Real Name: Yoshida Asano
Identity/Class: Human cyborg, technology user (exo-skeleton
Occupation: Former CEO of Asano Robotics
Group Membership: Formerly Asano Robotics
Affiliations: Formerly Shigeru Tetsu
Enemies: Iron Man (Tony Stark), Jim Rhodes
Known Relatives: Unidentified parents (deceased)
Base of Operations: Formerly Asano Robotics, Hiroshima, Japan
First Appearance: Iron Man I#257 (June, 1990)
Powers/Abilities: Yoshida wore the sophisticated Samurai Steel armor, which granted him superhuman (Class 100) strength and durability. It was controlled by complex computer systems and powered by "cryogenic flat batteries." Its weapons arsenal included a miniature particle beam cannon, boot jets, and electro-pulse shields. Its boot jets were strong enough to fly an entire nuclear reactor from the Earth's surface out into space.
Yoshida was a genius in robotics, which he used to design functional limbs for himself, prior to which he was confined to a wheel chair (presumably operated via a mouth control). Yoshida was obsessed with vengeance on those associated with the development of the nuclear bomb. Attempting to live by the samurai code, Yoshida believed descendents should be held accountable for their ancestor's actions.
(Iron Man I#257 (fb) - BTS) - In utero during the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, Yoshida was born hideously deformed, his arms and legs useless and his face a mangled atrocity.
(Iron Man I#257 (fb)) - Yoshida's parents died of leukemia when he was a young man, leaving him truly alone.
(Iron Man I#257 (fb)) - Unwilling to give up, Yoshida used his genius for robotics to design and build himself a body even more powerful than healthy flesh and blood. He dedicated himself to vengeance on America and its greed and lust for war -- especially those who responsible for the development of the atomic bomb, like Howard Stark, and their descendents
(Iron Man I#257 (fb) - BTS) - As Yoshida's experimental battlesuit neared completion, he arranged a meeting with Tony Stark, son of Howard Stark and head of Stark Enterprises, under the auspices of establishing a working contract, though Yoshida secretly intended to use the battlesuit to slay Stark.
(Iron Man I#257) - Yoshida prepared to test his experimental
battlesuit, impatiently berating his assistants as the calibrated its systems.
The room was evacuated as the suit was powered up, releasing a powerful burst of
energy, but Yoshida rose unharmed. As Samurai Steel he took to the air; seeking
to test his power he flew to a North Korean defense command installation,
causing them to send fighter pilots to investigate. He took out one jet, then --
unable to escape a heat-seeking missile -- used his electro-pulse shields to
cause it to explode some distance from him, causing the remaining jets to return
to their base and report him destroyed. Returning to Asano Robotics and
announcing his success, his vice-president Shigeru berated him for risking
starting a war, but Yoshida silenced him, announcing that he was the victim, not
the villain, and that he would have revenge on all who profited from war.
As Stark's jet approached, Yoshida spoke to his parents' portrait, promising vengeance and satisfaction of their honor. Shigeru met with Stark and his pilot and ally, Jim Rhodes, but Yoshida denounced Stark as an American war-monger and left. As Shigeru gave Stark and Rhodes a tour of the facility, Yoshida donned his Samurai Steel armor and attacked his own facility, collapsing a building in hopes of killing Stark. Emerging as Iron Man, Stark rescued those caught in the collapsing building. While Samurai Steel madly attacked his own security guards, Iron Man blasted, tackled, and punched him, but Samurai Steel weathered the attacks and fought back, knocking Iron Man to the ground. He further proved immune to Iron Man's electro-pulse shield and struck him again, but Iron Man stunned him with a close-range repulsor blast to the face. Iron Man was distracted by the approaching Rhodes and Tetsu and took another blast, but then knocked Samurai Steel into another building that then collapsed on him. Fearing him injured, Iron Man rushed to the debris, but Samurai Steel flew out and smashed into him. His armor damaged by Samurai Steel's previous attacks, Iron Man fell before a series of attacks. Stark delayed Steel by questioning his motives and then Shigeru rushed to try to talk him down, but Steel ignored his assertions that Stark had long ago stopped producing munitions, and he slapped Shigeru aside. As Steel fired his particle beam at Iron Man, Stark flew out of the way (re-routing his remaining power into his boot jets), and the beam blasted into the center of Asano Robotics' main reactor. It punctured the reactor's core and destroyed the control rods.
Unwilling to be responsible for another nuclear holocaust, Samurai Steel flew the entire damaged reactor up into space, where it exploded. Steel was presumably killed instantly.
Comments: Created by Randall Frenz, Rich Yanizeski, Jeff Albrecht, and Brad Vancata.
Yoshida's origin is not necessarily
topical. Even though he would be 61 years old in 2006 (as opposed to 45 at the
time the story was published in 1990), the radiation may have slowed his aging,
or he might just have been older than he looked.
The real continuity problem is Howard Stark, though he could have been a prodigy, involved with government before he was legally old enough to serve in the war, and he may have had Tony later in life...or maybe he was exposed to Fury's blood or some super-soldier variant or whatever you want...no explanation needed this year...
Fill-in journeyman Randall Frenz also wrote the Captain America Annual#9 back-up where Howard Stark's Manhattan project involvement gets reiterated.
Profile by Snood.
No KNOWN connections to:
Mr. and Mrs. Asano
Present far enough from Hiroshima to have survived the nuclear explosion but near enough that they were still affected by its radiation, they were stricken with leukemia while they're son, Yoshida, in utero at the time of the explosion, was born hideously deformed. They both died from leukemia when Yoshida
--Iron Man I#257
Vice-president for Research and Development at Asano Robotics, he dedicated his life to his work, and he believed Asano Robotics to be as much his achievement as Asano's. He tried to keep Asano focused on business, but could not deter him from his mission of vengeance. He was devastated when Samurai Steel's assault leveled much of Asano Robotics, but he felt shame for valuing this more than the lives of the people at risk.
--Iron Man I#257
images: (without ads)
Iron Man I#257, p2, panel 7 (full body image)
p7, panel 6 (Shigeru)
p8, panel 3 & 5 (unarmored mask & parents)
p10, panel 4 (attacking form)
p19, panel 8 (unmasked face)
Iron Man I#257 (June, 1990) - by Randall Frenz (writer), Rich Yanizeski (penciler), Jeff Albrecht & Brad Vancata (inkers), Howard Mackie (editor)
Last updated: 11/19/06
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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