Daken: Dark Wolverine #1

Issue Date: 
November 2010
Story Title: 
Empire: Act 1: Part 1

Dan Way and Marjorie Liu (writers), Giuseppe Camuncoli (pencils), Onofrio Catacchio (inks), Frank D'Armata (colors), VC's Cory Petit (letters), Jody LeHeup (assistant editor), Jeanine Schaefer (editor), Axel Alonso (executive editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer), Giuseppe Camuncoli with Marte Gracia (cover art), Gabriele Dell'Otto and Marko Djurdjevic (variant covers)

Brief Description: 

50 years ago, Daken stopped an irate citizen from killing Logan when he was leaving a bar, telling him they have time. In present day Milan, Daken is backstage at a fashion show. After canoodling with some of the models and the head fashion designer, Donatello, and irritating his assistant Sophie in the process, Daken heads outside. There, he is attacked by mercenaries of the Red Right Hand, of whom he quickly dispatches. Later, he meets up with the leader of the RRH. As their conversation progresses, the leader learns that Daken is the one who told Mystique everything which caused her to betray them. When the old man asks why, Daken says it's because he wants it all. And the only way to have it all is to make sure nobody has anything. After gutting Donatello, Daken dons his new custom made costume and states that he has lived in the shadows for too long. He will now live in his own shadow for his time is now.

Full Summary: 

I tried. I tried to forget. I tried to move on. I fought with myself all these years because I am not a dumb man. I know that hate devours, and it decays, and I know that at the end of my life I do not want to be the man who hated, and hated well. I want to be the man who loved. I want to be the man who others speak of with passion instead of pity. I want that so badly. But here I am. Hot with hate. Hate for him. Wolverine. Damn him, God. Please, damn him. For me. For those he has taken from me. For all the misery he has brought on others. He is a killer. He destroys without regard. He is a monster. And no one will stop him. No one will give him the death he deserves. But he will. He will.

50 years ago, Logan stumbles out of 'The Shack' bar. Kneeling in the mud, he stares at his hands with dismay. Finishing his beer, he climbs into his truck. As he does, a young lady exits the bar covered in blood and crying. She yells at Logan and calls him a bastard. Banging her fists up against his truck window, she tells him he was done. He was done fighting. He couldn't even lift his head and he-- he gutted him. Oh, God. Oh, God, he's gone. What is she gonna do? When Logan begins to start his truck, theyoung woman tells him no. Fight her. Fight her, coward. She'll rip out his heart, she'll kill him. From the woods nearby, a sniper has Logan in his sights. Before he can fire his weapon, Daken, wearing a trench coat, tells the man no, not like this. Not now. He then tells the man that he has time. They both do.

In present day Milan, at a fashion show, a freckle-faced female assistant scours the dressing room for Monique. Many of the models tell her to go away but one of them points over towards a nearby room and says that she, uh, went in there. Inside the room, Daken is locked in an amorous embrace with Monique. As he kisses her neck, Monique exalts 'oh, God.' Daken tells her to call him that again. He likes the way it sounds. Monique asks him does he think he can order her around. Daken replies that he thinks she'll do anything for him once she's through with her. Anything at all.

Just then, the assistant walks in. Upon seeing Daken, she says 'Oh. You.' Daken tells her oh yes and then asks her if she cares to join them. After the assistant tells her no, Monique points out listen to her, refusing him. Must be a first. After she kisses Daken, Monique turns to leave and tells him not to make any plans tonight, he's all hers. When she's gone, Daken asks the assistant what her name is. The assistant coldly tells him that it's Sophie. Daken says to her that he apologizes for anything that might have offended her. Sophie tells him don't. She deals with a lot of jackasses. He's nothing special. As Sophie walks away, Daken thinks to himself that's the way it should be. On the surface, anyway.

Walking out into the dressing room, Daken thinks to himself that the best place to hid is in plain sight. Mask firmly in place. Smile, and the world will never see the dagger on your tongue. Laugh, and the world will never hear your hate. Walking by two models, he hears them debate on whether or not to eat a strawberry. Picking it up, Daken feeds it to one of the models. As he does, the fashion designer looks on in shock and hurriedly makes his way over. When he has finished feeding the model the strawberry, Daken tells her there she goes. That wasn't so bad, was it? He then says to Donatello to tell his models that they don't need to starve themselves to be beautiful.

Checking out his models teeth, he makes sure there are no seeds and that they're still nice and white. Once he sees that they are, he tells her to go ahead and take off. Looking at Daken forlornly, Donatello mentions to Daken that the girls are so silly, afraid of strawberries. Daken says and him. But he likes that. Power is so... seductive. Doesn't he think? He then asks Donatello how that piece is coming along, the one he designed for him. When Donatello doesn't answer, Daken asks him again. Donatello says that he meant to tell him it is done. Perhaps he could come back to his home after the show to try it on. Taking a bite out of a strawberry, Daken says he would love to. Handing it to Donatello, Daken tells him to have some. He needs to keep up his strength. As Daken walks away, Donatello mentions to the unimpressed Sophie that man has a terrible beauty. And it is such an inspiration.

As he walks out of the building and out onto the street, Daken's cell phone rings. He tells the person on the other end of the line, Johnny Storm, that he's a funny man. He hopes Ben doesn't catch up with him. Or Sue. And no. He set his underwear on fire while he was making his move on a woman. Did he really expect a different response? What would he have done? He then tells him they'll have to talk about that later. He's going to have to hang up now, someone's about to kill him.

Just then, Daken is surrounded by five mercenaries. After he hangs up the phone, Daken finishes sipping his champagne glass, and proceeds to systematically kill four out of the five mercenaries with ease. Seeing the fifth mercenary, a woman, is still alive, Daken asks her isn't she tough. She takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'. Grabbing her by the ponytail, Daken tells her he likes tough women. So sexy. The mercenary begs him to let her go, she'll tell him anything. Tossing her into a dark corner, Daken finishes her off. As he does so, he tells her that he already knows everything.

Later, at a palatial estate nestled on a cliff overlooking the ocean, Daken tells the man whose face is partially covered in shadows that he has a lovely home. He must feel so safe there, so removed from the world. He's surprised he would risk it all by trying to kill him. Did he actually believe his men stood a chance? The old man answers no, he did not. But if he had simply called him, would he be there right now? Daken says good point. But why even reach out to him? He�s done his part. When the old man asks 'have you,' Daken tells him not to play games. He found Wolverine's woman for him. And he found...

The old man says enough. He didn't bring him there to talk about that. Mystique has betrayed them. Reaching up to grab some grapes, Daken says what a surprise, especially given her track record of unquestioning loyalty. Clenching his fist, the old man tells him joke if he likes. And he knows he does. He is not surprised that Mystique betrayed them. What�s surprising to him is that she knows. So the real question isn't why, but how. Peering at him, Daken asks it's obvious, isn't it? He told her. He told her everything. When the old man asks him why, Daken tells him because he wants it all. And the only way to have it all is to make sure that no one else has anything. And the best way to keep everything is to make certain no one else knows you have it. The greatest treasures are always hidden. Often in plain sight.

In Milan, the gutted body of Donatello is discovered by authorities. All over his home are pictures of Daken. As the investigation continues, Daken stands atop a building in San Francisco. Wearing his newer, sleeker costume, Daken remarks that for as long as he can remember, he has lived in shadow. The shadow of Romulus. The shadow of his father, Wolverine. Until now. Now, he will live in his own shadow. He will become a shadow. As well as the light that creates it. His time has come. Beware the fury of a patient man.

Characters Involved: 


Donatello, a fashion designer, and his assistant Sophie

Monique and various other unnamed models in Milan

Unnamed old man who is the leader of the Red Right Hand

Various unnamed mercenaries of the Red Right Hand

In Flashbacks:



Unnamed patrons of a bar


Story Notes: 

This issue also has an eight page summary of the history of Daken.

Issue Information: 

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