Throughout his life, Wolverine has loved many women and developed many fatherly roles. He’s acted as a father to Kitty Pryde, Jubilee, Amiko and Pixie. Logan will also be the debut of X-23 on the silver screen, who as his clone can also be considered his ‘daughter.’ But I’d rather put the spotlight on another of his children. Daken is Wolverine’s biological son. He was born in Japan in 1946, when Logan settled down with a Japanese woman called Itsu. Daken is everything his father isn’t and I’ll explain why.
Daken was created in 2007 and introduced in the Wolverine: Origins comic. When The Winter Soldier killed Itsu, Daken was cut out of his mother’s womb by a mysterious man and survived because he inherited his father’s healing factor. The baby was left on the doorstep of a wealthy couple called Akihira and Natsumi. The boy was named Akihiro by his adoptive father, but was called Daken by the other villagers. This was a slur on his mixed heritage as Daken means mongrel.
Natsumi becomes pregnant and Daken becomes jealous and eventually kills her son. Akihiro is unable to kill Daken and commits suicide. It’s at this time Romulus appears before Daken for the first time. Romulus is responsible for manipulating many events in Wolverine’s life and raises Daken to hate his father. Daken meets Wolverine for the first time decades later and attempts to kill him several times because he believed he killed Itsu. Even when Daken discovered that wasn’t true he still fought against Logan.
In his earlier appearances, Daken was presented as fairly one-note and out for revenge. It wasn’t until he received his own solo series called Dark Wolverine that he truly began to develop. Under the talented pen of Marjorie Liu, Daken became a master schemer who could control everyone around him. He was able to outsmart Norman Osborn, Reed Richards and others. Daken was characterised as wanting to move beyond his grudge against Wolverine and build an empire for himself.
What sets Daken apart from his father is that he is more sophisticated and cultured. He possesses a healing factor and bone claws, but has the unique power of pheromone secretion. This allows him to manipulate people’s emotions and mess with their sensory control. He’s also one of the few openly bisexual characters in comics, having slept with men and women to get what he wants. Marjorie Liu has confirmed his sexuality. “Daken will do anyone and anything to achieve his goals and he’s past that kind of identification. He’s beyond it.”
This makes him an intriguing character because he can be considered an anti-villain. Daken has acted the hero if it means he can further his goals. More recently, he’s shown the potential for redemption when he protected Wolverine’s remains and buried his father in a traditional Shinto funeral.
Daken has proven himself to be a formidable addition to Wolverine’s rogue gallery. You’re never entirely sure of his motives and I’d love to see him appear in a future X-Men film.