Hello and welcome back to another great character spotlight, right here in Marvel Snapshot! With the upcoming Wolverine movie this July, I thought it would be a good time to spotlight one of the characters in said movie. It would be most fitting to use the Silver Samurai as our topic this day, and although the second incarnation is supposedly the one in the movie, we’ll stick with the classic (and best) version! Created by Steve Gerber and Bob Brown in 1974 (Daredevil #111)!
Kenuichio Harada was the illegitimate son of Shingen Yashida, a Yakuza crime boss. He’s a Japanese born mutant that can charge objects with energy (sort of like Gambit), and typically he does so with his trusty Katana blade! He became a professional criminal for hire and was hired for a job by Mandrill, where he ran into Daredevil. This first encounter taught him many lessons, but didn’t stop him from being a crook for hire, either. He eventually came under the employment of Viper (Madame Hydra), and fought against many superheroes, like Spider-Man and SHIELD.
Harada eventually became leader of the Clan Yashida after his sister, Mariko Yashida, died. He became an enemy of Logan during these times, and the two have been enemies and allies from time to time, but Logan trusted him so much at one point, that he entrusted his adopted daughter’s safety to Harada. He even became part of a Japanese team of superheroes called Big Hero 6. He even battled the young mutant team, New Mutants, as well.
Later on, he was brainwashed into believing he was betrayed by the X-Men, and went back to a life of crime. He was once the chief security officer for the Prime Minister of Japan, as well. He eventually became a prisoner on the Raft, but was rescued by Madame Hydra and the Hand. He rebuked their attempt to bring him on as the new leader of their underground society of assassins, and began to try and clear his name. He’s actually one of the few mutants that kept his powers after M-Day.
After discovering his full memories, Logan traveled to Japan and fought with Harada. The two battled and discussed his past. During this fight, Logan cut off Harada’s right hand. After some time, Viper and Hydra came after Harada and forced him to reveal the location of a mysterious box. A while later, a terrorist group called Leviathan attacked the Silver Samurai, looking for this box, too. In the end, Harada was attacked by some Ninja, and mortally wounded. He crawled to his sister’s grave, where he died. He’s seen after that in Hell and talked with Logan. He was beheaded for this revealing conversation.
As usual, check out my recommended reading list and great covers from over the years (especially the last one by Big John Buscema!)! See you next time!
Daredevil #111 (1974)
Classic New Mutants vol. 1 – Tpb
Spider Woman #42, 43 (1978)
Wolverine Classics vol. 1 – Tpb
Essential Wolverine vol. 3 – Tpb
Wolverine: Blood Debt – Tpb