Yukio

The WolverineAnother female lead for the upcoming The Wolverine: this time we’re speaking of Yukio, the Japanese assassin played by Rila Fukushima. At the moment, we don’t know how much the film character will differ from her comicbook counterpart, since not much has been told, even from the actress herself, who just remarked that Yukio is “a very physical character”. Something we can tell for sure: the movie version has got more fantasy than the comics’ one regarding her hairstyle. Maybe it’s just because Logan prefers redhairs…

Little or less is known about Yukio’s past, not even her real name (it’s unclear if it’s actually Yukio or maybe Yukiko, since Logan sometimes called her that). She travelled the world as a rōnin, a masterless samurai, and she used her incredible combat abilities at the service of the better offerer, or even for herself. She used to be a thief in England, and she even paired for a while with the mutant adventurer Remy Le Beau, who would have become the X-Man known as Gambit some years later. The two teamed up for a heist, but she was betrayed by the mutant cajun, and left behind. From England, she tried to contact the ninja group The Hand and travelled to the Valley of Mercy and Wrath, homeland of the cult, but it’s unclear what happened there, apart from an intense training. Some years later, having become an incredibly skilled martial artist, she was hired by Lord Shingen Yashida as an assassin for his clan, and she became one of his most capable and trusted subordinates. When the X-Men came in Japan to ask for Sunfire‘s aid, Wolverine fell in love with Mariko, daughter of Lord Shingen: when he saw that her daughter was about to lose her honor with the mutant, Shingen ordered Yukio to poison him, and she complied, later bringing Logan in front of Shingen. The two fought in a duel and Wolverine, weakened by the poison and worried to scary Mariko going berserk, lost against Shingen. With Wolverine’s life in his hands, Shingen ordered him and Yukio to kill a rival of his, Katsuyori, and the two left his palace to obey. During their mission, Yukio developed a crush on Logan, and became quite jealous yukiocomics1of Mariko, but decided to help Wolverine win her hand nevertheless. Back to Shingen’s stronghold, Yukio entered Mariko’s chambers, and killed her abusive husband, Noburu Hideki, who was trying to flee with her. Meanwhile, Wolverine killed Shingen in a honorable duel, and Mariko took the lead of the Yashida Clan, with Yukio staying as her bodyguard and agent.

Yukio’s services proved to be useful more than once: when Wolverine and Mariko announced their official engagement, they invited to Japan the X-Men for a dinner, unaware that Mariko’s enemies were at work already. While Mastermind controlled Mariko and forced her to break her engagement and to start Yashida Clan’s criminal activities again, the head of Hydra, a nazi-inspired terrorist organization, a woman known as Viper, allied with Mariko’s half-brother, Silver Samurai, to take control of the Clan. An expert of toxins, the Viper managed to poison the X-Men during the dinner, and only Yukio and Wolverine, with their sharp senses, managed to avoid to drink the poison; Storm was stopped just in time by Logan, Rogue was unaffected by the venom’s effects, while the others had to be attended to in order to save their lives. Yukio and the remaining X-Men moved against Viper and the Silver Samurai, but, during the fight, Storm’s powers went out of control because of the Samurai, and she risked to be struck down by her own lightning. Yukio saved her, and, from that moment, the two yukiocomics2women became good friends (Storm even changed her look drastically, inspired by Yukio). The X-Men defeated Mastermind, Viper and the Silver Samurai, but the wedding was canceled nevertheless. Yukio stayed in Japan with Mariko, but met the X-Men many other times, always helping them (she also became part of Mutant UndergroundProfessor X‘s secret information network). She teamed up with Wolverine and his pupil Kitty Pryde in the battle with the demon-ninja Ogun, and, following Logan’s request, she adopted Amiko Kobayashi, a girl Wolverine had saved, and trained her in martial arts. She had a little clash with the X-Men the moment she realized Gambit had become part of the team, but she took her revenge framing the cajun mutant for a theft she had committed, thus settling her debt. When Sabretooth tried to take revenge on Wolverine (again…), he hired Omega Red and Lady Deathstrike for kidnapping Amiko, something they did, despite Yukio tried to stop them: the following fight left her severly wounded, and with no honor anymore. She asked Wolverine to kill her to rid her from her shame, but he refused, and saved Amiko on his own. Yukio spent some time on a wheelchair, because of the wounds inflicted to her by Omega Red and Deathstrike, but, after months and months of treatment, she finally healed and came back on the field.

Yukio is a very strong-willed woman, with an even stronger sense of honor. Despite allowing herself some little theft from time to time, she lives with the code of an ancient samurai, always ready to die for the people she swore to protect. Yukio is an excellent martial artist, who joins the discipline of a samurai to the techniques of a ninja; her signature weapons are scalpel-like shurikens, which she uses with infallible precision.

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3 Comments

  1. […] had Yukio, his best assassin, poison Logan during a banquet, then he personally challenged the mutant in a […]

  2. […] name. The Silver Samurai came back to Japan with the Viper, and fought against the X-Men and Yukio, one of his father’s assassins, for the control of the Clan, but was ultimately defeated. […]

  3. […] real feelings between his daughter and Wolverine, ordered one of his personal assassins, lethal Yukio, to drug the mutant, and then he challenged him to a duel, since Logan had attempted to […]


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