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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
arch-enemy of Wolverine
member of the Marauders, Freedom Force, and the X-Men
Victor Creed, better known as the mutant super-villain Sabretooth, is the arch-enemy of Wolverine, of the X-Men. Sabretooth was created by comic book writer Chris Claremont (one of the most influential and popular writers of the X-Men comics) and artist John Byrne. Sabretooth first appeared in Iron Fist #14 (1977).
In mainstream Marvel continuity, Sabretooth has nearly always acted as a villain, although he has worked with the superhero teams the X-Men and X-Factor for short durations. Sabretooth's time with the X-Men appears to have really just been a ruse to further his own ends. His membership in the government-sponsored team X-Factor was a forced condition of his incarceration, during which time he wore a restraining collar. Generally, however, Sabretooth works as a mercenary and assassin, willing to hurt or kill anybody for pay. He has no real loyaly to anybody or anything beyond himself and his own selfish desires. The religious background of his family is unknown, but Sabretooth himself is clearly non-religious and an atheist.
Although Sabretooth is typically considered a particularly vicious and evil character, he has hidden depths and a potential for heroic goodness and deep religious conviction.
Versions of Sabretooth on alternative Earths and in alternative timelines have been portrayed as particularly noble. One such example is the Sabretooth from the Age of Apocalypse storyline. In the limited series Wolverine: The End, which is "non-canonical" but portrays a possible future, Wolverine attends the funeral of Sabretooth, and learns that Sabretooth became a devout "born-again" Christian. Sabretooth's funeral was attended by scores of people who testified about how Sabretooth had touched their lives and had been an inspiration to them.
From: "Sabretooth (Comics)" article on Wikipedia website (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabretooth_(comics); viewed 4 Januar 2006):
In an alternate universe in Marvel comics depicted in the Age of Apocalypse storyline and the Exiles comics, there is a vastly different version of Sabretooth. This version of the character has the same origin as the one in the normal continuity, but has a different moral alignment. He is actually one of the X-Men and a role model for other mutants in this alternate reality. He became a hero and ally of Wolverine, and even adopted another character, Blink, as his daughter. He had "adopted" the feral mutant Wildchild as his sidekick, but Wildchild is now presumed dead in that continuity. In the Exiles comic, he spent decades in a pocket dimension raising mutant children, attempting to teach them ethics and tolerance, without incident. It is reasonably certain he is not of the same immoral constitution as Victor Creed in the normal "mainstream" continuity.
When the "Age of Apocalypse" timeline was nearly destroyed, Sabretooth became the leader of the extra-dimensional band of characters who slide into alternate realities, known as Weapon X. For a time he was also the leader of their counterpart team, the Exiles, and remains with the team to this day... In this alternate reality, Sabretooth has gained control of his feral tendencies, which has granted him a higher level of self-discipline and therefore greater competence than the one in the normal Marvel continuity, who is conventionally "evil."
From: "Christian comic book characters" forum discussion, started 27 December 2003 on "Christian Guitar Resources" website (http://www.christianguitar.org/forums/archive/index.php/t-67487.html; viewed 12 July 2007):
12-27-2003, 06:02 PM
Where have you seen Christianity professed by comic characters?
12-29-2003, 02:39 AM
I just got the first issue of the new miniseries Wolverine: The End. It's set in the not-too-distant future as Wolverine grapples with his life winding down. He goes to Sabretooth's funeral and it's revealed that he (Sabretooth) converted to Christianity and dedicated his last years to Christ. However, Wolverine claims it was probably out of fear of death. Either way... interesting...
12-29-2003, 02:42 AM
I find that quite odd. Of all the characters I could expect to convert, Sabertooth is certainly near the bottom of my list.
12-29-2003, 02:51 AM
Totally. That's what got me stoked about it. I thought it was an interesting twist.
From: comments on "Racism against Atheists" post on "Stormy's Corner" blog website, posted 23 March 2006 (http://stormy.blogs.com/stormy/2006/03/racism_against_.html; viewed 10 May 2006):
[from original blog post:] Atheists identified as America's most distrusted minority, according to new U of M study: News Releases: UMNnews: U of M.: "From a telephone sampling of more than 2,000 households, university researchers found that Americans rate atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in 'sharing their vision of American society.' Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry."
Perhaps one explanation is the negative depiction of atheists in comic books. Most superheroes [believe in God], with a majority being Christians: Superman is a Methodist, Spiderman is a Protestant, X-Man Rogue is a Southern Baptist, X-Man Nightcrawler is a Catholic. Even the Punisher is Catholic. But when it comes to villians, atheism seems to be the rule. The Joker, The Kingpin, The Green Goblin, Sabretooth, and Lex Luthor are all atheists.
Posted by: Layman | March 24, 2006 at 06:55 PM
Excerpts from: "Atheist superheroes" discussion page, started 2 March 2006, on "Atheist Network" website (http://atheistnetwork.com/viewtopic.php?p=209834&sid=5ca5d2a99f2714e2f90fcee608eb4ac4; viewed 26 May 2006):
Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 3:42 am
...not surprisingly more villains are revealed to be atheists than heroes: Lex Luthor, The Joker, Kingpin, Green Goblin, Sabretooth, the Leader, Abomination, Carnage, Red Ghost.
Usually, religion tends to be mostly ignored in comics and most often when it is addressed it tends to be treated fairly rough. How many times has the religious fanatic... bent on murder and mayhem been the villian of a comic?
From: Abby Scott, "Complete with Utility Belt Carrying a Calculator and Ennui," posted 22 June 2006 on "Abby Scott does tend to go on" blog website (http://abbyscott.blogspot.com/2006/06/complete-with-utility-belt-carrying.html; viewed 22 June 2006):
I grew up in a strong atheistic tradition...
The above is a link to a list of the religions of many of our comic book heroes. Quite cool, actually.
...where are the atheists? ...In the atheist pile we have Lex Luthor, The Joker, Two-Face, Kingpin, Green Goblin, Sabretooth. Sabretooth?? Yeah, I love that issue where he tears apart intelligent design before ripping the President's arm off.
I guess anyone that murders is assumed to be atheist...
From: "The Church of Superman" forum discussion started 19 June 2006 on the "James Randi Educational Foundation" website (http://www.randi.org/forumlive/showthread.php?t=58627; viewed 15 May 2007):
19th June 2006, 06:03 AM
The Church of Superman
Hmmmm... the "religious" affiliations of comic book characters. Huh?
19th June 2006, 12:01 PM
...Admittedly, some of the statements are fair guesses... But Sabretooth is "atheist/born-again Christian."!? Mmmm... I suppose "believe in Jesus or I'll rip your liver out" would comform to fundie MO...
From: "Which superhero would be the best Muslim?" forum discussion, started 17 January 2006 on the "Muslim Student Association: University of South Florida" website (http://www.msausf.org/MSAUSF/forums/467/ShowPost.aspx; viewed 4 June 2007):
01-17-2006, 9:00 AM
Which superhero would be the best Muslim?
Salam. Me and Momodu were speaking to each other over some delicious baklava and coffee about which superhero would most likely be Muslim. I would say Batman is most likely to be a great Muslim because he practices great self-restraint when it comes to alcohol consumption, and fornication mashallah. Also, Batman does not eat pork because it slows him down in his nightly crusades against Joker and other foes. Also, he does not have time to backbite or gossip or engage in other forms of fitna because he is too busy cleaning the Batcave and changing the oil in the Batmobile. Thank You.
Momodu, on the other hand, says the Hulk would make an amazing Muslim because he always keeps his gaze lowered. Also, Momodu says the Hulk's purple pants somehow always manage to cover his a'ura, as in his body from his belly button down to his knees. Please dont be shy about showing your feelings. No one is here to judge you and all your postings are welcome.
DC and Marvel superheroes are both welcome
02-06-2006, 11:10 AM
That is biggest load of bologna that I have ever read. First of all I think we all know that Wolverine was not a threat to Cyclops' position. If anyone was next in line to lead it would be storm since she is second in command. Second wolverine was always out for personal vengance especially when he fought Sabretooth. That doesn't seem like the right reason to be angry. I didn't want to have to go here but I guess I have no Choice. OK here goes. Wolverine liked to beat on women. Thats right I said it. He was constantly fighting Mystique hand to hand, and actually stabbed her a few times. He also got into a huge brawl with Lady Deathstrike who was once his fiance. And finally Jean did not throw herself at him. He was always chasing her but in the end he just didn't have what it took. Wolverine was a great hero, that's for sure. But could he be a great Muslim? I don't think so.
02-07-2006, 3:25 PM
Momodu, i think the only 100% accurate source to rule over this is Marvel itself. And according to that amazing source Sabretooth is a vicious blood thirsty mutant who has always been threatened by Wolverine. Wolverine's pursuit of Sabretooth is nothing short of Xavier's pursuit of Magneto, except on a smaller scale. As a matter of fact, it is even less controversial considering the fact that it could (COULD) be argued that Magneto is not necessarily all evil. Wolverine is an invaluable part of the X-men and has probably sacrificed more then any of them in order to help the Professor's cause. As for his relationship with Jean, well I still hold to the fact that Jean leaves the door slightly ajar for the possibility of those two, as she can't seem to make up her mind. But regardless, we are not asking who would make the perfect Muslim, but a good Muslim. Who knows, with Jean as Phoenix maybe he will finally move on.
02-08-2006, 10:15 AM
How dare you. I practically gave you that argument. I am not going to argue that Sabretooth isn't evil. All I want to say is that personal hatred is not a very good reason for revenge. Also on the issue of Jean, before Wolverine ever heard the word X-men Jean was engaged to be married to Cyclops. Now if you want to go back to the source, then I believe Marvel states that one of the main reasons Wolverine stays on the X-men is to be near Jean. Now I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure that a good Muslim doesn't try to get his leader's wife.
Webpage created 4 January 2006. Last modified 12 July 2007.
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