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Yukio, by Marc Silvestri
|First appearance||Wolverine #1 (September, 1982)|
|Created by||Chris Claremont
|Full name||Yukio (last name unknown)|
|Team affiliations||Mutant Underground|
|Abilities||Experienced martial artist|
Yukio (雪緒?) is a fictional character in the Marvel Universe. She is a female ninja of Japanese origin and is a supporting character of the X-Men. She first appeared in Wolverine #1 (September 1982) and was created by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. Yukio also appears in the Wolverine anime series from the Marvel Anime line.
Fictional character biography
Yukio is an occasional thief by profession, as well as a rōnin, a masterless samurai. Yukio has been portrayed as a free spirit with an almost careless disregard for personal danger. According to her own philosophy of life, living in danger is the ultimate adventure, while the peace of death is the final prize that awaits for every person who has truly lived.
While she is highly skilled in the martial arts, Yukio is not a mutant and possesses no super powers. Her specialty weapons are scalpel-like shuriken, of which she can hurl several at a time with deadly accuracy.
It has been hinted upon by Wolverine that Yukio's real first name could be "Yukiko". However, since Logan joked about it and the fact has since then never again been touched upon, its unclear if Yukiko is Yukio's actual real name or not.
The X-Men's first encounter with Yukio occurred when Wolverine had his struggle with Shingen Yashida, father of Wolverine's girlfriend Mariko Yashida. At that time Yukio worked for Shingen, and one of her tasks was to kill Wolverine. Instead she developed a crush on him and subsequently aided him in bringing about Shingen's downfall.
Later, Wolverine invited his team to Japan for his wedding to Mariko, which Yukio joined subsequently. Viper and the Silver Samurai poisoned the X-Men during a dinner that Logan hosted for them. Logan, tasting the poison, warned Ororo and knocked the cup from her hand before she could drink it. While the others were recuperating from the attack, Storm, Wolverine, Rogue (who had been largely unaffected), and Yukio went after Viper and the Silver Samurai to stop the Samurai's plot to assassinate Mariko, who was his half-sister. Yukio posed as a decoy, disguising herself as Mariko to lead them away from her. During their altercation with Viper and Silver Samurai, Storm blasted the Silver Samurai with her lightning, finding to her horror that her powers were out of control. Storm drew the lightning back into herself, nearly electrocuting herself in the process. Yukio knocked Storm out of the path of her lightning bolts and dove with her into the nearby bay, enabling them to escape from the Silver Samurai. (Actually, these events had been brought about and influenced by the mutant villain Mastermind, who was conducting a revenge campaign against the X-Men at the time. He was also responsible for the subsequent halting of Wolverine's and Mariko's wedding.)
Storm, inspired by what she called Yukio's "madness" and lust for life, changed her image dramatically and adopted a new look: a mohawk haircut, studded collar, and black leather clothing. Yukio later met up, once again, with Wolverine to help him fight the ninja master Ogun. She has a rivalry with the X-Man Gambit. Both being thieves, they often tried to steal the same object. Yukio framed Gambit for a crime she committed. Yukio is also part of Professor X's secret information network of humans and mutants, known as the Mutant Underground (not to be confused with Cable's Underground).
After the death of Mariko Yashida, Wolverine sent his adopted daughter, Amiko Kobayashi, to a foster family. He later discovered that her new foster parents were abusive and only interested in the money. Wolverine took Amiko away from them and asked Yukio to raise her. This unofficial adoption was under the protection of the Silver Samurai, now an ally of Wolverine. Yukio trained Amiko in the martial arts and to her own surprise she enjoyed her new role as a mother. When Sabretooth targeted Wolverine's friends and family, he hired Omega Red and Lady Deathstrike to kidnap Amiko. Yukio fought the two, but was overpowered and seriously injured, and left her in a wheelchair. She asked Wolverine to kill her, but Wolverine refused and saved Amiko shortly afterwards. Yukio reappeared and was fully recovered from her previous injuries. She teamed up with Storm again to enter the Arena, a fight club for mutants. In the end Yukio, Storm, and Callisto took over the Arena.
Later, Yukio and Amiko were attacked by Hellverine (a demonic being who had taken over Wolverine's body in order to kill his loved ones) on the behest of Satan. Her confusion over the fake Wolverine's behavior earned Yukio serious injuries, but Amiko returned from school just in time to save them both from Hellverine. When Wolverine goes back to Japan to stop a war between the Hand and the Yakuza, Yukio is shown to be once again in a wheelchair due to Hellverine's attack. It is hinted that those injuries are permanent.
X-Men: The End
In the X-Men: The End series, a Skrull version of Yukio exists. The Skrull masquerades as Yukio on a mission to eliminate Storm and Wolverine by orders of the Shi'ar. It is killed by Storm's icing powers.
In other media
- Yukio appears in Marvel Anime: Wolverine voiced by Romi Park in the Japanese version and by Kate Higgins in the English dub. In the series, instead of using throwing knives and shurikens, she uses retractable circular throwing blades. After rescuing Wolverine from some Yakuza thugs, Yukio assists Wolverine in his quest to free Mariko Yashida from her engagement to Hideki Kurohagi (the current leader of Madripoor). This was part of her quest to seek revenge against Mariko's father Shingen Yashida for killing her parents (who formerly worked for him). She dies in battle against Shingen after confessing to killing Logan's friend Tesshin Asano.
- Rila Fukushima portrayed Yukio in the 2013 film, The Wolverine. In the film, she can foresee the deaths of people. By the end of the film, she becomes Logan's self-appointed "bodyguard."
- Yukio appears in the video game Marvel Heroes. She is looking for the Muramasa Blade, which has been shattered. It's up to the player to find the missing pieces and return it to her.
In 2011, UGO Networks featured her on their list of 25 Hot Ninja Girls, commenting: "While her short, black haircut and skin-tight leather outfit make her come off as a nefarious addition to the X-Men world, Yukio has proven to be quite a helpful non-mutant to Wolverine and his friends."
- Wolverine: Soultaker miniseries
- Wolverine #1-4 (1982)
- "Kitty Pryde & Wolverine."
- "Wolverine and Gambit"
- X-treme X-Men Arena storyline
- Wolverine vol.4 #2
- Wolveine vol.4 #300
- X-Men: The End #5
- "WOLVERINE Adds Japanese Actors | Collider | Page 178330". Collider. 2013-07-26. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
- "The Wolverine’s Rila Fukushima on the “bad-ass” Yukio | SciFiNow - The World's Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Magazine". SciFiNow. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
- "25 Hot Ninja Girls - Hot Women Ninjas". UGO.com. 2011-01-05. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
- FAQs.org listing of X-Men references
- Marvel Directory entry on Yukio
- UncannyXmen.net Character Profile on Yukio