Title: Daken – Dark Wolverine #9
Author: Daniel Way & Marjorie Liu
Artist: Marco Checchetto
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release date: May 11, 2011
In March 2007, writer Daniel Way created and introduced us to Akihiro, also known as Daken, the mutant son of Wolverine, in issue #10 of wolverine: Origins. With this issue of Daken (#9), Daniel Way’s run on the character comes to an end. And what a run it was! Daken came out of the shadows and helped Wolverine take down Romulus, all the while being the biggest thorn in Wolverine’s side as possible. Daken also joined up with Norman Osborn’s Dark Avengers, was revealed to be gay (which is still painfully rare for mainstream comic characters), made friends with the Fantastic Four somehow, and has now taken over Madripoor as the new “Kingpin-type” crime boss. Overall, I’d say Daniel Way (with a ton of help from Marjorie M. Liu) has given us an awesome addition to the Marvel Universe’s cabal of fantastic characters, and has made him very hard to read. Is Daken a villain?..a hero?..or something new that is undefinable? I like to believe in the latter.
This issue wrapped up the four part crossover with X-23, otherwise known as Laura, the female clone of Wolverine. The two of them tussled in Madripoor over Malcolm Colcord, an evil dude with aspirations to restart the Weapon X program. Daken had his motives and they were running counter to those of Laura, but eventually, she won him over and they basically started working together. They vanquished their foe in classic fashion for mutants with a healing factor.
Mr. Way and Ms. Liu used this “working together” aspect to explore what really makes both Daken and Laura tick under the surface, and they came to a sort-of understanding in the end…but true to Daken’s modus operandi, he was hiding his true feelings and knowledge the whole time. In the end, Colcord would be his, and his alone, to decide what to do with. I don’t know how Daniel and Marjorie feel, but to me, this is a fitting place for them to wrap up their run.
According to the back page of the book, Daken #10, by the new creative team of Rob Morrison and Matteo Buffagni, will be on the shelves next week, while Daken’s point one issue (#9.1) will ship the next week. I think maybe that they should switch those two around… Either way I’m happy. The more Daken the better is what I say J
Author: Marjorie Liu
Artist: Will Conrad
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release date: September 15, 2010
The month of Wolverine is upon us! It seems as though Marvel Comics has decided to launch Wolverine into his very own line of books, or rather, there is now a “Wolverine Family” in terms of comics being released. As most long time Marvel Comics fans will know, Marvel has never been shy about popping Wolverine into a book to bump it’s sales, and when you add up his monthly appearances in the various X-Men books, Avengers books, his own monthlies plus guest spots; it seems as though Wolverine is everywhere. But then the end of August came where Marvel ended all three Wolverine monthly series and launched the Wolverine Family with Wolverine (with a shiny new #1), Daken: Dark Wolverine (starring Wolverine’s kick-ass psychotic son), and finally X-23 (about a female clone of Wolverine). This week, I would like to look at the first issue of X-23 by the new creative team of writer Marjorie Liu (co-wrote Dark Wolverine) and artist Will Conrad (Wolverine: Origins).
Even though Wolverine/Logan is not the star of all three of these new monthlies, his new status as being in hell is a common story thread that is passing through all three books. X-23 opens with X (who also goes by the name “Laura”) in the middle of an intense dream featuring Wolverine in Hell where he offers her the position of his “right hand” in hell. At this point the whole Wolverine in Hell story is pretty new and hasn’t been expanded upon very much yet, so this is all we get in terms of X-23 tying into that story. From here the book really does a great job of introducing us to Laura. The very back of the issue, after the story, has all the recap stuff about her that you would need to know, but the main story itself really delved into what it seems to be like for her to adjust to living with all these X-Men and X-Men in training, when she is nothing like any of them. Laura was originally created in a lab from Logan’s DNA, and was trained as a straight up murder machine. She didn’t have feelings, wants or desires. All she did was kill. Then she came to the X-Men and it seemed like she may finally get a chance to live a partially normal life, even if she was going to be an X-Man, but Cyclops decided to put her on X-Force when they were the X-Men’s version of a “wet team” due to her training in the arts of death.
The issue also focuses on her status as an orphan. Laura has a very nice one-on-one with Storm, who is also an orphan, and we got to see how truly confused and isolated Laura really is. When I picked up this book, I didn’t know what to expect, but after I read it, I was really impressed. Marjorie Liu, who showed up as Daniel Way’s co-writer on Dark Wolverine, really kicked this issue’s ass. Marjorie is a short story and novel writer, and this issue has persuaded me to search out some of her other work. The art was also fantastic. Will Conrad, whose work I enjoyed on Wolverine: Origins and in Firefly (from Dark Horse based on the Joss Whedon sci-fi show) has stepped it up. Several times as I was looking at the gorgeous artwork, all I could think of was how much it started to remind me of a cross between Mike McKone and the great John Cassaday. It’s that good! From what I’ve seen, it’s definitely the best work of Mr. Conrad’s career. What did you guys think of the issue? Did you pick it up? What about Wolverine #1 and Daken: Dark Wolverine #1? Sound off in our handy comments section below J .