Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Daken: Dark Wolverine #20 [Comic Review]

"These men? They are meat simply waiting to stop moving."

Rather than waiting until the end of the week to post a clump of comic book reviews ("reviews", really), I figure I can just post them individually and such. This also means it looks like I have more content and I'm doing more than trying to figure out the exact rules for a FATAL RPG LARP.

(That's right-- big, big letters.)

Today, let's look at the latest issue of Daken: Dark Wolverine, shall we? Beginning the near-senseless ramblings... NOW!

I was never much interested in reading Daken. Nope. The very thought of reading anything Wolverine related bores the shit out of me. And this is hilarious when you take into account that I'm 1) wearing a Wolverine t-shit, and 2) it's John Byrne's Wolverine on my t-shirt (this will be REALLY funny to those of you who know me as "the guy who murdered All The Rage"). Indeed, I didn't even know who the hell Daken is, exactly, until I looked him up on The Mighty Wikipedia.

Let's see... ah, yes, I knew he was Wolverine's son already... uh-huh... Oh, his name is Akihiro and Daken is his codename. Well, that makes perfect sense. Uh-huh... reading some more... I see. I see. So, Daken is Wolverine as a young man without re-booting Wolverine, maybe? It doesn't matter. From my quick research I can conclude that he is Wolverine, but younger and more interesting. And not Canadian.

There's a window here for me to crack a "And making him not-Canadian increases the interesting-factor of Daken three-fold", but I'll refrain. Don't worry, though, I also picked up the latest issue of Alpha Flight to check it out.

You may be asking yourself "But why did you buy Daken, Steve?" That's a very good question! Truth be told, I read the new Ghost Rider series on a whim, noticed that I still really enjoy Rob Williams' writing (he's a true gem from the 2000 AD stable-- also known as Great Britain), and saw him mention Daken on Twitter. I was, like, "Well, shit, I'll buy a copy and check it out, especially since it's a standalone."

Yes, this issue is a standalone; which means you don't need too much back story to know what's going on. It's also a love story, billed as a "love story of two psychopaths" or something like that. I suppose it is, too, and I also suppose that my idea of a "psychopath" deviates heavily from the vanilla bedsheets of mainstream superhero comics, but Williams does an excellent job with what he has. The art, headed up by Alessandro Vitti, is incredibly well done, as well as incredibly fitting for the book. I should also mention the colour-job by Cris Peter and Rachelle Rosenberg; it's excellent and totally enhances the mood of the overall story.

For more look-sees, I recommend heading over to Comic Book Resources for a preview.

If I may be honest, I would read more superhero comics if they were written like this. There's just enough edge to the story to appeal to my rather askew and violent tastes, and the dialog is consistent and interesting enough to draw me in. Your mileage may vary, of course, and I know a couple people out there that would find this comic to be offensive. It's certainly not for small children. But then again, if your 5 year old is reading this, a) nice to see your kid is as good a reader as I was at that age-- don't let them get a History degree or something just as useless, and b) you probably have other parent/child issues to worry over.

Oh, the story? Uh, Daken and this woman named Donna Kiel (she's FBI) deal with their feelings for each other... and they're kinda messed up and violent. And something about redemption. It reminds me a bit of my last relationship, actually. Too bad I don't have cool claws, a saner partner for that whole ordeal, or Wolverine for a dad.

It's a bit of a problem, you know? Growing up and telling my father "Dad, why can't you be Wolverine? I mean, the military thing is cool and all, but NATO didn't issue you an adamantium skeleton. I suppose the flight suits are cool, yeah" kinda got old after a while.

No, my father doesn't hate me. He probably should, though.

Nutshell version: This is one heck of a great standalone comic. Even if you don't read Daken, it's worth some ducats dropped down on it. No, it won't cure cancer or even make one bit prettier*, but you can be rest assured that this comic is in good hands.
(*chances are nothing would help in that department; sorry)

Also, am I to understand that Daken: Dark Wolverine #21 is the last issue? I should probably find that out and update. Oh, wait, just Googled that noise... Poop, looks like it. More confirmation here. It also looks like the trend of "Marvel always cancels the titles I read" soldiers on. Remember Irredeemable Ant-Man? One of my fave comics EVAR. And what happened to it? Murdered hardcore by cancellation.

UPDATE: #23 is the last issue of Daken: Dark Wolverine. Upside is I have some back issues and/or trades to purchase and read.

Lethality: While armed with only the best in vorpal weaponry, five out of six of the stalwart adventures were brutally killed. One crazed survivor came back to tell everyone "Goddammit, I might have to read Daken now."

Epilogue: I can't be the only one out there who envisions a group of orks chanting "DAKEN DAKEN DAKEN". And is it "Day-ken" or "Dack-en"? Hmmm...


Questions? Comments? You know the drill. Say something. SAY SOMETHING. Or email me.


Kelvin Green said...

Wikipedia should change its name to The Mighty Wikipedia.

I still haven't forgiven Marvel for cancelling nextwave.

Steve Saunders said...

I miss nextwave!!!1

It's not always the good titles that are cancelled, but much of the time good titles are cancelled. And usually I'm completely unaware... or am just noticing a comic finally and then BAM-- cancelled.

Same goes for TV shows. I really miss The Dresden Files, for instance.