Real Name: Asano Kimura
Identity/Class: Human modern and pre-modern
Asian (Japanese citizen)
Occupation: Secret Service agent of the Japanese government
Group Membership: Japanese Secret Service
Affiliations: Shiori Masakuma (lover), Wolverine (Logan/James Howlett)
Enemies: Shingen Harada, Yukio
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
formerly Tokyo, Japan
First Appearance: Wolverine I#1 (September, 1982)
Powers/Abilities/Traits: In his limited appearances, Asano Kimura did not demonstrate any particular skills. However, his position/career would indicate that he was adept in espionage and various forms of combat. There is no indication of how old he was or how long he had worked with Wolverine (see comments), and he MAY have been in his 50s or 60s in his actual appearances; at any rate, at that point, he was experienced with a gun, but could not prevent a fatal ambush by the highly skilled Yukio. He smoked a pipe, which presumably diminished his endurance significantly.
Asano Kimura was a man of honor.
Height: Unrevealed; approximately 5'5" (he seemed
fairly close to Wolverine's height, based on the image that most closely showed
them standing fully upright next to each other)
Weight: Unrevealed; 130 lbs.
(Wolverine I#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Asano and Logan "ran <more than> their share of dirty missions together before <Logan> quit the trade.
As a result of those missions, each owed the other their lives a couple times over.
(Wolverine III#60 (fb) - BTS) - Asano loved a woman named Shiori Masakuma.
(Wolverine I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Asano was considered (at least by Wolverine) as one of the Japanese Secret Service's top people.
(Wolverine I#1 (fb) - BTS / Wolverine I#3 - BTS) - Logan considered Asano to be one of his oldest and best friends.
(Wolverine I#1 (fb) - BTS) - When Wolverine flew to Tokyo to investigate a sudden interruption in contact with his lover, Mariko Yashida, he was met at immigration by Asano Kimura.
(Wolverine I#1) - Asano informed Logan that his presence was making a number of very august personages nervous. When Logan expressed frustration at begin unable to reach Mariko, Asano explained that Mariko was heir to traditions of duty and loyalty as old as the Japanese islands, and that she was beyond Logan's help, as she was now married. Asano further explained how this was an arranged marriage of obligation from Mariko's father, stressing that Mariko had agreed to the marriage due to giri (obligation, duty, honor), and that to deny Mariko her honor would deny her her essential self; she would rather die. Asano discouraged Logan from trying to see her, as this would hurt her all the more; while this marriage had likely broken Mariko's heart, confronting her would only make it worse.
When Logan insisted nonetheless that he had to see Mariko, Asano further warned him that he no longer had official status or special privileges as agent or X-Man; if Logan stepped outside the law, not only could Asano not help him, but he would be forced to hunt him down. Departing, Logan replied, "You're welcome to try. Be seein' you, buddy."
(Wolverine I#3) - After Logan -- who had been humiliated in front of Mariko and had joined up with the ronin Yukio -- defeated the outlaw/blacklisted sumo wrestler Takahashi, Asano confronted the pair outside the bar, questioning what Logan was trying to prove. Asano further asked Logan's aid, noting that someone (Mariko's father, Lord Shingen) had taken over the entire Japanese underworld and welded them into a power base from which he meant to control the entire country. When the semi-drunken Logan asked what Yukio replied that she needed Logan, too, Logan told Asano to move his hand or lose it. They went their separate ways.
(Wolverine I#3 - BTS) - Having been secretly working for Lord Shingen, Yukio had been under orders to kill Logan. Having fallen in love with Logan, she could not do that, and, as a result, she had been targeted for death by Shingen. To save herself, she decided to kill Shingen.
(Wolverine I#3) - When Asano investigated her apartment, Yukio hid behind her door and raised one of her throwing blades.
(Wolverine I#3 - BTS) - Yukio slew Asano by throwing a blade into the base of his neck.
(Wolverine I#3) - Returning to Yukio's apartment, Wolverine found Asano's corpse and realized Yukio had killed him.
Comments: Created by Chris Claremont, Frank Miller, and Josef Rubinstein.
best of my knowledge, <the period in which Asano and Logan worked together>
would be the timeframe when Wolverine worked as a spy for the Canadian
government (which extends up to the interim between his first battle with the
Wendigo and his recruitment by Prof. X), the same timeframe during which he
worked with Carol Danvers, Henry Peter Gyrich, and others.
In the real world, in 1982 that was pretty much the only backstory that Wolverine HAD (aside from being in the military; per [Uncanny] X-Men #140 (1980), he'd been two things in his life: a soldier who was paid to kill and a secret agent who was licensed to kill; the notion that there were large chunks of Wolverine's past which he didn't remember wasn't introduced until much later). Therefore, Chris Claremont "can't" have intended Asano to fit anywhere else in Wolverine's history, because Claremont didn't think/know that there was anything else.
Obviously, Wolverine's history has been extensively expanded since then, but AFAIK Asano has never been mentioned since his original appearance in the first Wolverine miniseries. He has thus never been retconned to have worked with Wolverine in any other period of his life. Claremont intended Asano to be part of Wolverine's history as a secret agent, and in the absence of any contradictory info, that should remain unchanged.
Despite Yukio's killing Asano, Logan and Yukio went on to become close friends and allies.
Shiori Masakuma, Asano's lover, showed up in Wolverine III#60 (February, 2008). I'm not sure that anything else was revealed about Asano's past beyond that detail. Thanks to Grendel Prime for pointing out that tidbit.
BTW, for anyone who doesn't know, editor Louise "Weezi" Jones later became Louise Simonson...wife of Walt Simonson.
This Wolverine limited series, as well as the first Hercules of Earth-2300's 24th century series, were some of the first mini-series published by Marvel, following shortly after the original Marvel Super-Heroes Contest of Champions.
Thanks to MarvellousLuke for helping clean up the images on my 30+ year old comic's scans!
Profile by Snood.
Asano Kimura should be distinguished from:
images: (without ads)
Wolverine I#1, pg. 8, panel 1 (tiny full body);
pg.9, panel 1 (full face, but slightly obscured by motion lines from Wolverine's fist punching some object in frustration);
#3, pg. 3, panel 4 (sitting against car);
pg. 4, panel 1 (profile);
panel 3 (face, partial, close-up);
pg. 13, panel 5 (dead)
Wolverine I#1 (September, 1982) - Chris Claremont (writer), Frank Miller (penciler), Josef Rubinstein (inker), Louise Jones (editor)
Wolverine I#3 (November, 1982) - Chris Claremont (writer), Frank Miller (penciler), Josef Rubinstein (inker), Louise Jones (editor)
Wolverine III#60 (February, 2008) - Marc Guggenheim (writer), Howard Chaykin (art), Aubrey Sitterson (assistant editor), John Barber (editor)
Last updated: 03/12/14
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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