SUNFIRE: Page 4 of 5

Publication Date: 30th Aug 2018
Written By: Peter Luzifer and Monolith.
Image Work: Peter Luzifer and Douglas Mangum.


Shiro’s world was soon turned upside down when old debts returned to haunt him. Yuriko Oyama had become an increasingly inhuman cyborg called Lady Deathstrike in the years since Sunfire’s attack on her father Lord Dark Wind’s compound; so much so that her internal diagnostics recognized the memory gap created by Blindspot’s powers and retrieved the missing memories. Seeking revenge, Deathstrike captured Blindspot and forced her to assist in a scheme to dishonor Shiro and the others. Blindspot used her powers to regress the Silver Samurai to his criminal days, gaining him as an ally.

Information about Clan Yashida’s ties to terrorism and the Japanese underworld were leaked to the press, including a photograph of Sunfire with Mystique and Rogue taken shortly after the attack on Lord Dark Wind years ago. Facing betrayal by his trusted cousin and unable to explain the photograph he no longer remembered, Sunfire vainly tried to resolve the public backlash against his clan and him, personally, as Japan’s chosen hero. 

Unable to clear his name or restore honor to his clan, Sunfire was on the verge of committing seppuku when Rogue called him from America. Although he lashed out at her at first, Rogue managed to explain to Shiro that she had no recollection of the photo the media leaked either, and wanted to help him uncover who was behind the smear campaign. Shiro hesitantly agreed and delayed his ritual suicide until after they met. When Lady Deathstrike intercepted the plane Sunfire sent for Rogue, they were convinced there was more to the story. Working together, they uncovered Deathstrike’s plan for revenge and the Silver Samurai’s renewed lust for power over the Japanese underworld. The Samurai escaped Sunfire’s vengeance, but they succeeded in locating Lady Deathstrike’s safe house.

Sunfire and Rogue attacked Lady Deathstrike together, but Shiro’s hotheaded arrogance got the better of him. When Yuriko turned on the building’s sprinkler system, Sunfire burned away the water, inadvertently creating a masking steam. Unable to spot Deathstrike as she moved against him, Sunfire could not stop her as her adamantium fingernails cut his legs off above the knees. Mutilated and barely alive, Shiro was taken prisoner along with Rogue. 

On the verge of death, Sunfire offered his essence to Rogue, empowering her to escape and letting him achieve some manner of revenge on Deathstrike through her. Rogue intended to only take some of Shiro’s power, but Blindspot intervened and forcibly held her against Sunfire far longer than she intended. Temporarily possessed by Sunfire’s consciousness, by the time Deathstrike was punished and Rogue regained her senses, she returned to the safe house to find Shiro’s body missing from its cot. [Rogue (3rd series) #7-12]

Shiro fell into a coma from Rogue’s touch, but his body was whisked away by a ninja clan and hidden in Aspen, Colorado where he could recuperate. A prosthetics specialist named Masanori Kuzuya was hired to rebuild his missing legs, but Shiro was destined to accept another offer.  The Eternal One known as Apocalypse arrived in Aspen and dispatched Shiro’s hosts. He offered to restore Sunfire’s body and his powers, a gift Shiro found himself accepting. He soon regretted that decision after Apocalypse chained him inside his flying Sphinx, listening to the screams of pain as Apocalypse molded another mutant named Gazer into his latest Horseman. Despite his handicap, Sunfire broke free and began making for the exit. His honor prevented Shiro from leaving Gazer to suffer at Apocalypse’s hands, however, and so he returned to the laboratory to free his fellow prisoner, only to find that Apocalypse had already brainwashed Gazer into serving him loyally as War. Without allies and without hope, Shiro relented and submitted to Apocalypse’s machinations, transforming into the latest Famine, First Horseman of the Apocalypse. [X-Men (2nd series) #182-183]

When Apocalypse struck out against the X-Men after the Decimation, Famine and the Horsemen stood by his side. As a Horseman, Shiro’s legs were fully restored and his powers returned as well, amplified under Apocalypse’s ministrations. Able to induce great hunger in others with the light of his flame, Famine softened the X-Men and their guests in the 198 for Apocalypse’s arrival. When Havok and Rogue disabled Famine, they were surprised to find Shiro underneath his flames. Emma Frost fought to telepathically restore Shiro’s mind to him at the mansion, and succeeded in giving Shiro the clarity to denounce Apocalypse and drive off War when he invaded the mansion. As he recovered from his ordeal, Sunfire left the mansion and joined the X-Men in battle against Apocalypse at the United Nations building. When the dust settled, however, Shiro fled without a word while carrying Gambit, another X-Man that Apocalypse transformed into a Horseman. [X-Men (2nd series) #183-186]

Although he was free of Apocalypse’s control, Sunfire’s mind was not what it once was. At a zen temple in Japan, Sunfire tried to explain his new outlook on life to “Death,” once called Gambit. Shiro advocated abandoning their old lives entirely, shrugging off their connections to both Apocalypse and the X-Men. He convinced Gambit to invade the X-Mansion with him to retrieve the last of their kind. War had died in battle alongside Apocalypse, but Polaris, reborn as Pestilence, still recuperated amidst the X-Men. Their mission was unsuccessful, as Polaris refused to leave with them, and the former Horsemen only succeeded in further distancing themselves from the X-Men. When they returned to the temple, however, they found Mister Sinister waiting for them. [X-Men (2nd series) #187]

The exact nature of Sinister’s offer to Sunfire is unknown, but Shiro soon found himself working alongside Sinister’s Marauders and Exodus’ Acolytes against the X-Men. Predicting the birth of the first new mutant since M-Day, Sinister ordered his soldiers to make sure the X-Men were blind to her coming, executing time-travelers, precogs and acquiring other similar resources. Sunfire and Gambit attacked Cable on his island of Providence, and apparently caused the future X-Man’s demise. [X-Men (2nd series) #200, Cable / Deadpool #42] Sunfire next went after Iceman and Cannonball, who were fleeing from another Marauder ambush. Shiro’s arrogance left his guard down long enough for the heroic duo to disable him, and they interrogated Sunfire to learn the scope of Sinister’s plans. Sunfire was rescued by his fellow Marauders, but Iceman and Cannonball escaped after ensuring Sinister could not acquire the Destiny Diaries. [X-Men (2nd series) #201-203]

When the birth occurred in Cooperstown, Alaska, Sunfire and the Marauders were immediately on the scene. The scene was one of chaos, however, thanks to the mutant infant’s release of power and the arrival of the equally determined anti-mutant militia, the Purifiers. As mutant and human battled over possession of the baby, Cable resurfaced from his presumed death and swiped the child before the Marauders or Purifiers could find her. Sunfire and the Marauders hunted Cable down and retrieved the baby for Sinister, leading to all-out war between the various players on the remains of Muir Island. Sunfire fought till the end alongside the Marauders, battling the X-Men until he fell and the baby was swept away by Cable into the timestream for safe-keeping. [Messiah CompleX crossover]