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Daken / Akihiro

Nationality: Japanese, Krakoan

Species: Human mutant

First Appearance: Wolverine: Origins #5 (October, 2006)

"I never knew my father. I was raised... to be someone different than him. And now I'm supposed to be him. I never asked for that, but when the opportunity found me... I was curious. I wanted to know what it was like. To have people look at me and see... my father."

Akihiro, more commonly known as Daken, is the son of Wolverine and his deceased wife Itsu. Blessed with his dad's Wolverine Claws (although with a twist or two there) and Healing Factor, as well as the added ability to give off pheromones, Daken is a younger, darker and edgier version of his dad, who was the dark and edgy poster child of the 70s-90s. He loves Xanatos Gambits, seducing people just to prove he can and is smart enough to dupe Norman Osborn and Reed Richards — but still gets his ass handed to him by his father. Speaking of dad, Daken has quite a few daddy issues.

Daken first appeared in "Wolverine Origins" #10 (March, 2007), created by Daniel Way and Steve Dillon. He went on to serve as a member of the Dark Avengers. He became the protagonist of Wolverine's ongoing (Logan got a new ongoing titled Wolverine: Weapon X), which was retitled Dark Wolverine, but kept the series' numbering. He gained his own title "Daken: Dark Wolverine" in 2010, which was ongoing until 2011.


Daken featured in Rick Remender's Uncanny X-Force and Uncanny Avengers. He also was one of five characters focused on in The Logan Legacy, a seven-issue miniseries that explored the aftermath of the death of Wolverine, which starred in the weekly ongoing Wolverines.

With the rise of the mutant nation of Krakoa, Daken was one of many villainous mutants offered sanctuary on the island. Seeking to set his past behind him, Daken sought a better relationship with his father and eventually joined the newest iteration of X-Factor, putting his enhanced senses to use in investigating the deaths of mutants to enter them into the resurrection queue.

Comic Books

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Daken provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Aborted Arc: Daken found out that Bucky Barnes was responsible for his mother's death, but despite a clear set-up he never confronted him.
  • Ambiguously Human: It's never been explained exactly where Marcus Roston got his powers.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Has his arm torn off by Mr. Sinister in Wolverines #1 after his healing factor was stripped from him by Siphon at the end of The Logan Legacy. By the time of All-New Wolverine his healing factor had recovered and he grew back his arm.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: Under his Wolverine guise.
  • Anime Hair: Daken's hair is a literal inversion of his father's. Where Wolverine's hair is big and tall on the sides, but more subdued on the top, Daken rocks a Mohawk on an otherwise bald head. As of Wolverines however, he lets his hair grow out to resemble more like Logan.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Given that he hates his father to the point where he's attempted to usurp Sabretooth's role as Logan's Archenemy, he definitely counts.
  • Anti-Hero: On the occasions he actually helps the heroes without any ulterior motives, he’s still kind of a dick and generally savage to his enemies. After joining X-Factor, it’s even lampshaded that they need to keep a eye on him lest he rub off his worse tendencies on the rest of the team.
  • Anti-Villain: He generally occupies this role rather than being an outright villain, though it's often Depending on the Writer. More recent works have swung him more towards the "anti" end of the scale.
  • Anything That Moves: Sort of (see below). Daken plays with gender stereotypes like they were jazz songs with no rules. As in the scene where he seduces a female anorexic supermodel by finger feeding her a strawberry she had been afraid to eat, and then flirts with the nebbishy male fashion designer on the same page without stopping for breath. He follows this up by flirting with the Shapeshifter Mystique before the end of the comic.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Daken (駄犬) means "mongrel" or "dog" in Japanese and was the name he was taunted with as a child.
  • Archenemy: After Sabretooth he's the strongest contender for the title, what with his Evil Counterpart status, personal connection to Logan, and popularity among writers and fans alike. Ironically and despite this, Daken is shown to be profoundly saddened by Logan's death and makes an effort to give him some form of proper burial. Later during Wolverines he's insistent that Logan's remains be treated with respect once they're recovered, and is prepared to come to blows with Sabretooth when he (incorrectly) believes the latter is mocking him for it.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
    • For all his antagonism towards Logan, he really did love his father in his way, and at times even expressed regret that he never truly got to be a part of his family. He even went out of his way to recover what effects of Logan's he could from an Auction of Evil so he could give him a proper Japanese funeral.
    • Although his early interactions with X-23 were hostile, by the end of their second encounter in Madripoor he began to establish a grudging respect for her. By The Logan Legacy and Wolverines this had grown to something resembling brotherly affection, which Laura returned, openly considering him her family. In All-New Wolverine their relationship was firmly established when Daken agreed to help fight the disease ravaging Roosevelt Island entirely because Laura needed him.
  • Back from the Dead: Was killed at the end of Uncanny X-Force by Rick Remender. Was brought back in Uncanny Avengers as one of the Apocalypse Twins' Horsemen of Death by Rick Remender.
  • Badass Bookworm: As per his assassin upbringing he recieved a top class education and is very, very intelligent.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Occasionally when he's not in either a dark variant of his father's costume, average street clothes or pants and tattoos.
  • Bad with the Bone: Daken has three retractable bone claws housed underneath his forearms, two claws which emerge from between the skin of his first and third knuckles and one from his inner wrist. These claws are much harder and denser than normal human bone and their natural shape provides them with a razor sharp edge capable of easily slicing through flesh and bone, and they have been shown to be able to penetrate metals as durable as Iron Man's armor.
  • The Berserker: Subverted, people expect this of Daken, given who his dad is, and he has a tendency to take advantage of it at times. In one scene, Daken allows Norman Osborn to think that he has used Daken's temper and hatred for Wolverine to bait him, after which Daken smiles and points out the mistakes in Osborn's cultured facade.
    Norman Osborn: "But more importantly, you're MY Wolverine. YOU are Wolverine. Do you know what a hero is?"
    Daken: "You mean... like Spider-Man?"
  • Big Brother Instinct: His relationship with his sister eventually develops into this, if in his own, twisted way.
  • Body Horror: Like his dad, Daken's healing factor means that he tends to get put through the meat grinder on a regular basis.
    • There was one particular incident where he acquired a Bloodstone, which grants a healing factor that, coupled with his own, gave him super lupus that caused tumors to sprout from his body. The more damage, the greater the tumors, and Frankencastle blowing him up with a grenade caused him to sprout into a giant mass he had to cut himself out of.
  • Cain and Abel: He's the Cain to X-23's Abel. However he and Laura actually get along rather well, and she's one of the only people he genuinely seems to care for.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He has a tendency to not be trusted due to him only stay on his own side and ends up abandoning others.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Let's see.. he survived his mother's murder (which happened before he was born!), watched his adoptive father commit suicide, and was raised by a hated enemy of his father's. Yup.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He's his father's son.
  • Death Is Cheap: He apparently died in an explosion he caused after his healing factor was destroyed. He later showed up, revealing himself behind the new Brotherhood. Where, after fighting Logan a bit, he died, again. After that, he became an undead Horseman of Death for the Apocalypse Twins, before an Unexplained Recovery in time for The Logan Legacy.
  • Delinquent Hair: His hair is done up in a Mohawk.
  • Depending on the Artist: Daken's depiction ranges from slightly-ugly to extremely-handsome depending on who is doing the drawing.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Daken has killed countless innocents, including poisoning wine he knew his disposable girlfriend would drink. He was in a relationship with Icemaster in Uncanny X-Men (2018), and in Leah Williams's X-Factor (2020) he is into Aurora and jokes that him being this trope is balanced out by Prodigy's aversion of this trope while they're on the same team.
  • Distaff Counterpart:
    • His little "sister" X-23.
    • Kirika from the Age of Apocalypse timeline. Even more so since they both have Japanese mothers.
  • Due to the Dead:
    • In Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #5, Daken assaults an auction in Madripoor and slaughters everyone there except Viper, Mystique, and a former lover in order to retrieve the remains of Logan that are being sold there so he can give his father a proper burial. He later angrily snaps at Sabretooth not to mock his insistence that Logan's remains be treated with respect once they recover them in Wolverines.
    • He reclaims the body of Laura's mother, Sarah Kinney, in All-New Wolverine #30 so Laura can finally give her a proper burial.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: invokedDaken is very much a deconstruction of the dark romantic hero. Everyone who meets Daken — his father, Mystique, Norman Osborn, the Fantastic Four, Moonstone — thinks they've got him figured out. They all think they can reach him or control him. And they are all wrong.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Prior to becoming a movie star, Marcus Roston was a member of the Pride, but was kicked out because he seemed to be taking an unhealthy interest in their kids. Apparently, even a cabal dedicated to purging the earth of almost all life has standards.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: His dead mother Itsu is one of the closest things to a soft spot that Daken has. The other is his "sister," X-23.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Zig-zagged. Daken's Smells Sexy pheromones are just as effective on males as on females, a fact that he ruthlessly exploits as a tool for manipulating people. Even ones who would otherwise find him personally repulsive due to his personality. Also, his attractiveness is nowhere near so effective against those who are not affected by his pheromones. For example, Hulkling of the Young Avengers is unaffected, and can even tell that Daken is trying to manipulate him with his pheromones, because Hulkling is a Non-Human Humanoid Hybrid with absolutely no human ancestry.
  • Evil Costume Switch: As a member of the Horsemen of Death, he wears a black variant of his Dark Avengers outfit.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Daken is this to his father.
    • More so to his sister since Wolverine already has a long-established evil counterpart. Daken shows how Laura could have turned out (and still might) without any positive guidance in her life. Despite that, after an initial violent encounter they actually get along quite well, and in fact she's one of the few people who he seems to have genuine affection for.
  • Eye Scream: See An Arm and a Leg above; Sinister also takes one of his eyes.
  • Face–Heel Revolving Door: Don't expect him to stay on anyone's side for more than a day. Why everyone is continually surprised by this is a question best left for the ages.
  • Fantastic Drug: Heat, Daken's new psychotropic addiction. Also, while he's drugged, there is a rather neat Art Shift. It is also arguably a MacGuffin since it also negates his Healing Factor.
  • Freudian Excuse: According to his creators.
  • Generation Xerox: In the end, he and Skaar don't get along any better than Logan and The Hulk. Much to Wolverine's relief, because he was utterly terrified by the idea of Daken befriending gamma-powered space Conan.
  • Genius Bruiser: Although not the obvious muscle head his dad is, Daken can pull this off pretty well too.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: He's done his fair share of standing around and letting horrible injuries happen to him for no reason other than the fact that they'll heal quickly.
  • Healing Factor: His dad is Wolverine. Duh. He briefly lost it during the events of Wolverines, and even after it restarted it remained severely compromised for some time.
  • The Hedonist: When one of your powers is pretty much "seduce people", you might let it get to your head.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Since Logan's death.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Generally a Heel but he has his moments of almost Anti-Hero, particularly when it concerns his "little sister" Laura.
  • Hero Killer: He killed the Punisher. Frank got better, though.
  • Hot Blooded Sideburns: Like his father Daken grows some and is hotheaded.
  • Killed Off for Real: Drowned by Wolverine in X-Force. That didn't stick, as he came back in Uncanny Avengers not long afterwards, and he's back to normal by All-New Wolverine.
  • Icy Gray Eyes: When the colorist actually remembers what his eye color his, it's usually depicted as a steely gray. This is done most likely as a contrast to his father's much warmer blue ones.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved:
    • Drunkenly confesses to Logan that sometimes, he wonders what he would've been like if Logan and his mother raised him.
    • His relationship with Sabretooth was implied to be this, as Victor himself says the kid was so starved for fatherly love that he would do anything Victor said. This is retconned later in that Daken knew Creed was playing him all along, and just went with it because it served Daken's own purposes.
  • Important Haircut: Following his Heel–Face Turn in X-Factor, he's mostly kept his hair in tied back in a bun instead of the wild mohawk he's most known for. This makes him look a lot more normal and fits his improving disposition.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Oh God, do you want a list of the people he's messed with? He once drove a lover he was messing with to suicide to get rid of any loose ends. Daken is himself manipulated into getting himself killed at his father's hands by Sabertooth, an even bigger bastard. Then after he got better, it's retconned that Daken knew what Creed was doing all along, and just went with it for his own reasons.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Daken is Japanese for "mongrel". He chose to keep this name after being called it regularly when he was a child in Japan, with the other people noticing that he was half white, hence "mixed breed".
    • Akihiro means "bright", "autumn", or "boy", depending on the kanji used. This is the name his adoptive father gave him.
  • Mr. Fanservice: If there is a single issue that doesn't involve him not wearing a shirt, being in tight-spandex, or catering to some form of fetish, the person who finds it deserves a Marvel No-Prize.
  • Non-Action Guy: It's not that he isn't good at fighting or doesn't enjoy a decent brawl, but he spends a lot of his ongoing dealing out measured and calculated violence and only then when it's absolutely necessary. His stated reason for this restraint and his heavier focus on scheming is because he doesn't want to be the raging brute he perceives his father to be. He ultimately fails and ends his series picking a fight with the Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and whoever else was in New York city when he attacked it.
  • Not So Different:
  • He has one of those moments with Banner who, currently depowered, convinced him he is as much of a killer as him.
  • Used on Donna Kiel, an FBI agent who's been hunting down Daken for the past few issues. Daken tells her that he is fond of her, and regards her as his equal, as well as labeling her a psychopath, like himself.
  • Practically Different Generations: Daken was born just after World War II, making him no younger than his 70s. His sister, X-23, is 20 years old as of All-New Wolverine. Gabby is even younger, being thirteen years old.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Daken loves to invoke and then subvert this trope. To put it more bluntly, this is a character who has very few redeeming qualities.
    • He demonstrates genuine affection for X-23, who is one of the few people he treats as an equal. When he later comes to help out with The Plague ravaging Roosevelt Island in All-New Wolverine, he admits he doesn't give a damn about the island, and is only there for her. This extends to Gabby, as well, and Daken even gives her her first superhero name.
    • He shows moments of kindness to street kids and children who have suffered rough upbringings.
    • For all his antagonism towards Logan, he really did love his father in his own way, and at times even expressed regret that he never truly got to be a part of his family. He even went out of his way to recover what effects of Logan's he could from an Auction of Evil so he could give him a proper Japanese funeral.
  • Pheromones: Daken can produce these to make people fall in love with him, regardless of their gender. He can also manipulate people in more subtle ways, it's just that seduction is his favorite way of getting what he wants.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Averted. Daken is regularly treated as an Anti-Villain or a Noble Demon, and has a large number of fans, despite the fact he's a completely unapologetic rapist (primarily with his pheromone powers, but at least once he's just straight-up forced himself on someone). For note, his pheromone power works very similarly to Zebidiah Killgrave (AKA, the Purple Man), who by comparison is treated like an irredeemable monster because of his use of this power for the same reason.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: The part of his origin which involves him as a baby being abandoned on the doorstep of a Japanese couple and taken in by them caused some criticism for using an old plot device that could hardly work in the 20th century. In truth, this happened frequently to children of mixed race who were born right after World War II. Mothers would sometimes leave their children on the doorsteps of sympathetic neighbors in a gamble that they would be taken in.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Like his old man, Daken is older than he looks. Daken appears to be in his mid-twenties or so, but was born just after World War II had ended in 1946.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Daken and Laura take turns delivering this to each other during their rampage through Colcord's base. Daken tries to call her out on her empathy for others, believing that her skills as a killer make her better than everyone around her, and that her heart only forces her to hold back. Laura flatly tells him that she doesn't fight because she has something to prove, but for something bigger than herself. She then turns this around on him, asking why he holds back by not taking the risk of allowing himself to actually care for anyone. Daken doesn't really have an answer.
  • The Resenter: He feels resentment towards his father, his sister, and anybody else who might have a better life than he does.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: At the end of his focus issue of The Logan Legacy, Daken spares Mystique, Viper, and Agent Kim — a former lover who was acting as Hydra's spy at the auction selling off Logan's remains — telling the latter to live a good and full life. After telling his story to his handlers but withholding his relationship with Daken, Kim is promptly killed when they probe his mind to find out just why Daken spared his life.
  • Smells Sexy: He has pheromones that let him nudge people's emotions. The pheromones allow him to push people's emotions in many directions, and Daken has been shown to use this to good effect... He just prefers using it to make himself a sex god. It does not, however, work on non-humans, regardless of sexual orientation, as Hulkling proved.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Daken's mother, Itsu, was murdered by the Winter Soldier before he was born. She had almost no personality developed and was mainly a plot excuse to cause Daken and Logan to fight. His mutant healing factor kicked in and he survived long enough to be rescued by Romulus. This led to the only thing approaching a soft spot he has in memory of her.
  • Survivor Guilt: Muramasa reveals in All-New Wolverine #28 that the reason his Healing Factor remained compromised after the events of Wolverines is because of the immense guilt he carries over his father's death, and not being able to stop it.
  • Training from Hell: Ever since he was a child he has been trained as an assassin at the unpleasant hands of Cyber.
  • Unobtanium: For a while there, Daken had his claws bonded with metal from the Muramasa Blade which negates healing factor, allowing him to threaten even his dad.
  • Unexplained Recovery: It's never explained how he survived his apparent suicide at the close of his solo series, since the entire point was that he no longer had a Healing Factor.
    • The series also featured the return of the Runaways, including Chase, who was shown barely clinging to life at the end of their own series.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Daken takes full advantage of his father's reputation and what he's well known for his Berserker Rage. So he uses this in battle as well.
  • Unwitting Pawn: In Uncanny X-Force, Daken is ultimately an unwitting sacrificial pawn in Sabertooth's latest scheme to screw up Logan's life. It's afterwards turned on its head when it's revealed after his return that he knew Creed was just using him all along, and just went with it for his own reasons.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: To the point of almost once an issue. Lampshaded in one issue when he begins to take off his costume for absolutely no reason whatsoever, seems to think about it, and then continues.
  • Wolverine Claws: As expected from the son of the Trope Namer, he has two knuckle set claws on both hands and two underneath his wrists.
  • Wolverine Wannabe: Wolverine's son, who inherited a great deal of his father's powers. The main difference is that his Healing Factor functions voluntarily rather than passively.

Alternative Title(s): Daken


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