Dark Wolverine #78

Issue Date: 
November 2009
Story Title: 
My Hero: Part 1

Daniel Way & Marjorie Liu (writers), Stephen Segovia (art), Marte Gracia (colors), VC’s Cory Petit (letters & production), Jody LeHeup (assistant editor), Jeanine Schaefer (editor), Axel Alonso (executive editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer), Greg Land with Morry Hollowell (cover art), Daniel Acuna (variant cover)

Brief Description: 

At Avengers Tower, Norman Osborn discovers that the video of Daken terrorizing innocent citizens has made it onto the web. Infuriated, he tries to determine who put the video on the web, but comes up empty handed. Osborn then initiates another plan. Over time, he gathers Emmy Doolin, the Inquisitor and Cutthroat and has them break Moses Magnum free from a federal courtroom. During the riot, Cutthroat snaps Aryan’s neck as they depart. Osborn then sends Daken to take the new crew of losers out so his image can improve. During all of this, Daken secretly presents Moonstone a gift.

Full Summary: 

While he is sitting in his office, one of Norman Osborn’s assistants comes in and tells him that he needs to see something. Osborn asks doesn’t he always? So what is it? Aliens poised to incinerate the Earth, X-Men drunk in the lobby, flying monkeys? His assistant tells him that he should check his e-mail. There’s a link; a video. They only just found it but their techs say it’s been available for most of the night. They’re trying to contain it, but by their estimates it’s already been viewed by over a million people. It’s a video depicting Daken, dressed as Wolverine, viciously attacking some thugs and putting innocent civilians in danger. Osborn angrily states that video was classified. No one, no one but him, was to have access to it. He wants to know where it came from and he wants to know who is responsible for the leak.

In a secluded room, one of Osborn’s tech employees discovers that the video was uploaded to the internet from a public computer there in New York City. His supervisor informs him that he wants the surveillance records of that spot at that moment. When the tech guy states that he has it and that he’s alerting the local authorities of his face now, his supervisor says to call the guy a terrorist. That should get their attention.

On the streets of New York, a young man is beaten up and taken away in cuffs. As he is, he informs the authorities that he didn’t know what was on the disk. A chick just handed it to him and gave him cash to put it on the net. The authorities order him to describe her and tell them everything. The young man describes her as a gorgeous blonde with breasts like torpedoes but nervous. Not too smart; he saw inside her purse, just for a second.

As the young man is taken away, the authorities discuss that the man saw part of a name on the credit card. The first name was Robert and three letters D-E-V. Maybe a husband’s card; could be a boyfriend. They did a search and found a lot of possibilities, but only one of them is a journalist, not married. But there’s a picture on the internet of him, with a woman. The order is then given to one of the agents to confirm that she’s the same person who approached the teen. If she is, then find her and locate the man. They are to use extreme caution, they need them alive.

Inside the lingerie shop, a buxom blonde wearing only a bra and thong calls her friend on her cell phone and asks them if they like the picture she sent them. The person on the other end tells her that it was titillating but that’s not why they called. The lady replies of course not. She recognizes that tone, her “so serious” man. She told him, Robert doesn’t know we’re... The man on the other end says to her “Bunny.” Bunny continues “...having wild crazy mind-blowing sex all over his apartment every time he goes away on assignment. Seriously, her knees are still weak from last ni...”

The man on the other end yells “BUNNY” and tells her to shut up and listen. There’s a problem, like they talked about. Does she remember? Bunny states that he warned her there could be trouble, but... The man on the other end informs her that there’s another man outside the store she’s in. Can she see him – black suit, large, with sunglasses on? He’s there to arrest her. And she knows what happens to beautiful woman in prison.

As Bunny begins to panic, the man on the other end tells her to leave now. There’s an exit at the back of the store. She can’t stop for anything. Bunny remarks that she hasn’t paid, but the guy tells her for god’s sake, run. As she runs out the door, half dressed, Bunny asks her friend where he is. He tells her that he is close, protecting her. He then tells her to go to the end of the alley and not to turn. Run straight across the street, he’s waiting for her. Reaching the end of the alley, Bunny says that there are too many cars, she can’t cross the street. The man tells her to trust him, he won’t let anything happen, he promises. He loves her. The man then tells Bunny to hurry, they’re coming.

As she tears off into the street, Bunny is killed by an oncoming bus. Inside a nearby book store, a number of patrons witness what has just happened outside. They swear they saw her jump, like she wanted to be hit. Hanging up his cell phone and smiling, holding some sex books under his arm, Daken picks up an old lady’s purse that she left on the counter and proceeds to hand it to her. Turning around, the old lady calls Daken a sweet boy but she’s sure everyone tells him that. Smiling, Daken tells her that she’d be surprised.

Overlooking New York from his patio and clutching a metal rail, Osborn asks his two assistants, one male and one female if she was warned; is that why she ran? The female replies that cell phone records indicate that she was speaking with someone just prior to her death, not the journalist. Osborn asks that they’re certain. The man states that Mr. Devon is in Iraq. They’ve been monitoring his calls. The lady adds that they’ve been unable to locate the person with whom Ms. Brennan was speaking but, based on the picture that was sent from her phone, they have reason to believe the conversation was personal in nature and nothing more.

Crushing the steel rail with his bare hands, Osborn angrily asks if they do now. The lady tells him that they believe it’s more likely that one of their men spooked her into running. Turning around, Osborn tells them to fire the bastard then. And find out how this reporter is involved and who gave him access. They should have brought Mr. Devon in by now. He doesn’t care how many Pulitzers he’s won. He wants answers or else all of them will be looking for new employment. He then tells them to get the hell out.

At that moment, Daken arrives and says that he heard what happened. Osborn says that everyone heard and saw, and replayed, over and over again. Osborn then tells Daken that he pisses him off, almost as much as his father. Daken replies fine, but he needs to put the blame where it really belongs. He has a security leak. Osborn tells him that it’s being taken care of, as they speak. They have a bigger problem. The video has been pulled down, but it’s still out there, impossible to retrieve every copy. So what they do is make people forget it or look at it in a different light. They need to fix his, Daken’s, image. Daken replies his, Osborn’s, image he means. Osborn tells him to listen to him. He will do what it takes to fix this. He’s already set everything in motion. All he has to do is play the game.

At a local department store, an overweight manager walks up to his attractive employee Emmy and tells her that all he gets is complaints about her. Another one, just this morning, called her surly, unresponsive, and uncooperative. He doesn’t know what her problem is. Smart, attractive girl like her, customers might stop complaining if she smiled every now and then. Taking his pen and poking Emmy’s backside, the manager tells her that maybe she should smile at him. Coming close to her, he tells her that she should think about that and stop by his office during her break but not to take too long.

Once he leaves, a man walks up to the counter and tells her that she looks tragic. Covering her face, Emmy asks him if she can help him. The man replies that he hopes so. He’s looking to take out several targets. Close range, quick, successive shots. Emmy tells him that they carry three different target pistols, all of which are perfectly capable of... The man cuts her off and tells her that she misunderstands. He needs something with real firepower. The targets will be wearing body armor.

Removing her hand from her face, Emmy Doolin (firearms expert) tells the man that she really doesn’t know anything about... something like that. The man tells Ms. Doolin he disagrees. He thinks she knows everything about something like that. Looking at the man sternly, Emmy asks him how he knows her name. The man, Norman Osborn, informs her he is the director of H.A.M.M.E.R., he knows a lot of things. A more important question is, just how badly does she want to get out of there?

Inside a house, the Inquisitor (an enhanced interrogation specialist) has a man bound to a chair. When he begins to sing “I’m a little teapot, short and stout. Here is my handle, here is my spout” and holding a gas can, the bound man begs him to stop. Just tell him what he wants but just don’t hurt them. Petting the bound dogs on the bed, the Inquisitor tells Judge Jones that he has a strange idea of family. But whatever works for him, works for him.

He then tells the judge that he’s hearing a case tomorrow, something to do with a prison race riot. He previously rejected a petition by the press to have the proceedings open to the public. He wants him to reverse his decision. Jones asks that’s it, he put him through hell for that? The Inquisitor says world peace, saving starving children, finding the cure for cancer; would that have made him feel better? He tells him that some men like pain. Some really love causing it. It kind of turns him on, if he knows what he means. Breaking the Judge’s hand, he tells him to consider all of this a preview of what will happen if he tells anyone about their little conversation. Doubled over in pain, Jones says he won’t say a word, he promises. The Inquisitor tells him he knows, because this is what he’s like when he’s gentle. He should see him when he really gets going.

The next day, at the courthouse, members of the press discuss what’s going on while they prepare to go through the metal detectors. One of them mentions that it’s bizarre. Judge Jones hates the press. Another says whatever. He wishes he had kept them out. This is a crap trial, just another racist Nazi dirtbag. He could be home with his kid... While they talk, Cutthroat (master of hand-to-hand combat) makes his way through the metal detector plain clothed and wearing a press badge.

Inside the courtroom, Aryan (white supremacist) is shackled while his attorney tells him honestly that he is so screwed. Aryan sarcastically thanks him when his attorney mentions that he could have at least shaved. Aryan asks him if he has even read his file, they’re not going to let him have a razor. At that moment, the prosecuting attorney calls its first witness to the stand. As Moses Magnum (a superhuman capable of creating seismic generation) stands, Aryan’s attorney tells him to stop looking at him like that, the judge will see him. One of the cops brandishes his pistol and orders Aryan to sit down. Aryan tells his attorney to let him see, he has nothing to hide.

Just then, Cutthroat takes out two of the cops and tells them that maybe they should sit down. Grabbing one of the cop’s handguns, he flips it over to Emmy Doolin, who proceeds to fire away at the people in the courtroom, causing mass chaos to ensue. During the chaos, Emmy shoots the shackles off of Moses, setting him free. When she does, Moses tells her that he thinks he likes her, a lot. Emmy says whatever and then orders him to take care of the building or the next thing she shoots won’t be his cuffs.

When Aryan tries to join their crew, Cutthroat tells him to hold on and asks him where he thinks he’s going. Aryan states that he did what he was asked. He started the damn riot to get that mutie out here exposed for them. As Moses blasts a hole through the wall so they can escape, Cutthroat snaps Aryan’s neck. Getting in their getaway van driven by the Inquisitor, Emmy asks Cutthroat if killing Aryan was part of the plan. Cutthroat replies that they’re a cleaning crew; they don’t need trash. Moses then tells the Inquisitor to hit it. Handing him a cell phone, the Inquisitor says that “he” is expecting his call.

While they leave, Cutthroat gives Emmy a box of mercury-tipped bullets, just like she asked. Emmy replies that won’t be enough. They’ll need something bigger. She can’t take the chance of losing everything all over again. Cutthroat states none of them can. Calling Osborn on the phone, Moses informs him that they did it and puts him on speaker-phone. Osborn greets the gang of murderers and thieves and welcomes them back to the big time. He has a job for them. From the wreckage, a newsman reports live from the remains of the federal courthouse where they’ve just witnessed the mass murder of innocent civilians, in what appears to have been the well-planned breakout of the mutant, Moses Magnum.

In her office, Ms. Marvel aka Moonstone, wearing her nightgown, relaxes with a glass of wine and listens to the news report. The report states that the late afternoon attack, which cut short the lives of at least ten individuals, both in and out of the courtroom. More than that were left with sever injuries. Police have still not identified the man and woman responsible for freeing Moses Magnum, but they are urging extreme caution. Authorities from H.A.M.M.E.R. have been called in to help with the manhunt. They have been told that the Avengers will be joining the search, as well. While she listens to the report, Moonstone hears a knock at the door and goes to answer it. Opening the door, she finds nobody there but does find a sex book and a single flower. As she picks it up, Daken watches her from afar.

Watching the situation on monitors, Daken tells Osborn that he needs to get laid but not to worry; he’s not offering. Osborn informs Daken that he needs to take the situation more seriously. He went to a great deal of trouble to set this up. Daken says he knows, apparently people died for it. He scares an old woman, which he calls a P.R. disaster. But when Osborn tries to improve the image of his organization, ten people lose their lives. Ironic, doesn’t he think? Osborn replies that he doesn’t want to know what he thinks. And he knows he really doesn’t give a damn.

He then tells Daken that if he makes this right, maybe he’ll be convinced that he’s worthy enough to wear his father’s uniform. Osborn says he’s been briefed on Moses and the others. They are lowlife has-beens, failures. Does he think he can handle it? Did he make it easy enough for him? Popping his claws, Daken says that he’s sure he can manage. Osborn tells him he hopes so. They’ll be broadcasting after a short delay through an anonymous feed hooked directly into newsroom networks. No sound, just images. He then tells Daken to refrain from death and make it clean. They want the public to see him at his most noble and heroic. Daken says maybe he should make him wear a costume from Disneyland, then. They don’t want to scare the kiddies. As he leaves the semi, Osborn reminds Daken that he’ll be watching him, everyone will be watching. Smiling, Daken states don’t he know it.

Inside a warehouse, Emmy tells her compatriots that something’s wrong. Moses tells her that she’s just figuring that out now? Emmy says that she knew it from the start but she was desperate – now, not so much. Moses says blood on your hands will do that and then asks her if she ever kill a man before today. Emmy says no, but that’s not why she’s concerned. She’s got a bad feeling. Cutthroat remarks that he agrees. The entire city is after them – police, H.A.M.M.E.R., the Avengers. Not to mention this job they’ve been hired to do... The Inquisitor finishes his thought for him – it’s suicide, delightful, delicious suicide. Moses states that they’re not dead yet but he would rather be if it meant going back to prison. Face it, they all feel the same, or they wouldn’t have wound up there. Whatever each of them has got behind them makes this crap look good.

Cutthroat says that they’re all acting like girls. Any candy-ass could do this job. Nothing but sabotage, easy as bang-bada-boom. Emmy says fine, but take a look at them - three humans and a mutant, all loners. Why would someone like Norman Osborn, who can recruit anyone in the world... Moses says because they are losers and no cop is smart enough to link folks like them to someone like Osborn. They’re perfect. Emmy says maybe but then whey have them break him out and draw so much heat. Why make their jobs that much harder, straight from the get-go? She’s telling them, something is wrong.

Just then, the small dog the Inquisitor is holding begins to bark at something in the shadows. When they look to see what is emerging from the shadows, Daken tells them “boo.”

Characters Involved: 

Daken, Norman Osborn, and Moonstone (all “Dark” Avengers)

Emmy Doolin, the Inquisitor, Cutthroat, and Moses Magnum


Various unnamed HAMMER agents

Unnamed teen who put Daken’s video on the internet

Bunny Brennan and various unnamed patrons of a lingerie shop

Judge Jones and various unnamed guards, members of the press, and observers in a federal courtroom

Various unnamed residents of New York City

Various unnamed patrons and employees of a department store

Story Notes: 

Emmy Doolin is the same one who appeared in Wolverine (2nd series) #45-46. Then, she was obsessed with the Hunter in Darkness for killing her father.

The Inquisitor is an old Wolverine villain, appearing in Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #4, 7-9.

Cutthroat is an old villain of Captain America and associate of the Red Skull.

The Aryan in this issue is the same one who was incarcerated in the Cage back in Wolverine (2nd series) #164.

Moses Magnum is an old X-Men villain.

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