Silver Samurai

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Silver Samurai is the name of two fictional characters in Marvel Comics.

Publication history[edit]

The first Silver Samurai is Kenuichio Harada. His first appearance was in Daredevil #111 (July, 1974). In Japan his name is Harada Kenichirō (原田剣一郎)[citation needed], since 'Kenuichio' is not an actual Japanese name.

The second Silver Samurai, Shin Harada, first appeared in Wolverine #300 and was created by Jason Aaron.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Kenuichio Harada[edit]

Silver Samurai
Silversumor.jpg
The Silver Samurai from New Avengers #12.
Art by David Finch.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Daredevil #111 (July 1974)
Created by Steve Gerber
Bob Brown
In-story information
Alter ego Kenuichio Harada
Species Human Mutant
Team affiliations
Partnerships Viper
Mandrill
Black Spectre
Abilities Channeling mutant energy into an object (creating a tachyon field capable of cutting apparently anything, except adamantium)
Teleportation ring
Superb hand-to-hand combatant

Kenuichio Harada is the illegitimate son of Shingen Yashida. He is a Japanese mutant who uses his powers to charge his katana, which, in combination with his samurai-style armor made of a silvery metal, led to the moniker Silver Samurai.

He became a professional criminal, and first appeared to clash with Daredevil when he was hired by Mandrill and Black Spectre.[1]

Harada was once the bodyguard for the international terrorist known as the Viper and was subsequently an occasional mercenary. When working for Viper, he fought Spider-Man and Black Widow.[2] After recovering Viper's teleportation ring, he fought Spider-Man again on the set of Saturday Night Live when Spider-Man appeared as a host for the show, and encountered the original (2nd season) Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time-Players.[3] He joined Viper and Boomerang in fighting Spider-Man, Nick Fury, Shang-Chi, and Black Widow on the original S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier.[4] He and Viper attempted to kidnap Michael Kramer, and fought the original Spider-Woman.[5]

Alongside the Viper, he attempted a theft of cavourite crystal, and battled the New Mutants.[6] Alongside the Viper, he battled the X-Men and Yukio.[7] He attempted to possess the Black Blade, and battled Wolverine, Lindsay McCabe, and O'Donnell. He rescued Wolverine and a depowered Jessica Drew from cultists.[8]

He became the Oyabun (leader) of Clan Yashida after his half-sister Mariko Yashida's death.[9] He attempted to pay off his clan's debts to the Yakuza and restore its honor.[volume & issue needed] Though once one of Wolverine's greatest enemies, he had apparently impressed Wolverine so greatly that Wolverine entrusted him with the care of his adopted daughter, Amiko Kobayashi.[volume & issue needed]

The Samurai even once helped Wolverine destroy the monster known as "Doombringer",[volume & issue needed] and later helped Logan rescue Amiko and Yukio from their kidnappers.[10] During his time as hero, the Silver Samurai became the leader of the first Japanese superhero team, Big Hero 6.[11]

Silver Samurai was brainwashed by the mutant Blindspot into forgetting his time as a hero, believing his redemption was just a result of Professor X's brainwashing.[volume & issue needed] As a result, he had returned to his previous criminal activities.[volume & issue needed] However, it now seems that Harada is currently operating as the chief security officer for the Prime Minister of Japan.[12]

For unclear reasons, the Samurai was abducted, incarcerated in the Raft prison in America without trial, and official records stated he was dead. He was freed by Madame Hydra and the Hand, who transported him back to Japan. They wanted him to lead the Hand and unite the Japanese criminal underworld, hoping he could take on shadowy figures controlling both HYDRA and S.H.I.E.L.D. that Madame Hydra was reluctant to name. However, Harada wasn't interested in a war and even helped the Avengers defeat them. Afterward, he decided to try to earn his good name back by serving the people of Japan once again.[13]

Silver Samurai is one of the few mutants that retained their superhuman powers after M-Day. Wolverine made his way to Japan in search of Harada and engaged him in battle. Wolverine had recovered all of his memories due to the events of House of M and asked Silver Samurai questions about his past during the course of their fight. Silver Samurai was able to run Wolverine through with one of his swords. Immediately afterward, Wolverine grabbed the Samurai by his right forearm and severed his hand at the wrist with his claws. When last seen, Silver Samurai was kneeling on the floor cradling the bloody stump where his hand once was.[14]

After the Skrull invasion, Viper left the Silver Samurai to rejoin Hydra. She later came with a new Madame Hydra to negotiate support to be given to Typhon, Hydra's production front, from the Yashidas. Also, they took a mysterious box; the Yashidas claimed that those who opened it never lived to see another day.[15] Some time later, warriors of the mysterious Leviathan group attacked the Silver Samurai to make him divulge the location of the box.[16]

While defending his home from a group of ninjas working for the Red Right Hand, the Silver Samurai is mortally wounded. With his last bit of power, he makes his way to the grave of his half-sister Mariko and dies.[17] He later appears in Hell blaming Wolverine for the recent deaths of people and is beheaded by Satan's Soulcutter after speaking.[18]

Shingen "Shin" Harada[edit]

A new Silver Samurai appeared when Wolverine made a trip to Japan to visit Silver Samurai's grave. This version is the Silver Samurai's son Shingen "Shin" Harada (named after Silver Samurai's father Shingen Yashida) who has been committing larceny with Wolverine's daughter Amiko Kobayashi.[19]

Shin goes on to work with Mystique in tracking down newly awakened mutants to join her cause.[20] He is later recruited by Kade Killgore to be a teacher at the Hellfire Club's Hellfire Academy.[volume & issue needed]

Powers and abilities[edit]

The first Silver Samurai is a mutant with the ability to generate a tachyon field, with which he can surround anything[citation needed]. He commonly uses his power on his sword, enabling it to cut through nearly anything, except substances as hard as adamantium.

When working with the Viper, he possesses a teleportation ring, which allows him to teleport from one location to another, granting him great mobility and stealth. As a self-styled samurai, he is a master of kenjutsu and other martial arts. He specializes in edged weapons, hand-to-hand combat, and military tactics. He usually wears a suit of lightweight steel alloy body armor, modeled after traditional samurai armor, but made of modern protective materials. He carries a katana (long sword), shuriken (throwing stars), and other weaponry. Keniuchio has extensive knowledge of the operations of criminal organizations due to his shady past, which he now uses in the service of his government to combat such organizations. He is an expert in the history and customs of the samurai class (Bushido).

The second Silver Samurai possesses a technologically-advanced suit of armor, which grants him the ability of flight and protection from many conventional attacks. In addition to carrying two katana blades, Shingen possesses a number of armaments and gadgets, such as an energy cannon built into the right wrist of the suit.[21]

Other versions[edit]

Age of Apocalypse[edit]

In the "Age of Apocalypse" story, published in 2005 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Age of Apocalypse storyline, the Silver Samurai was a key member of the X-Men. He wore no helmet, and had a red upside down Omega symbol tattooed on his forehead. Because he wears no helmet, it is probably a maedate, the crest of a Samurai kabuto. He was one of the team's more visible members, rash yet strong. It was revealed that the Samurai and Wolverine met each other in Japan, some time before Logan rescued Mariko from thugs. He was also aware of the existence of Psylocke, a rare telepath in the Age of Apocalypse, but how the Samurai was convinced to join Magneto's X-Men in the first place was not explained.[22] He is much later reported by the Age of Apocalypse version of William Stryker to have been killed in action while defending the last human stronghold from the forces of the now crazed Age of Apocalypse version of Wolverine.[volume & issue needed]

Marvel Noir[edit]

In the Marvel Noir universe, a Lieutenant Kenuichio Harada appeared as a Japanese policeman in "X-Men Noir" sequel titled "Mark of Cain."[23]

Exiles[edit]

In Exiles #83 (August 2006), another alternate version of the Silver Samurai was revealed. Originating from Earth-172, the Samurai appeared to have a nice relationship between Mariko Yashida and that Earth's Wolverine, who was a briefly seen member of the reality-hopping counterpart team of the Exiles called Weapon X. As Wolverine had vanished out of their sight for months to join said team, he later on was killed in action and returned by the Exiles to his home world. The Samurai and Mariko of that alternate world still don't fully know what happened to their version of Wolverine, but at least honored his death with a proper funeral by burning Logan's ashes via cremation.[volume & issue needed]

House of M[edit]

In the House of M, Kenuicho Harada was a powerful businessman and, secretly, the head of Clan Yashida, a powerful crime family. His daughter Mariko Harada was kidnapped by Madame Hydra who wanted to blackmail Harada into revealing his illegal businesses.[24]

Marvel Zombies[edit]

In Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness #4, the Silver Samurai and Sunfire are bitten and infected by a zombie Quicksilver. During the Silver Surfer's globe-spanning travels, they are seen attacking innocent civilians.[volume & issue needed]

What If?[edit]

In the What If story "What If Wolverine Had Married Mariko", Kenuichio Harada unites with Mariko and Wolverine in their struggle against the Kingpin, who has taken control of the Yakuza and engaged in a turf war with the Shingen clan for control. At that time, however, the Samurai is secretly working for the Kingpin, and upon their final encounter, he assassinates Mariko, whereupon he is killed by Wolverine in retaliation.[25]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

Silver Samurai from X-Men animated series
  • Silver Samurai has appeared in the X-Men episode "The Lotus and the Steel", voiced by Dennis Akayama. He is simply portrayed as a gang leader whose thugs terrorize every village for tribute to him each year. Wolverine first encounters him while gathering timber as Silver Samurai warns him not to interfere with his gang's affairs. The villagers stand their ground with the help of Jubilee and Wolverine bests the Samurai in single combat by taking advantage of Samurai's habit of teleporting behind him: Wolverine anticipates the move and disables the teleportation device, humiliating the Silver Samurai.
  • Silver Samurai appears in the Wolverine and the X-Men episode "Code of Conduct", voiced by Keone Young, reprising his role from X-Men: The Official Game. He is not depicted as Mariko's half-brother, but her reluctant, power-hungry husband, as well as a member of the Yakuza. He fought Wolverine before in a battle over Mariko, and ended up becoming defeated. Years later, Silver Samurai captures the X-Men (except Rogue) in order to force Wolverine to fight him again as a way to become the next leader of the Yakuza. After overhearing the talk between Wolverine and Mariko, he very was angry with his wife and told Hura to get every ninja to the warehouse immediately. At the fight of the warehouse near the docks, he knocked out Rogue with a shuriken loaded with knock-out gas. The Yakuza Leader says that they will have a non-mutant ability duel (as part of the Samurai Code) by the next night. When they finally dueled, Silver Samurai mentioned that Mariko meant nothing to him and that he had only married her so that Logan could not. Wolverine was once again besting Silver Samurai. Since Silver Samurai acted dishonorably by using his mutant abilities when it was not allowed, he was then hit with a knockout gas-filled shuriken. The Yakuza Leader forfeits the duel declaring that Silver Samurai deliberately violated the Samurai Code and has his men take him away. After the Yakuza Leader agreed to release the captive X-Men, Mariko told Wolverine that Silver Samurai will be driven from the Yakuza in shame and that they will never admit him again.

Film[edit]

  • Silver Samurai and Kenuichio Harada appear in the 2013 film The Wolverine.[27] Will Yun Lee portrays Kenuichio Harada.[28] He is depicted as the skilled archer leader of the Black Ninja clan that is sworn to protect the Yashida clan and he is the former lover of Mariko Yashida. He is not a mutant and does not wear the Silver Samurai armor. A suit of samurai armor, in the Yashida family for centuries, is referred to as the Silver Samurai, and is placed at the grave of Ichirō Yashida. When Yakuza invade Yashida's funeral, Harada assists Wolverine in protecting Mariko, but was revealed to be working with the mutant Viper. In the film's climax that the Silver Samurai (not the traditional armor at the gravesite) is actually a giant robotic suit made of adamantium wielding an adamantium katana and wakazashi, worn by the old head of the Yashida clan's technology empire, Ichirō Yashida (played by Haruhiko Yamanouchi). Yashida became obsessed with Logan's/Wolverine's healing factor and immortality after the latter saved his life during the US atomic bombing of Nagasaki so he devised the suit with Viper not only to sustain himself but also to steal Wolverine's healing powers. During Yashida's battle with Wolverine as the Silver Samurai, Harada sees the error of his ways (in aiding Viper in kidnapping Mariko and bringing Wolverine to her), he tries to stop the Silver Samurai, only to be impaled and killed by Yashida with the Samurai's scorching adamantium katana. As Yashida starts regaining his youthful appearance while extracting Wolverine's healing factor using the Silver Samurai armor, he is struck by his granddaughter Mariko with Wolverine's broken adamantium claws (which he had severed from both of his hands using the Samurai's heated katana). As Yashida loses control of the Silver Samurai armor, Wolverine regrows his bone claws and impales Yashida through the chest, before tossing him to his death in a crevice below.

Video games[edit]

  • Silver Samurai is a playable character in the Capcom fighting games X-Men: Children of the Atom and Marvel vs. Capcom 2, voiced by Yasushi Ikeda. His mutant tachyon powers are not evident here, however, as he is seen throwing giant shurikens and his supers involve empowering his katana with elemental properties and attacks revolving around lightning, fire, and ice. He is one of the two Marvel characters that doesn't speak English during gameplay, instead speaking Japanese (Colossus, who speaks Russian during gameplay is the other). Although his speech is limited to mostly grunts and vocal protesting, he does utter a few phrases in Japanese: Appare! (あっぱれ?), which means "Bravo!", in one of his victory poses and Raimei-ken (雷鳴剣?), meaning "Thunder Sword", during his special attack.
  • Silver Samurai appears in the game X-Men: The Official Game (which fills in the gap between X2: X-Men United and X-Men: The Last Stand) voiced by Keone Young. In the game, Silver Samurai is a head of HYDRA, and mentor of Lady Deathstrike. Years before Weapon X, Silver Samurai and HYDRA collaborated with William Stryker in building the Master Mold and Sentinels robots. After Stryker's death, HYDRA was sent back in to remove all Sentinel equipment and files, and Jason Stryker activated the Master Mold. Wolverine infiltrated HYDRA's headquarters and duels with Silver Samurai over how to shut down the Master Mold and the Sentinels. Conquering Samurai in combat, Wolverine emerges the winner, gains the information, and tells the team how to defeat Master Mold.

Miscellaneous[edit]

  • In the comic prequels to the first X-Men film, Wolverine was revealed to have fought a Yakuza enforcer just prior to the film. This man, with an obsession with honor and the mutant ability to generate electricity, was referred to as the Silver Samurai.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Daredevil #111
  2. ^ Marvel Team-Up #57
  3. ^ Marvel Team-Up #74
  4. ^ Marvel Team-Up #83-85
  5. ^ Spider-Woman #42-43
  6. ^ New Mutants #5-6
  7. ^ X-Men Vol. 2 #172-174
  8. ^ Wolverine Vol. 2 #2-3
  9. ^ Cable #2
  10. ^ Wolverine #140-143
  11. ^ Sunfire and Big Hero 6 #1-3
  12. ^ Wolverine Vol. 3 #36
  13. ^ New Avengers #11-13
  14. ^ Wolverine Vol. 3 #37
  15. ^ Secret Warriors #6
  16. ^ Secret Warriors #11
  17. ^ Wolverine vol. 4 #1
  18. ^ Wolverine vol. 4 #3
  19. ^ Wolverine #300
  20. ^ Wolverine and the X-Men #20
  21. ^ Wolverine and the X-Men #20
  22. ^ X-Men: Age of Apocalypse #1-6
  23. ^ X-Men Noir: Mark of Cain #1-4
  24. ^ The Pulse: House of M
  25. ^ What If? vol. 2 #43 (1992)
  26. ^ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2014-05-22/t.m.revolution-plays-silver-samurai-in-marvel-disk-wars-the-avengers/.74799
  27. ^ "SDCC: Hugh Jackman Confirms The Wolverine Villain". ComingSoon. 
  28. ^ Trumbore, Dave. "WOLVERINE Cast Adds Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi, Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukushima [Update: Will Yun Lee to Play Villain]". Collider. 
  29. ^ [1]

External links[edit]