|First appearance||Daredevil #111 (July 1974)|
|Created by||Steve Gerber |
|Alter ego||Kenuichio Harada|
|Team affiliations||Clan Yashida|
Big Hero 6
|Notable aliases||Silver Samurai, Silver Shogun, Ishiro Tagara|
|Abilities||Master samurai and martial artist|
Wears a lightweight steel alloy body armor
Extensive knowledge of criminal organizations
Carries katana, shuriken and other weapons
Ability to generate a tachyon field (capable of cutting through apparently anything, except adamantium)
Kenuichio Harada, also known as the original Silver Samurai, is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. A mutant with the power to charge his own katana, the character first appeared in Daredevil #111 (July 1974), and was created by writer Steve Gerber and artist Bob Brown. The character is depicted usually as an enemy of Wolverine.
Fictional character biography
Kenuichio Harada is the illegitimate son of Shingen Yashida. A Japanese mutant who uses his powers to charge his katana, his samurai-style armor made of a silvery metal led to the Silver Samurai moniker.
Harada was the bodyguard for the international terrorist Viper, and was an occasional mercenary. While working for Viper, he fought Spider-Man and Black Widow. After recovering Viper's teleportation ring, he fought Spider-Man again on the set of Saturday Night Live when Stan Lee appeared as a host and encountered the original (2nd season) Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time-Players. 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. Harada and Viper attempted to kidnap Michael Kramer and fought the original Spider-Woman.
Harada and Viper attempted a theft of cavourite crystal and battled the New Mutants. They battled the X-Men and Yukio. He attempted to possess the Black Blade and battled Wolverine, Lindsay McCabe and O'Donnell. He rescued Wolverine and Jessica Drew from cultists.
He became the Oyabun (leader) of Clan Yashida after his half-sister Mariko Yashida died. 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, Wolverine entrusted him with the care of Amiko Kobayashi.[volume & issue needed]
The Silver Samurai once helped Wolverine destroy "Doombringer"[clarification needed][volume & issue needed], and later helped Logan rescue Amiko and Yukio from their kidnappers. During his time as a hero, the Silver Samurai became the leader of the first Japanese superhero team Big Hero 6.
The Silver Samurai was brainwashed by 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 returned to his previous criminal activities.[volume & issue needed] Harada was operating as the chief security officer for the Prime Minister of Japan.
The Silver 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. Harada wasn't interested in a war and helped the Avengers defeat them. Afterward, he decided to try to earn his good name back by serving the people of Japan once again.
Silver Samurai is one of the few mutants that retained their superhuman powers after M-Day. Wolverine made way to Japan in search of Harada and engaged him in battle. Wolverine's memories were recovered due to the events of House of M and asked Silver Samurai questions about the past during the course of their fight. Silver Samurai was able to run Wolverine through with one of his swords. Immediately afterward, Wolverine's claws severed Harada's hand at the wrist. When last seen, Silver Samurai was kneeling on the floor cradling the bloody stump where his hand once was.
After the Skrull invasion, Viper left the Silver Samurai to rejoin Hydra. Viper later came with a new version of Madame Hydra to negotiate support to be given to Typhon (Hydra's production front) from the Yashidas. They took a mysterious box; the Yashidas claimed that those who opened the box never lived to see another day. Some time later, warriors of Leviathan attacked the Silver Samurai to make him divulge the box's location.
While defending his home from the Red Right Hand, the Silver Samurai was mortally wounded. With his last bit of power, he made his way to his half-sister's grave. He later appeared in Hell blaming Wolverine for the recent deaths of people and was beheaded by Marduk Kurios's Soulcutter after speaking.
Powers and abilities
Kenuichio Harada was a mutant with the ability to generate a tachyon field, with which he could surround anything. 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, Kenuichio possessed a teleportation ring, which allowed him to teleport from one location to another, granting him great mobility and stealth. As a self-styled samurai, he was a master of kenjutsu and other martial arts. Kenuichio specialized in edged weapons, hand-to-hand combat, and military tactics. He usually wore a suit of lightweight steel alloy body armor, modeled after traditional samurai armor, but made of modern protective materials. He carried a katana (long sword), shuriken (throwing stars), and other weaponry. Keniuchio had extensive knowledge of the operations of criminal organizations due to his shady past, which he used in the service of his government to combat such organizations. He was an expert in the history and customs of the samurai class (Bushido).
Age of Apocalypse
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 Silver Samurai and Wolverine met each other in Japan, some time before Logan rescued Mariko from thugs. He was aware of the existence of Psylocke, a rare telepath , but how the Silver Samurai was convinced to join Magneto's X-Men in the first place was not explained. He was 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]
In Exiles #83 (August 2006), another alternate version of the Silver Samurai was revealed. Originating from Earth-172, the Silver 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. Wolverine had vanished out of their sight for months to join the said team, and was later killed in action and returned by the Exiles to his home world. The Silver Samurai and Mariko of that alternate world still don't fully know what happened to their version of Wolverine, but honored the man's death with a proper funeral by burning Logan's ashes via cremation.[volume & issue needed]
House of M
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.
In Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness #4, the Silver Samurai and Sunfire are bitten and infected by Quicksilver. During the Silver Surfer's globe-spanning travels, they are seen attacking innocent civilians.
In the What If story "What If Wolverine Had Married Mariko", Kenuichio Harada united with Mariko and Wolverine in their struggle against the Kingpin who had taken control of the Yakuza and engaged in a turf war with the Shingen clan for control. At that time, the Silver Samurai was secretly working for the Kingpin, and upon their final encounter, he assassinated Mariko, whereupon he was killed by Wolverine in retaliation.
In other media
- The Kenuichio Harada version of Silver Samurai appeared in the X-Men animated series, voiced by Denis Akiyama. This version was a gang leader whose thugs terrorized every village for a tribute to him each year. In the episode "The Lotus and the Steel", Wolverine first encountered him while gathering timber as Silver Samurai warned him not to interfere with his gang's affairs. The villagers stand their ground with the help of Jubilee while Wolverine best Silver Samurai in single combat by taking advantage of Silver Samurai's habit of teleporting behind: Wolverine anticipated his move and disabled his teleportation device, humiliating Silver Samurai.
- The Kenuichio Harada version of Silver Samurai appears in the Wolverine and the X-Men animated series, with Keone Young reprising his role from X-Men: The Official Game. This version is depicted as Mariko Yashida's power-hungry husband and a member of the Yakuza. In the episode "Code of Conduct", he returns years later to force Wolverine into a rematch by capturing the X-Men as a way to be the Yakuza's next leader. He had fought Logan before in a battle over Mariko and was defeated. Silver Samurai wants to fight Wolverine to wipe away his past failure, wanting to be his faction of Yakuza's next head. Overhearing the talk between Wolverine and Mariko, he angrily called for every ninja to their warehouse immediately. At the warehouse fight near the docks, his shuriken loaded knock-out gas paralyzed Wolverine and knocked out Rogue but his Yakuza leader breaks up their fight and says that they'll have a non-mutant ability duel as per samurai code by the next night. When the two duel, Silver Samurai mentioned that Mariko meant nothing to him and that he had only married so that Logan could not. Logan was once again superior and demanded that Harada yield the fight but Harada acted dishonorably by using his mutant abilities before being hit with a knockout gas-filled shuriken. The Yakuza leader forfeited the duel, declaring that Harada deliberately violated the samurai code and has him taken away. After the Yakuza leader agreed to release the X-Men, Mariko mentions to Logan that Harada will be driven out from the Yakuza in shame and that he'll never be admitted again.
- The Kenuichio Harada version of Silver Samurai appears in Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers, voiced by Takanori Nishikawa.
Kenuichio Harada appears in the 2013 film The Wolverine, played by Will Yun Lee. Depicted as a non-mutant and a skilled archer leader of the Black Ninja Clan sworn to protect the Yashida clan, he was the former lover of Mariko Yashida. He assisted in Mariko's protection when Yakuza invaded Ichiro Yashida's "funeral" and from Shingen Yashida but is revealed to be working with the mutant Viper and the Silver Samurai. During Silver Samurai's battle with Wolverine, Harada saw the error of his ways (in aiding Viper in kidnapping Mariko and bringing Wolverine along) and tried to stop Silver Samurai only to be impaled and killed by Silver Samurai's scorching katana.
- The Kenuichio Harada iteration of Silver Samurai was a playable character in the Capcom fighting games X-Men: Children of the Atom and Marvel vs. Capcom 2, voiced by Capcom sound designer Yasushi "Ike-Bomb" Ikeda. This version's mutant tachyon powers are not evident here, however, he is seen throwing giant shurikens and his superpowers involve empowering his katana with elemental properties and attacks revolving around lightning, fire and ice. He is one of the two Marvel characters that does not speak English during gameplay and instead speaks Japanese (Colossus speaking 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.
- The Kenuichio Harada iteration of Silver Samurai appears in X-Men: The Official Game, voiced by Keone Young. This version is the head of HYDRA, and the mentor of Lady Deathstrike. Years before Weapon X, he and HYDRA collaborated with William Stryker involving Master Mold and the Sentinels. After Stryker's death, HYDRA was sent in to remove all Sentinel equipment and files, and Jason Stryker activates Master Mold. Wolverine infiltrated HYDRA's headquarters and dueled with Silver Samurai over how to shut down Master Mold and the Sentinels. Conquering Silver Samurai in combat, Wolverine emerged the winner, gained the information and told the team how to defeat Master Mold.
- The Kenuichio Harada iteration of Silver Samurai appears in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by Andrew Kishino.
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- Marvel Team-Up #57. Marvel Comics.
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