Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
He’s almost the best he is at what his father does, but he looks better while he does it: Daken
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Appearances in Heroclix: X-Men: Rise and Fall, Web of Spider-Man
First Appearance: Wolverine Origins #11
Team Affiliantions: Dark Avengers, Dark X-Men, Brotherhood of Mutants, Horsemen of Death, X-Factor
Created by: Daniel Way and Steve Dillon
Daken’s mother, Itsu, is murdered in Jasmine Falls in Japan in 1946 by the Winter Soldier under the orders of Romulus. A stranger cuts the baby from his mother’s womb, Daken’s mutant healing factor activating early and allowing him to survive the horrendous experience. Daken is swaddled and delivered to the doorstep of Akihira and Natsumi, a young traditional and wealthy Japanese couple. Unable to have children of their own, they view this young baby as a miracle and take him in as their own. The couple name the boy Akihiro but their servants and other families secretly call him Daken, which roughly translates to “bastard dog” or “mongrel.”
Akihiro is often teased by the other boys of the village and grows a cold, cruel personality that he shows everyone except his father. One night, Natsumi confesses that she does not love their adopted son and she is finally pregnant with a child of their own. Akihiro overhears his parents and begins plotting. Within the baby’s first year, Akihiro confronts his mother and reveals that he has killed his brother. When Akihira learns this, he furiously disowns Akihiro who spits back that Akihiro is not his true name. Natsumi attacks Akihiro, trying to run him through with a sword, only for him to unsheathe his claws for the first time and slash his adopted mother. Akihira cannot bring himself to harm his son and instead commits suicide. Romulus than appears to the boy for the first time and promises that he is what Daken will one day become. Daken enters decades of training, including being cared for by nannies that show tender love and affection for him before attempting to assassinate him, all of whom he kills.
Decades later, Daken disguises himself as SHIELD agent and infiltrates a base where Wolverine is imprisoned. Daken stabs Dum Dum Dugan before freeing Wolverine, his true father, and slashing him across the stomach. Daken leaves Wolverine bleeding from the wound, just as his mother Itsu had been left so long ago.
Daken proceeds to stalk Wolverine while killing romantic entanglements and messengers from his “master” to leave no trace of his presence behind. Daken finally engages his father in battle in a Brussels bank vault that contains the carbonadium synthesizer. Their fight is interrupted by Cyber, an old mentor of Daken’s. Cyber wants to meet with Daken’s master but the mutant refuses and flees the fight after gaining a momentary upper hand over both Cyber and Wolverine. Daken is then punished by his master for engaging with his father.
Daken again confronts his father during a battle between Wolverine and Deadpool, helping knock Deadpool unconscious. Wolverine confronts his son as a distraction while the Winter Soldier shoots Daken in the back of the head, leading to the mutant having amnesia. Wolverine abducts his son for a time but Daken later escapes. Daken eventually regains his memories and learns the truth of his mother’s death, seemingly joining Wolverine in his crusade for revenge. However, he betrays Wolverine to Cyber only to triple cross Cyber and kill him after learning what he wanted. Seemingly, Daken wants to take the Murasama blade and bond it to his claws.
Norman Osborn recruits Daken to be his Wolverine on his new team of Avengers. Cyclops intends to use the Murasama Blade, which Wolverine left in his care, to kill Daken and protect the image of the X-Men. This is all part of Daken’s plan as he and his team are able to repel the X-Men while Daken steals a piece of the blade and has it bonded to his wrist claws. During his time with the Avengers he battles Spider-Man, Mac Gargan, and brutally murders the Punisher. Daken also battles Skaar before teaming up with his father to battle Skaar and the Hulk.
Daken is recruited for Osborn’s X-Men team while also still being on his Avengers team. This leads to numerous conflicts of interest that seem to serve Daken’s own personal interests. He even helps the Fantastic Four break into Avengers Tower so that they can steal incriminating information on Osborn, though they are ultimately foiled by Bullseye.
During the Siege of Asgard, Daken’s end game seems to be revealed when he kills Osborn in an induced hallucination. Daken attempts to battle Thor but is swiftly struck down with a bolt of lightning. After their defeat, Osborn’s Avengers are all taken into custody except for Daken who kills a soldier and then disguises himself in the dead man’s clothes.
Daken learns that Romulus intends on having Wolverine become the head of his organization, rather than Daken himself, and betrays his “master.” He stabs Romulus with his Muramasa covered wrist claws but before he can deliver the killing blow, Wolverine has Cloak send Romulus to the Dark Force dimension. Daken then faces his father, who deftly parries Daken’s angry attacks before gutting the younger mutant. With Daken unconscious and healing, Wolverine rips out his son’s wrist claws and buries them alongside the Murasama Blade near the Howlett estate.
Franken-Castle later attacks Daken, seeking revenge for his murder. The monster is able to overpower Daken but that is not the end of their encounter. Daken endeavors to hunt down Franken-Castle and steal the Bloodstone from his chest. Daken narrowly avoids a series of dangerous traps only to battle Franken-Castle again and be severely beaten. Just as the undead Punisher is about to kill Daken, Wolverine stabs him from behind. Daken is able to slip away and returns to the fight by ramming into Franken-Castle with a truck before stealing the Bloodstone. While the mystical gem gives him greater strength it also results in him growing massive tumors when he heals. Franken-Castle turns this to his advantage by shoving a grenade into Daken’s chest that doesn’t kill the mutant, but traps him in a massive growth of tumors. Wolverine removes the Bloodstone from his son and returns it to the Punisher while Daken cuts his way out of the tumors and escapes.
Daken and X-23 work together for a brief time to take down Malcolm Colcord. Soon after, Daken begins to clean house in Madripoor and sets himself up as the new kingpin. The criminals have two choices: swear loyalty to him or be killed. One of his final targets insults Daken, claiming that his soul is dead and though he is Wolverine’s son, he is but a pale shadow of the hero. Daken is deeply affected by the accusation and after a brief talk with Wolverine in Avenger’s Tower, decides to create a new empire in Los Angeles.
Daken tries to work his way up to the secret kingpin of LA but is blocked several times and becomes hooked on the street drug Heat. Through machinations, Daken battles Moon Knight and meets the Runaways, realizing that a big shot in LA is an exiled member of the Pride using his blood to create Heat. Daken learns from Mr. Fantastic that Heat has destroyed Daken’s healing factor and will ultimately kill him. Reed thinks they could find a cure if they were to study Wolverine’s healing factor but Daken refuses. Angered, he finds Wolverine and doses him with Heat before making his father watch as bombs go off all around the city. Daken then battles the heroes of New York without a healing factor, succumbing to his wounds. He calls out for his father in his final moments and hugged him, begging for forgiveness, especially for placing a bomb in the Jean Grey School. He then burns his body to ashes with a bomb so that there is nothing left to bury. He also lies about the bomb at the school, leaving Wolverine with nothing but a little doll.
Some time later, what appears to be Daken appears as the mastermind behind a new Brotherhood that attacks X-Force. Daken and Wolverine battle each other once more, each sharing how they wish their lives had turned out differently until Wolverine drowns him.
The Apocalypse Twins resurrect Daken with a Celestial Death Seed and make him a Horsemen of Death. Daken again battles his father but escapes with the Grim Reaper when the Twins and the Horsemen are defeated. Daken then shows up in Madripoor where two of Wolverine’s claws are being auctioned off. Daken refuses to let his father’s name be dishonored and kills almost everyone present before leaving with the claws.
Daken begins to show a more heroic side, helping save New Yorkers from a virus and showing compassion for Gabby, a clone of X-23. Daken becomes involved in a plot of zombies alongside Sabretooth and Wolverine that ends with his death and resurrection as a zombie soldier.
Daken gets better and joins the mutant nation of Krakoa, reconciling with Wolverine and treating Gabby as a little sister. Daken ends up joining the Quiet Council sanctioned X-Factor Investigations and helps in the resurrection of Aurora. The team helps a suicidal Siryn who is actually possessed by the Morrigan.