Daken: Dark Wolverine #23

Issue Date: 
May 2012
Story Title: 
Lost Weekend: Conclusion

Rob Williams (writer), Matteo Buffagni, Paco Diaz, Andrea Mutti, and Riley Rossmo (art), Rachelle Rosenberg, and Riley Rossmo (colors), Cory Petit (letterer), Jeanine Schaefer (editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer), Giuseppe Camuncoli with Jim Charalampidis (cover art)

Brief Description: 

In New York, Daken makes his final stand against the combined efforts of the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. For a little while, he is able to elude their grasps by leaping off a building and crashing to the ground below. Hobbled and injured, Daken feels like one of those he despises – regular people. After taking a large number of Heat pills, Daken is found by the heroes. Using his enhanced strength, Daken breaks the floor with his fists. When he does, he sees the heroes he despises save the people and become heroic. Feeling even lower, Daken makes his way to Times Square, where he is surrounded. At that moment, Logan arrives and he and Daken share a moment. It doesn’t last long, however, and Daken tells Logan to head to his new school where there is another bomb. Just then, a bomb explodes and Daken is nowhere to be found. With Thor’s aid, Logan heads to his school where he finds no bomb, but only a stuffed toy version of himself. As this all played out, Daken says that death doesn’t scare him and that all of this has been about Logan. He wanted to leave him with no body, no answers, nothing because that’s what he deserved.

Full Summary: 

An important distinction when one has lived in a simple world of primary color powers. What do you want to be remembered as? The villain? Or the hero? And, in these, my final hours, I have come to a profound and empowering realization… I’m a bad boy.

When Johnny Storm arrives on the scene and saves the plummeting Reed Richards off of the Empire State Building, Daken remarks ah… they’re coming, then. Inevitably. Time for him to make his dastardly, moustache-twirling escape. Just in the nick of… time.

Just then, Daken quickly turns around and grabs the leg of the incoming Spider-Man and tosses him to the ground. As he does, Daken tells him that he’s always wondered about his costume choice. Even with his back to him, he could see that garish color scheme coming a mile away. Firing some web pellets at Daken’s face, Spider-Man tells him new low. He’s taking sartorial criticism from “edgy son of Logan.” Kicking him in the face, Spider-Man asks Daken if he’s sure he’s not adopted.

At that moment, Ms. Marvel, Iron Man and Thing show up in the Fantasti-Car. Spider-Man jokes for them to quickly stop fighting. The grown-ups have arrived. Thing yells at Daken that he comes after his family after all they did for him. Pointing his blaster at Daken, Iron Man tells him that, whatever this is, it’s over. Understand? Daken remarks ah, his intricate master plan foiled. Alas, he faints in terror. With that, Daken throws himself backwards off of the building.

When Spider-Man asks his allies if they think he has a parachute, Ms. Marvel informs him that Daken is dying of a terminal disease, ya moron. If there weren’t people down there, he’d hit she’d be happy to let the bastard explode. When she grabs hold of Daken’s arm and stops his fall, Ms. Marvel states that she’s going to be washing her hands a lot tonight. Just touching him makes her feel ill. Daken retorts that the lady doth protest too much. He can tell she likes the dangerous ones. Once they are closer to the ground, Daken extends his claws, nicking Ms. Marvel in the hand and allowing him to escape her grasp.

After he thanks her for the escape, Daken comes to the realization that, with no healing factor, this will hurt. Crashing to the ground, Daken remarks that it’s a new experience for him to hear bones snap and tendons tear and to realize that they will not immediately start to right themselves. This illness, it makes him… ordinary. Like one of the banal and grey people. The oh-so-easily harmed people. As Daken takes off down the street, Iron Man sees him and gives the call for the Avengers to assemble at 5th Avenue, south of Bryant Park. Reaching a shop where three people are gathered in front, Daken yells out of them to get out of the way. After Ms. Marvel crashes through some nearby glass, Daken ducks in to the store.

As he does, he says that he is like the lowest common denominator dullards, with their jobs and their babies and their obesity and their ugliness. And their wonderfully unimaginative and uniform dress sense. God bless their herd mentality. Donning a jacket and a ball-cap, Daken gets on the escalator and blends in with the other shoppers. Reaching the top of the escalator, Daken drops to his knees and begins to cough violently. Looking down at the blood on his hand, he says not yet… he can’t die yet. He won’t allow it. Reaching into his costume, Daken pulls out a handful of Heat pills and looks at them – the blood of the Pride, the strength of the Pride. His already dying body won’t be able to handle this amount. He never took close to this number before. But if you’re dying anyway…

Once he dons the pills, Thing arrives behind him and calls out look who he found. Boy, is he glad he’s the one that got to catch up to him. Guess what, bozo? Removing his ball-cap, Daken says oh God, he’s going to say “It’s clobberin’ time,” isn’t he? Empowered by the Heat drug, Daken knocks Thing down with a mighty punch to his jaw. Standing over him, Daken tells Grimm that out of all of that saccharine, horribly outdated post-nuclear family, he was the one he hated spending time with the most. At least the others were attractive or smart. Grimm says family. That’s why he hates them. They’re family. He geddit. Logan’s no saint but this… it ain’t cos of him an’ he knows it. This is all him. At that moment, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Ms. Marvel show up. Looking over at them, Daken remarks ah yes, Logan… He’d almost forgotten about him.

Using his enhanced strength, Daken slams his fists on the ground and creates a massive hole in the mall floor. When he does, he feels the building exhale and swallow like a gangrenous whale choking down vomit as the floors above and below fall and he somehow stands unmoved. The people scatter and fall like burning confetti on an arsonist’s wedding day. And the primary colored costumes (the heroes) flicker into action. Reaching out for the gray nothings (civilians), sheltering the ordinary as though it were special, somehow making them special in the process. And, to his horror, the costumes gain power and become fully formed. They become… heroes. Look… they are wonderful. He is nothing.

Leaping out of a nearby window, Daken states that he is a dying, flailing, angry little insect… entirely at the mercy of higher powers. Impotent. He used to be beautiful. …Used to be… but now it’s ending.

At that moment, members of the SWAT team report that the suspect has been spotted heading into Times Square. All Times Square stores and offices have been evacuated. As the heroes – Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Human Torch, Invisible Woman and Thing corner the fallen Daken, a voice tells them to get outta their way. Cap turns around and begins to tell them they can’t but Thor tells him no… a father and a son.

When Logan pops his claws and walks up to his son, Daken tells him “Hello, Logan” in Japanese. Attempting to get to his feet, Daken asks Logan doesn’t he want to know why he did all this? When Logan tells him no, Daken asks huh? Looking out into the crowd, Daken sees what he appears to be Donna Kiel but she disappears. Daken replies no, of course not. Before he does it, he has something he needs to say to him. Getting to his feet, Daken gives Logan a hug and tells him he’s sorry. He’s so sorry. But there was actually one large bomb after all. He’d run back to his precious new school if he were him. See if he can save it and his students. It’s on a timer.

Just then, a large explosion occurs. A NYPD helicopter reports that they just blew up half of Times Square. While Cap wonders where Daken is, Reed states that Daken planned this, led them to this spot. Cap gives the order to the Avengers to find Daken but Logan tells him to forget it, he’s gone. Making his way over to Thor, Logan tells him to fly him to Westchester as fast as he can. Now!

Once they reach the Jean Grey School, Logan rushes into a room, kicks down the door and opens up a case, expecting to find a bomb. Instead, all he finds is a stuffed Wolverine toy.

In my last moments, I say, with honesty and without bravado, that death does not scare me. I have known nothingness for so long already. And that’s what I so badly wanted to leave him with… nothing. No body for them to bury. Always that element of doubt. No evil master plan. No point to any of this. Wouldn’t all that be delicious, I thought. My final triumph of nihilistic intellect. My parting gesture to a lesser mind. To leave Logan scrambling for meaning for years afterwards. To leave him bemused, knowing he never had power over me. That, after all, was what he deserved. Him… And it was only ever about him. I suppose I can be honest about that now. Here at the finale. But, when a man finds that he is dying he discovers that all he ever has been is a puppet to his wounds and weaknesses. I so desperately wanted to leave him with nothing.


Characters Involved: 


Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing (all Future Foundation)

Captain America, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man, Thor and Wolverine (all Avengers)

Beast and Iceman (both X-Men)

Various unnamed police in New York City

Various unnamed residents and visitors in New York City

(in Daken’s hallucinations)

Donna Kiel

Story Notes: 

Daken first befriended members of the Fantastic Four back in Dark Wolverine #76.

Daken and Donna Kiel’s “relationship” ended back in Daken: Dark Wolverine #20.

This issue marks the final issue in this series.

Daken’s first appearance was way back in Wolverine Origins #10, published in March 2007.

Issue Information: 
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