Marvel Character Highlight #13: Silver Samurai

Name: Kenuichio Haradasilversamurai

Affiliation: HYDRA, Big Hero Six, Viper, Mandrill, Yashida Clan

Special abilities: Silver Samurai has the ability to generate a tachyon field through himself, though he can project the energy through anything he chooses. Frequently, he chooses a katana, which can cut through virtually any substance known to man (excluding adamantium). Silver Samurai is also a master of Kenjutsu — the art of wielding a katana — and Bushido.

Background: Kenuichio Harada began life as the illegitimate son of Yashida clan boss Shingen Harada. He began his criminal career with the Mandrill then moved on to working with HYDRA’s Viper as her bodyguard. Harada then looked to take over the Yashida clan after the death of his father but came into conflict with his half-sister, Mariko Yashida, and Wolverine. When Mariko was killed, he did claim leadership of the clan but lost it to a Mongolian warlord. After losing his leadership position, he returned to criminal activity and was brainwashed by the mutant Blindspot to forget his dalliance into super hero activities. Harada then returned to HYDRA and fought Elektra. He was thought to be killed but survived and turned up again trying to take over the Yakuza. He worked briefly as the head of security for the prime minister of Japan and then fought Wolverine after the events of M-Day. The two fought until Wolverine cut off his hand at the wrist. Silver Samurai was later killed by ninjas in an attack on his home. His son, Shingen Harada, later took up the mantle.

Relationships: Shingen Harada (father), Mariko Yashida (half-sister), Wolverine (James Howlett, former brother-in-law), second Silver Samurai (Shingen “Shin” Harada, son)

First Versus game appearance: X-Men: Children of the Atom

Appearances in other media: X-Men (animated, 1996), Wolverine and the X-Men (animated, 2009), X-Men: The Official Game (multiplatform, 2006), Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (2000, multiplatform)

Top 5 on The Strip: Asian superheroes

Psylocke

Psylocke

Betsy Braddock wasn’t born Japanese. No, that didn’t happen until she switched bodies with Kwannon, a Japanese assassin. Braddock’s original body was compromised by the Legacy Virus, and Kwannon died. The six-armed mutant Spiral the cause of the mind switch to start with, and whenever Spiral is involved, things never end the way they’re supposed to.

Doctor Light-Kimiyo Hoshi

Doctor Light

Kimiyo Hoshi was an astronomer who happened to be observing a subtle battle between the Monitor and Anti-Monitor. The Monitor activated her as part of his plan to keep the positive universe ahead. Bright, sexy and a doctor? Sign us up for positive sexual healing.

Silver Samurai

Silver Samurai

Keniuchio Harada is the illegitimate son of a Japanese crime boss. He learned he was a mutant and then applied his skills to further his crime aspirations. You can’t say he didn’t put them to good use as a criminal because he later managed to turn over a new leaf and stay on the straight and narrow. Well, until Blindspot forced him to forget that he was a superhero.

Naiad

Naiad

In her human life, Naiad was a protestor in Alaska that was set on fire and killed. After that, she became a powerful elemental force in the DC universe. Not too much can be said about someone who’s basically a part of nature itself. She makes waves wherever she wants. Sea what we did there?

Sunfire

Sunfire

Shiro Yashida comes from the same clan as the Silver Samurai, but is significantly less criminally inclined. He’s neutral, though the fact that he can generate plasma from his body and was listed as one of the “Legendary Twelve” mutants (as an elemental) is important enough that his presence is necessary in quite a few fights. Most of the time, however, he chooses not to get involved in the X-Men’s affairs despite being a member.