I missed the Dark Reign (and much of Marvel comics for the past ten years) but I remember my confusion about this "new" Wolverine in the oldie but goodie brown costume (my favorite). So I read up on Wolverine's apparently 60 year old son and couldn't help but think, "really Marvel?!" It seemed like shameless milking of the Wolverine cashcow. Daken in a nutshell: a darker, meaner Wolverine with an Assassin's Creed twist ala the middle claw juts from his inner arm (I don't know if its coincidence or if one inspired the other TBH). And the whole Romulus thing.. UGH. I stayed far far away.
Then I took a chance on the relaunched Daken: Dark Wolverine series and was totally drawn in by the writing and the art. This Daken character is one manipulative SOB and I loved it! I wanted to fill in some (keyword) blanks and found this TPB Dark Wolverine Vol. 1.
First off there are only three Dark Wolverine issues in this run 75-77; I should note that the creative team of Way/Liu writing and Camuncoli/Catacchio pencils/inks is the same as the new Daken on-going. The colorist is different but the results are not so different that the casual reader would notice. I love the art team in this book!!
The majority of the story in these issues takes place between the all out action scenes of the Dark Avengers series. If you want big super hero brawls, look elsewhere. In Dark Avengers, Vol. 1: Assemble and Dark Avengers, Vol. 2: Molecule Man, Daken's role is severely diminished, to the point of obscurity. In Dark Wolverine Vol. 1: The Prince its a battle of wills between Osborn, Daken, and the rest of the dark avengers. The action takes place in meeting rooms, bedrooms, parties, Reed Richards' lab, rooftops, weight rooms.. lol. Its behind the scenes, its all about character interaction and its fantastic. If you like it when the characters don't get along, you'll love this book.
After the run there is a "dark Wolverine saga" filler, an 8 page history of Daken with pics.
The final two issues, Wolverine 73-74, are unrelated and tell a stand alone story of Daken's dad, Logan. The art is reminiscent of the David Mazzucchelli/Richmond Lewis team from Batman Year One. Its a decent story but a total departure from the rest of the collection. Kind of a letdown if you buy this just for Daken.
I love the three Dark Wolverine issues (+5.0 stars), the filler is ok (+/-0.0 stars), and the final 2 issues are actually pretty good but they aren't about Daken despite the Dark Wolverine tag on the cover(-0.5 stars). I wanted a collection vs tracking down the singles so overall I knew what I was getting and wasn't disappointed. Verdict: 4.5 stars.