Dark Wolverine #90

Issue Date: 
October 2010
Story Title: 
Empire: Prelude

Daniel Way & Marjorie Liu (writers), Mirco Pierfederici (art), 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), Yanick Paquette with Michael LaCombe and Nathan Fairbairn (cover art)

Brief Description: 

In San Francisco, we see a day in the life of Daken when he isn’t out causing havoc. After attending a mutant protest and flirting with a young man, he makes his way to the streets of Chinatown. As he walks them, he thinks about the Zodiac killer and then begins to stalk a young lady, just for fun. Trailing her throughout the day, Daken follows her to a bar where he brushes the back of her neck but avoids being seen. When Logan asks the young lady if all is okay, Daken exits the bar and goes out on the street. He knows his father’s life is small. He doesn’t want it; he wants something else, something more.

Full Summary: 

It’s always the small things. The little details. You have to pay attention to them if you want to create something exceptional. Success is merely a habit of watching for opportunities. And then taking them.

At an anti-mutant rally in San Francisco, a plain clothed Daken watches two sides of protestors and listens to what they have to say. One side says “let’s try preemptive peace. Peace and love.” The other – “do you want your children going to school with a nuclear bomb? Hell, no!” Daken thinks to himself what a waste of time. They should dispense with the placards and use those boards they’re nailed upon to just beat each other to death. That would settle it. And even if that’s not what he’s there to see, it would be fun to watch.

Just then, a young man comes up to Daken and asks him this is something, right? After Daken replies “something,” the man asks him what side he’s on. Daken replies invariably, his own. Giving him a playful punch in the shoulder, the man says him too and then yells out “the judgment is coming, you mutie-loving freaks. Do you hear me? Judgment is coming!” Daken thinks to himself that judgment is always coming. There will always be someone who wants to write a new apocalypse, drunk with god-like power.

Later, on a cable car, Daken sits between a young child and an old woman. The young boy tells Daken he likes his hair and Daken politely thanks him. The old woman then turns to him and says to him that she hates to be a bother but could he take a picture of her. Her sister and she have been traveling together but she wasn’t feeling well this morning so it’s just her. Daken tells her of course; he just loves an independent woman. Once he snaps her picture, Daken departs the train. It’s his stop and his time.

Walking the streets of Chinatown, Daken remarks that years ago, another killer walked these streets. Also unnoticed. He wasn’t prolific, but at least he had style. He placed an entire city in a state of paralytic fear. After looking at a zodiac wheel outside a fortune teller’s office, Daken remarks that no one knew why he started killing. And even now, no one understands why he stopped. But he does. The answer is simple, and the same in both cases. He got bored. Because it’s just too easy.

Inside the fortune teller’s office, the fortune teller pulls out three cards. The first is the Emperor. She states that a new leader is coming, and the world will be his throne. But a throne can be a trap. Responsibility can lead to discontent. The second is the Tower. War is coming. A war between truth and lies. False beliefs will come tumbling down, and nothing will soften the blow. All that can be done is to rebuild on truth. Bet beware the man who does not recognize his own deceit, for his legs will be too weak to sand upon for long. The third and final card is Death. A transformation is at hand, a time to end, a time to begin, a time of humility and exultation. All these things, joined to one man. One man who is… close? Looking out onto the street, she prays save them. Or better yet, just save him.

Following a young lady through the streets of Chinatown, Daken says look at her. So easy. It would be so easy. A lamb to the slaughter. But there would be no satisfaction to take her now. Just an exercise. And he has better uses for his time. There are better uses for her time, like making peace with her maker. Watching her enter a gym, Daken sees everybody working out, boxing and says look at all of them. Trying so hard to shore up all their weaknesses. But they are still nothing more than food for the gods. Gods who look down in shame upon the world they have lost. Now overrun with the pestilence of fools and weaklings.

Later that day, at dusk in a café, Daken sits at a table near the window that is facing the San Francisco Post. As the waitress pours him a glass of wine, Daken remarks that he’s always known what he is. Does the lady he’s stalking know? Does Wolverine know? Looking at the waitress, he wonders if she does. When she looks away, he knows the answer is no. Her fear and weakness forces her to look away. She cannot bear the truth. As she walks away, Daken watches her leave and states that the killer who walked these streets so many years ago tried to tell the truth. He wrote letters to the San Francisco Post. Newspapers printed them, but no one understood what they meant. Soon, it will all become clear. Once he sees his prey departing her job at the Post, Daken pays his tab and immediately leaves the café.

Later that evening, at the Happy Hour bar, Daken remarks that is a ridiculous name. There’s nothing happy about all the people there. Oh, they laugh and smile, and clink their glasses all the while hurtling toward an oblivion they fear and do not understand. Clustered together in their caves, thinking their numbers will keep them safe. But the wolf is at the door and he is hungry. Seeing his prey sitting at the bar, Daken walks up behind her and rubs his hand through her hair. Once he does, the young lady turns around but sees nobody. A voice near her asks the lady, Melita, if there is something wrong. Melita tells the man, Logan, no, it’s just nerves. It was nothing.

Out on the streets, Daken smirks and says it was nothing at all, just too easy. His father’s life is so small, so caught up in its own gravity. There’s no scope, no vision. That’s why he doesn’t even want it. As he sinks into the crowd, he states he wants something else, something more.

Characters Involved: 



Melita (Logan’s female friend)

Various unnamed residents and visitors in San Francisco

Story Notes: 

The Zodiac killer (still unknown) struck between December 1968 and October 1969 in Benicia, Vallejo, Lake Berryessa, and San Francisco.

This issue marks the last issue of Wolverine (3rd series). Starting with #75, the series was changed over to Dark Wolverine to coincide with the Dark Reign storyline.

Daken’s story will continue in the new series Daken: Dark Wolverine.

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