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Sunfire (Shiro Yoshida (吉田四郎 Yoshida Shirō?)) is a fictional character, a mutant superhero in the Marvel Comics Universe and former member of the X-Men.

Sunfire is a temperamental and arrogant Japanese mutant who can generate superheated plasma and fly. Not suited for teamwork, Sunfire was only briefly a member of the X-Men and has kept limited ties to the team since. He has had some presence in the greater Marvel Universe.

Publication history

Created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Don Heck, he first appeared in X-Men #64 (January 1970).

Fictional character biography

Origins

File:Uxmen064.jpg

Shiro Yoshida was born to a mother who suffered radiation poisoning due to exposure to the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. As a result, he was born in Agarashima, Japan, a mutant possessing solar radiation powers.

Shiro's mother died of radiation poisoning when he was young and Shiro grew to hate the United States, despite the influence of his father, an ambassador to the United Nations more tolerant of the US.[1] His greedy uncle Tomo inspired Shiro to take the identity of Sunfire and engage in a one-man battle against the U.S. As Sunfire, he attacked the United States Capitol and battled the X-Men. Later, he saw Tomo kill Shiro's father. Distraught, Sunfire killed Tomo and surrendered to the authorities.[2]

Later, Sunfire battled Namor the Sub-Mariner, but then alongside Namor he battled the Dragon Lord.[3] He also battled Iron Man, but was abducted by the Mandarin and used to power one of his machines. When he was freed, alongside Iron Man he battled Ultimo.[4]

Superhero

Months later, Professor X recruited Sunfire to join a new team of X-Men to rescue the originals from Krakoa, the Living Island, and Sunfire accompanied the fledgling X-Men on this mission.[5] However, he resigned from the team before he received official membership. This was mainly due to his arrogance and his irrational temper.[6]

Sunfire later battled Iron Man and the second Guardsman.[7] With the X-Men, he battled Moses Magnum.[8] He was later among the heroes summoned by the Grandmaster for the first Contest of Champions, in which he battled Darkstar.[9] With the X-Men, he battled an alien dragon.[10] Alongside Cable, Wolverine, and the New Mutants, he battled Stryfe, and the MLF.[11] Sunfire later battled the Corruptor and Deadline.[12] Sunfire was later hypnotized by Doctor Demonicus into joining his Pacific Overlords. Alongside Pele, Sunfire battled Hawkeye, Namor, and Spider-Woman.[13] Sunfire received a new set of armor, and with the X-Men battled the inhabitants of the Void.[14] Alongside Gambit, he later battled the Hand.[15]

Later life

In 1998, Marvel published a miniseries entitled Sunfire and Big Hero Six about Sunfire's brief membership in a new superhero team sanctioned by the Japanese government.

Sunfire's life became involved with the X-Men once again when Apocalypse kidnapped Sunfire, as he was one of the Twelve, a group of unique mutants Apocalypse required to obtain the power to warp reality.

Later on, Sunfire became a member of X-Corporation, a non-government organization devoted to the protection of mutant rights. Sunfire joined the Mumbai branch of X-Corp.

During the early story arcs of the latest edition of Marvel Team-Up, Sunfire attempted to combat the powerful villain known as Titannus, a reject of the Super-Skrull program who had made his way to Earth after being brainwashed by an alien race to serve as their ultimate weapon. Attempting to contain Titannus, Sunfire summoned practically the entire Japanese army to confront him, but the powerful foe defeated Sunfire and the army with ease, and was only barely defeated by a new team that had been hastily assembled by Doctor Strange to combat this threat.

Rogue

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Later, it was revealed that Sunfire had worked with Rogue and Mystique back when Sunfire was still working with Tomo and Rogue was a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Working with them was a girl called Blindspot, who at the time was allied with the Brotherhood and who had the power to erase and restore memories. The four were on a mission to steal Lord Dark Wind's (the father of Lady Deathstrike) adamantium bonding process. Mystique would later cut her ties with Blindspot, who she did not trust. Since she always erased her tracks once a contract ends, Blindspot wiped the minds of everyone who was involved so no one would remember her.

Later, Blindspot discovered Lord Dark Wind wanted all four dead for trying to steal his adamantium process. Realizing how the others would be in danger, with no memory of the mission to steal Dark Wind's adamantium process, Blindspot went back to Japan to erase his memory of the ordeal. When she got there, she discovered that his daughter, who later became Deathstrike had already killed him. Blindspot was able to erase Deathstrike's memories as well.

Yet as Deathstrike was more machine than woman, she was able to restore her memories the same way one would a hard drive. Deathstrike kidnapped Blindspot, who released a photo of Sunfire, Rogue, and Mystique to attract their attention to save her. Though Mystique never came, Rogue joined Sunfire, whose reputation had been ruined by the photograph, in Tokyo to discover why they were framed and who was responsible.

File:Roguesunf.png

The two ran into Lady Deathstrike, who in a heated battle cut off Sunfire's legs, leaving him in critical condition. Rogue surrendered to Deathstrike, who imprisoned the two. There, Rogue met Blindspot, who restored Rogue's memories and explained to her what was going on.

When Deathstrike discovered that the three were not actually responsible for stealing the adamantium, she went to kill them to destroy any evidence of what she had done. A weak Sunfire asked Rogue to absorb his powers so she could properly battle Deathstrike. Rogue had previously lost the powers of Carol Danvers that she had taken and was hesitant. She worried that she would harm Sunfire, but Blindspot pushed her on Sunfire's face, causing her to absorb all his powers and possibly killing him. With it, Rogue now also contained Sunfire's personality, similar to how she also once had Danvers' personality within her.

Sunfire's personality controlling her, Rogue went out to get revenge on Deathstrike, severely injuring the woman. The X-Men arrived in time to intervene, but Blindspot erased Rogue's memories of being an X-Man causing her to see her teammates as her enemies. After a brief altercation, Rogue's memories were restored and she told the X-Men what had happened to Sunfire. They went to where Rogue last saw Sunfire, but his body was missing, leading some of the X-Men to believe he was somehow still alive.

Horseman of Apocalypse

File:Sunfireapoc.PNG

Sunfire lost his powers before M-Day and his X-Gene during that moment.

It is revealed that Sunfire had been rescued by a mysterious group of ninja, and taken to a hospital in Aspen[16]. After being revived from his coma, the world's leading specialist in prosthetic limbs, Masanori Kuzuya, offered him his services. Before the reasoning behind the rescue could be revealed, Apocalypse appeared and offered Sunfire the chance for vengeance, as well as the recovery of his lost limbs and power, in return for his service as one of Apocalypse's new Horsemen.

Sunfire accepted, but after being chained away and locked in a prison while listening to the tortured screams of Gazer (another of the new Horsemen), Sunfire tried to escape. Unable to leave Gazer to his fate, Sunfire went back to free him. However, Gazer's transformation to the Horseman 'War' had already been completed and War attacked Sunfire. Captured again, Sunfire was transformed into the Horseman of Famine. When Apocalypse launched his attack on the X-Men, Sunfire caused an intense feeling of hunger and weakness in the mutants and humans on the institute grounds. As he was fighting the X-Men, Havok shot him down and Rogue, who recognized him, caught him as he fell. He was taken to the Medical Lab and Emma Frost entered his mind in an attempt to help him. When Apocalypse departed, he sent War to retrieve Famine, but Shiro broke free from Apocalypse's control and attacked War.

Sunfire was last seen running off with the unconscious body of Gambit, like him a former X-Men turned Horseman. At the temple where Sunfire first took Gambit, Mister Sinister told them, "I am glad you both feel able to move on from the past... for I am your future!".

The Marauders

Sunfire is shown as a member of the Marauders still in the form of Famine[17]. Alongside Gambit, Sunfire attacks Cable, who destroys Providence. He subsequently attacks an escaping Cannonball and Iceman, but is taken down by Cannonball and is taken prisoner. Though Cannonball and Iceman consider interrogating Sunfire for information as to who he is working for, Cannonball decides against it, knowing that Sunfire would never confess. Instead, Iceman neutralizes Sunfire's artificial mutant abilities on a sub-atomic level using his own mutant abilities, while Cannonball fights him.

Sunfire is later held captive in the Blackbird and is rescued by his fellow Marauders.

Messiah Complex

After being rescued by the Marauders, Sunfire joins fellow members Gambit, Prism, Blockbuster, Malice, Lady Mastermind, and Scalphunter when they travel to Cooperstown, Alaska to find the baby but instead come across the Purifiers and they come to blows. He then participates in a battle alongside the Marauders and Acolytes against the X-Men.Script error

The next time Sunfire is seen, he is with Gambit, Vertigo, and Malice at Eagle Plaza, Texas, taking on Bishop for the Messiah baby. He is involved in the battle at Muir Island over the mutant baby's fate and is apparently knocked unconscious at some point, as it is revealed later that Bishop cauterized the wound of his severed arm by pressing it against Sunfire's unconscious but still flaming form.Script error

Family

Shiro Yoshida (Sunfire) is the brother of Leyu Yoshida, alias the superheroine Sunpyre, who shares his flame-based powers. He is also the cousin of Wolverine's late fiancée Mariko Yashida and her half-brother the Silver Samurai.

Yashida and Yoshida seem to be different spellings of the same name. While in his first appearance Sunfire was called Shiro Yoshida, in the story arc that introduced his cousin, Mariko, his name was spelled Yashida and this version of the name was carried on in Mariko's next appearances.

Powers and abilities

Sunfire is a mutant with the ability to absorb solar radiation, and convert it to ionize matter into a fiery plasma state which bursts into flame when exposed to oxygen. He can release this energy though his hands as blasts of searing heat, deadly radiation, explosive concussive force, or simple flames. By ionizing the air around him, he can surround himself with an aura of heat intense enough to melt steel, or fly by focusing his aura downwards in a tight stream of ionized gas to propel him though the air like a rocket. Sunfire can see heat, by shifting his vision from visible light to infrared. Sunfire has the ability to form a psionic force field while using his plasma as protection from heat and radiation, both that of his own generation and that from outside sources.

Sunfire transferred his powers to Rogue in order to defeat Lady Deathstrike who had just cut off his legs. This (like Ms. Marvel before him) left him still a mutant but powerless.Script error After his transformation into Famine, a Horseman of Apocalypse, his powers and legs were returned, and he could now also use them to create flashes of light that affected the sections of the human brain which control hunger, causing any people who saw his light flashes to feel as if they were starving.Script error

Shiro also seems to be quite an accomplished martial artist. He has displayed impressive hand to hand skills on several occasions and stated that he didn't need to employ his powers in order to defeat mere Hand ninjas. He is trained in karate, judo, budo (Japanese Samurai swordsmanship), and kendo. He is also an expert in the combat use of his superhuman powers. He has at least peak human physical ability.

Other versions

Age of Apocalypse

In Age of Apocalypse, Japan was destroyed by Holocaust, one of the Horsemen of Apocalypse. Shiro, a survivor of the massacre, was captured and given to Maximus (the Horseman of Death), as a test subject for his experiments. Shiro's powers were pushed to their limits, causing his whole body to be set aflame, injuring him as a result. Shiro was rescued by the X-Men and joined them, taking on the codename Sunfire. Sunfire wore a containment suit to control his powers, although he was constantly on fire. Haunted by the destruction of his nation, Sunfire joined Rogue's task force of X-Men when they were sent to Chicago to fight Holocaust, who had begun a new series of Cullings. The character design of the original Sunfire as Famine (see above) is virtually identical to the Age of Apocalypse incarnation of the character.Script error

House of M

In House of M, Sunfire became the Emperor of Japan. Under his rule, the country had prospered, though the poverty levels were extremely high among the baseline human population. In secret, Sunfire was one of the masterminds of Project: Genesis, a project sanctioned by the Japan branch of S.H.I.E.L.D. with the goal of forcefully mutating baseline humans. When the S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives-in-training dubbed the Hellions investigated a terrorist attack, they discovered the existence of Project: Genesis and its link to Emperor Sunfire. Sunfire lied to the Hellions and told them that Project: Genesis's purpose was to recycle organic waste into food for poor baseline humans.Script error

Marvel Zombies

In Marvel Zombies, a zombie version of Sunfire and Silver Samurai can be briefly seen slaughtering civilians, while the Silver Surfer travels the globe, as a result of Quicksilver being infected and thus able to spread the zombie plague all over the world.Script error

Ultimate Sunfire

In Ultimate X-Men #94, Sunfire appears as a member of Alpha Flight. His power levels enhanced by Banshee, the Ultimate Marvel version of the Mutant Growth Hormone, he squares off against new X-Man recruit Firestar.

In other media

Television

  • Sunfire guest-starred on the 1980s animated series Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends in the episode "Sunfire", voiced by Jerry Dexter. In the episode, he and Firestar fell in love amidst their adventures with Firestar's friends Spider-Man and Iceman. His uncle Jin Ju plotted to use Sunfire and Firestar in his plan to hatch his fire monster. Sunfire and the Spider-Friends stopped the fire monster and Sunfire returned to Japan to have his uncle recover in a hospital.
File:SunfireCartoon.jpg
  • Sunfire makes many appearances in the X-Men series, however most of those were non-speaking cameos merely serving the purpose of a stock character. However, when Sunfire speaks, he is voiced by Dennis Akayama. He briefly appeared in the adaptation of the Phoenix Saga in the episode "Child of Light" as one of the many Marvel heroes saving different parts of the world from catastrophe due to the corruption of the M'Kraan Crystal. He also had speaking roles in the episodes "Slave Island" and "Graduation Day" (where he had become a follower of Magneto). On the show, he was portrayed with an extremely thick Japanese accent.

Video games

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  • Sunfire is briefly mentioned in The Punisher video game. He is talked about in the second to last level of the game. Two guys are talking about who would win in a fight between Sunfire and Captain America.

Influence

  • In an interview in Wizard Magazine, Alex Ross has mentioned that Sunfire's mask served as the inspiration for Kyle Rayner's (Green Lantern) original costume mask (which debuted in Green Lantern # 51 (in 1994).[citation needed]

See also

Bibliography

  • Alpha Flight v2, #1-5, #7-9, #12-13, #17
  • Avengers #117
  • Avengers West Coast #71, #74
  • Cable v2, #76
  • Deathlok v2, #3-4
  • Giant-Size X-Men #1, 3
  • Incredible Hulk v2, #279
  • Iron Fist/Wolverine #2-4
  • Iron Man #68-70, #98-99
  • Marvel Comics Presents #32
  • Marvel Super Heroes: Contest of Champions #1-3
  • Marvel Team-Up v3, #4-6, #8-9
  • Marvel Universe: The End #5-6
  • Maximum Security #1-3
  • New Mutants vol. 1 #93-94
  • Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: X-Men 2005
  • Rogue v3, #7-11
  • Sub-Mariner #52-53
  • Sunfire & Big Hero Six #1-3
  • Uncanny X-Men #94, #118-120, #181, #284-286, #377-379
  • Weapon X: The Draft: Wild Child
  • Wolverine Annual 1996
  • Wolverine v2, #55-56, #60
  • X-Men #64
  • X-Men v2, #93-94, #96-98
  • X-Men: Black Sun #1-5
  • X-Men: Liberaters #2

As Famine

  • X-Men v2, #182-187

References

  1. Sanderson, Peter (2007). The Marvel Comics Guide to New York City. New York City: Pocket Books. pp. 62–63. ISBN 1-14653-141-6 Check |isbn= value: checksum (help). 
  2. X-Men Vol. 1 #64
  3. Sub-Mariner #52-54
  4. Iron Man #68-70
  5. Giant-Sized X-Men #1
  6. X-Men Vol. 1 #94
  7. Iron Man #98-99
  8. X-Men Vol. 1 #118-119
  9. Marvel Super-Hero Contest of Champions #1-3
  10. Uncanny X-Men #181
  11. New Mutants #93-94
  12. Marvel Comics Presents #32
  13. Avengers West Coast #71
  14. Uncanny X-Men #284-286
  15. Wolverine #55-56
  16. X-Men vol. 2 #182
  17. X-Men #vol. 2 200

External links

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