Publication Date: 30th Jul 2013


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]