Real Name: Unrevealed; surname may be Otomo (see comments)
Identity/Class: Human (Japanese)
mutant (see comments)
Occupation: Adventurer, servant of Sebastian Shaw
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Big Hero Six, Machine Man, Red
Ronin, Sebastian Shaw, Shinobi Shaw, Jill Spaulding, Peter
formerly Japanese government
Enemies: Unidentified robots and
formerly Machine Man, Jill Spaulding, Peter Spaulding
Known Relatives: Unidentified grandfather, unidentified grandmother, unidentified mother (deceased)
Base of Operations: Japan
First Appearance: X-51#5 (December, 1999)
Powers/Abilities: Otomo has the power to fly. He is also impervious to bullets and is super strong (class 10?). Otomo is also skilled in martial arts, and is a specialist at destroying cybernetic and robotic opponents.
5'10" (by estimation)
Weight: 180 lbs. (by approximation)
History: (X-51#6 (fb)) - Towards the end of World War II, a group of scientists were racing to perfect a formula similar to the Super-Soldier Serum for the Japanese powers. When the Allies stormed their hidden lab, one of the scientists drank the serum to prevent it falling into enemy hands. The serum had no immediately discernible effects, as the scientist exhibited no effects, either beneficial or detrimental. Eventually the scientist married and had a daughter. The daughter later died in childbirth and the Japanese authorities took her son, Otomo. The Japanese government made him into a hero, and he became renowned for his proficiency against cybernetic and robot opponents. However, Otomo was dying because of his powers, so Japanese scientists developed an antidote to save him, but also used it to ensure he would do their bidding no matter what the orders. Freedom from this servitude came when Shinobi Shaw synthesized a version of the drug, bringing Otomo into his service. When Shinobi Shaw was later slain, Otomo transferred his allegiance to Shinobi's father Sebastian Shaw.
(X-51#5) - Sebastian Shaw contacted Otomo in Japan and ordered that he destroy Machine Man for him. Otomo agreed, but noted that afterward, his debt would be considered paid in full.
(X-51#6) - Otomo captured Machine Man's friend Peter
Spalding so that Machine Man would come to him. Jill, Peter's wife,
called Machine Man, and he set off to rescue Peter. As Otomo waited for
Machine Man's arrival, he narrated his origins to Spalding, and Spalding
observed that Otomo was little more than a slave. Otomo, however, did
not care, and was concerned only with destroying Machine Man. When
Machine Man arrived, he and Otomo fought, and Otomo managed to tear
Machine Man apart-- but then the robot's nanotechnology rebuilt him.
Otomo had to admit that Machine Man was superior to him, but then he
began to convulse, desperately needing more of Shaw's drug. Machine Man
helped administer some of the synthesized drug, deciding that because of
Otomo's honor he wouldn't attack him again.
(Civil War Battle Damage Report#1) - Otomo attended a press conference with the members of Big Hero Six as well as the robot Red Ronin, reaffirming their stance on protecting Japan from superhuman threats.
|Otomo's costume at
|Otomo's costume at time
he fought Machine Man
|Otomo's adult costume -
note elbow spikes
|Otomo's costume as a teen hero|
Comments: Created by Karl Bollers, Mike Higgins, Joe Bennett and Bob Wiacek.
Kyle Smith notes that Otomo is reminiscent of
Magnus, Robot Fighter (of Gold Key/Acclaim), the martial artist-robot
While I'd agree that the robot fighting is reminiscent of Magnus, the teenage Otomo's wavy hairstyle resembles famous manga/anime character Tetsuwan Atom, better known in the U.S.A. as Astro Boy. As for his name, and given Marvel has no less than two other characters named Otomo, I suspect he's named for Katushiro Otomo, the writer and artist of the famous manga Akira (and as such if I were to suggest a given name for this character, I might suggest either Akira or Osamu, the latter after Astro Boy's creator Osamu Tezuku).
Though Otomo is a surname in Japan, it
also translates loosely as "companion," but more specifically it
refers to a servant / valet, usually to a martial arts master, which
at a bit of a stretch might be how the Japanese government viewed the
boy; in other words, Otomo might be his codename rather than his
Since Otomo was born with altered genes that gave him his powers, he's likely a mutant, although it's possible he's what S.H.I.E.L.D. terms a caterpillar, someone with "damaged" genes thanks to a parent being exposed to a mutagen, thus giving the child powers but not apparently an X-Gene.
If his grandfather and mother displayed no
powers, and Otomo's powers only showed as he became a boy, why did the
Japanese government watch Otomo from infancy? I can see him being in
government foster care if all his family were dead by that point, but
I can only assume the Japanese government knew what Otomo's
grandfather had done, and so just routinely kept an eye of the family
as a matter of course just in case that serum finally showed its
influence - which of course it did.
I've estimated his height based on the
picture of him standing next to Honey Lemon (5'7") in Civil War:
Battle Damage Report. - Loki
Profile by Sammy 7D and Prime Eternal
Otomo should not be confused with:
Otomo's grandfather was one of the scientists working from a hidden base on Japan's Super-Soldier program, which was on the verge of a successful result when Allied troops found and stormed the complex. An honorable man, Otomo's grandfather did what he saw as his duty and consumed the experimental serum to prevent it falling into enemy hands. From that day forward he waited and worried about what it might do to him, but as the days turned into months and then years with no apparent effects he relaxed and allowed himself to fall in love and get married. The couple had a daughter, but when she was an adult she died giving birth to her own son, Otomo.
From childhood Otomo defeated a number of robotic and cybernetic foes, including at least one giant robot.
Comments: If Otomo as a kid is a riff
on Tetsuwan Atom (Astro Boy) then the giant robot might be a
riff on Tetsujin 28-Go (Gigantor).
images: (without ads)
X-51#6, p7, pan3 (main image)
X-51#6, p21, pan1 (headshot)
X-51#6, p14, pan1 (Otomo as a boy hero)
X-51#6, p14, pan3 (Otomo with defeated robots and costume with spiked elbows)
X-51#6, p20, pan2 (Otomo flying, in costume worn while fighting Machine Man)
Civil War: Battle Damage Report, p3, pan1 (Otomo in new/modified costume at Japanese Press Conference with Big Hero 6)
X-51#6, p13, pan2 (Otomo's grandfather drinking experimental Super-Soldier serum)
X-51#6, p13, pan3 (Otomo's grandparents with Otomo's mother when she was a child)
X-51#6, p14, pan2 (boy Otomo fighting a giant robot)
X-51#5-6 (December, 1999 - January, 2000) - Mike Higgins & Karl Bollers (writers), Joe Bennett (pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Civil War Batlle Damage Report (2007) - Anthony Flamini & Ronald Byrd (writers), Scott Kolins (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)
First Posted:: 04/04/2004
Last updated: 11/05/2022
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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