Daken: Dark Wolverine #19 wraps up the “Claws Killer” arc, and with it, Daken’s relationship turned deadly rivalry with Marcus Roston. Still without a functioning healing factor due to an overdose of “Heat” (the drug engineered by Roston that Daken was previously addicted to), Daken has formed an uneasy alliance with the Runaways since Roston was once part of the same supervillain group as their parents, known as the Pride. Also working to stop Roston, even as she fights the hold Roston has on her through her own addiction to Heat.
This issue brings the arc and Daken’s involvement with Marcus Roston to a satisfying conclusion, as well as delivering on the explosive team-up with Daken and the Runaways that the series has been teasing for the last couple of episodes. The fight between the Runaways and Roston offers bright visuals and action; however, the comic doesn’t lean too heavily on that in place of plot. Rob Williams demonstrates his skill with characterization as he portrays the psychological showdown between Roston and Daken as much as the physical one. Daken and Roston are both as intelligent and calculating and they are psychopathic, and it’s just as compelling to watch them try to outsmart each other as it is to see the action.
FBI Agent Donna Kiel is also given the chance to stand out in this issue, as she demonstrates her strength in fighting the control of Roston and Heat, even without superpowers of her own. She’s a woman who operates on sheer willpower and determination, and it’s refreshing to see that in a female supporting character in a comic. The attraction between Donna and Daken is clear as well, but Williams continues to keep far away from the bad man swayed by a good woman cliché that can sometimes creep up, and it helps to make their pseudo-relationship fresh and intriguing. Where they go from here as the series wraps up is anyone’s guess, but it should be an interesting read.
Daken :Dark Wolverine #19 gives a good, solid conclusion to its latest arc while still leaving enough loose ends to make you want to read more as the series wraps up. It’s been a title that has continuously stayed strong, and that doesn’t seem to be changes, even as it stares down its final issues.
Sara McDonald started reading comics in the third grade, and now puts her English degree to good use talking about them on the Internet. She currently resides in Western Massachusetts with a roommate, three cats, and an action figure collection and spends the time she isn’t reading comics working for a non-profit. You can visit her blog at Ms. Snarky’s Awesometastic Comics Blog.