Ronin (Marvel Comics)
Art from the cover of New Avengers #11. Art by David Finch.
|First appearance||New Avengers #11 (November 2005)|
|Created by||Brian Michael Bendis, Joe Quesada|
|Characters||Maya Lopez (Echo)
Clint Barton (Hawkeye)
Alexei Shostakov (Red Guardian)
Eric Brooks (Blade)
Ronin is an alias used by multiple characters in the Marvel Comics Universe. The Ronin identity was created by Brian Michael Bendis and Joe Quesada, though the characters who have adopted the identity were pre-existing characters created by other writers.
Maya Lopez first appeared as Ronin in New Avengers #11 (November 2005), though the character appeared on the covers of several earlier issues.
New Avengers writer Brian Michael Bendis revealed in the introduction to the New Avengers Vol. 1 Hardcover collection that his original intention was to make Matt Murdock the true identity of Ronin, but could not do so due to a conflict with the plans for the character in the Daredevil comic book title.
Clint Barton is the second person to don the Ronin identity, becoming Ronin when he rejoined the New Avengers in the aftermath of Civil War. He attempted to hand the costume back to Echo after she was rescued from the Hand, but Echo declined and allowed him to keep it. Clint Barton later resumed his Hawkeye identity during the start of the Heroic Age.
A new Ronin was introduced in the "Widow Maker" crossover between the Hawkeye & Mockingbird and Black Widow titles. The new Ronin initially starts assassinating spies and eventually targets Mockingbird and Black Widow. He is later revealed as Alexei Shostakov, Black Widow's ex-husband (aka Red Guardian).
Writer Jim McCann revealed "We're going to learn that there is far more to the Ronin identity than anyone knew, pre-dating Hawkeye and Echo before him. Why does Ronin exist? That's a central mystery we will tackle." 
A character whose identity is kept from the reader is introduced in the second volume of Mighty Avengers and dons a Halloween-type costume, "Spider Hero", during the Infinity storyline. In the aftermath of those events, during the Inhumanity storyline, this character is supplied with the Ronin costume from a "big box of Clint Barton's old stuff." Before the character's true identity was revealed in canon, a leaked script for the first appearance revealed that this Ronin is Blade. Blade was revealed Mighty Avengers #9 to have been using the Ronin identity.
The Ultimate Marvel version of Ronin first appeared Ultimate Spider-Man #108. Ronin is one of the multiple personalities of Moon Knight, and was created to infiltrate the Kingpin's (also known as Wilson Fisk) service. The Kingpin tells Ronin to prove himself by retrieving Spider-Man.
Ronin drives a school bus into Midtown High School and starts firing a gun to get Spider-Man to fight. Kitty Pryde, who has recently enrolled there as a student, confronts him, but is knocked unconscious shortly before Spider-Man arrives. The two engage in a brutal battle that is mirrored in a fight between Moon Knight and Ronin in his mind (since they are two different personalities within the same person); Ronin knocks Spider-Man unconscious in the end (The Moon Knight personality is also apparently "killed"). Ronin uses Spider-Man's own web-shooters to leave the high school, and takes him to the Kingpin, who interrogates the hero at his hideout.
Kingpin then attacks Ronin, revealing that he already knew his identity. Ronin is then taken to a river by two of the Kingpin's henchmen and shot in the head. Somehow he survives this and goes to the police to provide evidence about Wilson Fisk's attempt to murder him. He has to reveal his secret identity to do this, but it does lead to the arrest of the Kingpin and the media referring to him as a hero.
In other media
- Ronin appears in Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers, voiced by Hori Hideyuki. This version is an entirely new character under the mask, rather than an existing hero like Maya Lopez, Clint Barton, or Blade. He is later revealed to be Nozomu Akatsuki, the father of Akira, one of the show's main protagonists.
- Maya Lopez appears using the Ronin identity as a PSP exclusive playable character in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, voiced by Marabina Jaimes. She appears masked by default, but has an unmasked alternate costume. A mod available for the Wii versions of the game unlocks her as a playable character.
- The Ronin suit appears as an alternate costume for Hawkeye in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
- The Ronin costume is featured as a chase costume in Marvel Heroes.
- A Minimate of the character was released in the 12th series of Marvel Minimates, in a 2-pack with new battle damaged "Riot-Attack" variant of Spider-Man.
- Marvel Legends released a 2-pack with a Ronin figure and Elektra. This figure has an alternate unmasked Clint Barton (Hawkeye) head.
- Marvel Universe released a Ronin figure.
- Ronan the Accuser, another Marvel character
- Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #159, Comic Book Resources, June 12, 2008
- New Avengers #27 (April 2007)
- "McCann & Swierczynski Are "Widow Makers"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- "SDCC10: Killing Hawkeye & Widow - Comics News at IGN". Comics.ign.com. 2010-07-15. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- Mighty Avengers vol. 2 #1
- Mighty Avengers #4.INH
- Sunu, Steve (28 October 2013). "Marvel Inadvertently Leaks Mighty Avengers Mystery Member ID". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
- Mighty Avengers #9 (June 2014)
- Ultimate Spider-Man #108
- Ultimate Spider-Man #108
- Ultimate Spider-Man #111
- "ML: Elektra & Ronin review". OAFE. Retrieved 2010-09-13.