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Silver Samurai is the name of two different fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The first Silver Samurai, Kenuichio Harada, was first shown in Daredevil #111 (July 1974), created by writer Steve Gerber and artist Bob Brown. The second Silver Samurai, Shin Harada, is the son of the original Silver Samurai and appeared in Wolverine #300, created by Jason Aaron.
The Silver Samurai from New Avengers #12.
Art by David Finch
|First appearance||Daredevil #111 (July 1974)|
|Created by||Steve Gerber |
|Alter ego||Kenuichio Harada|
|Team affiliations||Clan Yashida|
Big Hero 6
|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 was the son of supervillain Shingen Yashida and was a mutant with the power to charge a Katana. Initially, he worked as a hired henchman and bodyguard. He later formed a duo with Viper and the two committed crime all over the world. Over time he became less of an out-and-out villain and more of a man trying to regain his family honor, earning the trust of a former enemy Wolverine. He led the first incarnation of Big Hero 6, Japan's first superhero team. Ultimately, the original Silver Samurai is killed by the Right Red Hand.
Shin Harada is associated with the Hellfire Club and is a member of the Brotherhood of Mutants (an enemy of the X-Men). Unlike his father, he has no superpowers and relies on technology for his weapons.
Kenuichio Harada and the Silver Samurai were featured in the 2013 film The Wolverine as separate entities. Harada (Will Yun Lee) was a bodyguard in the film, while the Silver Samurai was a giant robotic suit worn by Ichirō Yashida (Haruhiko Yamanouchi).
Fictional character biographyEdit
Kenuichio Harada is the illegitimate son of Shingen Yashida. He is a Japanese mutant who uses his powers to charge his katana. His powers and his samurai-style armor made of a silvery metal led to the moniker Silver Samurai.
Harada was the bodyguard for the international terrorist, the 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 for the show 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.
At some point during Hydra's attack on Japan, he killed a police officer named Kioshi Keishicho which led to Amatsu-Mikaboshi giving Koishi a deal that involved him turning Kioshi into the Ebon Samurai.
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 his adopted daughter, Amiko Kobayashi.[volume & issue needed]
The 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 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 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 severed Harada's 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.
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. They took a mysterious box; the Yashidas claimed that those who opened it never lived to see another day. Some time later, warriors of Leviathan attacked the Silver Samurai to make him divulge the location of the box.
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 the grave of his half-sister Mariko and died. He later appeared in Hell blaming Wolverine for the recent deaths of people and was beheaded by Marduk Kurios's Soulcutter after speaking.
Shingen "Shin" HaradaEdit
A new Silver Samurai appeared when Wolverine made a trip to Japan to visit Silver Samurai's grave. This version was the Silver Samurai's son Shingen "Shin" Harada (named after his grandfather Shingen Yashida) who had been committing larceny with Wolverine's daughter, Amiko Kobayashi.
Shin later worked with Mystique to track down newly awakened mutants to join her cause. He was later recruited by Kade Killgore to be a teacher at the Hellfire Club's Hellfire Academy where he worked as a designer.
Silver Samurai later appeared as a member of Mystique's fourth incarnation of the Brotherhood of Mutants. During Magneto's fight with the Brotherhood of Mutants on Madripoor, Magneto controlled Silver Samurai into wounding Mystique.
As part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel, Shingen Harada represented the Yashida Corporation when he attended a meeting at the Universal Bank with Tiberius Stone of Alchemax, Wilson Fisk of Fisk Industries, Sebastian Shaw of Shaw Industries, Darren Cross of Cross Technological Enterprises, Zeke Stane of Stane International, Frr'dox of Shi'ar Solutions Consolidated, and Wilhelmina Kensington of Kilgore Arms where they discussed with Dario Agger about his and Roxxon Energy Corporation's plans to exploit the Ten Realms of Asgard. When the true motive of the meeting was revealed, Shingen Harada attacked Dario and they almost fought, interrupted by the arrival of Exterminatrix of the Midas Foundation, resulting in Dario getting knocked out when she declared herself a new member of their assembly. He then went to an underwater station in the Southern Ocean, where he attacked the employees until encountering Thor (Jane Foster), who defeated him by smacking him repeatedly with her hammer. He then escaped and joined Exterminatrix in an aerial battle against soldiers attempting to rescue Dario. They later entered Roxxon Corporation HQ, where they encountered the B.E.R.S.E.R.K.E.R.S., a group of Hulk-like superhumans. While the Mindless Ones fought them, Silver Samurai and Exterminatrix went to Dario's vault, attempting to take his money until Agent Solomon arrived, forcing Exterminatrix to fight her while Silver Samurai opened the vault. When the vault was opened, Dario transformed into Minotaur and knocked out Silver Samurai. Then, the floating island the building was located on fell down due to the activation of the Agger Imperative. While S.H.I.E.L.D. evacuated the building, Thor destroyed the island. The villains were later arrested and taken into custody.
Silver Samurai approached Old Man Logan wanting to ally with him in stopping the Hand's Regenix operation. He agreed in exchange that he doesn't kill Mariko and that Touku and Asami's child is taken care of. When Logan and Silver Samurai attack the Hand's Regenix operations, Silver Samurai fought Gorgon while Logan fought the Hand Ninjas to confront Mariko. After Gorgon got away, Silver Samurai injected nanites into Mariko to break the Hand's control over her. Afterwards, Logan and Mariko sent Silver Samurai to destroy the Regenix shipments in Madripoor.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
The first Silver Samurai 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, he 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. He 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).
The second Silver Samurai possessed a technologically advanced suit of armor which granted him the ability of flight and protection from many conventional attacks. In addition to carrying two energy katana blades, Shin possessed a number of armaments and gadgets such as an energy cannon built into the right wrist of his suit.
Age of ApocalypseEdit
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 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. 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 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 the said team, he was later 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 honored his death with a proper funeral by burning Logan's ashes via cremation.[volume & issue needed]
House of MEdit
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 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 mediaEdit
- The Silver Samurai appeared in the X-Men episode "The Lotus and the Steel", voiced by Denis Akiyama. He was portrayed as a gang leader whose thugs terrorized every village for a tribute to him each year. Wolverine first encountered him while gathering timber as the Silver Samurai warns him not to interfere with his gang's affairs. The villagers stand their ground with the help of Jubilee and Wolverine best the Samurai in single combat by taking advantage of the Samurai's habit of teleporting behind him: Wolverine anticipated the move and disabled the teleportation device, humiliating the Silver Samurai.
- The Silver Samurai appeared 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 was not depicted as Mariko's half-brother, and instead her reluctant, power-hungry husband, as well as a member of the Yakuza. He fought Wolverine before in a battle over Mariko and was defeated. Years later, Harada captured 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 group that he is a part of. After overhearing the talk between Wolverine and Mariko, he 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 said that they will have a non-mutant ability duel (as part of the samurai code) by the next night. When they finally dueled, the 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 beating Harada, but since the Silver Samurai acted dishonorably by using his mutant abilities when it was not allowed, he was hit with a knockout gas-filled shuriken. The Yakuza leader forfeited the duel, declaring that Harada deliberately violated the samurai code and had 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 out from the Yakuza in shame and that they will never admit him again.
- Silver Samurai appeared in Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers, voiced by Takanori Nishikawa.
The Silver Samurai and Kenuichio Harada appeared as distinctively separate entities in the 2013 film The Wolverine. Kenuichio Harada (played by Will Yun Lee) was depicted as a non-mutant and the skilled archer leader of the Black Ninja Clan that is sworn to protect the Yashida clan. He was the former lover of Mariko Yashida and has no blood relation to Shingen Yashida. A suit of samurai armor that was in the Yashida family for centuries was referred to as the "Silver Samurai" and was placed at the grave of Ichirō Yashida, the Yashida clan patriarch. When a group of Yakuza invaded Yashida's funeral, Harada assisted Wolverine in protecting Mariko but was revealed to be working with the mutant Viper. In the film's climax, the Silver Samurai (not the traditional armor at the gravesite) is actually a giant robotic suit made of adamantium wielding an adamantium katana and wakizashi, both of which can generate heat in their blades, that is worn by the old head of the Yashida clan's technology empire, Ichirō Yashida (played by Haruhiko Yamanouchi as an old man and Ken Yamamura as a young man) who faked his death. Yashida became obsessed with Wolverine's healing factor and immortality after Wolverine 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 saw the error of his ways (in aiding Viper in kidnapping Mariko and bringing Wolverine to her), he tried to stop the Silver Samurai only to be impaled and killed by Yashida with the Samurai's scorching adamantium katana. As Yashida started regaining his youthful appearance while extracting Wolverine's healing factor using the Silver Samurai armor, he was 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 adamantium 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 crevasse below.
- Silver Samurai is 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. His 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, 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 appeared in the game X-Men: The Official Game (which filled the gap between X2: X-Men United and X-Men: The Last Stand) voiced by Keone Young. In the game, Silver Samurai is the 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 in to remove all Sentinel equipment and files, and Jason Stryker activated the Master Mold. Wolverine infiltrated HYDRA's headquarters and dueled with Silver Samurai over how to shut down the Master Mold and the Sentinels. Conquering Samurai in combat, Wolverine emerged the winner, gained the information, and told the team how to defeat Master Mold.
- Silver Samurai appears in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by Andrew Kishino.
- In the comic prequels to the first X-Men film, Wolverine was revealed to have fought a Yakuza enforcer just prior to the film. With an obsession with honor and the mutant ability to generate electricity, he was referred to as the Silver Samurai.
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