Iron Fist #14
Issue(s): Iron Fist #14
After getting trapped in the Arctic, Danny uses their shared mind meld to help Colleen learn to slow her metabolism so that she can survive the freezing night. Then they launch their rescue of Jeryn. Iron Fist finds himself facing a mercenary named Sabretooth.
The parallels between Sabretooth and Wolverine are striking. They have similar powers and fighting styles, and almost identical speaking patterns, right down to the "Bub".
Of course, Sabretooth speaks a little more in villain-speak, and he's used a little differently as the leader of a group of human mercenaries than he would be later, but it seems clear that Sabretooth was modeled after Wolverine.
Despite being snow-blinded, Iron Fist manages to defeat Sabretooth, thanks to his ability to utilize his other senses and his superior fighting style.
It is announced that this is the second to last issue of Iron Fist, but his upcoming appearance in Marvel Team-Up is already being billed, with the suggestion that if sales of the last issue and the MTU appearance merit it, the series might be brought back.
There is a flashback with Iron Fist getting into a fight with a mystery attacker (to him) who fights in the K'un-Lun style and has a dragon brand on his chest, although without the wings. We know that Joy Meachum's "assistant" Davos has that tattoo.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The flashback with the Steel Serpent takes place directly before the main story, so i'm counting it as an appearance.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Milestones Edition: Iron Fist #14
Inbound References (4): show
This is, of course, one of those "wait a minute" issues, when you realize Sabretooth was initially introduced in Iron Fist. It does make more sense now to have looked at it and realize that Claremont wrote it.
Posted by: Erik Beck | March 23, 2015 11:47 AM
When I saw "Snowfire" as the name of the issue, I thought for a moment it meant Snowflame...but no, just Sabretooth.
Posted by: Ataru320 | January 15, 2016 4:59 PM
I was so disappointed to read this after knowing only the X-Men version of Sabretooth.
Posted by: Mizark | July 21, 2016 6:47 AM
Echoing above posts, this and other early Sabretooth showings were a bit of a shock when my introduction to him was a monster who sneaks up on Wolverine, plays dumbbells like an accordion and can take Rogue out in three strikes (Mutant Massacre later stages). Massive headcanonizing ensued of course.
Posted by: Catherine | May 12, 2017 5:36 AM
Regarding Sabretooth being based on Wolverine, Byrne was at this point drawing Iron Fist, but was "reading and loving X-Men and really digging the Wolverine character", and by his own account had let everyone in the office know that he was interested in Cockrum's job: "Wolverine had not been seen with his mask off at that point, so I did a drawing of what I thought Wolverine looked like with his mask off and sent it to Chris. Chris, with his usual infinite subtlety and tact, says, 'Ha, you blew it. Dave's already done one, and it's not this.' Well, I didn't blow it. I just didn't know they had already done it. But, later, I had to design Sabretooth, and I used the face I'd come up with for Wolverine for the face of Sabretooth."
Byrne's backstory for this was that Sabretooth was Wolverine's father, and that Wolverine was about a hundred years old & had lived feral in the mountains most of his life until being discovered by Guardian. (Obviously we now know that he had lived everywhere, met everyone & learned several languages prior to being discovered by Guardian.)
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | May 12, 2017 6:21 AM
The panel of the snowblind Iron Fist against the all-white background looks like a precursor to some of Byrne's later work, particularly his late-90's run at DC as writer/artist/letterer on Wonder Woman, where he had all but given up on doing backgrounds in many panels.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | March 19, 2018 10:29 PM
Of course it's also, before that, a precursor to the infamous Alpha Flight #6.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | March 19, 2018 10:40 PM
Byrne got full art rate for those pages in the infamous Alpha Flight #6. Shooter said it was a design/creative decision.
Posted by: BU | March 20, 2018 5:26 PM
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