One of the reasons Norman Osborn's Dark Reign over the Marvel Universe has been so effective is because he's been paying attention. Osborn wants the public to believe he and his associates are heroes, so what better way to do that than give them what they're used to?
For example, the public is used to the costumed hero Wolverine being a member of both the New Avengers and the Uncanny X-Men. Of course, Osborn couldn't get Wolverine for his Dark Avengers, but he got the next best thing. He recruited Wolverine's estranged and violent son, Daken, to impersonate his father.
In this summer's six-part "Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia" crossover, Osborn looks for Daken to do double duty and stand in for Wolverine on his team of Dark X-Men as well. In this installment of IRON PATRIOTISM, our discussion with "Utopia" writer Matt Fraction about his take on the Dark Avengers, we turn the spotlight on a man who's the best there is at what he does - and what he does is both beautiful and terrible to behold - Daken.
Daken may be pretending to be his dad, but Fraction sees father and son as having two completely different personalities. "He's everything Wolverine isn't. He's erudite, cultured and flamboyant," the writer told CBR News. "He's like the metrosexual Wolverine. He's all these different things and he's a lot of fun to write from that angle. I get to write him recommending restaurants to people and being a snob who goes out and guts people. So I'm having a blast with that. "
Becoming an Avenger and an X-Man means Daken will spend a lot of time in the public eye, and he couldn't be happier about it. "He loves the cameras and the attention. He can't enough of them because he knows they're allowing him to rub Wolverine's nose in it," Fraction explained. "It's sweet when he pretends to be an Avenger but man it's even sweeter when he's pretending to be an X-Man. He knows he's making his dad's blood boil."
Daken's newfound celebrity status means that in "Utopia," he'll be more concerned about fame and having a good time than with following the orders of Norman Osborn. "I want to take full advantage of the hedonism that celebrity and San Francisco offer somebody," Fraction stated. "So if this was the Daken movie, this would be the 'Awesome! Things are going great!' montage. He's having the time of his life with all this stuff. He doesn't give a fuck about Osborn. He just wants to make his dad look bad."
For Daken, having fun and making his dad look bad of course means getting into a few scrapes. However, readers shouldn't expect father and son to go toe-to-toe in "Utopia." "As a writer and [Daken creator] Daniel Way's buddy, that's a story for him to write," Fraction said. "So I'm looking at putting Daken in other places and against other people."
But readers hoping to see saw claw versus claw action in "Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia" won't be disappointed. Daken and Wolverine won't be tangling, but Fraction plans on giving fans a match-up they've been clamoring for: Daken Vs. X-23. "Nice work, message boards," Fraction said. "Think of that pairing as Spike and Buffy."