Silver Samurai


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Wolverine vol. 3 #37 © 2005 Marvel Comics. COVER ART BY KAARE ANDREWS.

Silver Samurai

(pop culture)
The Silver Samurai, one of the first examples of the influence of Japanese culture on American comic books, was created by writer Steve Gerber and artist Bob Brown in Daredevil vol. 1 #111 (1974). A superb swordsman and highly skilled martial-arts master, this Japanese warrior can generate a tachyon field of energy around his sword, using the energized blade to slice through any known substance—except the metal adamantium— like a disintegration beam. Originally his true identity was unknown, but the Silver Samurai was ultimately revealed to be Kenuichio Harada, the mutant son of the deceased Japanese crimelord Shingen Harada. It was writer Chris Claremont who gave him his “real” name and who established his relationship to his father Shingen, a character that Claremont and artist Frank Miller jointly created in 1982 Wolverine miniseries. The Samurai is also the half-brother of Wolverine's true love Mariko Yashida, and the cousin of the Japanese mutant superhero Sunfire. As a boy, Kenuichio was never formally acknowledged as Shingen's son or as a member of the Yashida clan of which Shingen was the leader. At an early age, Harada began the study of the fighting methods and code of honor (bushido) of the medieval Japanese samurai warrior-class. After fulfilling a debt of service to the supervillain the Mandrill, the Silver Samurai bound himself in service to the second Viper, acting as his bodyguard. Later, the Silver Samurai battled Wolverine over the demon-possessed Muramasa sword. Villain and hero banded together to defeat the demon and free Jessica Drew (the original Spider-Woman) from its evil influence. Following the death of Mariko, the Silver Samurai took over leadership of Clan Yashida and attempted to put an end to the clan's criminal connections and restore its honor. The Silver Samurai even became one of the original members of the Japanese superhero team Big Hero 6, as portrayed in the comics miniseries Sunfire & Big Hero 6 (1998). Subsequently, however, the mutant Blindspot used her powers to erase the Samurai's memories of being a hero, and hence he has returned to his criminal career as head of organized crime in Tokyo. The Silver Samurai appeared in FOX's animated TV series X-Men (1993–1997). He also appears in the Capcom fighting games Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and X-Men: Children of the Atom. The Silver Samurai's most unusual appearance was in Marvel Team-Up vol. 1 #74 (1978), in which Spider- Man met the original cast (the “Not Ready for Prime Time Players”) of TV's Saturday Night Live. The climax of the story was a swordfight between the Silver Samurai and John Belushi's samurai character!