Forget the claws -- Daken's mutant power is deception.
Interior Art Dark Wolverine #79But when Marvel is enveloped in Norman Osborn's Dark Reign, you better be ready to go for the long con. Of course, Dark Wolverine wouldn't be where he is today without the writing talents of Daniel Way and Marjorie Liu. In the first arc of the series, "The Prince," Daken managed to play the first family of the Marvel Universe -- the Fantastic Four -- against the Dark Avengers, with some surprising results.
So what's next for the tattooed, fast-healing son of Wolverine? Liu was kind enough to take some time out of her weekend to answer some questions about Daken's struggles with his father's legacy, working with co-writer Daniel Way, and pride going before a fall.
Newsarama: You know, it seems that when this series was first announced, a lot of people were pretty skeptical about the viability of a character like Daken. Six months later, it seems like he's everywhere, between Dark Avengers, Uncanny X-Men, the Punisher... what's been your reaction to that? Have your thoughts on Daken changed any in the past six months?
Marjorie Liu: Have my thoughts on Daken changed? No. He's still a crazy (as a fox) manipulative bad ass. Do I love the character even more? You bet. As for his presence in other books, I really don't pay much attention. I don't mean that as a slight -- I just don't have time.
Nrama: Now the first arc of Dark Wolverine has ended -- we've got Daken playing Norman Osborn against the Fantastic Four, and there seems to have been some major dissension in the ranks. Will that deception play out any in the second arc?
Liu: Norman and Daken will always needle each other, and you'll see more of that. As for Daken's plans, those are far-reaching, and readers won't necessarily see the pay-off right away. But there will be one.
Nrama: Now that we're in the second arc -- "My Hero" -- could you tease us some about where this arc might be going? Daken seemed to be as amoral as it gets in the first arc -- but could his father's heroic legacy finally be getting the better of him?
Interior Art Dark Wolverine #79Liu: The focus of the first arc was to establish Daken's character -- to show the world that this is not a copy of Wolverine, but someone who is wholly different and dangerous. In the 'My Hero' arc, that theme is continued -- but we also play with the idea of what it means to be a hero. Are you a hero simply because people perceive you to be one -- or is heroism something that goes deeper, and is occasionally thankless? And is Daken a hero? What kind of hero is he? Is he even capable of understanding the concept on a level that isn't less than superficial?
Nrama: And speaking of Logan -- now that Norman Osborn and Emma Frost have cut ties over in Uncanny X-Men, will the original Wolverine be making any appearances anytime soon, to deal with his scheming son?
Nrama: Way back when you and Daniel discussed how working with a writing partner was such a new thing for you. How has your partnership evolved since you started this assignment? What's been the most satisfying scenes borne from this collaboration? Have there been any particular moments where you've thought, "that man's a genius"?
Liu: I've gotten spoiled working with Dan. Quite honestly, this will be the gold standard upon which I measure any other collaboration. He's a fantastic writer, and very supportive. Also, I'm a terrible outliner. Ask me to give you a plot, and I'll give you a milkshake. Dan, on the other hand, is excellent at structure, which lends itself well to those special moments you mentioned in your question. That happens all the time. For example, there's a scene at the very end of #80 that Dan partially scripted, which captures one character so perfectly -- and so poignantly -- that when I first read it I thought, "Dude, that was brilliant."
Nrama: You guys also have a new artist on the book -- Stephen Segovia. What do you see as his strengths, and how are you guys tweaking your writing -- if at all -- to accommodate his style?
Cover to Dark Wolverine #80Liu: Stephen is great, with a very visceral style that lends itself wonderfully to an action-based story. There's a raw element to his work that really captures the surreal and violent nature of Daken's life and actions. And his cruelty.
Nrama: It's interesting, because the first arc seemed to have a lot of scheming and playing one side against the other -- but at least in the first issue of "My Hero," it seems to be gearing up for all-out action. How do you see Daken dealing with a situation as opposed to his father, whose predilection seems to be "dive in front of the bullets, let the healing factor take care of the rest"?
Liu: Daken is certainly diving in front of bullets, but somewhat to his detriment, he also suffers from a great deal of pride. And if you'll allow me to quote Proverbs: "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."
Nrama: Something else we should ask -- based on the December solicits, Guiseppe Camuncoli is back on the title for issue #81. How long is Daken going to be the star of this book? Do you guys have any more arcs in the bag after "My Hero" lets out? If so, any teases you could give on them?
Liu: Daken is not going anywhere for some time yet. And if I had to sum up the next couple arcs in just three words, I would say that it's about 'fate and fathers'.
Nrama: What's your favorite part about Daken, and the story you've created for him? Without giving too much away, what are some moments coming up that you're particularly enthused about?
Cover to Dark Wolverine #81Liu: My favorite part about Daken? I could list a lot of things, but the one that stands out is his...I want to say, freedom, if that makes any sense. He is his own man, and answers to no one. He lives by his wits and determination, and though he's arrogant -- and may suffer for both his pride and arrogance -- he makes no apologies for who he is or how he treats others. He is who he is. And that's attractive in a character. I think the story Dan and I are creating for him is one in which this true loner -- this man who suffers the presence of others only because they are useful -- can really explore all these varying aspects of his personality, while growing, too.
I'm enthusiastic about issue #81. Moonstone deals with Daken in that one. Laying the threads of their...I'm not sure what to call it...not quite a relationship, that's for sure...was an organic process and unplanned. Just a look here, a comment there, from issue #75 onward, until it grew into something that needed to be addressed on a larger scale. That was a lot of fun to write.