Dark Wolverine #77

Issue Date: 
October 2009
Story Title: 
The Prince: Part 3

Daniel Way & Marjorie Lie (writers), Giuseppe Camuncoli (pencils), Onofrio Catacchio (inks), Marte Gracia (colors), VC’s Cory Petit (letters & production), Jody LeHeup (assistant editor), John Barber with Jeanine Schaefer (editor), Axel Alonso (executive editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer), Leinil Francis Yu with Jason Keith (cover art), Rafa Sandoval with Roger Bonet and Marte Gracia (young guns variant cover), Stephen Segovia with Rain Beredo (70th anniversary frame variant)

Brief Description: 

At Avengers Tower, Daken continues to undermine Osborne, now by irritating Ares by telling him that he is a puppet and that he needs to remind everybody who he is. Meanwhile, in his office, Osborn is attempting to blackmail the Fantastic Four but they won’t agree to his terms. Before they leave, Reed secretly implants a device on Osborn’s computer. Just then, Ares and Venom show up and block their path. Osborn soon discovers what Reed has done and destroys his laptop. Meanwhile, out in the hall, Bullseye shoots an explosive tipped arrow into Daken’s groin and begins to torture him. However, when the wall behind them explodes and the Fantastic Four make their way out, Daken and Bullseye are knocked down by the flying rubble. Reed goes to check on Daken, with whom he had an agreement to infect Osborn’s computer, but Daken tells him to go. Once they leave, Bullseye detonates the arrow. At the Baxter Building, Reed believes that Daken sacrificed himself so that they could get off free but learns that they got nothing from Osborn’s computer. In a medical facility, Moonstone checks on Daken and gives him his cell phone. When she leaves, Daken sees that he got a message from Reed that says they owe him. Smiling, Daken says ‘yes, you do.’

Full Summary: 

There is little difference between obstacle and opportunity. Entrepreneurs understand that and are able to turn both to their advantage.

While Ares is bench-pressing a tremendous amount of weight, Daken sits next to him and does curls with a very small dumbbell. As he does, he comments that he is really feeling the burn. Irritatingly looking over at him, Ares calls Daken an idiot. He hates idiots, he kills idiots. Wiping his brow, Daken tells Ares that he’s such an animal but that’s what he likes about him. After he asks Ares if he knows what he doesn’t like, Ares tells him that he doesn’t know, nor does he care. Yes you do. I’m making sure that you do.

Daken tells him that he doesn’t like how he’s subjugated himself. He does know what that means, doesn’t he? It means that he’s been marginalized, enslaved, by a lesser man. I could do this without my mutant powers, but it would take longer. Time, unfortunately is not on my side. I need you now. But not this you. I need the other you. The one that would shed a gallon of his own blood for just a taste of his enemy’s. The one that can shake the earth with his hands. Enraged, Ares attempts to hit Daken with the weight he’s pressing but misses. Ares tells Daken enough of this, he is Ares, he is a god. Daken replies that he’s an employee and he’ll remain just that until he shows Osborn what he really is.

After Ares shouts that he’ll crush him; Daken tells him no, he won’t because, if he tries, Osborn’ll go after his son. Lowering the weight, Ares asks how. Daken tells him that the other night at the party – the Fantastic Four. They made him look weak. They made all of them look weak but Ares most of all. He then tells Ares that they’re right there, right now. They’ve all forgotten who he is, make them remember. Putting down the weight, Ares walks out without saying a word.

Following him out of the gym shortly after, Daken walks past Venom eating some popcorn. Upon seeing Daken, Venom asks if he struck out with Ares. Daken replies that he’s beginning to think that he’s completely misunderstood. Venom says that he understands he’s a total perv. Sitting down next to him, Daken says to him ‘so.’ Venom asks ‘yeah?’ Reaching into Venom’s popcorn, Daken starts to talk to Venom about the Fantastic Four.

In Osborn’s office, the members of the Fantastic Four stand in front of his desk. Osborn greets them and proceeds to tell them that he had a very pleasant dream about this the other night. Johnny Storm says to him that he hopes to God that Osborn wasn’t naked. Leering at Sue Richards, Osborn tells Johnny no… well, not with him anyway. With a disgusted look on her face, Sue tells Osborn not to make her vomit. Standing between his wife and Osborn, Reed Richards tells Osborn enough. He gave them an ultimatum to come there or face the consequences. What does he want?

Osborn then shows a video on a screen behind him of Ben Grimm beating up Daken. Cracking his knuckles, Ben asks so what, it’s not the first time anyone’s seen him beating some punk. Johnny adds besides, Daken was trespassing. Osborn states that Daken is an agent of the U.S. government and attacking him is a federal offense. He says to Johnny and Ben that they would know that if they had an ounce of sense. Then again, he’s convinced Reed surrounded himself with idiots, simply to make himself feel smarter. No offense. Sue says to Osborn that if he was going to threaten and insult them, a simple phone call would have been sufficient.

Osborn tells her “oh my, no.” A phone call is a courtesy given to friends and allies. He would like nothing better than to have Mr. Grimm arrested and publicly flogged in the media and make them all twist in the wind and tear them down a notch. They deserve it. But he’s a gentleman. And he’s willing to cut a deal. He wants full access to their facility. All their files, plans, whatever he wants and they will not interfere in any way with anything he does, ever.

Ben angrily replies screw that, he’d rather go to jail. Reed stops Ben and says to Osborn that he’s named a price that doesn’t fit the crime. Why would he ever think they’d agree to those terms? Osborn says that he didn’t, but they don’t have a choice. Getting up from his seat and walking towards the front of the desk, Osborn tells them that he has one of his representatives preparing a press conference and that major news outlets have been called. Fifteen minutes from now, unless he says differently, the whole world will see the tape. That, combined with his assertion that they are currently under investigation by the federal government, will make quite a spin. Don’t they think?

Reed tells him those are empty threats. Osborn replies no, he’ll have probable cause to have them all arrested. By nightfall, their children will be taken from them. Even if this all blows over, and he’ll make sure it doesn’t, they’ll never get them back. Not unless they really want to become fugitives. And they can’t imagine the people who would like to raise them. Enraged, Sue calls him a sick monster and extends a force field which smacks Osborn in the face and bloodies him. Picking himself up off the floor, Osborn smirks and says yes, but he thinks they have a deal and extends his hand to Reed.


The previous afternoon, Daken was at the Baxter Building offering his hand in friendship saying to Reed saying ‘if he’ll have him.’ Reed tells him no deal. Not unless he does something for them. Daken chuckles and says here he thought action based on the simple goodness of a man’s heart was all but extinct. Reed says life isn’t that simple anymore. Daken asks was it ever? Reed tells him that if Osborn is setting them up for a public takedown, then they need an appropriate countermeasure, something to hang over his head. Daken replies no, he wants more than that. He wants to expose him, destroy him; he wants the public to burn him in effigy. That is what he fears most.

Turning to Sue, Reed says to her that they always knew that Osborn would subvert the Avengers, use them as cover. What they couldn’t believe was that it actually happened that people could be so blind. Ben comments trusting all that media spin. Bunch of idiots. Johnny says that people believe what they want to. Daken adds until something happens to make them stop.

Reed informs Daken that they’ll need access to his files, plans, everything. They want to know every dirty secret. Daken replies that will be very dirty. He hopes he has enough space on his hard drive and a strong stomach. He’ll also have to be onsite. Osborn’s computers can only be accessed by him. Reed replies that he’s aware of that. He has something that should allow him into his network but he’d have to be within a few feet of Osborn’s personal computer. Daken asks that he’s been planning this for a while, hasn’t he. If he gives it to him, it’ll be done. When Reed doesn’t answer, Daken says ‘or not.’ Extending his hand, Reed asks if it can be done. Shaking his hand, Daken says of course, he can make anything happen.


Grabbing Osborn’s wrist, Reed tells him that they have no deal. Not now, not ever. They don’t play with terrorists. As the Fantastic Four walk away, Osborn yells at Reed that if he walks away from him, he better be prepared for the consequences. Turning around, Norman tells him that if he tries it, they’ll destroy him. They might just do that anyway.

Just then, a dagger is tossed Reed’s way. At the last second, Sue stops it with a force field. Blocking their way, Ares and Venom stand before the Fantastic Four. Ares then informs them they’re not going anywhere yet. Osborn begins to tell Ares and Venom don’t they dare but he hears a beeping sound coming from his computer. Looking at it, he sees that a download is currently in progress. When Osborn says ‘Reed,’ Reed looks at him with a stern look and tells him game on. As Sue, Ben, and Johnny begin to engage Ares and Venom in battle, Reed stretches towards Osborn. Before he can get there, Osborn pushes a button that makes his laptop catch fire. He then asks Reed if that’s the best he can do. Reed replies that he doesn’t want to know the answer to that question.

Outside Osborn’s office, Daken begins to walk down the hallway. From behind, Bullseye shoots an arrow through Daken’s groin. When Daken falls to the ground, Bullseye says to him ‘well now, here’s a sight.’ He then asks Daken what he has to say now. Daken weakly says to him that it feels good. Twisting the arrow, Bullseye says to him ‘whatever, you son of a bitch.’ Squirreling around this joint like he owns it, always with that big fat grin on his face. He hates that smile. Bullseye then rips out a couple of Daken’s lower teeth and tosses them to the side. He then says to Daken that he doesn’t know what the hell he’s up to, but it ends now. The arrow in him is tipped with an explosive, nothing big, just enough. When he wakes up he has all kinds of other ways to kill him. And he’s gonna take his good, sweet time. Smiling, Daken tells him to try not to like it too much; he’ll think he’s hot for him. Bullseye tells him to kiss it good-night Prince Charming and goes to push the bomb ignition.

Before he can, the wall blows up behind them and the Fantastic Four begin to make their exit out of Osborn’s office. Osborn continues to yell at Ares and Venom to stop this now. Calling them morons, he says that he did not authorize…

As they make their escape, Reed sees Daken laying underneath some rubble. Reed says to him that he’s been tortured and that they’re going to get him out of there. Daken tells him there’s no time and what he got was more important. Nothing will happen to him, he’s his pet Wolverine. Reed still wants to save him but decides against it and the Fantastic Four go to leave. When they do, Bullseye pushes the bomb ignition and an explosion rocks the floor they were on. Thanks to Sue, the Fantastic Four are able to escape without harm. Looking over at Ares and Venom, Osborn remarks expect the best, plan for the worst, prepare to be surprised. Picking up the phone, Osborn tells the person on the other end to let the Fantastic Four go and to tell Ms. McGill to cancel the press conference. Scrap it all; they’ve had a change of plans.

At the Baxter Building, Johnny remarks to his fellow team members that they went about this all wrong. Ben replies that they did the best they could. Not like he can’t take care of himself. Johnny then asks if they saw where the arrow was when it exploded. Looking at his video monitor, Reed states that it’s just what he was afraid of. Norman erased all the data from his computer system. Everything hooked to his network was wiped clean, even his device. Johnny asks that he can talk science at a time like this? Reed replies that’s why Daken sacrificed himself. Sue says no press conference on television, nothing on the news.

Ben asks that if they think they have to worry about jail. Reed says his guess is that video of him wasn’t saved to any of Norman’s off-site data storage units. Sue says so it’s a stalemate, both of them lost. Johnny says that doesn’t help Daken, they promised to help him. Reed responds that they’ll keep their promise somehow. In the meantime, at least they have someone inside Osborn’s organization they can trust.

In a medical facility, Moonstone keeps Daken company while he lies in his bed, hooked up to a number of wires and tubes. When Daken wakes up, Moonstone tells him “hello sunshine” and “welcome back from the dead.” Daken asks how long and Moonstone tells him a couple of days, the damage was severe. When he takes a look under the sheet at his groin area, Daken sees Moonstone looking as well. Moonstone tells him oh please, she was the one who pulled him from the rubble. They’re still scraping him off the walls.

Daken asks about Bullseye, referring to him by his real name of Lester. In reply, Moonstone informs him that he’ll be fine unfortunately. Osborn is ticked at him but more so with Ares and Venom. They screwed up something up. She doesn’t know what exactly but rumor has it that the Fantastic Four tried to download information off Osborn’s computer and failed. Daken comments that she almost sounds sorry about that. Moonstone tells him to hush. As for Ares and Venom, she’s sure those morons will be scrubbing Norman’s toilet with their bare hands for a while. Daken replies that’s not much of a punishment. Man craps roses, or so he’s heard.

Turning to walk away, Moonstone tells Daken that she knew he’d wake up sooner or later. She left some of his things on the nightstand. Daken asks if she’s leaving already and Moonstone tells him yeah, watch and enjoy. Here’s the thing Osborn doesn’t understand. You can reach the top in an instant. You can burn and kill and lie your way there overnight. But to stay, to become something more than a puppet king, you have to build a foundation – deep roots, allies, promises, debts. Not every revolution begins with a bang, sometimes just a whisper. The first thread of a well-laid plan. Blood doesn’t make you a prince, and it won’t build you an empire. But knowing the right people sure as hell will. Taking a look at his cell phone, Daken reads an encrypted message from R. Richards that reads “you’re not alone, we owe you.” Smiling Daken says ‘yes, you do.’

Characters Involved: 

Daken, Norman Osborn, Ares, Bullseye, Moonstone, and Venom (all Dark Avengers)

Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, and Thing (all Fantastic Four)

In Flashbacks:


Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, and Thing (all Fantastic Four)

Story Notes: 

The items in italics in the summary are Daken’s thoughts.

Phobos is Ares son. His story can be followed in the Secret Warriors book. That book chronicles the adventures of Nick Fury’s squad, the Secret Warriors.

Bullseye tossed an arrow into Daken’s shoulder back in Dark Wolverine #75. Daken then used the same arrow, off-panel, to injure the Human Torch. Because it was Bullseye’s arrow though, everybody thought it was him.

In Dark Wolverine #76, Daken went and struck a deal with the Fantastic Four to work against Osborn.

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