There are certain Marvel Comics characters that seem to be intrinsically linked to their creators — so much so, that it can be hard to separate the two in readers’ minds. Daken, the son of Wolverine, is the creation of writer Daniel Way and artist Steve Dillon. Since the character’s first appearance in “Wolverine: Origins” #10, Way was the primary writer of Wolverine’s offspring and was viewed by many as Way’s “daddy” — that is, until he was joined by Marjorie Liu as co-writer with issue #75 of “Dark Wolverine.”
Fans are often extremely wary be wary of secondary writers throwing pre-established notions of characters “out of whack,” but from responses found around the internet, it quickly became clear that Liu’s contributions helped to deepen and define a very complex character. After nearly two years of working together, however, Daken’s “parents” will be leaving him with issue #9 of “Daken: Dark Wolverine.”
Why are the writers giving up their scripting roles and what does this mean for the character? Let’s check in with Way and Liu on this development, and then we’ll hop to all the terrific questions you’ve sent in regarding Deadpool, X-23 and Daken (of course).
Dan and Marjorie, the news that you’re leaving “Daken: Dark Wolverine” as of issue #9 is a bit of a shocker. Can you tell fans why you’re leaving the book? Couldn’t one of you have stayed on to continue the character’s adventures?
Daniel Way: In my case specifically, I had to create some room in a very cramped schedule so that I’d have time to work on other projects. Not an easy decision, but one that had to be made.
Marjorie Liu: I really hate to leave the book, but Marvel needs my talents elsewhere.
You’ll both continue to write for Marvel, including “Deadpool,” “Astonishing X-Men” and “X-23” for the foreseeable future, correct? Do you have other projects coming up?
Way: Yes and yes. I have something in the works, but it’s too early to talk about it yet.
Liu: Yes, maybe. But for the moment, novels (and “X-23”) are my focus.
Daniel, Daken is your baby in the sense that you introduced him to the reading masses and have been his primary writer since his inception. Is it difficult for you to step away from this character?
Way: In a word — yes. Leaving the book was not a decision that I made quickly or easily. Initially I was going to stay on as co-writer but, once I read some of the incoming writer’s work, I was able to leave with a clear conscience. Daken’s in good hands.
What was it like for you when Marjorie joined you in writing him? What do you feel she brought to Daken?
Way: I couldn’t have had a better collaborator than Marjorie. She understood Daken immediately, and he’s a hard guy to figure out. What do I think she brought to the character? Well, he’s definitely sexier than he used to be — that’s all Marjorie. And more elegant, yet no less vicious.
And Marjorie, what was it about Daken (and Daniel) that you had to get used to before you felt comfortable on this writing team?
Liu: Working with Dan was incredibly easy right from the start. I also couldn’t have asked for a better writing partner. As for Daken, I loved his complexity, his ruthless intelligence and humor. Loving a character is the same, for me, as feeling comfortable with a character.
Could you both name a few of your favorite moments from your run?
Way: I think that first arc, “The Prince,” was a homerun. And I love the Moonstone issue.
Liu: I also love that Moonstone issue! The first arc of “Dark Wolverine” was such fun to write, and I love the kiss between Daken and Bullseye during the “Siege” crossover. Daken and Mystique, Daken and the Fantastic Four, and Daken and Tyger Tiger — all those interactions were a blast to imagine.
Thanks for sharing! And now, on to the readers!
The Big G has a couple of big queries about big confrontations. Do you have some big answers?
1) I just picked up “X-23” #5 and thought it was pretty great. I loved the ending! But with Mr. Sinister back, what does that mean about Ms. Sinister?
Liu: Thanks! But don’t worry — Ms. Sinister isn’t going anywhere. And, to some degree, neither is Mr. Sinister.
2) In “Daken: Dark Wolverine” #4, we saw that Daken is going to go after Bucky Barnes (a.k.a. Captain America) because Bucky capped Itsu back when he was the Winter Solider. Bucky isn’t like anyone Daken’s faced before — has he bitten off more than he can chew? And will Black Widow or Steve Rogers be pulled into this conflict?
Way: Daken’s ultimate confrontation with Bucky is definitely going to happen — we’ve spent too much time and effort setting it up for it not to! And it’s gonna be brutal, people. Brutal…
Rory wrote in to comment about an emotionally brutal moment from another book and wondered how it will impact Daken:
1) I really enjoyed issue “Daken: Dark Wolverine” #4! I couldn’t stop giggling every time Daken harassed Ben Grimm. It also felt as though there is a solid friendship between Daken and Johnny Storm. Will Johnny’s tragic demise have any impact on Daken? Will we see this commented on in a future issue?
Way: Yes. Another straw on the camel’s back, so to speak. Eventually, there will be one too many.
2) On a lighter note, if “Daken: Dark Wolverine” is ever going to be made into a movie, what actor do you think is best suited to play Daken? My little niece (who loves Daken, just like me) has been rooting for Mark Salling (a.k.a. Noah Puckerman in “Glee”) to play him, although I find it difficult to imagine a singing Daken.
Way: Wow, good question. No one springs to mind, but since the character is almost completely internalized, whoever it is would have to be one hell of an actor.
Liu: Absolutely. Although, the other day I was watching “White Collar,” and actor Matthew Bomer definitely has the style part down…
Hm, that’s a toughie — but I’d love to see Daken sing a few Journey songs. While we all contemplate that notion, Taurean wanted to hear more about a handless hero.
Marjorie, I am a big fan of your work and I was wondering…with Hellion now walking a fine line between hero and potential villain, what kind of influence will X-23 play in helping him stay on the right side?
Liu: Hellion isn’t going to be returning to the book for a while. When he does, though, X-23 is going to be a very different person.
Robert W. is a thoughtful individual and sent in a question for each of you. Ain’t he sweet?
1) Daniel, I loved your “Wolverine: Origins” and while I felt you left Romulus (for the most part) dead, did you say all you wanted to with that character? Or do you plan to revisit him?
Way: Originally, I had planned to do much more with the character but, well, things happen. Will I, or someone else, eventually spring him from the Darkforce Dimension? I can almost guarantee it.
2) Marjorie, I felt you wrote one of the best Jubilee stories in “Girl Comics” #3, so I know you’re going to do wonders with her when she appears in “X-23.” Can you give us any hints on how Jubilee will interact with X-23 now that Jubes is a vampire?
Liu: Thank you so much! It so happens that I just wrote the first issue of an upcoming arc that will bring Jubilee (and Wolverine) into the book. It’ll be an uneasy relationship between the two of them. Jubilee is a predator now, and X-23 knows it. Both girls are dangerous killers, except X-23 was trained to be that way and is dealing with the heavy burden and price of that lifestyle. Jubilee had these instincts thrust on her, and she’s still learning about the emotional and personal costs. Plus, Wolverine doesn’t exactly treat these girls the same, and that double standard will be addressed.
Renaldo sent in an email requesting some possible team-ups…and then concludes with an awkward team-up suggestion of his own!
1) Ms. Liu, do you have any urge to involve the new young X-females (such as those of the 5 Lights, Pixie or even Hope) in the “X-23” book, as it seems Laura could relate to several of them and offer advice? It would be nice to see X-23 get that shot at maturity after seeing her do “gore” on X-Force…
Liu: I think Hope and X-23 would have an interesting relationship, but I don’t have plans to bring her into the book. Besides, she’s very busy at the moment! Jubilee is coming in, though — at least for one arc — and after that’s played out, expect to see a couple other X-Men who haven’t been around in a while; including Kiden and her friends from NYX.
2) Dan, with Deadpool going bonkers and loving it on “X-Force,” will there be any X-Force cameos in your book? It pains me that Bullseye can’t show up in this title (as he’s dead), but Vanisher, Domino, or Fantomex would be great!
Way: It’s possible. The next year of stories has already been plotted out (more news on that soon), but maybe later on?
3) Finally, Marjorie Liu…will you marry me?
Liu: Finally, in time for Valentine’s Day! A marriage proposal! And one that’s not from prison!
And that bizarre final question is a great segue way to this week’s “Behind the X” question. As a “loverly” holiday is soon approaching, what is the best Valentine you’ve either given or received?
Way: Given? Can’t tell you because my girlfriend is going to read this and I don’t want to ruin the surprise. Received? I’ll let you know in a few weeks.
Liu: Honestly, I can’t remember. Probably it was back in elementary school, when we were all forced to buddy up on Valentines. I think the cut-out heart I received had been gummed a little by the boy next to me.
On that heartfelt note, we close out this week’s X-gathering with a wink and a smile. Be sure to join us next week though as we have an X-POSITION newbie joining us: writer Kathryn Immonen (“X-Men: Pixie Strikes Back,” “Heralds”) stops by to answer all your questions about “Wolverine and Jubilee.”
Be kind, thoughtful, and witty and shoot me your emails for Kathryn just as soon as you can. Place an “X-Position” in the subject line, and I’ll arrange for some tasty treats to arrive in your mailbox on Valentine’s day (everyone here likes rutabaga, right?). I’m excited to see those emails, so hop on your keyboards and send them now!