Daken: Dark Wolverine #2

Issue Date: 
December 2010
Story Title: 
Empire: Act 1: Part 2

Daniel 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 (group editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer), Giuseppe Camuncoli with Onofrio Catacchio and Marte Gracia (cover art), Mike Mayhew (vampire variant cover)

Brief Description: 

At an opera performance, Daken tells the old man who is the leader of the Red Right Hand that his revenge needs to be calculated and, once initiated, the plan can't change. Later, Daken tells the old man that the plans have changed. The old man tells Daken that he wants him to kill Mystique but Daken declines. Once he leaves, the old man grabs a box and performs a ritual of sorts that engulfs him in flames. In Miami, Daken returns to his room to find Mystique there. Eventually, Mystique tells Daken that she needs his help with the Wolverine situation. After Daken tells Mystique that he was supposed to kill her but declined, the two of them go out to celebrate over drinks. At the restaurant, Daken and Mystique flirt with each other. Later in the evening, Daken leaves the table and Mystique is attacked by Hellverine. Before he can finish her off, Daken arrives on the scene and stops him. Hellverine informs Daken that it's not Mystique he's after and proceeds to burn Daken, leaving him in a heap of charred flesh.

Full Summary: 

At the opera, Daken tells the old man leader of the Red Right Hand that justice is revenge. He doesn't need to tell him that. He's been wronged. All of them have. Hearts broken, scattered, burned. He burns. Such a righteous, terrible fire. In his blood, now. In his dreams. Every breath he takes. So consumed, he can't sleep. He can't even make love to a woman. Not that he seems to care. Revenge is his mistress. Revenge is where he�s buried his soul. But his approach needs to be refined. He seems to be under the mistaken impression that the best revenge is blunt, that it only counts if you look your target in the eye as you pull the trigger.

But that's the revenge of a child... and ultimately meaningless. He needs to be a ghost. Erase all evidence of his own existence so that, when his plan is triggered, it seems to come from nowhere. From no one. It must be calculated and cold. It must be perfect. And most importantly, once initiated his plan cannot change.

At another time, at the old man's home, Daken informs him there's been a change of plans. Sitting in a chair, wearing a robe, and sipping on his tea, the old man responds by saying he supposes he expects him not to object. Daken tells him he expects him to be intelligent enough to realize that objections are futile. He's told him what he wants. And he'll give it to him. The old man informs Daken that he is not indispensible. He could have him removed from the picture ... permanently. Daken tells the old man to not exert himself too much. They don't want to call the nurse to change his diaper. He adds that he sent his father to hell and he didn't interfere. He even helped, in his own way. His services aren't free. The old man interjects that his patience is not free. Mystique must die. Daken says no. He wants her left alive, unless he wants him to derail his plans. Besides, he likes the idea of... meeting up with her again.

As Daken departs the room, he tells the old man good-bye, you devil. Don't forget their bargain. Once Daken leaves, the old man rises from his chair, lets his robe fall to the ground, and picks up the box sitting next to him. Opening the box, the old man drizzles the ashes inside onto the ground in a circular shape. After sitting in the middle and lighting a candle, fire engulfs the old man and the image of the Devil appears amidst the flames.

In Miami, Daken walks the streets. While he plays with children and dances with a woman on the street, he thinks that it is a beautiful day. Beautifully his. He held a life in his hands, played merciful god. Makes him understand why heroes do what they do. Saving a life feels... different. But this, this feels better.

At the Lopez hotel, Daken enters a room where Mystique has just recently emerged from taking a shower. Seeing Mystique draped in her towels, Daken sees her and says what a lovely surprise. Mystique replies she's sure it is and calls him a charming, handsome liar. Daken tells her careful. She might cut out his heart with words like that. After Mystique retorts that assuming he has a heart, Daken tells her it does play hide and seek, on occasion. Mystique snips back that she doubts that he's ever bothered looking for it.

After a brief moment of tense silence, Daken tells Mystique to go on and tell him why she's there. Mystique tells him that as much as it pains her to admit this, she needs his help. Looking out the window, Daken tells her that she's lost her mind if she thinks she can trust him. Mystique replies doesn't she know it. But he's the only one she can go to for help with the Wolverine situation. Daken says that's all well and good but it may be difficult to help her. Leaning closer to her, Daken tells Mystique that it's due to the fact that he's supposed to kill her. He then informs her not to worry. He politely refused. Mystique responds that it sounds like something worth celebrating.

When Daken asks over drinks, Mystique says she knows a place. Turning his back to her, Daken asks if she minds if he changes first. As Daken begins to change, Mystique answers not at all. Not. One. Bit. When he's finished changing, Daken tells Mystique to stand up. As she does, Mystique removes her towels and unveils a very revealing dress. After Mystique asks him what he thinks, Daken asks her if she has anything sexier.

A short while later, Daken has his arm around Mystique as they enter the restaurant. Making their way to their table, Daken tells her that he hopes she's armed. When Mystique asks him if he's planning on doing away with her already, Daken tells her hardly. But all the wives and girlfriends of the men staring at her might not be so restrained. Mystique tells him don't try to charm her. Besides, does he really think she could hide anything under her dress? Daken tells her that he can think of a few places he�d like to search. Mystique tells him don't make me blush. Daken replies a challenge. Mystique tells him 'please.' He's a baby. An hour with her would break him. Daken says she must not think very highly of him. Mystique responds on the contrary. She said an hour, as opposed to ten minutes. Daken says well, then. Call him flattered.

Just then, the waiter makes his way over and asks if they would like to start with some... Daken cuts him off and tells him wine, yes. Red, please. Mystique says no, white. Daken then tells the waiter to bring one bottle of each, the best he has. As Daken rises from his seat, Mystique asks him where he thinks he's going. Moving his chair closer to her, Daken tells Mystique she was too far away. Sitting next to her, Daken asks Mystique if he's crowding her. When she tells him no, he puts his arm around her and asks her what about now. Mystique tells him don't make me yawn. Daken asks what if he makes her scream. Mystique replies if only he were up for it. When Daken asks isn't he, Mystique tells him she's old enough to be his mother. Daken smiles and then looks down at his plate with his eyes closed. After Mystique asks him what is it, Daken tells her he's never met anyone so like himself. When Mystique puts her hand up to Daken's face, Daken excuses himself and leaves the table.

Once Daken leaves, the waiter shows Mystique the bottle of red wine. Mystique tells him that she's changed her mind, give her the red. As she sits at the table and begins to sip her wine, she catches a whiff of brimstone. Turning around, Mystique asks 'Kurt?' When she turns around, she doesn't see Kurt, she sees Wolverine ... in actuality Hellverine. Upon seeing him, Mystique calls Daken a bastard. He set her up. Morphing into her standard white costume, Mystique rushes towards Hellverine with a knife in tow.

Before she can inflict any damage, Hellverine punches her, grabs her by the throat, and proceeds to slam her onto the ground. Standing over her, he pops his claws and prepares to finish her off. Before he can, Daken grabs his arm and tells Hellverine that if he kills her, there's nowhere he'll be safe. Even in hell. Hellverine remarks that he's not there to kill her. With that, he engulfs Daken in flames, and stands over his charred body as Mystique looks on with a horrified look on her face.

Characters Involved: 


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



Various unnamed residents and visitors of Miami

Various patrons and performers at an opera performance

Story Notes: 
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