The Silver Samurai (Kenuichio Harada) is a fictional character in Marvel Comics' universe, sometimes a superhero and sometimes a supervillain. His first appearance was in Daredevil #111 (July, 1974).
Fictional character biography
Silver Samurai, the illegitimate son of Shingen Yashida
, is a Japanese mutant
with the power to charge almost anything, most notably his katana
, with mutant energy (described as a tachyon field
) which enables it to slice through any known substance excluding adamantium
. He also sports a suit of traditional samurai
armor. It is made of a silver metal, hence his name.
Harada was once the bodyguard for the international terrorist known as the Viper and was subsequently an occasional mercenary, but he became the head of Clan Yashida after his half-sister Mariko Yashida's death. He attempted to pay off his clan's debts to the Yakuza and restore its honor. Though once one of Wolverine's greatest enemies, he had apparently impressed Wolverine so greatly that Wolverine entrusted him with the care of his adopted daughter, Amiko Kobayashi. The Samurai even once helped Wolverine destroy the monster known as "Doombringer", and later helped Logan rescue Amiko and Yukio from their kidnappers. During his time as hero, the Silver Samurai became the leader of the first Japanese superhero team, Big Hero 6.
Silver Samurai was recently brainwashed by the mutant Blindspot into forgetting his time as a hero, believing his redemption was just a result of Professor X's brainwashing. As a result, he had returned to his previous criminal activities. However, it now seems that Harada is currently operating as the chief security officer for the Prime Minister of Japan.
For unclear reasons, 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 & SHIELD that Madame Hydra was relucant to name; it is quite likely she was referring to the Skrull's Secret Invasion, which was being set up (though not fully revealed) at the time. However, Harada wasn't interested in a war and even helped the Avengers defeat them. Afterward, he decided to try to earn his good name back by serving the people of Japan once again. (New Avengers #11-13)
Recently, he lost a hand in another confrontation with Wolverine and dealt with the New Avengers, where he had an unpleasant reunion with Wolverine.
Silver Samurai is one of the few mutants that retained their superhuman powers after the M-Day.
Powers and abilities
The Silver Samurai is a mutant with the ability to channel energy into anything, commonly using his power with his sword to create a tachyon
field around the blade enabling it to cut through nearly anything, except adamantium. He possesses a teleportation ring, which allows him to teleport from one location to another, granting him great mobility and stealth. As a self-styled samurai, he is a martial arts master specializing in edged weapons, hand to hand combat, and tactics. He usually wears a suit of armor, modeled after traditional samurai armor, but made of modern protective materials. Keniuchio has extensive knowledge of the operations of criminal organizations due to his shady past, which he now uses in the service of his government to combat such organizations.
Age of Apocalypse
In the most recent "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, filling a Colossus/Wolverine type niche in the group. It was revealed that the Samurai and Wolverine met each other in Japan, some time before Logan rescued Mariko from thugs. He was also 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 has yet to be revealed.
#83 (August 2006), another alternate version of the Silver Samurai was revealed. Originating from Earth-172, the Samurai appeared to have a good 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 said team, he later on was killed in action and returned by the Exiles to his home-world. The Samurai and Mariko still don't fully know what happened to their Wolverine, but at least honored his death with a proper funeral by burning Logan's ashes.
House of M
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 a zombie Quicksilver
. During the Silver Surfer
's globe-spanning travels, they are seen attacking innocent civilians.
In other media
- Silver Samurai has appeared in the X-Men animated series in the episode "The Lotus and the Steel". He is portrayed as a gang leader whose thugs terrorise a village where Wolverine has been living. The villagers stand their ground and Wolverine bests the Samurai in single combat by taking advantage of Samurai's habit of teleporting behind him: Wolverine anticipates the move and disables the teleportation device, humiliating Samurai.
- Silver Samurai also appears in Wolverine and the X-Men. In the series, he is not Mariko's half-brother, but he is her husband. He has a duel with Wolverine, but, since he acted dishonorably (used his powers when it was not allowed), the Yakuza anulled the duel.
- In the film X2, his name appears on a list of names Mystique scrolls through on Stryker's computer while looking for Magneto's file.
- Silver Samurai is a playable character in the Capcom fighting games X-Men: Children of the Atom and Marvel vs. Capcom 2. His mutant tachyon powers are not evident here however, as he is seen throwing giant shurikens and his supers involve empowering his katana with elemental properties and attacks revolving around lightning, fire, and ice. He is one of the two Marvel characters that doesn't speak English during gameplay, because he speaks Japanese (Colossus, who speaks Russian during gameplay is the other).
- Silver Samurai appears in the game X-Men: The Official Game (which fills in 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 back in to remove all Sentinel equipment and files, and accidentally activated the Master Mold. Wolverine infiltrated HYDRA's headquarters and duels with Silver Samurai over how to shut down the Master Mold and the Sentinels. Conquering Samurai in combat, Wolverine emerges the winner, gains the information, and tells the team how to defeat Master Mold.
- In the comic prequels to the first X-Men film, Wolverine was revealed to have fought a Yakuza enforcer just prior to the film. This man, with an obsession with honor and the mutant ability to generate electricity, was referred as the Silver Samurai. He was killed at the end of the story. That story has been revealed to be out of the regular movie-continuity, because the Samurai was revealed alive in the game X-Men: The Official Movie Game, which is a lot closer to the movies than the movie prequels were.