Daken: Dark Wolverine Issue 1
Well, it's time for a new Dark Wolverine series, not even a month after the last Dark Wolverine series ended. On the bright side though, now I don't have to read all the past Wolverine books to get a sense for Daken and Romulus and everything going on. Instead I get to jump right into Daken: Dark Wolverine! Excitement building!
The issue opens with 50 years ago, Wolverine is stumbling about and falls into a heap of mud as we hear Daken monologuing about how much he hates Wolverine. So much so that he's willing to wait to kill him until the moment is just right. Back to the present, we see a fashion show going on as Daken shows how manipulative he can be and then he kills a bunch of people who are after him, for reasons he knows but won't state out loud. After taking care of them, Daken goes to an unknown location where he meets with a shadowy figure and discuss Mystiques betrayal (See Wolverine Issue 1). When asked why, he replies that he wants it all. We then cut to see Daken standing atop a building in his new costume, ready to unless his fury.
Being my first foray into the world of Daniel Way and Marjorie Liu I'm happy to say that I got exactly what I expected. That is that Daken is handled incredibly well, made both incredibly charming and incredibly cruel, but in a way where you can't help but love the guy. His dialogue alone is enough to just make the character instantly enticing and you want to see more of him at the end of the issue. My only problem though is that not enough happens in this issue. I mean, a bunch of things do, but it feels almost like a prelude to what is to come, and I think that's appropriate for a first issue. First issues shouldn't run head first into things, they should never assume you know the characters perfectly well, they should introduce them to you. My main problem with Namor a few weeks back was for that very reason, it ran head first into things and it felt random as a result. Here I can tell that all things have a purpose and that the story will unfold beautifully.
Giuseppe Camuncoli on pencils is what really got me into this book. Having encountered his art in a few other books briefly, I was somewhat familiar and very intrigued by his art. He has a style that is hard to describe but feels right immediately for a book like this. The way he draws Daken and the steely stare he gives him makes him all the more seductive and brings out he character fully. There is also a panel with a girls teeth being examined that just stood out to me and again a panel with Daken eating a strawberry that truly captured his character. None of this would be possible without the great contributions of Onofrio Catacchio on inks and Frank D'Armata. Both do standout work and I can't wait to see what these three bring to next issue when Liu and Way let loose.
Overall, this is a decent start to a new Daken book, but you don't need it. If you haven't read anything with Daken and have no idea who he is, there is a nice back-up that explains in detail his back history and adds that little bit for an extra dollar. Overall, a good book with a bright future. 4 out of 5.