I am Shen Sei and I am a combatophile. Pugilists engaged in the balletic poetry of motion; the precision of their every movement; muscles straining with determination; each fighter trying to gouge the other’s eyeballs out — there’s nothing more beautiful to me in this life.

I’m not just an admirer of the sweet science, either. I’ve mastered every fighting discipline under the red sun from Thugjitsu to Teabagging Thai Tiger Style to Yoo Now Cuck. In summary: I am an ill-ass ninja warrior. That’s why together, base, bloodthirsty AiPT! fan, we shall inspect comic book battles with the fervor that only true disciples of the craft can muster. This week two of my favorite combatants square off in a dance of vendetta driven, healing factor infused madness:

Deadpool vs Sabretooth (Deadpool #9)

I always enjoy it when Weapon X alums get to scrappin’. Is it their common bond of having been overgrown guinea pigs for government-sponsored mad scientists that gives their fights that extra personal edge? Is it that all that physical and psychological torture they were subjected to made them tough as (adamantium) nails? Or is it simply because everyone loves watching Canadians murder each other?

Whatever the case, when I heard writer Gerry Duggan was starting a “Deadpool vs. Sabretooth” story arc in Deadpool #8 — I got all giddy. (The two threw down back in Cable & Deadpool #41 and although Deadpool appeared to have the upper hand, the fight was cut short.)

Deadpool vs. Wolverine contests are among the most knock down, drag-out, downright brutal slugfests in all of comicdom — ones that drive each character to their very limits — so Deadpool taking on Wolverine’s “blonder, buffer and meaner” (as Deadpool himself would put it) counterpart should mean all of the above plus shit getting even more hectic; these guys aren’t exactly the good guys, so punch-pulling and holding back aren’t two options often in their purview.

Besides, who in their right mind doesn’t get excited/slightly turned on by a cover like this?

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“OH, NO! NOT THE BEES! NOT THE BEES! AAAAAHHHHH! OH, THEY’RE IN MY EYES! MY EYES! AAAAHHHHH! AAAAAGGHHH!” — Nicolas Cage voice

Tale of the Tape:

deadpool-vs-sabretooth-tale-of-the-tape

Sabretooth has the distinct size and strength advantage — thanks to his heightened senses and bestial nature, he might have the slight edge in speed as well.

I’d give Deadpool the slight edge in agility and fighting ability — and of course, he’s got plenty of knives, swords, firearms and explosives — which tend to help out a bit in battle. Deadpool’s healing factor is also slightly superior to Sabretooth’s, though just how much that helps him is up to writer Gerry Duggan — as the triune of Deadpool, Sabretooth and Wolverine and their respective healing factors can often be capricious according to whoever’s penning the script. Deadpool’s infamous banter and trash-talking don’t necessarily lend him any advantage in this particular fight, as Sabretooth is not the type to be easily fazed by insults.

My prediction: This is a very close match-up, but Deadpool’s comic — so I’m going with him after a long, entertaining contest that sees Sabretooth narrowly escaping to fight another day.

The Build-Up (Deadpool #8):

Deadpool thinks Sabretooth killed his family. Now he wants revenge. In the final pages of Deadpool #8 he sets up a crazy piano wire trap that clotheslines Sabretooth’s throat while he’s cruising on his motorcycle:

deadpool-9-piano-wire

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That’s a lot of blood. And a lot of gurgling on one’s own blood. Aaaand, that position doesn’t look so good for Sabretooth, does it?

deadpool-8-vs-sabretooth

The Fight:

Yes, Deadpool #8 left things looking very one sided.

No need for alarm though, Sabretooth fans. The third page of Deadpool #9 shows the hirsute ruffian back on his feet and ready to claw out Deadpool’s windpipe.

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What maneuver was it that you used between panels/issues to magically escape from certain decapitation, Sabretooth? Do you get cool new “get out of jail free” powers now that you’re a good guy? I am asking for a friend of mine. Oh, and if you have any of that extra plot armor kicking around, let me know please.

The most important bit of information to take away from the above panel, though? Deadpool’s threat: “I’m gonna do what Logan never could — put you down.” That’s right — this is a fight to the death and that’s some commensurate smack talk to go along with it. Wolverine might say he’s the best there is at what he does, but Deadpool’s gonna one-up the dude and slay his mortal enemy. This is gonna be good…

deadpool-9-slice-sabretooth-brain

Damn. See what I mean? Hey Sabretooth, your skullcap is showing.

The Verdict:

Without spoiling too much, the fight between Deadpool and Sabretooth is interrupted by a comedic moment, which is admittedly funny, but makes what could have easily been an entire issue-spanning slugfest — given the two’s elite fighting ability, battle experience, and healing factors — a bloody, but brief and disappointing throwdown.

The most disappointing aspect is the fact that although Deadpool went to all that trouble prepping with the strategically placed piano wire and hellbent on murdering Sabretooth as revenge for his family — the best battle plan he can muster up is to kill Victor by… swinging a sword at him?

Where are the guns? The grenades? The follow-up traps? It’s not like this is the Deadpool movie and he left them in the trunk of Dopinder’s taxi cab.

Sabretooth is no slouch. Deadpool knows this. You want to actually kill him, you come correct and have a better plan than just trying to dice him with your katana, especially since the piano wire plan went awry.

Art of Combat: Deadpool vs. Sabretooth from Deadpool #9
Excellent build-up and first strike from Deadpool.Mateo Lolli's striking art brings the violence and bloodshed to life on the page with sickening skill.A moment of comedic relief breaks up the action nicely and is especially befitting for a Deadpool comic.
Plot-armor saps most of the suspense.The actual fight is way too short and features none of the ingenuity/intelligence from the very beginning.
4Meh
Anticipation/Build-Up:8
Gore/Violence:7.5
Choreography/Flashiness:2
Strategy/Ingenuity:3
Reader Rating 2 Votes
5.3