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Mariko Yashida

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Mariko Yashida is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, the character first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #118 (February, 1979).

Fictional character biography Edit

Mariko is the daughter of Shingen Yashida, the half-sister of the Silver Samurai, and cousin of Sunfire and Sunpyre. Upon her father's death, she becomes head of his Yakuza crime family.

She meets the X-Men when they return from a sojourn in the Savage Land and are asked to help Japan, which is being blackmailed by the terrorist Moses Magnum. She becomes Wolverine's fiancée, but their wedding is halted by the supervillain Mastermind, who uses a mind control device to change Mariko's mind. When the control is lifted, Wolverine and Mariko resume their relationship after a period of separation, but have not reconsidered marriage.

When the X-Men return from the first Secret Wars and accidentally end up in Japan and fighting a dragon their companion Lockheed had brought along, a young girl named Amiko Kobayashi loses her mother when a collapsing building crushes her. Dying, the woman begs Wolverine to take care of her daughter. Since Wolverine could not take care of her himself, he chose to place Amiko in Mariko's care, whom the girl soon adopts as a surrogate mother.

Mariko is poisoned with tetrodotoxin from a blowfish by an assassin named Reiko, in the hire of her rival Matsu'o Tsurayaba.[1] She asks Wolverine to kill her to avoid a painful death. Wolverine kills her and vows to avenge Mariko by yearly severing parts of Matsu'o's body on the anniversary of her death.

When last seen, Matsu'o is missing an arm, his right ear, his nose and his gallbladder.[2] He plans to beg Wolverine for release through suicide. Wolverine never arrives because he was having a near-death experience in Canada.

Other versionsEdit

Age of ApocalypseEdit

In the "Age of Apocalypse" timeline, Mariko was a member of the Human High Council, a group of humans that opposed Apocalypse's tyrannical rule. While not engaged to Logan, Mariko was his former lover and she birthed him a daughter, Kirika, who is an amalgam of X-23 and her 616 daughter Amiko Kobayashi. Mariko participates in an attempt to bomb forces of Apocalypse based in North America, though she knows this would mean extensive civilian deaths.

ExilesEdit

In an alternate universe (Earth-2109), Mariko was Sunfire and became a member of the Exiles from issue #2 (September, 2001) until her death in issue #37 (January, 2004) In the 2109 alternate universe, Mariko had the same powers as her 616 Marvel Universe counterpart Sunfire and his sister Sunpyre. This version was created by Judd Winick and Mike McKone. A Japanese citizen and a member of the X-Men in her reality, she was one of Marvel's few openly lesbian characters.

Fictional character biographyEdit

Early life and joining the teamEdit

In her own reality, Mariko Yashida was the gifted daughter to rather strict parents in Japan. Her discovery of her mutant abilities as well as her same-sex attraction earned her the rejection of her parents and she subsequently joined Professor Xavier's X-Men, working for his dream of mutant-human peace. According to Marvel database,

at some point, Sunfire found herself in the company of a man calling himself the Timebroker. He explained to her that she had become unhinged from time as a chain of events had caused her realities as she knew it to change. New events in Sunfire's past caused her powers to manifested as uncontrollable atomic radiation. In order to return to her correct timeline, she would have to help repair other realities that caused the ripple effect that disrupted her reality or else return to her new, unfortunate alternate existence. When Sunfire joined the team after the Exiles lost their first member, Magnus, Morph aided Mariko in adjusting to the team's chaotic lifestyle by helping her see the lighter side of every situation. The two formed a close relationship and Morph began to develop stronger feelings for Sunfire outside of friendship. In time, Mariko would reveal to Morph that she was a lesbian and had hesitated to tell him because she had a hunch about how he felt for her and didn't want to hurt his feelings. Morph took the news amazingly well, reacting in a sensible manner and they would continue the best platonic relationship in the team.[3]

Mariko, Spider-Woman, and other missionsEdit

The Marvel Database goes on to say that:

On a mission to a timeline in which the Legacy Virus had mutated into a global techno-organic epidemic, Sunfire met and grew close to Mary Jane Watson who served as the Spider-Woman in the Avengers of that reality. Not much of a relationship could develop, however, as the team immediately left when the mission was complete, although they were forced to leave without their team leader, Blink. Blink's replacement was a cruel version of Illyana Rasputin who antagonized all members of the team and attempted to flirt with Sunfire. On a visit to an alternate reality where all of Japan was destroyed by Moses Magnum and Namorita, Mariko not only came face to face with Illyana's desire for butchery she also discovered a deceased alternate-reality version of herself. When the Exiles visited a reality where they would clash with a Captain America who had been transformed into the Nosferatu and killed Baron Blood to assume the title of Vampire King, Mariko was bitten by one of his Cursed Avengers and was rapidly changing into a Vampire. With the help of the current Union Jack, the Exiles were able to cure Mariko by slaying Captain America, thus severing the bloodline of her maker. Although Crichton aided the Exiles in preventing Sunfire from transforming into a Vampire, he had an ulterior motive for slaying Captain America. When Crichton and Captain America last met, Crichton revealed that he was also a Vampire and, with Captain America now dead, Crichton becamse the rightful heir to the mantle of Vampire King by way of his Great-Uncle, Baron Blood. At his moment of ascension, he was incinerated by a revitalized Sunfire. Just as the Exiles began teleporting to their next dimension, Crichton's slowly burning body had enough energy left to cast an incantation that caused the Exiles to be split apart into multiple smaller factions on different worlds in different times.[4]


Return to Earth-LegacyEdit

Nocturne and Sunfire teleported into the middle of nowhere without their teammates and quickly realized that they had returned to Earth-Legacy. After some time, it became evident that they would be stranded in the timeline indefinitely and Nocturne and Sunfire joined the Avengers in their efforts to cure the remaining infected population. The newly reunited Sunfire and Spider-Woman decided to make the most of this fortunate turn of events by spending as much time as they could together and continue their relationship. After Nocturne noticed that Sunfire and Spider-Woman were falling in love, she pulled Mariko aside to warn her to be careful. Eventually, as Nocturne had warned her, their unexpected visit to the planet would end and Mariko would have to leave behind someone that she loved. Nocturne advised Mariko to be realistic and not prolong her relationship with Mary. Four days later, Mary let loose that she overheard Nocturne and Mariko's conversation and, after some thought, was not too sure that Nocturne was wrong in her beliefs. Nonetheless, Sunfire refused to end the relationship and told Mary that their time together was the most important thing that had ever occurred. Together, Mary and Mariko decided to continue their relationship despite the drastic uncertainty of their lives. Unfortunately, after over two weeks of happiness, Mariko and Nocturne were suddenly whisked away to their next mission, leaving both Spider-Woman and Sunfire devastated.[5]

Death and burialEdit
File:Sunfiredeath.PNG

The Exiles then visited a world where the Thing had been turned into a psychotic monster, Mimic had suffered severe injuries while battling the Thing when he was hit hard while not in steel form. He had hidden from his teammates the fact that he had been infected with a Brood egg on the last alternate reality he visited while separated from the team. With his Healing Factor under strain, working to repair his current injuries, the Brood egg was able to slowly take him over. Sunfire and her teammates were now forced to fight their most powerful member and their leader. While engaged in combat with Calvin, Mariko dodged an Optic Blast that was meant for her and it instead hit a building. The falling debris would have crushed a crowd of people if Sunfire hadn't intervened. However, because she had expended so much energy fighting Mimic, she was not able to disintegrate all of the crumbling building in time. Although she was able to save the lives of many, it would have to be at the sacrifice her own as Mariko Yashida was buried alive beneath the debris. Her passing would affect her teammate Morph the most. His angst towards Mimic, whom he held responsible for Mariko's death, would drive a wedge between the two for some time. The two would later reconcile and Mimic took a vow to not kill again to atone for this and past transgressions (this would later become his own undoing, ironically, when his hesitance on killing the villain Proteus led to Proteus possessing and ultimately killing him).[6]

Several missions later, the team discovered the Timebroker to be false and that the deceased body of Mariko Yashida was being held in permanent stasis in a crystal palace. A devastated Morph decided he wanted Sunfire to be buried in the reality where the Legacy Virus took place, granting her lover Spider-Woman the chance to visit her grave.[7]

Powers and abilitiesEdit

Sunfire had the ability to absorb sunlight, and convert it into superheated plasma which burst into flame on contact with the air. She could use her plasma to fire beams of scorching heat or powerful bursts of solar fire. She could fly by surrounding herself with a corona of fire, and then pushing the flames downward in a tight jet of superheated gas, shooting her through the air like a missile. Sunfire could see heat, by shifting her range of vision from normal light to infrared light. Sunfire was immune to extreme heat and radiation.

ReceptionEdit

Sunfire's open homosexuality has attracted some interest after coming out in issue #11.[8] Her death has also garnered some attention, Perry Moore includes her as an example of the poor treatment of gay superheroes, paralleling the earlier Women in Refrigerators.[9]

Judd Winick has been accused of pursuing some broader social agenda, making Sunfire gay being one of his ideas used to support this notion. as he explains in an interview with Comic Book Resources:[10]

I've done a smattering of stories that are socially relevant and I'm considered the soap-box guy. I've done one story arc in 'Green Lantern' featuring a gay character who was a survivor of a hate crime. Sunfire was gay in 'Exiles.' And there's other stuff sort of there that people like to hang their hat on, saying I'm just this big commie out there pushing an agenda. It's only a handful of stories.

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit


Wikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Mariko Yashida. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with LGBT Info, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.

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