Wolverine vs. Sabretooth
Based on the comic written by Jeph Loeb
Screenplay adapted by Jeph Loeb
Illustrated by Simone Bianchi
Directed by Carl Upsdell
Not Rated | 66 Minutes
Release Date: January 14, 2014
Cover Price: $14.97
Welcome, one and all, to the world of Marvel Knights and the animated features available therein. This week I am pleased to bring you the motion comic Marvel Knights: Wolverine Versus Sabretooth. I will admit that I’m still on the fence as to whether I like this medium or not. I do appreciate that it’s one more way to grab the attention of folks who might otherwise not pick up a comic, but I wonder sometimes if this format will stand the test of time.
If you are unaware of how this all works then allow me to enlighten you. Taking the original comic, frame by frame, parts are dissected and given life by allowing for some basic movement on screen. By stringing together the panels, we are given some fairly clean motion that preserves the integrity of the source material…mostly. Sometimes, as with all adaptations, parts of the original must be sacrificed for the sake of fluidity and continuity. This particular motion comic seemed to be more or less intact, though it might still confuse the newbies.
First off let me be clear that this story skips around a lot. And I do mean A LOT. There is a method to the madness, however. The two featured characters, Wolverine and Sabretooth, have an extremely long and brutal history. As a matter of fact, this particular tale explores that relationship in depth. The storylines, like memories, jump around making connections at a subconscious level that might not have been made otherwise. I really don’t want to spoil anything but suffice to say that, like the original comics, this movie will keep you on your toes and wondering who is pulling all the strings.
Jeph Loeb did a stellar job with this narrative; I remember feeling like he was bringing some actual new blood to Wolverine, who historically feels very two-dimensional (even if he is the best at what he does). To top that off, Simone Bianchi‘s art is, to say the least, spectacular. So much emotion is cast into his drawing that it sometimes seems as if the characters are actually alive. Between the two of them, Loeb and Bianchi took these characters and breathed new life into them. The new memories and histories only add to the already established comic history, as opposed to many other teams that have tried rebooting as a way of changing what was.
The disc itself is pretty cut and dry. It holds the motion comic, obviously, but is pretty sparse otherwise. There is a behind the scenes featurette and interviews with the artist and writer, but nothing beyond that. And I guess this is where I start to disconnect; I always think that perhaps there should be an access code to the original monthlies that inspired this adaptation. For some people this might be the turning point to start reading, rather than watching, the comics. But maybe I’m just being greedy or nitpicking.
I still must say this was fun to watch, all things considered. And while I would love it if Marvel would go for the actual animated films like DC does, this is perhaps their way of being different. Any fan of Wolverine will enjoy this, but there are some quite bloody and graphic parts. Though there is nothing that the average teen hasn’t seen in whatever FPS they happen to be playing currently. Snap this up if you are a fan of Ol’ Canucklehead, I bet you’ll love it. But if you are new to the Marvel Universe in general and Wolverine in particular then you might want to pass on this for now and try reading some of the comics instead…this film might confuse more than it will entertain.