|“Wolverine: Origins” #31 on sale now|
In “Wolverine: Origins,” the title character has been driven by two goals. Goal one is to kill Romulus, the head of the conspiracy that brainwashed Wolverine into becoming their assassin for several decades. Wolverine’s second goal is to liberate Daken, the son he never knew he had, from Romulus’s grip.
In the recent “Original Sin” crossover between “Origins” and “X-Men: Legacy,” Wolverine finally achieved that second goal. But what does that mean for his ongoing quest for revenge?
Daken has hated his father for years. What happens now that he knows the truth about Romulus’s machinations?
For answers to these questions, CBR News spoke with “Wolverine: Origins” writer Daniel Way (“Deadpool”) about the fall-out from “Original Sin,” the next storyline “Family Business, and “Weapon XI” a five-part arc that begins in February and ties-in to Marvel’s ongoing Dark Reign saga.
In “Original Sin,” Wolverine recruited Charles Xavier to help heal the damage Romulus had done to Daken’s memories. When Xavier finally got a chance to work on Daken’s mind, he discovered that Romulus had booby-trapped it with a psychic bomb. The bomb went off, but Xavier and Daken survived. After the psychic explosion, Xavier was able to reach into Daken’s thoughts and show him that Romulus was the real culprit behind his mother’s murder, not Wolverine, as he’d been told.
“The first thing Daken finds out at the end of the story is that he’s expandable, because Romulus sent him in there with that bomb in his head that could have just as easily wiped him out. Romulus was willing to sacrifice Daken to take out Professor X and that opens Daken’s mind to the fact that he’s not Romulus’s ‘chosen one,” Daniel Way told CBR News. “Then, Professor X was able to show him the truth using these rudimentary, very basic memories. At some point, on some level, Daken knew, but it was just easier to go with the story he had been told. It gave him a sense of purpose. It put everything in place. So now that he knows and has finally embraced the truth, this puts Daken at odds with Romulus for the first time.
“Other than the obvious genetic connection, this is the only thing Wolverine and Daken have in common. They have a common goal and that’s it as far as Daken is concerned,” Way continued. “Daken’s not ready for them to be anything more. He spent his entire life hating Wolverine to the fullest extent. He can’t just turn around on a dime.”
|Pages from “Wolverine: Origins” #31|
While their alliance may be a very uneasy one, Wolverine still welcomes the chance to work with his son – in some ways. “Wolverine isn’t a traditional father figure. So maybe somewhere in his mind this makes sense to him. Daken is joining him on the hunt. They’re moving as a pack,” Way explained. “So it’s a doable but very shaky alliance. Wolverine isn’t used to being a dad, Daken isn’t used to being his son and they’re both extremely volatile people. So the dynamic between them will always be shaky but it’s touch and go from here on out.”
The murder of Daken’s mother Itsu was commissioned by Romulus, but it was carried out by Bucky Barnes when he was operating as the Winter Soldier, the identity he used before he became the new Captain America. Wolverine knows Bucky was brainwashed and doesn’t hold him responsible for his part in Itsu’s murder, but Daken isn’t so forgiving. “Daken’s seen the face of the man who did the deed,” Way said. “He knows Romulus is behind it because that’s the way Romulus plays things. There’s always a guy and another guy behind that guy, but at the end of the line it’s Romulus. He just finds a way to make it so that when the dominoes fall you can’t see him.
“Still, if Daken were ever to come face to face with Bucky, it would be on, like a pair of pants. In my original outline that was actually a big point. Daken was going to go ape shit and go running right for Bucky. Now since then, Ed Brubaker has cooked up this fantastic ‘Captain America’ story with Bucky that has really got a head of steam going. And I don’t want to knock any of his pieces off the board,” Way explained. “So it’s something that we’ve been talking about and something that will be addressed. Whether or not it will take place in ‘Origins,’ another upcoming project that features Daken, a one-shot, or ‘Captain America’ has yet to be decided.”
Daken may know the truth behind his mother’s murder, but that doesn’t mean he’s changed as a person. “When people ask me about Daken, I tell them he sees the world as being this horrible, uncaring, violent place that will take everything from you without any remorse. He also has a massive superiority complex which, as it is in most cases, is born out of a massive inferiority complex. He’s trying to massively over compensate,” Way remarked. “So when you add those psychoses together; in order for him to be the best in the world, as he sees it, he has to be the most cruel, the most blood thirsty, and the first to take without giving back. And he firmly believes that he’s entitled to it because in his opinion he’s just doing it first. In his mind, it’s not a good or evil type situation; it’s exploited and exploiter. In order for him to interact with the world how he perceives it, he has to viciously attack with everything he’s got. There’s no holds barred because as far as he’s ever known there are no such thing as rules.”
|Pages from “Wolverine: Origins” #31|
He may have decided to join his father’s quest to take down Romulus, but that doesn’t mean Daken is now a proper co-star in “Wolverine: Origins.” “He’ll actually float in and out. This is a two pronged attack so you’re not always going to see what Daken is up to,” Way explained. “As he’s on this path he’s actually going to wander about the Marvel Universe. He’ll be interacting with other characters in other books in pretty high profile ways.”
“Wolverine: Origins” #31 is in stores this week, and kicks off a new two-part arc titled “Family Business,” which finds Logan and Daken working together. The story picks up a few days after “Original Sin” and father and son are trying to pick up their enemy’s trail. “When that psychic bomb went off inside Daken’s head, it actually scrambled up many of his memories really badly,” Way stated. “So he doesn’t exactly have all the information about Romulus that Wolverine would love for him to be able to provide. Now even though they have this common goal their target had kind of shifted out of focus.”
Finding Romulus isn’t completely hopeless, though. Daken may not know Romulus’s exact whereabouts, but he does know the best way to look for his former master. “You look for where the slaughter is going on, and the more senseless, violent, and hopeless it is, the more likely it is that Romulus’s involvement is direct,” Way said. “So they cast around for the most heinous act that’s happening at the moment and they find it happening in Northern Africa. When they get there though, the find that they’ve actually been baited. It’s not by Romulus but someone pretty close.”
That someone is Cyber, a killer with adamantium skin, who crossed swords with Wolverine and Daken in the “Swift and Terrible” arc of “Wolverine: Origins.” Cyber was also part of Romulus’s organization and acted as one of Wolverine’s teachers. Like Wolverine and Daken, he too has unfinished business with his former master. “Cyber is doing the exact same thing they are and the reason he wants to talk to them is that has an offer to make. He wants to cut a deal; as far as he’s concerned, they all have basically the same goal. So why not team up? Well, Wolverine knows the answer to that, it’s because Cyber is a fucking scumbag!” said Way.
“Daken’s approach is, I’m a scum bag too. You can’t trust any of us, so why not give it a try,” Way continued. “Wolverine cooks up plan though to get what Cyber knows and get it without having to deal with his ass. That plan goes horribly wrong though, because when you have that many bad guys in one story you’re not going to get a good outcome.”
|Pages from “Wolverine: Origins” #31|
In the “Swift and Terrible” arc of “Origins,” Cyber returned from the dead by inhabiting a new body. Unfortunately for him, his new host had a weak heart. Wolverine tried to help Cyber with his condition by arranging for the villainous Tinkerer to implant a pacemaker. The downside was that the pacemaker was powered by the deadly radioactive element known as carbonadium. Readers shouldn’t think these two limitations make Cyber any less dangerous, though. “He’s more dangerous because he’s getting into that Omega Red territory where he has nothing to lose. It’s either fight or die,” Way explained. “Cyber knows he can’t pull off half the shit he used to because of his weak heart and the chunk of carbonadium stuck to him, so he has to rely on some of his more cunning ways. And Cyber is a guy who’s been manipulating men into doing things that they normally wouldn’t do since the turn of the last century.”
In part two of “Family Business,” readers learn some more sordid details about Cyber’s long and violent past. “In issue #32, there’s a really big flashback and important revelation. You get to see how, where, when and why Cyber had the adamantium originally bonded to his body. This revelation plays into a later arc in a pretty big way,” Way revealed. “It’s something that Daken learns as the reader learns. It’s the first time he takes a look at the whole Weapon X type of conditioning and it tees him up for things that he’ll be doing in the next story arc, which is called ‘Weapon XI.'”
He may be Wolverine’s son, but as Daken has made it abundantly clear, he’s his own man. And he’s going to make his own decisions, even if they’re bad ones. “All throughout ‘Origins’ you See Daken walking in his father’s footsteps,” Way said. “He keeps making these same mistakes and it’s all the more tragic in that Wolverine knows it’s about to happen and so do we. You see him going this way and you’re like, ‘No!’ but he does it anyway. It just seems like this is his fate.”
Daken finds Cyber’s story particularly interesting because, like his father before him, he’s intrigued by the advantages that can be gained from adamantium bonding. If and when Daken undergoes the adamantium bonding procedure, readers shouldn’t expect him to be seeking results similar to his old man’s. “Daken is getting ready to go into the fight of his life. So the idea of arming for this war is very appealing to him,” Way said. “I don’t want people thinking though that he’s just going to end up with adamantium claws because it’s way more fucked up than that, and way worse!”
Cyber isn’t the only surprise character that Daken and Wolverine run afoul of in “Family Business.” “I think readers have come to expect this from my stories, but at the end of this arc you get a nasty little surprise character showing up that we haven’t seen in awhile and he’s going to want to talk to Wolverine about that kid of his,” teased Way.
|Page from “Wolverine: Origins” #31|
Artist Yanick Paquette is the man who’s been tasked with brining the two-issue “Family Business” arc to life. “Yanick is obviously a huge talent and is especially great for this story because we’ve got this big muscular type character like Cyber. Yanick can go big. If you look at his pages he walks that fine line that only the best artists can do. Sam Kieth is another one,” Way remarked. “He and Yanick can draw these heavily muscled guys and it almost goes into the realm of the cartoonish, but in their composition it’s not. It all fits. It actually comes off as lean and mean and bad ass. Yanick is top flight.”
Following “Family Business,” Daniel Way begins the five-part Dark Reign tie-in arc, “Weapon XI.” “This arc has a lot to do with that surprise appearance at the end of issue #32,” the writer revealed. “Without spoiling anything, I can say that Daken is going to go out into the Marvel Universe and start making a name for himself. In doing so, he ends up becoming an integral part of the Marvel U. I love the position that he gets put in, because he’s such a wicked little fucker.”
The “Weapon XI” arc marks the debut of “Origins'” brand new regular artist, Doug Braithwaite (“Justice,” “Thor: God-Size”). “At this point I’ve only seen some of his covers and they’re incredible,” Way remarked. “I can’t wait to see Dougie’s stuff. He’s going to be our regular penciler, so I’d love for him to stick around until the end of the book.”
Indeed, “Wolverine: Origins” is a finite series and Wolverine’s actions and perceptions going into the second half are colored by his declaration to Charles Xavier at the end of “Original Sin,” that in between the time he lost and regained his memories he was hero, but that he’s not one any more. “This is a guy who can’t get over his past. When he got all his memories back he found out that he really has gone beyond the pale. In his opinion, I don’t think he can ever justly say that he’s a hero,” Way said. “We as readers know that as he struggles onwards with this that he remains a hero, but at this point in his life that fantasy of being a hero is done for him. The only way that might change is if he can somehow reconcile this thing with Romulus. And it all comes down to how will that actually happen? Will it be a bloodbath? Or is there going to be some way to turn this around? And somehow just get a hold of it both externally and internally. That’s really were we’re going with the book.
“The point of ‘Origins’ isn’t to demystify the character or to lay out in flat terms that this happened here or that happened there. This is a story that’s unfolding based on previous continuity, but the ultimate goal is to put all the old stuff to rest, so everyone can start telling new Wolverine stories.”
“Wolverine: Origins” #31 is in stores now from Marvel Comics.