Art by Marc Silvestri.
|First appearance||Wolverine #2 (September 1982)|
|Created by||Chris Claremont|
|Full name||Yukio (last name unknown)|
|Team affiliations||Mutant Underground|
|Abilities||Superior armed and unarmed fighting abilities|
Accuracy with weapons
Yukio (雪緒) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. She is a female ninja of Japanese origin and a supporting character of the X-Men, particularly associated with Wolverine.
Characteristics and abilities
Within the context of the stories, 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 safety. 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. 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."
While Yukio is highly skilled in the martial arts, her specialty weapons are scalpel-like shuriken, of which she can hurl up to three at a time with deadly accuracy. Wolverine once joked that Yukio's real first name was "Yukiko".
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 his 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 found her powers inexplicably going out of control, endangering her life. Yukio knocked Storm into the nearby bay, enabling them to escape from the Silver Samurai. (These events had actually 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 developed a rivalry with the X-Man Gambit: Both being thieves, they often tried to steal the same object. Yukio once 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 Marduk Kurios. 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.
As part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel event, Yukio is shown running an illegal nightclub in Osaka, Japan when it is visited by War Machine where he asks her about the tech-based ninjas. Yukio states that she can't say anything if she wants her business to stay afloat. After being threatened with the prospect of having the Avengers storming the place, Yukio points War Machine to a rather big and muscular man in a tuxedo who leaves the nightclub with two ladies entering the car with him.
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. Instead of throwing knives and shurikens, this version uses retractable circular throwing blades. After rescuing Wolverine from some Yakuza thugs working for Shingen Yashida, she assists in Wolverine's quest to free Mariko Yashida from an engagement as part of her quest to seek revenge against Yashida for killing her parents. Yukio dies in battle against Shingen after confessing to killing Tesshin Asano (Logan's friend).
- The character appears in the 2013 film The Wolverine, portrayed by Rila Fukushima. In addition to being a skilled fighter, she is a mutant, with the ability to foresee others' deaths. She was adopted by the Yashida family as a companion for Mariko Yashida as a little girl. She helps Wolverine save Mariko from Dr. Green / Viper and their insane father figures. At the end of the film, she appoints herself as Logan's "bodyguard". Fukushima said of the role, "My character's very physical. Yukio and Wolverine have a lot in common. She really takes care of him and he also cares about her." Director James Mangold described Yukio as a lethal fighter who is "both sexy and almost kind of sprung from the anime world."
- Yukio appears in the 2018 film Deadpool 2, portrayed by Shiori Kutsuna. Depicted as Negasonic Teenage Warhead's girlfriend, the character seems to be an amalgam of Yukio and Surge who uses electrical skills. Her hair is dyed purple, and much of her dialogue is to happily say "Hi, Wade!", regardless of the situation. She later helps Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Colossus in the fight against Juggernaut. In the mid-credits, Yukio repairs Cable's time travel device for Deadpool. She is also a member of the X-Men and X-Force. The writers felt free to use the character in whatever way the film needed due to having only a minor role in the comics.
Yukio appears in Marvel Heroes, looking for the Murasama Blade's shattered pieces.
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."
Christy Lemire, writing for the website of Roger Ebert, described Yukio in The Wolverine as "frisky and fearless" and a "manga-inspired dream girl", writing that actress Fukushima "more than holds her own opposite the veteran Jackman in both the elaborate fight scenes and the quieter moments". With respect to her appearance in Deadpool 2, Sergio Pereira, writing for Screen Rant, felt that Kutsuna's portrayal of Yukio was bad for the character and the franchise, stating that "[a]ll of the character development and progress from The Wolverine is washed away as Yukio becomes a parody of herself". Writing for Bustle, Olivia Truffaut-Wong said that the Deadpool 2 Yukio "doesn't really seem to have a life outside of being one half of the first gay superhero couple onscreen... nor does she have a personality that goes beyond typical depictions of a cute Japanese anime character", although she does note the significance of the character appearing as being in a relationship.
- James Egan, 1000 Facts about Comic Books, Vol. 3 (2016), p. 87.
- Wolverine #3.
- "25 Hot Ninja Girls - Hot Women Ninjas". UGO.com. 2011-01-05. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
- Wolverine: Soultaker miniseries.
- Wolverine #1-4 (1982).
- Uncanny X-Men #172-173
- "Kitty Pryde & Wolverine."
- "Wolverine and Gambit".
- X-treme X-Men Arena storyline.
- Wolverine vol. 4 #2.
- Wolveine vol. 4 #300.
- Invincible Iron Man Vol. 2 #6.
- X-Men: The End #5.
- Matthew J. McEniry,, Robert Moses Peaslee, Robert G. Weiner, Marvel Comics into Film: Essays on Adaptations Since the 1940s (2016), p. 100.
- "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.
- Jordan, Richard (May 2013). "Lone Wolf". Total Film (205): 90–93.
- Stack, Tim (March 24, 2013). "'The Wolverine': 8 New Photos!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
- N'Duka, Amanda (June 12, 2017). "'Deadpool 2' Sets Actress Shioli Kutsuna in a Key Role". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on June 13, 2017. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
- Ching, Albert (May 18, 2018). "Deadpool 2 Writers Break Down the (Many) Big Surprises in the Film". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on May 19, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
- "25 Hot Ninja Girls - Hot Women Ninjas". UGO.com. 2011-01-05. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
- Lemire, Christy. "The Wolverine Movie Review & Film Summary (2013)". Roger Ebert. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
- Pereira, Sergio (October 16, 2018). "9 Casting Decisions That Hurt The Deadpool Movies (And 11 That Saved It)". Screen Rant.
- Truffaut-Wong, Olivia (May 22, 2018). "After 'Deadpool 2', We Need To Talk About How Asian Women Are Depicted In Marvel Movies". Bustle.