Daken & X-23 hang out, claw stuff

If you read comics, it’s hard to get away from Wolverine.  In the late 2000s, he had two or three solo series, two or three team series, and that doesn’t even include all the X-Men stuff.  So either cashing on his popularity or hoping to cash in before it became overwhelming, Marvel gave his son Daken Akihiro (Dark Wolverine) and his clone Laura Kinney (X-23) their own series as well.  Luckily for us, both X-23 and Daken: Dark Wolverine were both really, really good.

Today, in X-23 #8-9, written by Marjorie Liu and drawn by Ryan Stegman & Matteo Buffagni as well as Daken: Dark Wolverine #8-9, written by Daniel Way & Liu and drawn by Marco Checchetto, the two meet up for the first time.  And trust me, being in the Wolverine family comes with some major emotional and mental issues.

Before we begin, let me explain for those who don’t know.  X-23 may be one of the most successful superhero teenagers to come out of comics in a long time.  She even received a full origin and back story in the miniseries X-23: Innocence Lost.  To sum up, she’s a clone of Wolverine trained from birth to be a heartless and tremendously effective killer.  Of course, that whole thing backfired and she escaped, now trying to do good and all that jazz.

And Daken?  He’s quite possibly Wolverine’s best supervillain in the past fifteen years..  Logan’s biological son from his deceased wife Itsu, Daken gets raised by the psychopath Romulus after tragedy and murder and you get it.  The guy turned out full-on sociopath and evil, premiering in the fabulous Wolverine: Origins series.  Go read it.

Enough words, let’s get on with our story.


Welcome to the fictional country/city of Madripoor.  Think of it as a wicked version of Singapore. Here, corruption and lawlessness run the city, making Madripoor an ideal destination for the more swarthy characters.


You know how team ups go.  First they fight, then they cooperate.  So, here’s some of the fight:


The arc makes use of super awesome double spread battle scenes.  Here’s the first one.  Click for a much larger size.



Their battle serves two purposes.  First, who didn’t want to see the two Wolverines brawl?  Also, Daken’s a baddie, so if they’re going to work together, they have to scrap first.  Second, the readers now know their skills and abilities are equal.  Or close to it.  No one’s going to be dragging along the other one.

X-23 and Gambit stop by Daken’s turf after hearing rumors about a Weapon X facility in Madripoor.  If you aren’t familiar with that hellhole, a group of evil scientists did all sorts of awful experiments on brainwashed and unsuspecting victims.  Wolverine received his adamantium claws/skeleton through Weapon X.  To prevent more victims like herself, X-23 visits the seediest city in the world.  Things go badly almost immediately.  Oh, notice the cool differences in art as the next issue begins.


Daken’s motivations, though, aren’t exactly far off from hers.  He doesn’t really care that much about evil experiments, as long as those evil experiments are for him.


X-23’s also not a big fan of Malcolm Colcord making soldiers for his own games.


While this is going on, Daken and Gambit fight.  You have to cover all bases when you have series crossover.  Here’s the awesome double spread from that:


Eventually, X-23 gets captured.


As the second half begins, X-23 finds herself in a tight spot.  Though probably better to bind her up than drug her.  Healing factor plus that tendency to flail her claws.


You see what Daken did?  Someone has ulterior motives that doesn’t include Laura getting ripped open with a chainsaw.


And our final double spread.  It’s just as awesome as the previous two.


Don’t worry, Daken and X-23 totally claw and stab their way through the monster facility.  But since both of them remain badly damaged and with therapists not terribly pleased to see their patients soaked in blood, life questions have to figured out in between massacring scientists/guards/creatures.




Eventually, the two meet up with Malcolm once more.  This time under very different circumstances.


I present one of the coolest pages I’ve ever seen in comics.  You’ll know which one I’m talking about:




The main difference between Daken and X-23?  Wolverine’s son wields his strength to better himself while Wolverine’s clone wields her strength to protect everyone else.  Which, I guess, is the most basic defined difference between a supervillain and a superhero.  At least one of them got some closure out of this whole thing.


5 Comments on “Daken & X-23 hang out, claw stuff”

  1. Jason says:

    Despite myself I quite like X-23. I don’t like Daken though, he’s basically a pre-Wolverine mini series Wolverine with far less character than Logan had back then. “Grrr, I kill things, grrr.”

    I wonder if I could write my character into killing him. Perhaps if he ripped him apart, and then stuffed each body part into a small box before dropping them into the depths of the ocean.

    If you’ve read Wylie’s Gladiator, in power level the character is much the same as Hugo Danner, though not quite so negative about humanity. Stronger than a machine, faster than a locomotive, bulletproof and a fast healer if he does take injury. He needs a cool name, like Jack Frost (that’s pretty cool ;)). Of course, like any sensible character he doesn’t have a special code name that has anything to do with his powers. “Call me Frost,” he might say. Of course his powers have nothing to do with temperature control. He might be bulletproof, but he still layers on the body armour because he’d much rather people thought it was the armour the bullets were bouncing off rather than his own skin and muscle, besides, bullets hurt, you know? Dressing in spandex is definitely not his thing, why make yourself a target? He’ll have more than a few weapons carried on his person, because punching people is a pretty lame way to resolve differences. He’ll have taken the time to learn some combat skills, because being strong and tough doesn’t help if you run into someone stronger, and it disguises how strong you are when dealing with someone weaker.

    Six foot tall, 300 pounds, although like Hugo his denser body tissues mean he looks more like someone about 225 pounds.

    He’d prefer that no one knew how capable he was, so people continually underestimate him.

    In a fight with Daken it’d be like the fight with Frank Castle, except Jack would always be just that little bit faster, that little bit stronger, Daken’s claws would miss by just that much, until Jack catches him off balance and rips him apart.

    • Jason Levine says:

      You don’t like Daken? Have you read Dark Wolverine #75-90 (especially the first three issues)? He has all the power of Wolverine, but a lot smarter and more charismatic. You convinced me, I’m going to write a Daken article today. On a related note, I’d really like to read your stories when they’re done.

    • healed1337 says:

      I’m with you on that. I tried to get into Daken’s solo series, but I just couldn’t do it after this crossover ended. In a lot of ways he feels like Wolverine without any conscience or empathy. I think he’s alright as a third-party character with unclear motivations, but as the star of a series or a straight villain, he’s kind of boring to me.

      X-23 on the other hand, I’m not going to lie, she actually got me into comics and is still my favourite X-men character. Then again, I generally prefer legacy characters over their original anyway since character development is much more likely to stick.

  2. Chimalpahin says:

    Now I kinda wanna see Jubilee and Daken bump into each other just to see all of Wolverine’s kids meet. Jubilee’s basically like his daughter at this point. 🙂

  3. Someone says:

    your right that was sucha cool page

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