C2E2: DAKEN Darkens the Door of New WOLVERINE Ongoing

C2E2: DAKEN Gets New Marvel Ongoing

See all of Newsarama's C2E2 2010 coverage here.

With the Dark Reign turning the Marvel Universe topsy-turvy, the line between heroes and villains has been blurred -- and for one man, with great power has come great opportunity. Forget the powers -- when it comes to Dark Wolverine, it's all about the plot. And keeping up with the long con, series writers Daniel Way and Marjorie Liu are teaming up with Giuseppe Camuncoli to take on the mohawked mutant with a brand new ongoing series beginning in September. With Daken's father Wolverine under control of an unknown assailant, it's clear that the manipulative mutant has a lot on his plate -- so Newsarama caught up with the writing team to talk about Daken's rise to stardom, a deal with the Fantastic Four, and what's next for Marvel's next great "anti-villain."

Newsarama: Starting off, Dan -- how does it feel to have Daken in his own ongoing? Have you guys been surprised by the critical reaction to this series?

Daniel Way: Both surprised and gratified. Daken’s a very…controversial character and I really think it’s great that the fan community has decided to give him a chance. Frankly, I never expected him to catch on like he has. I remember telling Marjorie that, if we did our jobs right, readers were going to hate this character. And they do…but for all the right reasons. So I guess we did it, Marjorie!

Marjorie Liu: What Dan said. Surprised, gratified, tickled -- because Daken is controversial, but he's the devil with that glint in his eye, and even though you know he's going to be bad, he's so bad he's good.

Nrama: To give you guys a chance to pat yourselves on the back for a second -- what do you think has been the strength of this series thus far? And what do you think the appeal of a character like Daken has been?

Way: I can give the same answer to both questions: People just have to see what Daken’s going to do next.

Liu: Exactly.

Nrama: What's been interesting about Daken in a lot of ways is how he's so skillfully played both sides of the fence, as far as heroes and villains go. People have been less partners and more chess pieces to him -- so with that being said and Norman Osborn going down after Siege, how is Daken doing in the realm of public opinion? Is he hated? Loved? On the run? Is this Heroic Age a good thing or a bad thing for him?

Way: The public, for the most part, still doesn’t know about him -- for all they know, that was actually Wolverine in the costume. So he still retains his anonymity. As far as Heroic Age being good or bad for him…well, Daken has a way of manipulating or exploiting any given situation to suit his own agenda.

Liu: When it comes to Daken, questions of hate, love, bad, good -- all don't really apply. Or rather, they're irrelevant, because he just doesn't care. It doesn't affect his behavior, his motivations -- except for how he can use love and hate (or lust) to his advantage.

Nrama: Dan, ultimately, Daken has been your malevolent, mohawked mutant baby, so we wanted to ask you in particular -- how has it been in terms of maneuvering Daken within the confines of the greater Marvel Universe?

Way: I wouldn’t say he’s confined -- if anything, bringing him into the Marvel universe has allowed him to flourish. The more characters and situations he interacts with, the more readers are allowed to see him operate -- to do his thing.

Liu: That, and Daken (in his own way) has been rather isolated in his life. Living on the fringe of things, he hasn't had opportunities to deal with all these big players in the Marvel universe, and the results of these encounters -- both good and bad -- have a much larger ripple effect.

Nrama: It seems that a lot of the relaunched X-books now have Wolverine as their hub, rather than the greater X-Men line as a whole -- and in so keeping, many of the books here touch upon Wolverine's soul being lost in Hell. And Daken's relationship with his father has been contentious at best... how's he taking this development? Is he happy his father has gone berserk -- or is he ticked that he isn't striking the killing blow himself?

Way: By the time that comes out, Daken will be in a much different position (as far as attaining his ultimate goal) than previously. Because of this, his reaction to dear old dad’s predicament will be…unexpected.

Nrama: Something that really perked me up for the Dark Wolverine saga was his double-dealing against Norman Osborn. Now that that era is moving from clawing his way to the top of the Dark Avengers to the Heroic Age, I guess I should ask you guys -- for Daken, what's been the motivation here for his dealings in the greater Marvel Universe? Was it always Logan? Was it power for power's sake? Or will his focus end up being directed elsewhere in upcoming adventures?

Way: When I set out to create Daken, I wanted him to be a new kind of character -- an anti-villain. I didn’t want his motivations to be simply quantifiable, and I didn’t want his methodology to be predictable by any scale. Eventually, Daken’s ultimate motivation will be revealed but, in the meantime, I think readers are enjoying watching him as he uses a small brush to paint an epic tapestry. You know it’s going to be big, you know it’s going to be terrible to behold… but goddamn, he sure is skilled at his craft.

Liu: That's one of the wonderful things about writing his character, because even the smallest moments become heightened, important. Daken doesn't do anything by chance, and if the unexpected does happen, he finds a way to use it to his advantage. Everything is an opportunity for him.

Nrama: Also, touching upon that last question once more -- it really seemed in that first arc that Daken was laying down some seeds for trouble, to say the absolute least, even throwing together a double-cross with the Fantastic Four. So the question I have is -- will we end up seeing the fruits of that alliance during this new series? Or is this something you guys are wrapping up along with Siege?

Way: The FF plot thread will definitely be picked up in the new series. Not in the first arc, but soon after.

Liu: Oh, yes. I'm looking forward to that.

Nrama: You guys are working with original series artist Giuseppe Camuncoli once more. Since he's been the real visual anchor to this book, we wanted to ask -- have there been any moments he's drawn that have particularly stood out that you just really loved?

Way: That splash of Daken in the Moonstone issue. Fuck, that was creepy.

Liu: Cammo's work always blows me away. But if I have any favorites, then I'll have to throw in that two-page spread of Ragnarok, some of the scenes with the Fates, and in the first arc, those pages of the Fantastic Four in Reed's lab.

Nrama: Looking back on the past issues of Dark Wolverine -- what were the goals you guys were trying to hit with this book? Do you feel you've hit them? And are there any goals you've set for yourselves now that an ongoing is on the way?

Way: I think I covered some of this in my first answer but, going forward, we’re going to continue to push the envelope with these stories. Daken is a character that has no moral boundaries, and it’d be a monumental waste to not take advantage of that.

Liu: Right. When it comes to Daken, Dan and I don't hold back. At all.

Nrama: Finally, for those who are still up in the air with Dark Wolverine, what would you tell them to bring them on board? Are there any fun moments you can tease that are coming up in this book?

Way: Define “fun”, because Daken has a very unique sense of humor…

Liu: Mmm, yeah. That's one way of putting it.

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