TAKIGUCHI, DR. YURIKO
Dr. Yuriko Takiguchi
Robert Takiguchi (grandson)
X-Club, Godzilla Squad
Born in Japan in 1923, Yuriko Takiguchi sought out a life of science. Becoming a qualified doctor in the fields of biology and radiation, he soon found a career in the blossoming field of nuclear physics. In 1956, a joint-nation mission was undertaken to activate and monitor undersea nuclear testing. Dr. Takiguchi was one of the many scientists who worked on the project but he made his feelings known that he was against the undersea testing. He was afraid of the effects that the radiation would have on the life forms in the ocean. Unfortunately for him, being the sole dissenter to the project, he was voted down and he soon took a background role in the project.
On the day of the big event, Dr. Takiguchi and his fellow scientists sailed out on a ship into the ocean and detonated a bomb underwater. The test itself was a success but no one could have predicted what would happen next. The shockwave from the blast caused the seafloor to crack and release a number of giant creatures that had been slumbering beneath it. Not only did it wake them up but the radiation unleashed from the blast mutated them, making them more ferocious and unstable. The most notorious of these creatures would be Godzilla, which would gain an infamous reputation around the world.
Godzilla’s first action was to attack and sink the ship that had awoken him. The sole survivor of the attack, Dr. Takiguchi could only watch as the monster made its way towards mainland Japan. When he was rescued, Takiguchi told them of the creature he had unleashed but it was no use. Godzilla begun a rampage that would last over two decades and destroy many of Japan’s cities time and time again. During these years, Dr. Takiguchi spent his time researching the creature, as well as taking time to start a family. He had a son, who in turn had his own son named Robert. [Godzilla #1]
Though Godzilla’s rampage lasted for many years, one day the monster disappeared as quickly as he had appeared. The mystery of the monster’s vanishing was partially solved years later when an iceberg off the coast of Alaska melted and Godzilla emerged from it. As he strode out of the water onto land, he capsized a nearby supply ship and made his way to civilization. The crew of the supply ship reported the appearance of the monster to SHIELD, which immediately leapt to action.
One of their first tasks was to contact Dr. Takiguchi, as his knowledge of the beast as well as his work in radiation had made him world renowned. Dr. Takiguchi flew to America with his assistant, Tamara Haskioka, and his twelve-year-old grandson, Robert. There he met up with Nick Fury and Dum Dum Dugan from SHIELD. By now Godzilla was doing untold damage to the oil pipelines of Alaska but a show of firepower from SHIELD drove him away.
Dr. Takiguchi explained to the men how Godzilla came to be and emphasized how dangerous it was. However, his grandson took a different view, as he empathized with the creature and did not want to see it harmed. Dr. Takiguchi had similar misgivings but kept them secret from SHIELD, as they might remove him from the project. Tensions between Dr. Takiguchi and his grandson started to appear as Robert became quite vocal in his defense of the monster. Robert believed that Godzilla didn’t want to harm anyone but his grandfather knew that, regardless of the monster’s intentions, something needed to be done about it. In fact, Dr. Takiguchi had already formulated a plan to subdue Godzilla but he needed the resources to do it. [Godzilla #1-2]
As Godzilla made its way down the west coast of the United States, facing super-hero teams such as the Champions along the way, Dr. Takiguchi and his allies met with Tony Stark, who allowed them use of his research facility to create their weapon. Another SHIELD agent, Jimmy Woo, became involved with the group and immediately formed an attraction to Tamara, much to Dr. Takiguchi’s displeasure. Though he bit his tongue, Robert picked up that his grandfather was displeased with the friendship. [Godzilla 3-4]
The engineers worked diligently on Dr. Takiguchi’s construction, which was soon completed. The result was nicknamed Red Ronin, a giant robot able to stand as tall as Godzilla himself. The plan was to have one of the SHIELD agents operate the machine but Robert had other ideas. He snuck into the cockpit of the robot and put on the cybernetic helmet that would help control it. Unfortunately, a power surge knocked him unconscious and the robot went out of control. Luckily, Jimmy Woo managed to get inside the cockpit to free Robert and stop the robot.
The need for the giant robot seemed moot when SHIELD agent Dum Dum Dugan managed to capture the monster. However, when Godzilla escaped and resumed its rampage, Takiguchi’s team decided to deploy the Red Ronin. To their surprise, the robot only seemed to respond to the thoughts of Robert and Dr. Takiguchi theorized that the power surge linked the boy’s brainwaves to the robot. As ordered, Robert took the robot and engaged Godzilla in combat. He did his best not to hurt the monster and, after a long battle, managed to drive it further inland. Dum Dum Dugan was furious with him for not killing it but Dr. Takiguchi leapt to his grandson’s defense as he was just relieved to have Robert back safely. [Godzilla #6-9)]
Driven further and further inland, Godzilla came across Las Vegas and attacked. However, he was eventually brought under control by shrinking him down using Pym particles. The diminutive Godzilla was transported to New York where, despite its size, it managed to escape. Dr. Takiguchi and his allies split up to search, but it was Robert who found him and brought the pint-sized Godzilla under control. However, the actions of Dum Dum Dugan and his SHIELD agents caused the monster to lash out and escape again.
Godzilla was eventually found and captured by the Fantastic Four, who met up with Dr. Takiguchi. Together, he and the FF decided to use their time machine to send Godzilla back in time where he belonged. Dr. Takiguchi was upset to see Godzilla go, as he had spent a large part of his life studying the creature, but he knew it was for the best. He didn’t get to mourn for long, though, as the radiation that coated Godzilla had an adverse effect on the time machine, which brought the creature back to the present just as the Pym particles wore off the goliath. In addition to being disoriented, Godzilla was now angrier than ever and it took the combined efforts of the Fantastic Four, the Avengers and SHIELD to protect New York from him. Ironically, it ended up being Robert who got through to the monster and convinced him to stop his rampage. In the end, Godzilla slunk back into the ocean to sleep once more. [Godzilla #17-24]
Dr. Takiguchi’s creation, the Red Ronin, would long outlive its original use for tackling Godzilla. SHIELD kept it around for a while but it eventually fell into enemy hands and was used to try and trigger World War III. Fortunately, the Avengers stopped both the robot and their enemy’s plans. The robot would go on to be used numerous other times as a weapon of mass destruction. [Avengers (1st series) #198-199]
After the events of chasing Godzilla across America, Dr. Takiguchi continued his research on atomic mutation theory with the aid of SHIELD. However, the organization eventually pulled funding for Takiguchi’s “Green Team.” Following the loss of his son, Dr. Takiguchi shut himself away and continued his research alone on a private island. Unfortunately, the location was a disputed island between Russia and Japan, and Takiguchi lived in fear of his work being taken by the Russians. So paranoid about this possibility was Takiguchi that, when the X-Men came calling, he believed they were Russian and he activated a self destruct event on the island. He had managed to recreate a Godzilla-like creature called Leviathan in his labs and so, when the event was activated, his creation reared up from the water ready to attack. The team would have been crushed had it not been for Archangel killing the monster from within. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #506-507]
The reason that the X-Men had actually come calling was because Beast was setting up a science team that, amongst other projects, was to work on restarting the recently-Decimated mutant race. Dr. Takiguchi’s research in the field of mutation and radiation was unparalleled and he would prove to be a valuable resource to the team. Dubbed the X-Club, the team came up with a plan to study the parents of a first-generation mutant to figure out if anything triggered them to give birth to a mutant. To that end, the group traveled back in time to meet the parents of team member Dr. Nemesis, who himself was one such first-generation mutant. The couple was unwilling to talk to the team as they had also had dealing with the Hellfire Club from that time and they believed the team was tied to them. Dr. Takiguchi suggested splitting up and talking the couple as individuals. This plan worked, although the Hellfire Club unexpectedly showed up, causing some trouble. After beating the Club, the team managed to get blood samples from both the parents and a return to the present. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #508-509, 512]
The series of recent events had taken its toll on Dr. Takiguchi, who was now 86 years old. He had exhausted himself helping the X-Men raise and stabilize Asteroid M to become their new island base Utopia. That, along with his recent time travelling adventure, put a lot of strain on his heart. He became bed ridden and one morning when Psylocke was bringing his some food he quietly passed away. As Utopia had no formal graveyard, the X-Men felt it disrespectful to bury him at sea. A small ceremony was held in his honor and his body was cremated. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #515]