Hello and welcome to another great character spotlight, right here in Marvel Snapshot! This time around, I’ll be focusing in on one of Roy Thomas’s early creations in that fiery mutant from Japan, Sunfire! This hot-headed mutie has been around for a long time, and put through the mill by everyone! Let’s take a peek into the life of Shiro Yoshida! He was created by Roy Thomas and Don Heck in 1970 (X-Men #64).
In his first appearance, Sunfire was angry, yes, this is a trend with him, but don’t let that fool you, he can get the job done. He flies to the United States to confront a “traitor,” but the man seems to only want peace. We come to realize that Shiro is being influenced by his uncle, a man who is harboring ill feelings towards the United States for the nuclear bombings of WWII. In the end, Sunfire makes a huge mistake, and his father pays the ultimate price.
After two quick clashes with Iron Man and then Submariner, Shiro is approached by Professor Charles Xavier to join a team of international heroes, to fight a living island! Yep, you guessed it, this is Giant Size X-Men #1! Shiro worked alongside Cyclops, Wolverine, Colossus, Storm, Nightcrawler, Banshee, and Thunderbird. Shiro bounced around for a while after that, but his crazier days were only just beginning.
His most tumultuous times had to be when he was recruited by Apocalypse to be one of his Four Horseman. He accepted at first, but then escaped the clutches of En Sabah Nur. He went back, though, because there was another that was captured who had asked for his help. Upon returning, his friend had just been transformed into “War.” Shiro was then recaptured, and changed into “Famine.” Alongside the other Horsemen, he fought against his former allies, the X-Men, and was side by side when Gambit was turned into “Death.” The two became uneasy allies, and then after leaving the employ of Apocalypse, they fell under the sway of Mr. Sinister.
More recently, Sunfire was asked to join the Avengers at the behest of Wolverine. He initially balked at the idea, but then conceded when told of how Professor Xavier’s brain had been removed from his corpse by the Red Skull. What the future holds for Shiro, who knows, but he’ll definitely be right in the mix like always!
As usual, check out my recommended reading list, along with some great cover shots of Sunfire! See you next time!
X-Men #64, 118, 181 (vol. 1, 1963)
X-Men #182-187, 200-207 (vol. 2, 1991)
New Mutants #93, 94