Who's in this issue?
Here's something I found strange, yet interesting, at the same time. Sabretooth, a master hunter in his own right, would resist taking up a challenge and, instead, hand this task off to one of his lifelong enemies? The reason I don't think this really clicks is simple: Sabretooth's a predator. He almost dies in the hand of this mysterious "Native" beast. So why would he give up the option to show that he really is the best at what he does by facing the beast again, rather than passing the task on to Wolverine? Doesn't that almost imply that Sabretooth has resorted to the possibility that Logan is, indeed, better than him? Consider the comment that Sabretooth makes to his customer, Mr. Willoughby, after Willoughby comments that Sabretooth is the best person for the job: "Nah, I can find someone better." Despite his intent, which I'm sure is to let Logan do the dirty job, Sabretooth's statement there resigns him to the belief that he does play second fiddle behind Logan. Why Logan decides to accept the task that Sabretooth is passing onto him ... who knows? Yes, it appears that this beast may have been a byproduct of another weapons program very similar to the Weapon X project (which seemingly now has generated so many new weapons that we still don't know about and are just learning), but where's the angle that Logan would benefit from?
I don't remember when I last saw Sabretooth, but like the Juggernaut joining up with the X-Men, I guess Sabretooth's found better things to do with his life than to go around picking fights with everyone he runs into. He knows he's got heightened senses and a healing factor. For someone who loves to hunt, he can make one heck of a salary off of being a hired hitman / hunter, which is exactly what he's doing right now.
Nevertheless, this does look to be an interesting story for those who kinda got bored with the last few story arcs, where character development took precidence over the action. This one is setting up to be one of those classic fight sequences between Logan and an extremely tough (and clawed) enemy. Whether Sabretooth even has a future role in this story is doubtful at best in my opinion, though the fact that a.) he's passing this task on to Logan to deal with, and b.) he nearly gets killed ... killed ... by this creature who appears to be extremely faster and stronger than even himself ... shows that Sabretooth may have lost a step or two now that he's decided to go the route of a hired hitman.
One final word: why the decision to turn this Wolverine title into part of Marvel's Marvel Knights line of comics? Frankly, I don't think this decision makes sense for this title is already in its 13th issue. Yes, there has always been talk of coming out with a "Marvel Knights" title for Wolverine, but why turn his regular series into another "Marvel Knights" title?
Rating (from 1 dot (not recommended) to 5 dot (highly recommended)
"Return of the Native: Part 1"
IN THIS ISSUE:
Somewhere in the Canadian wilderness, where a pack of brown bears are hunting for their meal in a river. One bear, who was eating one of its fresh catch from the river, notices its fellow bears leaving the seen. It notices a creature who wanted to challenge it for its meal. The bear rears up in challenge against the creature, then suddenly gives up and leaves. An outstretched, beastly hand reaches out to grab the remaining carcass of the fish that the bear had been eating.
A bit further away, Sabretooth was leading two other hunters in their quest to capture this creature known as the Native. Despite their obvious dislike for Sabretooth, the two hunters did what Sabretooth told them to do. As they were able to get closer to the Native, Sabretooth gives the other two hunters the word to shoot the native. Two tranquilizer darts hit their mark, as the native falls to the ground, apparently tranquillized. The three approach the native to chain it. One asks Sabretooth exactly what they had caught, but before he could finish his statement, the native awoke and promptly gored the man. The other hunter, a woman, tried to call for Sabretooth to help, but she too was gutted. Sabretooth attempted to rake at the beast with his claws, but to his surprise, the Native was able to dodge his swing, and instead, laid its own claws right across Sabretooth's face. Faster than Sabretooth could realize, the Native raked its claws across Sabretooth's back, leaving his back extremely bloodied. But before Sabretooth could attack, the beast rakes Sabretooth again in his face, and soon, Sabretooth blacks out. The Native finishes its meal, and leaves. A bit later after he leaves, Sabretooth regains conscious, his healing factor already at work healing his wounds, though realizing that he's got a good challenge ahead of him to apprehend this native.
Meanwnhile, back in Portland, Oregon, we see Logan getting dressed in Cassie's room as the moonlight hits the face of the sleeping Cassie. Logan hops onto his bike and peels into the night. A few hours later, while doing 110 mphs on the freeway [kids, definitely do not try this], he suddenly swerves to miss a deer who had wandered onto the freeway. Logan is sent flying into a tree as his bike skitters across the freeway. When he regains conscious, he realizes that his bike is broken, the nearest service station was miles away, and it had started to rain. Sighing, he starts his long trek to that service station.
In Seattle, where Sabretooth was making his report to his customer about his unsuccessful attempt to capture the "native". Sabretooth was angry at his customer, Mr. Willoughby for not debriefing him completely about the mission, while Mr. Willoughby believed that Sabretooth failed in his mission. A tense moment, but Mr. Willoughby's boss speaks up and pays Sabretooth for his services, saying that the mission wasn't a failure and that Sabretooth did confirm for them that the Native was still alive. Though the Native was now that much harder to catch, they wanted to rehire Sabretooth to capture and bring in the Native. Sabretooth, though, had other ideas, saying he knew he could find someone even better suited for the job.
Somewhere in Montana, at a small truck stop diner. As Logan was having his dessert, he overhears two truckers at the counter talking about a story they heard on the news about sightings of Bigfoot. As Logan finishes his dessert, Sabretooth walks in, having a few choice words for Logan. As Logan glares at Sabretooth, who had took the remaining of Logan's slice of pie to eat, the two exchange a few more words. Tension escalates, but Sabretooth breaks the tension by pulling out a top secret envelope from inside his jacket. He tosses the folder in front of Logan. Logan opens it and looks through the documents, which were documents pertaining to the "Native", which appeared to be a product of some type of weapons development (similiar to the Weapon X project). As Sabretooth gets up to leave, he tells Logan that this creature "...was the one that got away. And the hunt is on."