Publication Date: 31st Jan 2022
Written By: Douglas Mangum and Monolith.
Image Work: sixhoursoflucy and Gremlin.


The man who would be known as Daken was born sometime after World War II in the Japanese village known as Jasmine Falls. His parents were a Japanese woman named Itsu and a foreigner who went by the name Logan. Though he would one day be famous as the hero known as Wolverine, Daken’s father had come to Japan a broken man, searching for redemption and personal peace. After his fourth year of training with the legendary Bando Suboro in Jasmine Falls, Logan felt confident enough in himself to take Itsu as his wife and shortly thereafter she became pregnant.

Though Logan had achieved the happiness and peace he sought, his past came back to undo it. The shadowy power broker who called himself Romulus had decades-old plans for Logan, and a peaceful life was not part of them. Through intermediaries, Romulus hired the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier to murder Itsu while Logan was away, after which Romulus himself extracted Daken from his mother’s lifeless corpse. The fact that the unborn child survived the experience proved he had a healing factor like his father and would likely be as useful a tool to Romulus’ plans as had Logan. [Wolverine (3rd series) #40, Wolverine: Origins #4-5]

Possessing no interest in raising a child himself, Romulus left the infant on the doorstep of an influential Japanese couple, Akihira and Natsumi, who lived in Senoia, Miyagi Prefecture. Though well respected and wealthy, the couple seemed unable to have children on their own, so they eagerly took in the newborn, whom they named Akihiro. Growing up, the boy's mixed heritage was apparent and at the age of nine he was already the subject of bullying by local children, who gave him the name Daken – the Japanese word for “mongrel.” However, while young Akihiro seemed to take the beating submissively, the other youths looked at him with fearful eyes when their group leader was found dead shortly thereafter.

[Note: Wolverine: Origins #26 claimed Daken was left on Akihira's stoop as an infant in 1946, but this date is apparently inaccurate. For one, Logan supposedly lived in Jasmine Falls for four years prior to the Winter Soldier's assault and Daken's birth, meaning he would have missed out on most of World War II, which we know is untrue. Also, we know from Logan's personal timeline that he spent time with both Landau, Luckman & Lake and Ogun after World War II but before Jasmine Falls. This period of time likely covered several years. Therefore, Daken's birth presumably came closer to the mid-1950's.]

While Akihira showed genuine affection for his son, Natsumi felt no love for Akihiro. She finally voiced this to her husband when she informed him that their fortunes had changed and she was finally with child, a conversation which young Akihiro overheard. Having a sibling who truly belonged to his parents seemed to alienate young Akihiro and his anti-social tendencies grew. Incredibly intelligent, Akihiro retreated into his books and, through innate ability, taught himself Greek and read Hellenic texts in their original language. Inspired by the harsh survivalist nature of the Spartans, Akihiro’s twisted mind led him to expose his sibling to the elements, killing him. Akihira could not bring himself to harm his son, and decided to banish him instead. However, Natsumi was not so inclined and attacked Akihiro with a rifle. The fight or flight instinct prompted Akihiro to unintentionally pop his claws for the first time, killing his adoptive mother. So distraught by his loss, Akihira used the rifle to commit suicide. Before he could decide what to do, Akihiro detected a presence in the woods, a hulking man who introduced himself as Romulus and declared that he was what Daken would become. Satisfied with his growth and ferocity, Romulus had come to reclaim his foundling. From that point forward, Akihiro no longer used the name given to him by his adopted parents—he was only Daken. [Wolverine: Origins #26]

Four years later, Daken was sent by Romulus to a training camp in Canada to be instructed specifically under the tutelage of one of Romulus’ most brutal instructors, Silas Burr. For nine months, Daken trained under Burr, along with many other recruits. However, when one day he received orders from Romulus to kill everyone in the camp and raze it to the ground, Daken dutifully obeyed. Among his victims was Frederick Hudson, who ran the camp for Romulus and was biologically Daken's great-uncle. The only thing that saved Burr was Romulus, who informed Daken that he still had plans for him. Daken accompanied Romulus as he took Burr to a lab operated out of a barn, located in remote, rural Saskatchewan. Daken watched as agents of Romulus grafted Adamantium directly to Burr’s skin, transforming him into the prototype agent which would eventually be known as Cyber. The process completed, Daken killed those who had performed the process, thereby tying up loose ends. [Wolverine: Origins #32]

While Daken’s father Logan had long been an agent of Romulus, he had always been kept at a distance, given orders through an intermediary. Daken, however, was brought directly into the fold. In the decades which followed, Daken continued to serve his master, presumably as a master assassin and top lieutenant in his shadow empire. Aside from his claws, Daken inherited from his father his enhanced senses and, more importantly, his healing factor, which radically slowed his rate of aging. In fact, Daken actually seemed to stop aging in his mid to late twenties. Unlike his father, however, Daken also possessed an ability to project pheromones, which could influence the emotions of others. Daken used this ability, in conjunction with his good looks, to seduce both women and men, and thus making it easier to manipulate them. Romulus helped Daken hone these abilities and encouraged Daken’s sadistic and cruel nature.

During all of this time, Daken never seemed to question his master, so it wasn’t until a mission in Afghanistan in 1977 when Romulus revealed, much to Daken’s surprise, that his biological father still lived. To further his manipulation, however, Romulus claimed that Daken’s father had murdered his mother with him still within the womb, all because he was afraid of what Daken might one day become. Given the response of his adopted parents to him, Daken had little reason to doubt this tale. [Wolverine: Origins #27]

Despite the intense hatred Romulus instilled in him regarding his father, Daken made no move against Logan. In all likelihood, this reflected Romulus’ long-term, though mysterious, plans for Logan, which didn’t seem to be bothered when he became the world-famous X-Man known as Wolverine. What did warrant action by Romulus, and thus his underling Daken, was when an encounter with the Scarlet Witch restored the memories which Romulus had so often successfully buried in Logan’s psyche. [House of M event] Worse for Romulus and Daken, Wolverine began investigating his formerly blocked memories, and learned that his son by Itsu lived. [Wolverine: Origins #4]

Wolverine desperately wished to find his son, but in fact it was Daken who first sought out his father. Though he was unaware of Romulus by name, Wolverine knew whatever shadowy force had manipulated him all of his life now had his son. While seeking out the Carbonadium synthesizer to override his son’s healing power so that he may capture him, Wolverine was captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. in Berlin, giving Daken a literal captive audience. Dressed as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., Daken infiltrated the base and made his way to Wolverine’s cell. The only resistance he found was Commander "Dum Dum" Dugan, who sensed something amiss about the passing agent, but Daken was too quick and brutally stabbed him in the chest with his claws. Entering his father’s cell, Daken was immediately recognized for who he was. While Logan’s emotions overwhelmed his normally stoic self, Daken felt only hatred and used his claws to gut his father. Declaring that “he” was right about Wolverine, Daken left his father in a pool of his own blood. [Wolverine: Origins #10]

Though he had apparently left his father for dead, Daken knew well that Logan would survive and actually left tools behind for his successful escape. Daken then shadowed his father and cornered him in a bank vault Wolverine had broken into in order to secretly recover the hidden Carbonadium synthesizer. Again Daken got the better of his father, but was interrupted by the arrival of Cyber. Romulus arranged for Cyber's death years earlier, when Burr announced his intention to start "naming names." Cyber eventually returned from the grave, and saw Daken as his means of finding his former master for revenge. Having been denied a battle with his father without interruption, Daken departed, leaving Wolverine and Cyber to fight each other. [Wolverine: Origins #13-14]

Almost immediately, Daken was brought in by fellow Romulus agents, Wild Child and Victor Hudson, who passed along their shared master’s great displeasure at Daken’s recent actions. Having already been warned to leave his father alone, Daken was now reminded by means of electrically charged whips. The message was clear: Romulus was not yet done with Logan. [Wolverine: Origins #12, 15]

Though he had been ordered not to kill his father, Daken could not stand by and allow someone else to do it either. Continuing to shadow him, Daken watched Wolverine’s bloody, chaotic battle against Deadpool, who had been hired to kill him. When it seemed that Deadpool was about to succeed, Daken interfered and proceeded to put down the hired assassin, so that he could murder his father himself. Unfortunately for Daken, the whole situation had been an elaborate trap. Wolverine’s ally Bucky, who once was the Soviet mind-controlled Winter Soldier, had hired Deadpool to draw out Daken. Now with him out in the open, Bucky used a sniper rifle to fire a Carbonadium-tipped bullet (created by Wolverine’s acquired synthesizer) into Daken’s head, overriding his healing factor and reducing him, at least temporarily, into a mental fugue state. [Wolverine: Origins #24-25]

Much to Wolverine’s surprise, when Daken did soon recover, he was suffering from total amnesia. Seeing this as a second chance with his son, Wolverine took Daken to an old Tibetan friend in San Francisco’s Chinatown. It was Wolverine’s hope that he could enlist the aid of Charles Xavier to use his telepathy to break through Romulus’ mental conditioning, much like Xavier had done with Wolverine when he first joined the X-Men. However, after being left alone with the Tibetan family, Daken was telepathically contacted by Miss Sinister, going by the name “Claudine Renko,” who offered her assistance with his problem instead of Logan’s way. Not detecting any deceit on Wolverine’s part, Daken initially declined, resulting in Miss Sinister’s partner, Sebastian Shaw, ordering a helicopter strike on the house. With his minders now dead and faced with a powerful foe, Daken relented and accompanied Miss Sinister and Shaw out of the country. [Wolverine: Origins #28, X-Men: Original Sin #1]

Arriving in Panama, Daken found an opulent mansion and an overly gracious host in the form of Sebastian Shaw, who promised to give back Daken his memories, in return for the “favor” of help in reacquiring power in the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle. With Daken’s consent, Claudine attempted to enter Daken’s mind but was unsuccessful, due to an implanted psychic trap laid by Romulus. Rather than tell him this, however, Claudine explained that the process would take time, and then helped Daken bide that time with a little romance. However, unknown to Daken, Shaw and Claudine had left clues in the U.S., pointing the way for Wolverine and Xavier to find them in Panama. With their arrival, Xavier was tricked into pushing through the mental trap laid by Romulus.

What Claudine could not have foreseen, however, was that Xavier’s act would restore Daken’s memories. Before she could implant her own, Daken struck, gutting her. He was about to kill Xavier, when Wolverine arrived and gave Daken a more desirable target. However, the fight came to a sudden close when Xavier allowed both father and son to share a memory: Logan’s memory of Daken’s mother, Itsu. Knowing that the memory was not a lie, Daken finally came to realize that Romulus had lied to him and that his mother had not been killed by Wolverine. With his son now knowing the truth, Wolverine offered Daken something new, revenge against Romulus, which Daken promptly accepted. [Original Sin crosover]