By Marc Strom
With the release of DARK AVENGERS/UNCANNY X-MEN: UTOPIA #1 on June 24, writer Matt Fraction and legendary X-artist Marc Silvestri begin one of the most eagerly anticipated stories of the summer.
As Norman Osborn continues to extend his Dark Reign, he assembles a group of Dark X-Men loyal only to him. This week, Marvel.com presents the Dark X-Men Dossiers, bios on each of the team's members straight from Cyclops' personal files, along with writer Matt Fraction's thoughts and exclusive art from Terry Dodson.
"Soiling His Father's Good Name Just With His Presence"
Every father and son has their differences; with Wolverine and Daken, however, those differences sometimes end with a few innocent bystanders dead.
Daken sketch by
Given Daken's contentious relationship with his father, writer Matt Fraction explains that the character's involvement with both of Norman's teams shows him "thumbing [his] nose" at Wolverine.
"[He's saying,] 'I'm going to do your job better than you,'" the writer elaborates. "[Daken] loves the glory, he loves the fame [and] he loves the fortune that comes along with it and the chance to rub Wolverine's nose in it. It's almost like he's his dad's boss [now that he's in Norman's X-Men], and what better role for a snotty petulant teen to have? Not that he's actually a teenager, but mentally, his attitude's very much like a rebellious teenager."
Joining up with the Dark X-Men represents "a means to an end" for Daken, who wants nothing more than for the spotlight currently shining on him to grow brighter.
"He's been having great success as part of Norman's Avengers, and now he's part of Norman's X-Men too," relates Fraction. "It's like he's playing guitar in the two biggest bands in the world at the same time. Ultimately, [in Daken's mind] they're just there to reflect light onto him, y'know? Whatever gets the job done."
Daken's inclusion in Norman's X-Men also creates a visual link between his team and Cyclops', a tactic Norman has also used in creating his own team of Avengers.
"There's a visual sameness [between Daken and Wolverine], [and] we know Osborn is all about the image and all about the media war, so having that visual representation is very important [to him]," Fraction notes.
But while Daken and Wolverine may appear similar on the surface, according to Fraction the apple could not have fallen further from the tree.
"Of course, [Daken] fulfills a different role [on Norman's X-Men than Wolverine on the regular team]," he explains. "There's an entirely different dynamic. Wolverine is sort of the tortured, anguished loner, yet he's a member of every team that would ever have him, the drifter who yet invariably drifts to the same people again and again.
"And Daken really is [Wolverine's] opposite. He's a glory hogging, show boating glam super hero, for lack of a better word. There can't be enough cameras, there can't be enough attention, there can't be enough groupies; the fame and adulation thrown his way, he's eating it up with a spoon. And he loves that he's popular and he's soiling his father's good name just with his presence."
Having Wolverine's son on its roster will also give the Dark X-Men something of a
psychological advantage over Cyclops' group, as many of the regular X-Men don't yet know of Daken's existence.
"How friendly can you be if your friend never happened to mention that he has a kid?" asks Fraction. "So [there's] a little bit of contention [there], that's for sure."
Cyclops' Strike File: Daken
Until recently, very few people knew of Daken. Until Emma learned of his existence, not even Wolverine was totally aware that the son he conceived with his deceased wife Itsu, who was pregnant with him when she was killed, had survived his mother's death.
Because of this, very little information exists on Daken. Wolverine, who has encountered his son a number of times, reports that he has many of his own mutant abilities, including a healing factor and retractable bone claws, albeit in slightly different placements.
Apparently, Daken has been conditioned by a mysterious being known only as Romulus, and while Wolverine's attempt to break this conditioning with the help of Professor Xavier has proven somewhat effective, he still remains highly unstable.
Daken harbors a great deal of anger towards his father, even as the two have ostensibly worked towards the same goal of finding and neutralizing Romulus. However, Daken has since been slightly sidetracked by his time with Norman Osborn's newly-formed Avengers, a group that appears to consist almost entirely of former villains posing as heroes. On the Avengers, Daken has taken the name of Wolverine and donned a uniform similar to one of Logan's past costumes.
Though Daken has a great deal of skill in hand-to-hand combat, psychologically he remains immature and frequently exhibits little to no self-control. His emotions will often get the better of him, making him a dangerous but manageable threat. Given the fact that he will typically only act out of self-interest, Daken would have no reason to attack the X-Men unless he felt he were somehow getting something out of the confrontation.
DARK AVENGERS/UNCANNY X-MEN: UTOPIA #1 launches one of the biggest events of the summer on June 24, but be sure you check back Monday for another Dark X-Men Dossier!
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