While a lot of mainstream fans of Marvel’s Wolverine know him due to the hugely successful X-Men films and the 90’s X-Men animated series, the comic book fans have access to much more material on Logan. Did you know wolverine has children? He even had a son with Mystique!
But this write up is not about that son. It’s about another, one who was born to Wolverine and his Japanese wife, Itsu. The world calls him Daken.
What makes Daken really intriguing, among other things, is his total lack of moral compass. He’s as badass as Loagn (if not more) and he’s actually evil. It’s like he’s a mix of Deadpool and Wolverine. But he’s not randomly evil. There’s a pretty sick back story there.
Badass since birth
You see, Wolverine left a pregnant Itsu after accidentally killing a man in her village. He didn’t want his soon-to-be-born child to grow up surrounded by this violent, feral father. But once he left, Itsu was attacked and killed by (wait for it) the Winter Soldier. A disguised Romulus (arguably Wolverine’s baddest nemesis) reached the stood by Itsu’s lifeless body, ripped her open and pulled out the “dead” baby from her and left them for dead. (Talk about a wild cesarean birth, eh?). Since the kid had Wolverine’s healing ability, he survived the attack. So yeah, the dude was literally born to a dead mother.
Childhood AKA how he became a killer
A good Samaritan laid the kid at the doorsteps of a childless Japanese couple, who tried raising him. But it wasn’t easy. Since the young boy was of “mixed breed” the domestic staff called him ‘Daken’, which apparently means “bastard dog” in Japanese. Even the kids at school treated him as someone beneath them. The only person he was close to, was his stepdad, Akihira, who named him Akihiro. But his stepmom confessed to her husband that she could never come to love their son, more so because now she was actually expecting her own child. When their own baby was born, Daken killed him and even confessed it to his dad, who then disowned him. Hearing this, Daken’s stepmom charged at him with a sword and that is when his mutant abilities manifested. Daken ended up accidentally killing his stepmom, his stepbrother and was responsible for their father’s suicide. Yeah, if you were expecting this dude to be some hero, sorry, not happening.
Not afraid to use aggression or his sexuality to achieve his goals
Daken will do anyone and anything to achieve his goals and he’s past that kind of identification. He’s beyond it.
Daniel Way, who created this character, said –
He’s no more homosexual than he is heterosexual. It’s about control.
In the story arc ‘Seige of Asgard’, Daken even made a pass on Bullseye, who was dressed as Hawkeye. He even managed to sneak in a kiss.
He has a burning hate for Wolverine
Logan left before Daken was born and that ever since Daken came to know of it, he’s been harboring it like a chip on his shoulder. Because Logan left to ensure that his son would not become violent like him, Daken tries to emulate his dad’s mannerisms and then takes it to the extreme. Because this motivation comes from a place of hate and suffering, his life is spent doing more evil than good. In fact, even though Logan has some epic level enemies, like Sabretooth and Romulus, the fact that he’s hated the most by one his own children, brings more depth to both characters.
The Dark Wolverine arc, where Daken takes over his father’s mantle, is one of Marvel’s best works.
When it comes to Daken, one of the biggest tragedies is that apart from a few briefs runs here and there, he has been hopelessly underused by Marvel. I mean, here they have this amazing character that can be furthered developed and tapped for films and TV shows, but in the larger scene he’s still seen as a punk.
Dear studios, if you’re planning on retiring Wolverine following Hugh Jackman’s exit, please don’t ruin it by casting someone else to play the iconic part. Maybe get a new guy to play Daken instead.