The murderous psycho Sabretooth officially on the X-Men team? Has the world gone insane?
Sabretooth's history is as sordid as it is noble. The feral mutant was one of Apocalypse's initial recruits. In the early days, Sabretooth used his animal ferocity to move up Apocalypse's chain of command
to become a Horseman. Soon after, he began questioning the methods of Apocalypse and his treatment of mutants. When he finally rebelled he was placed in Alcatraz where he met Wild Child. The two of them escaped and fought their way out of the country, earning the respect of the X-Men which welcomed them into their fold.
Though it may seem like a random choice now, at the time "Age of Apocalypse" came out, putting Sabretooth on the team was pretty predictable. He'd been hanging around the X-Mansion for a few months by that point, living in the basement while they tried to cure his bloodlust. He was already a regular character, even if he wasn't on the team, so it was almost expected that he'd end up on the alternate reality squad.
So like the story above says, Sabretooth started out as a villain, one of Apocalypse's most trusted lieutenants, but eventually it got to be too much for him. With the mass cullings, something happened that never would in the main universe: he saw enough death and wanted to stop. Guess he reached his pre-set killing limit and shut off.
The figure is good, but not as good as it could be.
To begin with, it's surprisingly small. Not Wolverine-sized, by any means, but remember that the last ML Sabretooth topped out above the 7" mark - big enough to really look threatening. This one is just over 6½" tall, which is still a decent size for this line, but a bit more wee than you might expect.
Articulation is up to snuff, however, with a balljointed neck, balljointed shoulders, pegged biceps, double elbows, gloves, wrists, fingers, a chest hinge, waist, balljointed hips, thighs, double knees, boots, ankles and toes. There's one final joint at the base of his ponytail, so you can have his hair whipping around
him in an action pose.
The costume design is generally comic-accurate: he didn't wear fingerless gloves, but if that bothers you enough to not buy the figure, then you've got problems. Since Magneto was leading the X-Men in that reality, his design sensibilities are reflected in their uniforms - namely, the big riveted collar that runs around their shoulders. The metal bits of Sabretooth's costume are detailed well, with a slightly pitted texture to set them apart from the cloth.
So that's the good. Now the bad. Even ignoring the minor quibbles
about the height, Creed's face is awful. This version of Sabretooth was designed by Joe Maduriera, but the face looks nothing at all like his art. At least, not like his art back then. We know ToyBiz got him to come in to design the ML13 Onslaught, so maybe they asked for control art for 'tooth, as well. Still, above the shoulders, this figure is an angular mess, nothing at all like what was actually in the comics. It was scuklpted by Dave Cortes, so it's expertly crafted, it's just crafted from an unusual source.
Like Sentry, the colors used for his costume are a bit too dark. In the comics, AoA Sabretooth wore an orangey yellow, not a mustard color. Heck, he still does, since he's currently appearing every month
in Exiles. The figure's costume is almost the same color as his skin, which is nearly the same color as his hair (in fact, the area above his collar is supposed to be skin, not costume). Between that and the screwy head, Creed's looking pretty crummy - this is nearly as bad as a Spawn figure, the way he blends into a nearly solid lump. Maybe that's why he's this series' official pegwarmer: while even the Wolverine variation is selling out across the land, it's not uncommon to find at least one and as many as half a dozen AoA Sabreteeth still hanging around weeks after a shipment has come in. Meanwhile, good luck finding Kitty or Warbird unless you're standing there when they break the seal on the case. Yeesh.
Part of the Giant-Man series, Victor's only accessory is the big guy's boot. It's kind of a shame, since the last time AoA Sabretooth got a toy, he came with an unarticulated pack-in figure: his partner/sidekick/pet
in the Age of Apocalypse, Wild Child. It was just a crappy little thing, but it was straight from the comics and added a bit of fun. In the story, Wild Child had gone so feral that Creed kept him on a chain and just knocked him out and carried him when he wasn't needed. We were supposed to get something similar with this release; sadly, the reason we didn't is the same reason 'tooth ended up small: plastic has gotten so expensive (thanks to the price of oil) that companies either have to reduce the size or increase the price. ToyBiz is fighting to keep its figures affordable, so accessories and pack-ins are cut back. C'est la vie.
Creed comes with a reprint of Astonishing X-Men #2 - no, not part of Joss Whedon's run, the AoA version. That's what Uncanny was renamed when the crossover began. Sabretooth really doesn't get much to do until the second half of the book, but when he starts brawling, it's great. This is a good issue, and the only downside is that it points out so glaringly how different AoA Sabretooth should look.