DAKEN: DARK WOLVERINE – BIG BREAK

Marvel Comics
Pub date: May 9th, 2012
Trade Paperback

By all accounts, Daken should be the worst character ever created. A very lazy attempt at a twist of a character, with a demeanor that begs you to hate him, Daken is just a bad concept. The problem is, everyone who’s written him has built him into one of the most engrossing and complex characters in the Marvel U.

The son of Wolverine, (from a part of his life he just recently gained the memory of) Daken is a morally ambiguous character with little to no repentance for his actions. He’s a walking ball of ambition seeking to make himself better and more powerful than anyone. After realizing his dad wasn’t the reason everything in his life sucked, he took off to Madipoor; the hub of criminal empires. Using a power his father doesn’t have, the ability to manipulate others with pheromones, he lied, manipulated and killed his way to the top and gained total control of the place. But he wanted more. He wants L.A. “Big Break” is him arriving in L.A. and learning how it works to take it down from the inside. One problem, he gets introduced to a new drug, which for someone with a healing factor shouldn’t be an issue. This drug, “Heat,” beats his healing factor. He can feel it. And when something that powerful works on someone with that type of ego it’s addicting. Simultaneously, FBI agent Donna Keil is working so hard on taking down Daken, in any other occupation she’d be considered a stalker. Daken would be staying off the radar, if not for every time he took a hit of Heat, there were grisly murders done by claws happening all over L.A.

When Daken got his own book a few years ago the writers took such an interest in fleshing out his story and his identity that he became a character one must watch. He is someone you would despise. He is a classic douche-bag, from his righteous attitude (that he can back-up) to his unjustified sense self-worth to his mohawk. But through it all you just need to root for him. You want him to take over Madipoor. You want him to become top dog of L.A. and use any means necessary. Which he will. He is one of the few male characters to use his sexuality as a way to get ahead. As a rare bisexual guy in comics he has no care about who he uses to get where he needs to be. It’s just another one of the great levels to Daken.

New writer of the series, Rob Williams, effortlessly transitions from Daniel Way and Marjorine Lui’s brilliant run. There is so much to adore about this book and one of the best is that you can actually jump on the series at this point. You know he’s Wolverine’s son and he’s probably the most talented jerk there is. You have all you need to know. It is highly recommended going back and reading his solo series books, but if you want a great taste of what Daken is, “Big Break” is a great way to break in to the book
-Jo Schmidt