Dark Wolverine #86

Issue Date: 
July 2010
Story Title: 
Reckoning: Part Three

Daniel Way & Marjorie Liu (writers), Stephen Segovia (pencils), Cam Smith (inks), 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), Stephen Segovia with Rain Beredo (cover art)

Brief Description: 

On the streets of Ankara, Wolverine and Skaar face off against Daken and Romulus. During the battle, Wolverine and Daken are pretty evenly matched but Romulus is able to gain the upper hand on Skaar. Eventually, Romulus knocks Skaar away and into some soldiers who had arrived on the scene. Skaar tells them to leave for this isn’t their fight but they don’t and proceed to attack Skaar. After Skaar turns his attention towards the soldiers, Cloak teleports Wolverine to a building top and tells him that he needs to get his act together. He wants to save his son, but it isn’t happening. He doesn’t want to be saved. The next day, in Damascus, Romulus tells Daken about his history. Just then, Daken turns on Romulus and attacks him. As he goes to deliver the killing blow, Romulus is teleported away. Realizing that it was Wolverine’s doing, Daken angrily yells his name.

Full Summary: 

On the streets of Ankara, standing next to Romulus and facing off against Wolverine and Skaar, Daken thinks to himself that he doesn’t dream of what might have been. Not now. Maybe, once. Long ago. When he was small. He dreamed of his mother. If she had lived. It’s good she didn’t. She would have been in the way.

Staring his father in the face, Daken tells him “hello big daddy” and asks if he’s come to spank him. When Wolverine doesn’t answer, Daken says “right.” Holding out his arms, he tells him he’ll settle for a hug.

At the same time, Skaar tells Romulus “let’s finish this.” Engaging Skaar in battle, Romulus tells him that he will finish nothing and calls him a weak, ignorant… Commencing his battle with Daken, Wolverine asks him when he is going to learn. When Daken answers never, Wolverine adds that he’ll never stop being amazed that he has a son who isn’t man enough to live with even a shred of honor.

Leaping backwards, Daken remarks that’s rich: he and honor. Whatever he calls it. He’d rather die than be that weak. Wolverine tells his son not to make him help him along. Daken says do it. Kill him if he can, please. Taking a swing at Romulus, Skaar exclaims “die!” Dodging the massive fist, Romulus tells him he won’t have that honor. Firing back with a punch to Skaar’s face, Romulus says to him that he’s no better than an animal. Continuing to punch him across the face, Romulus adds that he’s a half-breed outcast with dirty blood. He is nothing.

Falling back and regrouping, Skaar mentions to Romulus that he was holding back when they met before, pretending to be weak. Smiling, Romulus responds that he’ll make him his before this day is over. He’ll be licking his feet and mewling for his approval when he’s done with him. Enraged, Skaar slams his mighty fists on the ground, which in turn flings Romulus into the air.

Down the street, a group of men wearing military gear makes their way towards the battle up ahead. One of the soldiers asks another if he can hear that. It sounds like an animal roaring. Another soldier tells him yes, but for him to look at all the smoke. The solider asks if it was a bomb. Another states they wouldn’t call them out for a bomb. He doesn’t think. The last time those Kurd terrorist blew up a car, they brought in investigators, a special team to clean up the body parts.

One of the soldiers says he remembers. He then adds that he thinks he’s going to be sick. This is real, isn’t it? They’re going to fight, maybe kill, or die? What are they even doing there? They’re not soldiers. His buddy tells him to just stay close. If he watches his back, he’ll watch his and by tonight, they’ll be sitting at home safe. The other soldier asks safe? He can’t even remember how to load his gun.

Once they disembark from the vehicle, the military commander yells at them to quit talking and to get moving. Observing another explosion and cars flying into the air, one of the soldiers points out this is wrong, can’t be the Kurds. When another of the soldiers hears snarling, he asks the commander what if this is something else. Does he know who they’re fighting? The commander tells him to shut up and stop thinking. Pointing up ahead, he gives the order for them to charge in and shoot to kill.

Just then, Skaar flies in and crashes into a nearby vehicle and knocks down some of the soldiers. Upon seeing them, Skaar tells them to run. One of the soldiers tells his buddies to hurry and grab the wounded and retreat. Defiant, the commander picks himself up off the ground and orders them to attack him. Walking away from them, Skaar tells them this is not their fight and to leave. Ignoring him, the commander proceeds to fire his weapon into Skaar’s back. Enraged, Skaar turns around and yells at them to leave.

Facing off against Daken, Wolverine tells him this is never going to end. If Daken kills him, it still won’t end. He doesn’t know anything about revenge. All he’s doing is screaming in the dark and no one cares. No one hears him, no one ever will. Except him. And he knows as well as he does that all he feels is sorry for him, and maybe, sorry about himself, too. He can’t stand that. He can’t stand being nothing to nobody, but him. When Daken tells him he’s a fool, Wolverine says to him to grow up.

Just then, as Daken lunges at his father, Cloak arrives and teleports Wolverine away and on top of a building. Once Cloak releases him, and Wolverine sees Skaar fighting members of the military, he exclaims damn it. Cloak tells him wait but Logan remarks that Romulus and Daken are gone. Gone, and everything else is shot to hell. Removing his mask, Logan says to Cloak this is his fault. Cloak tells him the only thing he’s responsible for is that big dumb blind spot he’s got. Even has a name – Daken.

Logan tells him not to start but Cloak says someone needs to. He then tells him to be honest. This was never about Romulus. All he cared about, all he ever cared about, was saving his son. Problem is – he doesn’t want to be saved. He hates his guts. He probably thinks Romulus is a better father, twisted as that may be. And don’t tell him, don’t even pretend, that doesn’t burn him up. He knows this is his fault, all of it. He feels guilty. He fells angry. He feels responsible for a son he didn’t know he had. Well, too bad. He has other responsibilities now – to him, Skaar, Banner. He needs to put aside his feelings for Daken. Or else they’re all screwed. Face facts, his son can’t be trusted. And if he thinks differently, then they can’t trust him.

The next day, in Damascus, Syria, Daken and Romulus are in a hotel room. As Romulus pours himself a glass of hot tea, Daken eats an apple and looks out into the city and a pigeon. He thinks to himself that he dreamed last night. He dreamed of the end of the world, in flame. He dreamed of blood and fates, wolves howling at a red sky, men screaming, dying underfoot. He dreamed he was king and the gods were dead. He was in hell and hell was good.

Sipping his tea, Romulus states that it’s odd, the things one forgets. Time erases so much. He existed when humans still lived in caves, hunting and rutting and playing at being something more than mindless beasts. They used to treat fire like a god in those days, and feed parts of themselves to the flames for no better reason than some fool took the notion that fire might be appeased by hair and flesh. Imagine what they thought of him – god of the hunt, god of war, god of blood, and sacrifice and power. He could have asked for anything and received it. But all he wanted was obedience, faith, the certainty of his own supremacy. He had it. But it meant so little, in time. It was too easy. Humans were too easy but they were all he had. And he lost even them, for a time. Nothing lasts unless you will it so. Gods are forgotten. Even he, who was a god, forgot how that happened. Time, he supposes. But he adapted.

He was reborn, again and again, and each time he pulled deeper into the shadows, growing stronger in all those tenuous ways he values so dearly. He built his empire. He will never stop building it. He doesn’t fear death. He doesn’t remember that he ever feared it. But being without, without power, without all he built, it gives him pause. The world no longer tolerates gods. And the only way for him to keep what is his, the only way for Daken to maintain what power he’s gained, is to stay hidden.

Gritting his teeth, Daken states that the easiest way for him to keep Romulus hidden is to kill him. With that, Daken slashes Romulus across his gut with both of his claws. As Romulus collapses to the floor, bleeding, Daken says to him so he doesn’t fear death. He was a god, to cavemen. That’s something. You know, if you’re into that. Daken then tells Romulus that Wolverine had no intention of exposing him. That was a lie. As for the rest, quite honestly, he doesn’t know what his plans are. If he did, he sure as hell wouldn’t have allowed himself to be stabbed in the guts, fake Muramasa blade or no, in order to draw him out of hiding. But he’s taking it in stride. He had an epiphany recently, a vision, preceded by a moment of self-doubt. It was very deep. He really got into himself. He won’t bore him with the details.

When Romulus asks Daken why he’s doing this, Daken tells him that, years ago, he trained him, trained him to be a worthy successor. Whatever. Now he just wants him dead. And he’s not going to let Wolverine have the… honor… of taking his life. Not when he always intended for Wolverine to take his throne. “Him. Not me. Him.”

Romulus tells Daken that he can’t be surprised. Perhaps, he had fostered his hatred for him, but he never expected him to be so blinded by his feelings that he would fail to realize the opportunities that being his son could give him. He could have learned something from him. Like how a man can cultivate power so effortlessly, without even meaning to, or wanting to. Staring at him, Daken says to Romulus that he was nothing but a pawn to him, a chip to be played against Wolverine. Fine. That’s fine. But that’s not the reason he wants him dead. It’s not what he did to him, it’s what he didn’t do. Romulus asks what he didn’t do… He means, he didn’t love him, like a son.

Daken yells at him “damn you, Romulus. Damn you to hell.” Romulus tells him no. Daken asks no and kicks Romulus in the gut so he can see him. When Romulus mutters something, Daken asks him what he said. Romulus repeats “I am what you will become.” Enraged, Daken pops his inside claw and goes to drive his claws into Romulus. When his claws find nothing but air, Daken remarks this isn’t possible and wonders where Romulus went to. Realizing that it was Wolverine, Daken angrily yells his name at the top of his lungs.

Characters Involved: 





Various unnamed soldiers

Various unnamed residents in Ankara

Story Notes: 

Daken was stabbed by Wolverine with a fake Muramasa blade back in Dark Wolverine #85.

This story is continued in Wolverine Origins #48.

“I am what you will become” is the same thing Sabretooth said to Wolverine back in Wolverine (3rd series) #55, right before Wolverine decapitated him with the Muramasa blade.

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