By Jim Beard
As the Dark Reign continues to lord over the Marvel Universe, its shadowy dominance alters one title forever, as beginning this June with issue #75, WOLVERINE transforms into DARK WOVERINE.
Wolverine expert Daniel Way teams up with novelist Marjorie Liu of NYX fame to deliver the fan-favorite title into the hands of one of the most startling additions to Logan's cast ever: Daken. The son becomes the father-from a certain point of view.
"Think of the entirety of Dark Reign as a scam that Norman Osborn is pulling on the general public of the Marvel Universe-a deception," explains Way. "To the average citizen, the Wolverine in the Dark Avengers is the same as the Wolverine from the New Avengers. To them, he's just an 'Avenger'. Nothing has changed.
"The transition from WOLVERINE to DARK WOLVERINE is a reflection of that deception."
Since his debut in WOLVERINE: ORIGINS #10, Daken has represented a side of Wolverine that might have been, a darker extension of the scrappy Canadian mutant.
"Daken himself is fascinating; highly intelligent, very motivated [and] possessed of his own moral code, which isn't terribly moral by normal standards," Liu notes. "He's going to be so much trouble."
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Of course, Dark Reign impacts DARK WOLVERINE in a major way, both as a catalyst for change and by creating an edgier atmosphere in which the son of Logan will try to establish his new identity.
"It allows Daken to go out into the world and operate freely, albeit under the guise of being Wolverine and a hero," Way says of the Marvel Universe's new, darker status quo. "Readers, of course, know that he is neither, which is the cool part."
Odd as it may seem at first, the pairing of Way and Liu on the title suits each writer just fine, looking forward as they do to every facet of their collaboration.
"I specifically requested to work with Marjorie on the book because I felt that she, particularly, would 'get' the character," says Way. "And I was right. Marjorie understands that Daken isn't simply Wolverine Jr."
"I was very surprised, to be honest, and flattered," Liu says of the invitation. "Tremendously excited, too. Daken is a juicy character to write."
Readers of DARK WOLVERINE will be treated to Liu's rich experience as a novelist of fantasy and paranormal fiction, full of, as she says, "smart, violent, sexy people and monsters." Hearing of the two's mode of joint-writing whets the appetite for the shadowy adventures to come.
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"I do plot/outline, Marjorie does the scripting," Way details. "Dialogue is handled jointly. Collaboration has always been my favorite part of working in the comics medium so, if Marjorie comes in with a killer plot, I'll gladly switch seats."
"I would say that it's relaxed, high on communication, and very flexible," adds Liu of her working relationship with Way. "We play things by ear. We choose what works best for the book based on what works best. Simple as that."
"At the end of the day, our goal is to bring Daken into the Marvel Universe the right way," proclaims Way. "Our way."
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