Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Profile: Mariko Yashida

Mariko Yashida

First appearance: Uncanny X-Men #118, 1979

History: the first notable lover of Wolverine, she was the daughter of Shingen Yashida, the half-sister of the Silver Samurai, Kenuichio Harada, and the cousin of Sunfire. The two of them met when the X-Men traveled to Japan to stop the terrorist Moses Magnum from menacing the country. They were engaged to be married, but because of the usual complications seen in superhero adventures, it never went through.

Was subjected to the following act of discrimination: in the years following hers and Logan's failed plans for marriage, she was poisoned with a toxin-laced blowfish by a hitman named Reiko, who was working for mobster Matsuo Tsurayaba, a rival of her family's, in Wolverine #57, July 1992. She wanted to avoid a painful death, and convinced Wolverine to finish her off faster, which he did, while swearing to take revenge on Tsurayaba.

What's wrong with how this was done? Fortunately, very little. It was a tastefully and plausibly handled passing of a character, at a time when Marvel writing was still coherent enough. And one of the better stories of its kind set in the Asian/far-eastern world.

It's still a pity though, that Wolverine couldn't be allowed the benefits of a better life, along with a lady like Mariko.


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