Daken: Dark Wolverine #12

Issue Date: 
October 2011
Story Title: 
Big Break: Part 3

Rob Williams (writer), Matteo Buffagni with Riley Rossmo (art), Chris Peter with Riley Rossmo (colors), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Jared K. Fletcher (designer), Jody LeHeup (assistant editor), Jeanine Schaefer (editor), Nick Lowe (group editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer), Giuseppe Camuncoli and Marte Gracia (cover art)

Brief Description: 

On the streets of Los Angeles, Daken and his accomplices engage Taskmaster in battle. With relative ease, Taskmaster kills all of Daken’s cohorts and proceeds to stab him in the chest with his sword. After Daken’s body is loaded into an ambulance, he awakens, kills the driver, changes his clothes and makes his way to the armored car. His plan complete, Daken is pleased. Just then, he falls to the ground from the wound he got fighting Taskmaster. Before he can recover, FBI agent Donna Kiel enters the vehicle and asks him why he killed all those people. Not knowing what she is talking about, Daken begins to panic and lashes out at her. Later, Kiel is able to successfully remember that it was Daken who attacked her. Inside his penthouse, Daken still hasn’t recovered from his wounds but downs a Heat pill anyway.

Full Summary: 

Looking around at the carnage around him and Taskmaster in front of him, Daken tells himself to focus. He’s an actor. Don’t forget he’s an actor. So put on the &%$#&$# Captain America mask. Play your part, inhabit the role, and pray you don’t get crappy reviews.

Just then, Taskmaster cracks Daken in the mouth with his shield. As he does, he exclaims that his name’s Taskmaster and he’ll be his armored car convoy secret escort today. He’ll also be the guy turning your jaw into a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle. Continuing his assault on Daken, Taskmaster asks Captain America masks, huh? Is that supposed to be symbolic or somethin’? Damn, he hopes not. Captain America is the symbol of all that’s good and noble and heroic and star spangled about this country. He does not knock off armored cars for $26 million in notes and bonds. He’d have heard about it. When Daken falls to the ground, he tells himself to hold it together. No claws.

Before Taskmaster can bring his sword down on Daken’s head, Daken’s accomplices open up fire on him. Blocking their fire with his sword, Taskmaster turns his attention to them. He asks them if they have any clue how much it costs to hire him for a babysitting gig like this. Think getting Babs Streisand to rap an N.W.A. medley at your wedding. Then triple that. There’s a reason for that. He’s kinda good.

Taking out a few of the gunmen with his shield, Taskmaster tells others that this is their last chance. They can drop their weapons right here and enjoy jail time or… ah screw it. Lopping off two of the gunmen’s heads, Taskmaster adds that he’s getting kinda sick of getting shot at. From behind him, Taskmaster hears a voice behind him telling him that he’s about to feel utterly nauseous then. Turning around, Taskmaster asks whassat? Firing a missile at Taskmaster, Daken tells him to repeat from earlier… boom. Preparing himself for the oncoming blast, Taskmaster asks uh… shake-shake-shake the room?

As he fires the missile, Daken, in a Heat induced stupor, reminds himself not to black out. Ride with the Heat trip. Control this. You planned this. You planned this exactly. Mitchell told him Taskmaster would be the last line of defense. He didn’t tell the rest of his “team,” of course. He didn’t tell them he planned to get Taskmaster really, really angry. After all, where would the fun be in that? In short time, Taskmaster kills all of Daken’s accomplices.

Once it’s down to Taskmaster and Daken, they are surrounded by a number of S.W.A.T. team members and helicopters, all of them ordering Daken to surrender. Looking at them, Daken asks what the hopeful young actor wants most of all. He wants an audience for his art. Taskmaster proceeds to tell Daken that the show’s over. He figures he’s earned his paycheck today. If he gives up now, he lives, his choice.

In his head, Daken angrily calls Taskmaster a skull-faced fashion aberration. There are no choices made here. Only plans come to fruition. The Heat effect’s fading. He didn’t black out. That’s good. He’s learning to control it. He’s… bleeding. His healing factor… the Heat… it’s scrambling his healing factor. That might… complicate matters.

When Taskmaster points his sword at him and tells him decision time, Daken responds that, even according to the ludicrous standards of super-people, he really does have the most laughable costume. With that, Daken rushes towards Taskmaster. As he does, he is fired upon by all of the police and military personnel around them. After he picks up an automatic weapon, Taskmaster jams his sword into Daken’s chest. When he does, he asks him what he just said about his costume. He found that kinda hurtful. Pulling the sword out of his chest and falling to the ground, Daken says “final act. And final acts should always have a twist.”

A short time later, Taskmaster is lauded for his efforts in stopping one of the biggest armed robberies in U.S. history and departs. As the body-bag carrying Daken is placed into an ambulance, the driver is killed. Changing into a security guards uniform, Daken says that it’s the perfect crime. Thanks to his healing factor and the fact that no one identified him. The entire gang was killed by the ferociously heroic Taskmaster during the bungled heist.

So, who, exactly, made off with all those millions in the aftermath of the firefight? It is, simply, a mystery. The biggest cash robbery that’s ever taken place on U.S. soil. Yes, he thinks that should get the attention of L.A.’s mysterious new kingpin of crime. A fairly subtle statement of intent. He fills a body-bag with cash and bonds. The body-bag they put him in. It won’t be all of it but it’ll be millions which he then takes back to the various desperate L.A. families, assuring their loyalty. L.A. crime families who are seriously weakened thanks to Taskmaster recently killing off six of their top men. Perfect.

Just then, Daken falls to the ground. Looking down, he sees that the wound from Taskmaster isn’t… His healing factor’s shutting down. What… what is the Heat doing to him?

Just then, FBI agent Donna Kiel approaches Daken in the back of the armored car and points her gun at Daken. When she does, she tells him that he was right. She does enjoy a challenge. You cop-killing son of a bitch.

Looking up at her, Daken remembers her and calls her a clever girl. Kiel states that he’s in town, reports come in of a failed attempt at a record-breaking armored car takedown, lots of fatalities. She drives down there, checks the body-bag but guess what? One’s missing. Doesn’t tally with the number of dead. An then she thinks, ‘what if he’s got a healing factor same as his father?’ Daken weakly tells her he’s not his father. Kiel adds that she guesses that healing factor’s having a bad day.

Daken says to Kiel that he has a question for her. She hasn’t sounded the alarm and he’s shut herself in there with him so no one can see them. Why? Kiel tells him that she’s taking him in. But he said, he promised, that if she found him he’d answer all her questions. So she wants to know… why did he rip those people into pieces? What made him do it? Daken says he doesn’t know who she’s…

Kiel says the murder victims, her murder victims. The last one, the actor, Glenn. There was so little left of him. Why did he do that? Daken answers that he doesn’t… Glenn? Kiel angrily yells at him and orders him to tell her why he killed them. Daken begins to wonder what happened during the blackouts. Did the pills make him… Just then, Kiel points out that he’s scared. He’s scared that he’s an animal. Like Wolverine. Enraged, Daken lashes out at Kiel, knocking her backwards and hitting her head on the metal, knocking her out.

Later, two detectives ask Kiel if she got a good look at the guy. Police died there. Did that hit to the head scramble her brain or something? Kiel replies that it was Daken Akihiro.

Meanwhile, in his estate, Daken stands in front of a fire, holding a drink, a Heat pill and his chest wrapped where he’s still bleeding. After looking down at the pill for a time, he swallows it whole.

Characters Involved: 



FBI agent Donna Kiel

Various unnamed members of the Los Angeles Police Department

Various unnamed members of the Los Angeles’ crime organizations

Various unnamed emergency personnel

Various unnamed members of the Durrant security team

Story Notes: 

Barbara (Babs) Streisand is a world-famous singer. She is known for being a famous singer and actress. Her song selections are mostly show-tunes and ballads.

N.W.A. is a famous hardcore rap group. They are infamous for being one of the first mainstream gangsta rap groups.

Issue Information: 
Written By: