Daken: Dark Wolverine #9

Issue Date: 
July 2011
Story Title: 
Collision: Part 4: Conclusion

Daniel Way and Marjorie Liu (writers), Marco Checchetto (art), Frank D’Armata (color art), VC’s Joe Sabino (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: 

Inside the facility, Daken and X-23 team up to take out the monstrous experiments manufactured by Malcolm Colcord. Unbeknownst to them, they are being watched by an unknown individual. In short time, the duo finds Colcord and learns there is an armed bomb inside the facility. Reaching the bomb, Daken and X-23 don’t disarm it, but begin to have a heart to heart conversation about what makes each other tick. When the bomb explodes, the blast engulfs Daken, X-23, and Colcord. Daken and X-23 are able to survive the blast and mutual respect is shown. As Gambit and X-23 prepare to leave Madripoor, Tyger Tiger gives Gambit a kiss. Inside a building somewhere in Madripoor, Daken has handcuffed the still alive, although disfigured, Colcord to a radiator. He tells him he’s not going to kill him and leaves him alone. Leaving the building, Daken is content with himself. He’s on top of the world, on top of life. It’s good to be him.

Full Summary: 

As Daken and X-23 stand side by side and face off against Colcord’s monstrous experiments, Daken thinks to himself that blood will have blood. Blood, alone, moves this world. Blood in the veins. Blood spilled. Bonds made in blood. He never expected this. He never expected her. Colcord was right. She is superb. He doesn’t know how that makes him feel. Maybe he doesn’t want to know…

Just then, one of the monsters attacks Daken and wounds him severely. When X-23 notices it, she pushes Daken into a room that is also housing two Weapon X scientists. Daken begins to disagree but X-23 tells him that he is too wounded to fight. They will tear him apart. As Daken tells her she’s out of her mind, the heavy metal door shuts behind him.

When the door opens again, Daken is fully healed and he sees X-23 kneeling on the ground. He asks her what she’s doing and X-23 tells him that the monsters were children. She killed children. After Daken asks her “so?,” X-23 tells him it matters. Daken tells her that’s what pretending to be a hero does to you. It makes you soft. Removing his mask, he adds that it was a monster. Mindless. Less of a child than even she is.

X-23 states that perhaps that was what it became. But that was not its fault. She then tells Daken to look at the red in the pupils. She has seen something like this before; in her eyes. After a trigger scent was used to induce a mindless, killing rage. She thinks all these… people… were exposed to something similar. It was not enough to alter their bodies. Their minds had to be controlled, as well… The same could be done to him. He knows the power a simple scent can have over someone. You become a puppet. You lose all control. You lose your identity and your power. With a determined look on his face, Daken puts his mask back on and begins to leave the room. When X-23 asks him where he’s going, Daken informs her that he’s going to find Malcolm Colcord. X-23 simply replies “good.”

Inside a control room, an unknown person asks their contact on the other end of the line if they are at a safe distance. When the answer comes back in the positive, the unknown person puts a syringe inside a case and replies excellent. They then add to remember what they told them. They’ll see them when they can. The project will continue.

In the halls in the compound, a guard tells Daken and X-23 to s-stay right there or they’ll… Before he can finish his thought, Daken slices his head off. Continuing to head down the hall and encountering more guards, Daken thinks to himself that he can feel her beside him. He feels her instinct. Both of them, together. Born to kill. Effortless. What does that mean? What does it mean… that he likes it?

Moving down another hallway, Colcord asks the guards that surround him if they set the bomb. The guard confirms that he did and that they only have a few minutes. They set enough explosives to destroy… everything. Just then, Colcord and his guards find themselves face to face with Daken and X-23. Daken asks Colcord about the bomb and proceeds to slice the guards heads off, much to Colcord’s concern. Grabbing hold of his neck, Daken says to him that this must be déjà vu for him. If he didn’t know better, he’d think he likes being cut by his family.

X-23 interjects and asks Colcord if there are any other… experiments… in the facility. Colcord replies that they killed them all. Thank you, by the way. They saved him the trouble of destroying them himself. They were all defective. X-23 states that she wants to find the bomb. Daken says to her that surely she doesn’t want to disable it. When X-23 replies no, she does not, Daken lets Colcord down and tells him that he heard her. Let’s go find the bomb.

In short time, Colcord, X-23 and Daken find the bomb. Seeing that there is 2 minutes and 1 second left on the timer, Daken remarks that they found it with time to spare. Colcord informs them to remove the blue wire to disable the device. Daken asks what’s the rush? Turning to X-23, he asks her if she has any place to be. X-23 answers no. Concerned, Colcord asks that they’re not going to shut down the bomb?

His pleas are ignored when Daken tells Laura that he’s curious about something. He wants to know why. When X-23 asks why what, Daken asks why she limits herself. With 59 seconds left on the timer, X-23 tells Daken that she doesn’t understand his question. Daken remarks that he supposes that answers it. She was raised to be a killer, and she is. It’s in her genes. She’s good at it. By all accounts, that’s all she should aspire to be. And yet, she cares, she has… a heart. He doesn’t know why. X-23 asks what that has to do with limiting herself. Daken answers because caring… is weakness. All these people? They are beneath her. She could take any life in an instant. Her power could be absolute and breathtaking. Grabbing his arm, X-23 tells Daken that she knows.

As the two of them leave Colcord kneeling on the floor, Daken again asks X-23 why she is holding back. X-23 tells him that what she has to prove has nothing to do with power. Before she can expand on her answer, the bomb explodes, engulfing them in the blast.

Outside the facility, Gambit and Tyger Tiger look on in shock as the building explodes. Gambit proceeds to ask Tyger if she’s sure she’s in there. Tyger says that’s what her sources told her. Just then, they see the charred, but alive, bodies of Daken and X-23 emerging from the rubble. Upon seeing Daken, Tyger calls him an idiot. Daken asks her what. Did she think she was coming to his funeral? Tyger says no. She figures that’s a miracle she’ll have to earn.

X-23 tells Daken that she has a question. Daken informs her that Colcord is dead but X-23 says that isn’t the question. She asks him why he limits himself. Daken asks what she means; he doesn’t. X-23 says he cares about power, but that is something he already has. Power comes easy to him. But he chooses not to care. He limits his heart. She doesn’t know why. Unless he thinks caring for others is more dangerous than seeking power. Daken answers that maybe he doesn’t have a heart. As he walks away, Gambit stops X-23 from going after him. Starting to heal, Daken says maybe power is all he has. Or all he needs.

Standing on the docks, Gambit says to X-23 and Tyger that the city is still beautiful. Tyger remarks that it takes its knocks and keeps on fighting. Like Laura. It was good to meet her. She wishes it could have been under better circumstances. Laura says they are alive. The circumstances are fine. When Tyger asks Gambit where he will go, he replies Paris. Gambit invites her to come along, to which Tyger asks if he means give up. She then tells him no. Daken isn’t going to beat her. Madripoor is still hers. Gambit says to her that the next time he comes back, he’ll expect to be reminded of that. Grabbing hold of Gambit, Tyger says that’s a promise and kisses him. When Gambit asks why, Tyger tells him that she’s always wanted to taste him.

Aboard their vessel, Gambit and Laura begin to leave Madripoor. When Gambit asks her what she’s thinking about, Laura tells him blood. She adds that Daken is Wolverine’s son, and he is a killer. She is Wolverine’s clone. She is also a killer. Gambit tells her that’s not all she is. Laura replies she knows. She makes her fate.

Inside a building somewhere in Madripoor, Daken sits in front of a horribly disfigured Malcolm Colcord, who is handcuffed to a radiator. He thinks to himself that fate is ripe for the taking if you have the right intent. Daken then asks Colcord if he really thought he wouldn’t know. Of course he injected himself with the healing factor serum. He’s sure that was his plan all along. Maybe he never even wanted to start another Weapon X project. He just wanted bodies to perfect the serum on. For himself. Maybe to sell. Whatever.

Colcord very weakly says something, causing Daken to lean in and ask him to repeat it. Hearing this time, Daken tells him that it won’t be that easy. He’s not going to kill him. What would be the fun in that? With that, Daken looks the door and begins to leave the building. As he makes his way to the street, he passes by a drunk and a young child. He asks himself what the fun would be in living without these games. What else is there? What else matters? It’s good to be on top. On top of the world. On top of life. It’s good to be him.

Characters Involved: 


Tyger Tiger



Malcolm Colcord

Unnamed, unrecognizable individual inside a control room

Various guards and scientists in the facility run by Colcord

Various residents of Madripoor

Story Notes: 

This issue is part 4 of the Collision cross-over between X-23 and Daken: Dark Wolverine. Part one was X-23 #8, part 2 was Daken: Dark Wolverine #8, part 3 is X-23 #9, and this is part 4.

Malcolm Colcord was once leader of Weapon X in the now defunct Frank Tieri penned Weapon X series. His crew included Agent Zero (Maverick), Aurora, Brent Jackson, Garrison Kane, Jack-in-the-Box, Malcolm Jeffries (Box), Marrow, Mesmero, Reaper, Sauron, Sabretooth, Washout, Wildside, and Dr. Robert Windsor (Mr. Sinister in disguise). He fled after a mutiny in issue #13 along with the assistance of Malcolm Jeffries (Box) and Aurora.

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