Review: Dark Wolverine #87

Published on June 19th, 2010

‘Dark Wolverine’ is surprising me lately, and not in a completely positive way. It used to be a consistent series with a reasonably sound sense of progression and rhythm from issue to issue. Now it just reads as if it’s a mix of random events thrown at a timeline in the wrong order. Cause and effect doesn’t seem to matter anymore. The ‘Reckoning‘ crossover with ‘Wolverine Origins’ was just nuts, and then you have this issue which relates in no way to -anything- that just happened in ‘Reckoning’, and in the issue after this, this series is going into a crossover with Franken-Castle?!

It’s frustrating because I actually like Daken. I like him a lot. I just think the editors at Marvel probably don’t give enough of a shit about this series to keep a close eye on it and to get it in an order which makes sense.

Anyway, so Dark Wolverine #87 see’s this series take a well needed break. This is a single issue story before Daken goes off on another belated crossover. I sort of enjoyed this issue, and it’s quite a refreshing story in that you don’t have to worry about any of the characters suddenly deciding they are going to run at someone with a huge sword. It’s a very simple idea for a one issue story too. Daken is in Rome clearing his troubled conscience, when an English speaking University student flirts with him. They end up going back to this guy’s appartment. Daken realises that something about this guy is not quite right though, and quickly gets on-top of the situation, resulting in the outcome of the evening deeming Daken the ‘better’ man. I did not want to spoil the ending, as there is a simple plot-twist in the issue which was quite clever I suppose, and showed Daken up as the smart character he really is.


I liked it because it is set in Rome, and Rome is one of my favourite cities to visit in Europe, outside of France which hosts many of my favourite European cities. It was nice to see an artist actually capture a European city in a way which is recognisable as something aside from Paris or London. The atmosphere seemed perfect with the night lights of the city and the landmarks drawn very well. The style slightly reminded me of Francis Manapul, which all in all made the art side of this issue pleasing.

I also liked it because it highlighted on Daken’s ambiguous sexual status, which I always find highly entertaining to read. It’s something I’ve rarely seen in any other character and the mystery behind it is just bizarre. It’s always hilarious to read as well, because half of the time you know that he is actually just doing it wind people up and to piss them off, which does make me laugh being a fan of emotional sadism (joke).

My main critisism links back to what I said about the sporadic continuity I touched on in the opening paragraph of this review. In the issue before this, Wolverine ripped out both of Daken’s muramusa claws (only the two on the underside of his wrist were fused with the muramusa blade, not the two between either knuckles so he still has those) and buried them somewhere along with the Muramusa blade itself, so that Daken would never try to kill him in the future. Now I think anyone who knows anything about either Daken, or Wolverine especially, would understand that that is a pretty big shake up for both characters. So I was astonished to see that nothing about it was even mentioned in this issue. Nothing at all. I honestly thought that seen as though Daken had two of his claws removed, we would at least hear something of it from his point of view, but no.

This issue is also quite heavy on the philosophical narrative. It’s something that I never used to mind, and something I could tollerate. But now it’s getting boring and very repetitive, and especially seen as though it’s just bollocks most of the time. I don’t expect to be reading deep views on existentialism or human nature by any means, I’ll read books on those in my spare time outside of reading comics, but please for the love of God, Daniel Way, ease up on the philosophical mumbo-jumbo, it’s starting to make Daken seem very boring, which I know he isnt!

But all in all, this was an enjoyable issue. Nothing entierly riveting of course, although I’m not sure if ‘riveting’ is something this series is capable of being to any degree of success, without coming across as being a mess of badly timed, motiveless fight scenes. But yes, this issue was a nice break. I just hope that the crossover with Franken-Castle will be worthwhile, which I think it will be. I am optimistic for it, as a fan of both this series (I am a fan, even though I moan and bitch about it all the time) and ‘Frank-Castle’!

Dark Wolverine #88 is part one of the Frank-Castle crossover. It’ll be the first time Daken and Frank have met face to face since Daken killed Frank! You know you’ll be checking it out, so don’t forget to reserve your copy!

Rob Andrews