked by Sabretooth and Mystique once he gets back, with both of them shooting him in the face. Understandably, he goes full berserker after this and kills even more ninjas, while Sabretooth and Mystique hastily make their escape.
5 Wolverine #90
Sabretooth is locked in a cell in the X-Mansion basement. Wolverine goes to check in on him and they have some words, Victor once again trying to goad Logan into a berserker rage. Wolverine tells Sabretooth that, unlike him, he’s not an animal fueled by petty revenge. Sabretooth isn’t a fan of that line of thinking, though, so later that night he breaks through the force field keeping him prisoner and attacks Wolverine.
Wolverine is pulling his punches, again arguing that he’s not an animal. Then Sabretooth threatens to do to every other woman Logan’s loved what he did to Silver Fox. The threat works, and Sabretooth gets what he wants: Wolverine goes full berserker, smashing his enemy’s face against a tree repeatedly before pinning him and putting his fist under Sabretooth’s chin. Our furry hero extends a claw on either side of Victor’s face and threatens to use the third. Sabretooth, not believing him, dares Wolverine to do it. Logan does. Then reality collapses around them and the “Age of Apocalypse” storyline starts. Bummer.
4 Wolverine #310-313, “Sabretooth Reborn”
After rescuing Cloak (of Cloak and Dagger fame) after he was attacked by Sabretooth, Cloak and Wolverine head off to find the kidnapped Dagger, who’s chained up in the same cabin Silver Fox was killed in years before. A mysterious redhead suddenly shows up, telling Wolverine to go to the Weapon X facility if he wants to find Sabretooth. Instead, Wolverine finds a ton of Sabretooth clones. Then, naturally, he fights them.
It’s soon revealed that Romulus has been pulling a lot of evil supervillain shenanigans, with Sabretooth acting as his willing pawn. The redhead turns out to be Romulus’s sister, Remus, and, with Wolverine and Cloak, she’s out to stop him. There’s a bunch more fighting, and then Sabretooth drops a bomb on Wolverine so the bad guys can escape.
3 Uncanny X-Force #34
This downright Shakespearean issue opens with Wolverine drowning. Deadpool eventually finds and resuscitates him, only for Wolverine to immediately run off to find his son, Daken, also known as the guy who just tried to drown him. Daken, meanwhile, is trying to corrupt Evan, a clone of Apocalypse, into going full evil, destroying Wolverine’s world, and then framing him for the damage.
Daken and Wolverine fight and, not seeing any other options, Logan eventually drowns his son in a puddle. Feeling understandably terrible, Wolverine sits and broods, only for Sabretooth to show up and metaphorically kick him when he’s down. Victor explains that this whole thing had been his plan all along, and it was always going to end with Wolverine having to murder his own son. Hearing this, the new Apocalypse flips out and starts whaling on Sabretooth, only for Wolverine to pull him off and tell him that revenge is a sucker’s game. In the meantime, Sabretooth runs away.
And, yes, OK, technically Wolverine and Sabretooth don’t fight in this issue, but, dang, that’s cold-blooded, Victor.
2 Wolverine #10
Wolverine’s chillin’ at a bar in Madripoor on his birthday when a massive brawl breaks out. This gets Logan thinking about past bar fights, specifically the time he carried Silver Fox’s corpse into a bar after Sabretooth raped and murdered her.
Logan had flipped out and attacked Sabretooth, only to get beaten bloody by his much more powerful adversary. This was well before Weapon X gave Wolvie his adamantium, and before his bone claws were retconned into his history. Sabretooth threw him through a wall, then into a woodpile. Logan escaped by climbing up the side of a cliff, but Sabretooth hunted him down and injured him even more. Before Sabretooth could rip out his throat, though, Wolverine used the last of his strength to throw them both back over the cliff. Sabretooth, waking first and thinking Logan dead, walked away.
Back in the present, Wolverine is chasing down some thugs who’d set him on fire, only to stumble onto their gift-wrapped corpses in a bar. On their bodies is a note from Sabretooth: “Nobody kills you but ME.”
While they had fought before, this is the issue that finally explained the history behind Wolverine and Sabretooth’s rivalry and upped the stakes tremendously.
1 Wolverine (Vol. 3) #50-55, “Evolution”
As he and Sabretooth are fighting, Wolverine blacks out, flashing back to his past. He comes to, only to find he’s still fighting Sabretooth. This happens a few more times, Logan’s dreams alternating between his past and the history of a race called the Lupine. After Sabretooth kidnaps him during one of these fugues, Logan and Victor end up fighting their way through Wakanda, only for a superpowered Wild Child to show up and poison Wolverine, allowing him and Sabretooth to escape.
Teaming up with Sasquatch, Wolfsbane, and Feral - who have been having similar dreams - Wolverine’s eventually led back to the Weapon X facility. There he finds a barely human Sabretooth, who kills and eats Feral and wounds the others. Having no choice but to end this once and for all, Wolverine makes a pit stop at the X-Mansion to pick up the Muramasa sword – a sword that can stop the mutant healing process – and heads to Silver Fox’s cabin.
There, Sabretooth’s turned into an animal, unable to speak – except when he tells Wolverine to go ahead and kill him. Feeling a pang of regret, Wolverine does as asked and cuts off Victor’s head.
There you have it. The fiercest and furriest of the feud between Wolverine and Sabretooth. Did we miss one? Any storyline you like more than the others? Sound off in the comments below.