YUKIO

Written By: 
Last Updated: 
30th July 2013

YUKIO

Real Name: Yukiko (last name unrevealed)
Former Aliases: Wild One, Ronin
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 130 lbs.
Hair color: Black
Eyes: Brown
First appearance: Wolverine (1st series) #1
Last appearance: Wolverine (2nd series) #57
Known Relatives: Amiko Kobayashi (adopted daughter)
Profession: former gladiator, thief, assassin
Group Affiliation: formerly Mutant Underground Support Engine, Yakuza
Powers: none

BIOGRAPHY

The adventurer known as Yukio is largely a mystery, even to those closest to her. At some point in her life, she changed her name from the feminine "Yukiko" to the masculine version "Yukio" and began wearing her hair in a more masculine style. Her early years were spent training in the martial arts and she became an accomplished warrior and combatant. During this time, she gained a deep knowledge of ninja lore and even visited the Valley of Mercy and Wrath, secret birthplace of the Hand. Yukio was there by invitation and allowed to leave with her life. It is unknown what dealings she had with the Hand, though it is possible that she may have been trained in part by them. She soon left whatever masters trained her and became a ronin - a masterless samurai. She traveled the world in search of adventure, allowing her thrill-seeking nature to guide her. She hired out her services as both a thief and an assassin, taking jobs that challenged her and appealed to her wicked sense of adventure.


While in London many years ago, she completed a string of high-profile thefts. During these heists, she came across the Cajun thief Remy LeBeau (later known as Gambit). The two had an instant dislike for each other and Yukio tried to frame Remy for her thefts as she prepared to leave town for Tokyo. LeBeau managed to turn the tables on Yukio and she was arrested as a result. This led to an even deeper enmity between the two. [Wolverine/Gambit #3]
Some time after this, Yukio returned to Japan and entered the employ of Lord Shingen, the powerful head of Clan Yashida. Her skill and daring soon made her Shingen's top assassin. It was while serving Shingen that Yukio first encountered the X-Man Wolverine. Logan had come to reclaim the love of Shingen's daughter, Mariko who he had forced into an arranged marriage with a petty man named Noburu-Hideki. When Wolverine infiltrated the Yashida estate to confront Mariko, he was taken down from the shadows by Yukio, who used poisoned shuriken with the intention of killing him. Thanks to his mutant healing factor, Logan survived. Shingen challenged Logan to a trial by combat and defeated him, thanks in part to the poison in his system. Wolverine was left in a severely battered state and was dumped in Tokyo by Shingen's men. Nearly helpless, Wolverine was attacked by a gang of thugs. He was saved by Yukio. This was all part of Lord Shingen's plans. Shortly after she "rescued" Logan, they were attacked by a cadre of Hand ninjas working for Shingen. To Yukio's surprise, they attacked in full force and she was injured. She marveled at Logan's ferocity and coveted his adamantium claws. She had found someone whose wild nature matched her own and she was instantly drawn to him. As she tended to his wounds following the battle, she tried to seduce Logan. He also felt an undeniable chemistry between them but resisted due to his love for Mariko. [Wolverine (1st series) #1-2]

Her attraction to Logan created a serious conflict with her orders from Lord Shingen. As they had planned, Yukio attributed the attack by the Hand to Shingen's rival, Katsuyori. Logan readily agreed to aid Yukio in taking Katsuyori down, thinking that this was necessary to protect her and completely unaware of her ties to Shingen. Yukio's orders were to kill Katsuyori and then do the same to Logan. The assassination was planned during a meeting between Katsoyori and Shingen's chosen emissaries - Noburu and Mariko. Katsuyori planned to double-cross Shingen and kill Mariko and her husband. Logan and Yukio infiltrated Katsuyori's estate just as Katsutori's trap was sprung. Logan thwarted his plans and defeated his forces. Yukio completed her assignment and killed Katsuyori while Logan provided the necessary chaos. In the melee, Mariko saw and was horrified by Logan's berserker side. Mariko's rejection drove Logan right into Yukio's waiting arms.

The two became lovers and Logan fell for the "Wild One". They were happy together for a while, though his heart still belonged to Mariko. But Lord Shingen could not simply let Wolverine walk away or allow Yukio to disregard his direct order to kill Logan. He attacked them and it was revealed that Yukio had been in his employ. Yukio reluctantly left Logan and subsequently killed Logan's old friend and intelligence contact Asano when their paths crossed, hoping this might appease Shingen. Instead, it merely deepened the rift between her and Wolverine. Logan then waged a one-man war against Shingen, dismantling his empire. Shingen retaliated by sending the Hand after Logan. Yukio decided to confront Shingen herself but was captured as she broke into the ancestral home of Clan Yashida. He reminded Yukio that she had disobeyed his orders. She was defiant, responding that no one owned her and explaining how she had killed Logan's friend to try and atone. Shingen acknowledged that she had attempted to act with some honor and gave her the opportunity to kill him. He goaded her, allowing her to attack him. Despite her skill, he proved more than a match and easily overpowered her. He was about to kill Yukio when Logan attacked. As Shingen's guards fell, Noburo tried to flee using Mariko as a human shield when he encountered Logan. He shot Logan and threatened to do the same to Mariko. She was saved by Yukio, who had escaped in the chaos and took Noburo down with her poisoned throwing knives. Yukio sliced away Mariko's obi and used it to bandage Logan's wound. The two shared a pained kiss as Yukio told Logan that she wished to fight with him. He replied simply "You can't." Yukio fled the scene, leaving Logan to fight his own battles. By saving Mariko, she had atoned for killing Asano but had still lost Logan's love. [Wolverine (1st series) #3-4]

After he defeated and killed Shingen, Logan and Mariko were reunited and she became the new Lord of Clan Yashida. The two planned to marry and Logan's teammates soon visited in Japan. Yukio had kept close tabs on Logan and interceded when he was threatened by Mariko's half-brother Kenuichio Harada aka the Silver Samurai. During their initial conflict, she met the X-Man Storm who was fascinated by and envious of Yukio's care-free spirit, fearlessness and the way she savored every moment of life. This was in stark contrast to the restraint and control which defined Ororo's daily life. After the Silver Samurai's partner in crime poisoned the majority of the X-Men, Yukio and Storm hatched a plan to protect Mariko and draw out their foes. Their plan was successful, in part, but during the ensuing battle Ororo's powers were overloaded. Yukio saved them both but they were left weakened and had to seek safe haven in Tokyo.
During their brief time recuperating, Ororo found that Yukio's approach to life challenged her in a very personal way. The two argued and when it turned physical, they ended up in grave danger. They both nearly drowned in the ocean and only by opening herself up to her fears and emotions was Storm able to save herself and Yukio. In the wake of this epiphany, Ororo chose to embrace Yukio's "madness". This led to Ororo adopting a dramatically different, punk style and a new approach to her powers and her role among the X-Men. It also cemented the deep bond she had quickly formed with Yukio. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #172-173, X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #39]

Yukio was soon reunited with Logan when he followed his young teammate Kitty Pryde to Japan. Kitty had learned that her father Carmen Pryde had become tangled up in some shady Yakuza business dealings and followed him to Tokyo to try and help. When Yukio learned that Wolverine was in Japan, she sought him out, taking him by surprise and attacking her without restraint. After their tussle, Logan revealed his reason for being in town and Yukio offered to help in his search for Kitty. This led her to investigate the home of Carmen Pryde's Yakuza business partner Shigematsu. Yukio rescued Pryde from Shigematsu and learned that he had been forced to give Kitty to Shigematsu who handed her over to Ogun, a powerful ninja sorcerer and Wolverine's old sensei. Ogun manipulated Kitty, transforming her body and mind through his influence with the hopes of claiming her as his disciple. Yukio and Logan rescued her, dragging her frightened and overwhelmed father along with them. Yukio couldn't help but bluntly express her distaste for the man and his cowardice.


When Ogun and Shigematsu targeted Mariko Yashida and her ward Amiko, Yukio came to their defense. She handily defeated Shigematsu's sumo assassin, Shumai. In the end, Kitty proved herself a match for Ogun and Logan dispatched him. Meanwhile, Kitty's father found the courage to confess his crimes and expose Shigematsu's to the local authorities. Yukio skipped out on the celebration, embittered to once more see that Logan's heart belonged to Mariko. [Kitty Pryde & Wolverine #3-6]

Rescuing Logan's sidekicks became a habit of Yukio's. When his latest teenage partner Jubilee found herself in a Tokyo prison and targeted by the Hand, it was Yukio who came to her aid. Jubilee didn’t know what to make of the wild warrior woman but knew right off that she was another of Logan's many female "friends". When Yukio correctly guessed that Jubilee had a crush on Logan, Jubilee acted somewhat jealous towards her. However, once she learned of Mariko Yashida, Logan’s true love, Jubilee accepted Yukio. Together, they tried to help Logan who had come to Japan to bail Jubilee out of jail but had become entangled in a conflict between the Hand, the Yakuza and Clan Yashida. Jubilee and Yukio faced off against Cylla, a newly-created cyborg Reaver. While the heroes were busy fighting, Mariko was fatally poisoned by Matsu'o Tsurayaba, the Hand’s leader. Logan sat by Mariko’s grave for days. Jubilee tried to comfort him but Yukio decided to give him space. Though she longed to try and win his heart now that Mariko was gone, Yukio knew that this was not the proper time.
[Wolverine (2nd series) #55-57, 60]
Months later, Yukio realized that she was being trailed. She came to suspect that her pursuers were connected somehow to the X-Men and posed a great danger to them. She traveled to New York and arranged a meeting in public with Ororo. Shortly after Storm's arrival, the techno-organic Phalanx revealed themselves. They had been tracking known associates of the X-Men and assimilating them and their knowledge of mutantkind into their collective. Storm and Yukio fought valiantly against the Phalanx and received a helping hand from Gambit. Though they had met briefly at Mariko's grave, this time Yukio recognized this new X-Man as her old thieving rival, Remy LeBeau. The years had not diminished her animosity in the least. During the battle against the Phalanx, Yukio was wounded. Storm came to her aid and asked why she had not simply hidden from the Phalanx in the numerous safe houses and hiding spots she knew so well in Tokyo. Yukio confessed that she feared for Ororo's safety since she suspected that whoever was following her was after the X-Men. Yukio recovered quickly and begrudgingly worked with Gambit to defeat the Phalanx. Though he saved her life in the course of this conflict, Yukio still did not trust him and made it clear that if he hurt Storm in any way, he would answer to her. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #311-313]

Yukio's reunion with Storm had to be short, as she was due back in Japan the next day. It was the anniversary of Mariko's death and Yukio knew that Logan would be there to honor his true love's memory. Yukio was not the only one who expected Wolverine to be there. The Hand attacked him in the name of their master, Matsu'o Tsurayaba who Logan had maimed and threatened for his role in Mariko's death. Yukio helped to repel the Hand, sensing that Logan was in no shape, emotionally or physically, to fight. He was recovering for having the adamantium ripped from his body in battle with Magneto and was a shadow of his former self. His new reality made Wolverine more conscious of his duties in Japan and he came to ensure that things were well with his adopted daughter Amiko. Following Mariko's death, he had arranged for the girl to be taken in by a foster family. He had hoped this would keep her safe from his enemies and those of Clan Yashida. While checking up on her, he learned that her new foster parents were mistreating her. He taught them the error of their ways and took Amiko to Yukio. Though he knew it was a great deal to ask, he asked Yukio to care for Amiko. To further ensure their safety, Logan struck a deal with the Silver Samurai, who had claimed control of Clan Yashida. In exchange for returning the Honor Sword that Mariko had given to him, the Samurai agreed to make the arrangements for Yukio to become Amiko's guardian and promised to keep a watch over them both. Yukio could not refuse Logan's request and promised to raise Amiko as if she were her own. [Wolverine (2nd series) #82]

Yukio's ties to Logan and the X-Men were deeper than ever and she joined Xavier's Mutant Underground, offering up her extensive contacts in Japan and keeping a vigilant eye on any mutant activity in the area. She came to the aid of former X-Man Alex Summers aka Havok when he visited Japan and his powers surged out of control. Havok was attacked and captured by the European assassin Fatale. Yukio helped to rescue him and despite her lack of powers, held her own against Fatale. This introduced her to Havok's X-Factor teammates, including Forge - Storm's recent paramour. [X-Factor (1st series) #112-113]

Caring for Amiko presented its own challenges for Yukio. Amiko had been through a lot for such a young child, losing her mother and adoptive mother in such a short period of time. Yukio proved a surprisingly good parental figure. She saw to it that Amiko was cared for, even when she was away on "assignment", such as when she sought to steal the Red Ronin robot before it could fall into the hands of those with ill intentions. [Wolverine Annual '96]
Despite her best efforts, Yukio was not always able to keep Amiko safe from harm. They were targeted by the Yakuza crimelord Akatora and the Hand, who planned to use them against Logan. Akatora's forces succeeded in kidnapping Amiko and capturing Yukio. Yukio endured incredible torture and believed that they were doing the same to Amiko. In reality, Akatora's staff were brainwashing Amiko into believing that Logan was her enemy and responsible for her mother's death. Though Wolverine and his allies managed to rescue Yukio and Amiko, they were unaware that Amiko was now acting as a sleeper agent for the Hand. [Wolverine (2nd series) #107-109] Not long after they returned home, Yukio helped Wolverine's ally Elektra infiltrate the Valley of Mercy and Wrath. The two barely escaped with their lives after Amiko tipped the Hand off to their plans. [Elektra (1st series) #15]

Yukio's prospects of happiness with Logan were once more interrupted when he was coerced into marrying the villainess, Viper. Logan had made a vow to do so but required a bit of convincing. Towards this end, Viper placed the women who were closest to Wolverine under her mental control using her trademark poisons. Yukio was among them. Together, this group hunted down the last of Wolverine's nearest and dearest - Jubilee and Kitty Pryde. Luckily, Kitty and Jubilee outsmarted Viper by bringing Logan and the Black Widow into the fray. Yukio and the others were eventually freed from Viper's control but appalled to learn that Logan had vowed to marry her and intended to honor his promise. Yukio skipped the nuptials, unwilling to see her love marry another. [Wolverine (2nd series) #125-126]

Given the trouble those close to Logan always seemed to find themselves in, Yukio began training Amiko to fight and defend herself. Yukio was still completely unaware of the Hand's hold over her ward. Amiko's new confidence and fighting skills sometimes led to discipline problems at school but proved useful on several occasions. The next time that Yukio and Amiko ended up in the line of fire during Logan's conflict with the Japanese underworld and the Kaishek family, it was Amiko's new fighting skills that helped her and Yukio to escape their captors. Once Amiko was safe, Yukio went after Kia Kaishek herself to seek vengeance for putting Amiko in danger. Logan, Amiko and the Silver Samurai came to her aid and Amiko once more proved that she was quickly becoming her "mother's daughter". [Wolverine (2nd series) #150-153]

Despite several close calls against Logan's many enemies in Japan, Yukio proved no match for two of Wolverine's most deadly enemies, Omega Red and Lady Deathstrike. The unlikely allies surprised and overwhelmed Yukio and successfully abducted Amiko as bait for Logan. This was all part of a plot to draw Logan out by attacking those nearest and dearest to him. Yukio fought valiantly against them but was outmatched by Lady Deathstrike who drove her cybernetic claws through Yukio's back. Deathstrike then carved an ultimatum to Logan in Yukio's flesh.

When Logan came to visit Yukio, she was angry that he had to see her this way and shamed that she had failed to protect Amiko. Yukio revealed that the damage to her spine was extensive and the doctors were unsure if she would ever walk again. She begged Wolverine to end her life if this were the case, rather than let her continue as a shadow of the woman she had been. Logan was torn apart by this request and seeing Yukio like this. He told her that he would think about it. He then left Japan to face his enemies and attempt to rescue Amiko. [Wolverine (2nd series) #173-174]

Logan was successful in saving Amiko and Yukio eventually recovered from her injuries. Once she felt she was back in fighting shape, she invited Storm to Japan to test herself. While partying in high style, they found themselves invited into the Arena, an underground network of gladiator bouts featuring mutant combatants. Storm found herself drawn into combat and reveled in the thrill of the crowd's wild appreciation for her victory. Though she was declared a champion, Ororo had the opportunity to walk away. She chose not to after an unexpected visit from Guido Carosella, who had gotten himself into the Arena lifestyle a bit too deep. He explained that those mutants within the system were not truly free and that once entangled in its web, they faced a life of combat and servitude. Though Yukio and Guido tried to convince her not to get involved, Ororo chose to try and save these mutants. This led her into a tense alliance with Callisto, who was also part of the Arena. It was not long before Storm learned that the true master behind the Arena was her old foe Masque. Masque did his/her best to subjugate both Ororo and Callisto to his/her will as a means of exacting revenge on them both. All the while, Yukio and Guido worked together to try and aid Ororo in liberating those bound to the Arena. Their plan appeared to be foiled and as a final test of loyalty, Masque ordered Storm to slit Yukio's throat. Storm did so and Masque was delighted. With his/her revenge complete, Masque arranged to sell Ororo to her enemy, Tullamore Voge. But Masque had been deceived. Storm's blade had only grazed Yukio's neck and together, she and Guido helped to foil Masque's plans and turn the tables entirely. Ororo's plan to free the Arena combatants succeeded and she ceded control of this band of mutants to Callisto. Yukio, Callisto and Ororo celebrated their victory in style and Yukio proved to herself that she still had the ability to continue her life as a reckless and wild adventurer. [X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #36-39]

Convinced that she was truly back in fighting form, Yukio returned to her wild ways. This included the occasional theft and for-hire job. When she heard reports of a mythic artifact called the Mark of Mana, she set out to steal it. Little did Yukio know that the ancient necklace was cursed. Thinking that she might be going insane (more so than usual for her), Yukio contacted Logan for help. The necklace contained the spirit of an ancient Japanese sorceress called Mana but was also the prison for her evil sister Hana. In seeking to understand the necklace's power, Logan unwittingly set both spirits free. He teamed with Mana to set things right and defeated her demonic sister to save Yukio and Amiko. In the course of this adventure, Yukio and Logan learned that Amiko's birth mother was a descendant of Mana's ancient order and Amiko the last of the lineage. Freed from the necklace and with her sister vanquished, Mana was free and invited Amiko to train in the ways of the Shosei order. This would prepare her to serve as the mystical protector of Japan. Yukio consented to this and Amiko enthusiastically accepted. [Wolverine: Soultaker #1-5]

Yukio's loyalty to Logan was soon tested once again. He charged her with protecting their mutual enemy Matsu'o Tsurayaba to ensure that no one took his life. Logan hunted Matsu'o every year on the anniversary of Mariko's death. Each time, he severed another body part as a reflection of his own constant feelings of loss over his beloved's murder. After years of this, Matsu'o was horribly disfigured and longed for release from the pain and fear that now ruled his life. To this end, he manipulated the X-Man Psylocke and a powerful pyrotic called Jinn in the hopes that they would kill him in retaliation and release him from his torment at Wolverine's hands. Psylocke came for Matsu'o and was opposed by Yukio. Yukio proved to be nearly a match for Psylocke but ultimately, Betsy's powers and obsession with killing Matsu'o gave her the edge. Yukio later battled Jinn to fulfill her duty to protect Matsu'o. In the end, Psylocke convinced Logan to let her end Matsu'o's suffering when she realized the ninja master true motivations. Logan reluctantly relented, though he was none to pleased with Psylocke's meddling. [Psylocke #2-4]
When she next saw Logan, he did something completely out of the ordinary = he refused to have sex with her. This was because he had recently started dating a reporter named Melita Garner. Yukio was not amused. [Wolverine: Weapon X #10] Unfortunately for Yukio, the next time the two met was even more devastating. Through the machinations of a group called the Right Red Hand, Wolverine's soul was sent to Hell while his body on Earth was possessed by a demon. While under this demon's control, Wolverine viciously attacked Yukio. "Hellverine" drove his claws through her abdomen and back and promised that she would face greater agonies in Hell. No sooner had Yukio fallen than Amiko arrived home. Amiko confronted "Hellverine" but fared no better than Yukio. Just as "Hellverine" was about to attack, Yukio found the strength to fight back, telling the demon to get away from her daughter. Yukio's blow bought them enough time to escape. However, her injuries were severe. [Wolverine (4th series) #2-3]

Yukio once more faces a life confined to a wheelchair, paralyzed from her most recent injuries. But this time, she has not let it drive her to despair. She maintains her fierce warrior spirit and is still a formidable fighter. Logan soon returned to Japan to try and quell impending war now that the Silver Samurai was dead and Clan Yashida left leaderless. The Samurai left an heir, a teenaged son named Shingen Harada. Shin soon assumed the mantle of the Silver Samurai, donning a suit of high-tech armor and seeking to claim his place as rightful heir. To complicate matters, Shin was not alone in his ventures but had "teamed-up" with his girlfriend, Amiko. But the young Silver Samurai wasn't the only one who coveted Clan Yashida's power and his chief rival Azuma Goda had hired Sabretooth to assure his victory over all those who might try to stake a claim. Of course, the Hand was involved as well. When Shin was captured by the Hand, Logan and Yukio went to his rescue unaware that Amiko had followed. During the battle, Logan and Yukio eliminated much of what remained of the Hand. When Amiko learned that Shin had made a deal with Goda and Sabretooth, she dumped him. Shin and his allies claimed control of Clan Yashida, helping to set Sabretooth up as a major player secretly in control of much of Asia. This adventure proved that Amiko had come into her own and she now operates as a teenaged adventurer under Yukio's tutelage. [Wolverine (2nd series) #300-304]