NYCC '09 - Way & Liu on 'Dark Wolverine'

This weekend at the New York Comic Con, Marvel made the announcement that everyone’s favorite mutant rabble rouser, Wolverine, would be getting the old heave-ho off of his monthly book…

That’s right, Logan’s out…and now, Daken is in—as Wolverine.

With the recent developments in Marvel’s company wide event, Dark Reign, and the revelation that Wolverine’s very dangerous son, Daken, is usurping his father’s identity in the new Dark Avengers title—readers knew it would not be long before Daken’s role as Wolverine would eventually have ramifications on Logan’s place in the Marvel Universe. Well, these ramifications start being felt in Wolverine #75—when the title changes to Dark Wolverine and writers Daniel Way and Marjorie (NYX) Liu take the reigns of Daken’s descent into Norman Osborn’s enclave of evil-doers dressed as do-gooders.

Newsarama contacted Way and Liu to discuss the Wolverine monthly title’s dark transition and to talk about the father/son dynamic (or lack thereof) between Logan and Daken.

Newsarama: Daniel, you've slowly nurtured Daken Akihiro into existence and he's come along way since Wolverine: Origins #10; is the transition of the Wolverine ongoing to Dark Wolverine Daken's arrival to the Marvel Universe as a mainstay character? Could Daken steal some of the "it" spotlight from his father in 2009?

Daniel Way: Dark Wolverine is definitely Daken’s intro to the MU. Remember; Daken has been kept under the radar his entire life—this is his time in the sun, so to speak. So he’s gonna have a little fun. So to speak.

Whether or not Daken will break out as a character, I can’t say. I don’t think there’s any possible way to know that—and if there was, I’m sure Marvel would’ve found it by now! But I can definitely say that Daken is a new type of character, a product of today’s creative culture rather than our parents’…so I think he has a good chance.

NRAMA: Have your plans for Daken deviated much since his creation?

DW: No, not really. Having him join the Avengers wasn’t foreseen, of course, but under the circumstances it fits. I always wanted Daken to get out into the world, to mix it up with other characters, so I couldn’t be happier with how things have worked out.

NRAMA: So this transition for Daken into his role in Dark Avengers was a no-brainer in your opinion?

DW: I’d say that being offered the opportunity to utterly pervert everything his father has ever done as Wolverine was a dream come true for Daken.

NRAMA: Marjorie, how do you interpret the father/son dynamic of Logan and Daken?

Marjorie Liu: It's twisted up. Psychotic. Violent. You've got the angry kid and the absent dad who doesn't know his own child, or how to handle him.

NRAMA: How does Daken embrace the mantle of Wolverine?

ML: With an intent to destroy the legacy his father has built.

NRAMA: Will readers see a difference in the way that Dark Wolverine deals with threats?

ML: If you're the victim—pray you're not rescued by him. If you're the enemy—start running.

NRAMA: How will Daken feel about wearing his father's work clothes?

DW: He’s conflicted. On one hand, he gets to completely trash his father’s legacy but, on the other hand, he’ll never receive the credit he feels he is due for anything, y’know, remarkable that he accomplishes during his time on the team. To the world at large, Daken is Wolverine so whatever he does, good or bad, gets credited to his father. Doesn’t really give him much motivation to fight the good fight, does it?

I will say, though, that Daken very quickly realizes that this whole “hero” thing isn’t as easy as it looks…and that maybe, maybe, his father might deserve a bit of respect. A bit. A tiny, tiny bit.

ML: Though he'll never admit it.

NRAMA: What will Wolverine's role be in Dark Reign: Dark Wolverine? Is he chasing after his son to save him? Or to "deal with him"?

DW: If Wolverine were to go after Daken, that would be the same as the X-Men going after Norman Osborn…and due to certain alliances/agreements that have been secretly made, that can’t happen. Yet.

ML: This is very true. I'd like to add, though, that I can see Logan being irresistibly drawn to Daken—but not quite sure what to do with him. What's interesting about that is for quite some time, Logan has been a father figure, but only to girls—such as Jubilee, X-23, and Kitty Pryde. When it comes to parenting, that's the closet he's come. He's done a pretty good job. It's been relatively easy. But I don't believe he's ever had to deal with the idea of a son, and being somewhat of a traditional guy, I wonder if that might not hold a different, deeper, resonance to Logan. And put him off-balance.

NRAMA: Is Norman Osborn just going to make things worse? Or does Norman not realize what he's gotten into by bringing Daken onboard?

DW: A bit of both, really. Like the rest of the world, Daken is a fairly unknown entity to Osborn. He may think that he’s gotten his very own Wolverine to play with, but he’s actually gotten something else. Under the hood, Daken is whole different machine.

ML: Norman is in for some surprises, that's for sure. Of course, given how immensely arrogant he is, it's quite possible he won't ever get a clue about the danger Daken poses.

NRAMA: Is Daken past a point of redemption?

DW: That’s up to the readership to decide. Is Wolverine beyond redemption? People tend to judge other people by their actions rather than their nature—we never accuse lions of murder, or snakes of assault because it’s their nature to do these things. But Daken and Wolverine—particularly Wolverine; Daken fights it because he doesn’t want to be like his dad—are more attuned to animal society than that of humans, so…by which set of standards should they be judged? Like I said, it’s up to the readership. Personally? I don’t know.

ML: Personally, I don't think the concept of redemption applies to Daken. It doesn't matter. Like Daniel said, animals aren't judged—animals are considered to be innocent of the knowledge of good and evil. And while I wouldn't call Daken innocent, he retains an amoral quality that truly sets him apart from everyone else, more so than his mutation does. His one weakness, however, is his father. Logan stirs up the kinds of emotions that might turn Daken into a man for whom the idea of redemption could apply.

More New York Comic Con 2009 Coverage:

NYCC '09 Video Page

NYCC '09 Mini-Site

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