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Siege: The Mutant Front

The Siege continues to spread in DARK WOLVERINE #84 and NEW MUTANTS #11

By Marc Strom

While the X-Men themselves haven't participated in the events surrounding Siege, some mutants have still found themselves embedded deep within the trenches of Norman Osborn's war against Asgard.

In the pages of DARK WOLVERINE #84, writers Daniel Way and Marjorie Liu along with artist Giuseppe Camuncoli lead Daken down a path that could cause Ragnarok itself, while writer Kieron Gillen and artist Niko Henrichon guide Dani Moonstar through the spires of Asgard in NEW MUTANTS #11, both on sale March 31.

Daken, a member of Osborn's Dark Avengers, has made his disdain for his leader known for quite some time. That said, the son of Wolverine doesn't find himself overly concerned with whether Osborn wins his war or not.

DARK WOLVERINE #84 cover by Salvador Larroca
"As long as he wins, he's cool with whatever," Way explains Daken's motivations.

The Norse Fates have chosen Daken as the harbinger of the next Ragnarok, a role they thought fitting for the young mutant.

"Ragnarok is not just an end, but a beginning; a 'righting' of the world," elaborates Way. "Daken believes that the human race has essentially cut in line to gain the top spot in the food chain. Both the Fates and Daken have a common goal and Daken's utterly nihilistic nature makes him a perfect candidate to achieve this goal."

Daken has always thought highly of himself, and his recent discussions with the Fates have helped feed his egoism.

"The Fates have handed him validation on a silver platter," confirms Way. "Which is nice, but it's not exactly a revelation to him. What he wants from the Fates is specifics: how to get from point A to point B. This, unfortunately, is the one thing they can't give him. So it boils down to this: If they won't give Daken what he wants, he won't give them what they want. Or, at least, not how the want it."

Meanwhile, in NEW MUTANTS #11, Dani Moonstar will have to live up to the name of Valkyrie as Hela calls upon the super heroine to help shepherd

NEW MUTANTS #11 preview art by Niko Henrichon
the fallen Asgardians to their afterlife. But despite all her training with the New Mutants and X-Men, Gillen tells us Dani will be "totally unprepared" for what she must do now.

"One minute, Hela's calling her to Vegas to repay a favor," he says. "The next, she's heading for Asgard and the biggest superhuman confrontation in recent Marvel history. She's thrown into a dark ethical situation without enough time to really decide what she thinks about it. She's forced to improvise and live with the decisions."

Though Hela has granted Dani the powers of a Valkyrie, the Norse maidens who would guide warriors killed on the battlefield to Valhalla, the question of whether she has inherited the same duties remains unanswered.

"She's been given the power of a Valkyrie, certainly, but she's discovering that being a Valkyrie is more of a role," comments Gillen. "She has the powers of the Valkyrie? Great. But she has the duties too. And this issue is about them.

"Of course, there's a twist on this. The Valkyrie are Odin's [creation]. She's been gifted the powers of a Valkyrie by Hela. This changes things."

NEW MUTANTS #11 preview art by Niko Henrichon
Gillen also hopes to explore more of what makes Dani tick as she discovers herself in the middle of Siege without her teammates to watch her back.

"It's an interesting situation for her, because pretty much immediately in the issue she's separated from her fellow New Mutants," reveals the writer. "By separating her from them, I think it shows exactly why she wants to be with them.

"Dani's also a warrior, a fighter. By rubbing her against the Asgardians-and, specifically, the fallen of Asgard-we get to bring the idea of that into sharp relief."

Besides the massive carnage a story like Siege brings to NEW MUTANTS, Gillen promises many more surprises in his story, particularly for fans who read another title he currently writes:

"I think it's got something for everyone. I think New Mutant fans will like seeing Dani in a very unusual situation. Without giving anything else away, I think people who are following THOR will find a lot to like about this issue. There are some new characters I'm very fond of who also show up in SIEGE: LOKI. I'm having a lot of fun with all the possibilities of the crossover, frankly.

NEW MUTANTS #11 preview art by Niko Henrichon
"Also: Valkyrie on winged-horseback versus Fighter jets."


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      I don't think I'd want them to move to Asgard, but I'm certainly glad Dani's empowerment wasn't discarded as a one time deal. Even with the "No more mutants" thing, I thought it a tragedy her Valkyrie days weren't looked to as a means to be powered in a non-x-gene-dependent way. Then, bam, it became the case during the DA crossover, only for the pages of NM to follow without her having them. I'm glad they're addressing that, and I hope it doesn't end with her giving, or having to give, them up. She shouldn't be able to back out of a bargain with Hela so quickly/easily.Outside of the tech enhanced and the failed terrigen induced few, there haven't been many stories with ex-mutants using alternative powers, so I think this should bear some longevity, if not permanence. Now, with Wolsbane not yet (if ever) back in the fold, but altered based on her embryo's Asgardian DNA, I think more stories are ripe to be mined between the NM and Asgard [and Thor, ushering in more X-universe/regular-Marvel-universe interaction - this would be an ideal way for NM to distinguish itself in the X portfolio, something X-Factor seems to have achieved]I also suspect the events of SIEGE may affect Asgard's stay in the Earth realm, and I wouldn't want them limited to such stories by being based there; although, with Magik they don't necessarily have to be cut off from the real MU. Magik too provides story links to Hela, so I hope the writer has been seeing all of this as a natural path to explore (and sure Wokfsbane is another writer's, but with Warpath apparently elevating his resume to god-killer soon, and crossover season still in full-swing, even that shouldn't stop this developing)....just throw in some Sunspot/Enchantress developments to layer icing on this cake ;)