By Ben Morse
In 2011, terror overtakes the Marvel Universe as Fear Itself envelops its heroes and villains.
To delve deeper into what lies at the root of this climactic event, each week in Fear Files we will speak with Marvel’s biggest creators about exactly what frightens the premiere heroes and villains whose lives they guide.
The son of Wolverine and star of DAKEN: DARK WOLVERINE has spent years in his father’s shadow, struggling to escape and make his own name even as he explores his own dark urges. Daken’s new regular writer Rob Williams had some insight into what makes this bad boy tick as well as what freaks even him out…
Marvel.com: What is Daken most afraid of?
Rob Williams: On the surface? I don't think Daken's scared by anything. He's certainly not intimidated by anything. Under the surface, however—and I think you'd have to dig down very deep to get to this—but I suspect he's probably most afraid of some form of emotional reconciliation with his father. Because that would lead him to a semblance of a normal life, and where would he be then? Everything he is driven by, his background—he thinks he's smarter than everyone else, a better fighter than everyone else, a better lover, etc. He's been driven to extremes by a background of hatred and pain. If you took all that away he'd have to face up to being just another guy. Without the drive, he'd be nothing. That's how he sees it, I think.
Marvel.com: Does he fear becoming his father?
Rob Williams: I'm not sure that's the case. He took on the role of Wolverine in Norman Osborn's Avengers just because he wanted to piss his father off. I think he fears becoming something drab, ordinary, responsible. He's the hedonist. He's also got “caring for anyone” mixed up in that list. Because caring for someone would involve being responsible to them. I don't think people have to worry about Daken ever growing up to take on his father's role. I think he'd loath that. He's not fearful of it.
Marvel.com: What is Daken’s standard operating procedure for staving off normalcy? Does he just make it up as he goes?
Rob Williams: Standard operating procedure for Daken would be hedonism, narcissism and self-serving behavior. He's very smart and gets bored quickly. Way he sees it, there's few people on the planet worth talking to for long. He's always seeking the next thing, looking for happiness. Not realizing that it has to come from within first.
Marvel.com: Switching gears, as Daken is known to manipulate the emotions of others to further his own goals, how does he utilize fear to that end?
Rob Williams: He's a bully, uses fear and threats to get his way and people are right to be afraid of him. He's genuinely not that concerned about killing. He sees 99% of people as being not worth the skin they're living in, so why should he be concerned about them dying?
Marvel.com: Does Daken enjoy making others afraid or is it just a tool in his arsenal?
Rob Williams: Both. He definitely enjoys it though. It gives him power over others.
Marvel.com: Is Daken afraid to fail?
Rob Williams: I don't think he even considers it. That's not arrogance. It's just not something that he ever sees happening to him. Of course, should he actually fail, it'll hit him harder than most because it will stun him. That's something we considered when talking about my run on the book. What were the unexplored chinks in Daken's psyche?
Marvel.com: How do you think he will deal with failure when it does inevitably come?
Rob Williams: We may well be about to find out. He's not going to change who he is at this stage and see the error of his ways. And he's very good at deflecting his feelings into rage and violence. I'm sure other people will pay the price.
Marvel.com: What is Daken’s worst nightmare?
Rob Williams: I suspect it would a nice quiet life of responsibility with [a] regular partner, couple of kids, commute to work, 9 to 5, fading away. Just finding out that he's ordinary would be the way to torture him. To—badly—paraphrase Woody Allen, Daken's like a shark. He has to keep moving or he'd die. And I think the moment his anger and drive left him, you'd be looking at a dead shark. With a mohawk. No one needs to see a dead shark with a mohawk.
Can Daken succeed in his ongoing quest to remain extraordinary? Find out monthly in DAKEN: DARK WOLVERINE, issue #9.1 on sale now!
For more information on Fear Itself, visit the official event page.
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