matsui-hiro-97082-upperHIRO MATSUI
of Earth-97082 circa 2015 A.D.matsui-hiro-97082-face-noglasses

Real Name: Hiro Matsui

Identity/Class: Alternate reality (Earth-97082) 

Occupation: Formerly second-in-command (likely Chief Operating Officer) of ESON Development.

Group Membership: ESON development, International Monetary Network (IMN), an unidentified cabal seeking to influence/take over Japan

Affiliations: SCV (Somatic Combat Vehicle) Samurai, unidentified associates and agents;
    formerly
S.H.I.E.L.D., Hideo Shinoda

Enemies: Nick Fury, IM2, Iron Man/Tony Stark, Hideo Shinoda, Keiko Takimoto

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly ESON Development building, Tokyo, Japan

First Appearance: Iron Man: Crash (April, 1988)

Powers/Abilities: Hiro presumably had extensive skill in computer programming (or employed those who did...likely a combination of both?).

    Wishing to restore Japan to a position of power and to its warrior/samurai ways, he was willing to lie, to betray/frame his business associates, and to murder opponents.

    He was a skilled tactician, keeping various options in reserve as needed.

    He had access to the advanced technology and resources of ESON development. He employed the Dreadnoughts, the SCV (Somatic Combat Vehicle) Samurai, and at least one assassin-type agent.

Height: Unrevealed (there is no frame of reference against anyone of known height; perhaps 5'9")
Weight: Unrevealed (perhaps 170 lbs.; he seemed broad-shouldered, although it could have been 80's-styled shoulder pads...)
Eyes: Dark, presumably brown
Hair: Black

History:
(
Iron Man: Crash (fb) - BTS) - Hiro Matsui rose to the position of second-in-command of ESON development, under CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Hideo Shinoda.

(Iron Man: Crash (fb) - BTS) - Matsui and his associates sought to bring Japan back to the true way of the samurai warrior and restore its past glory.

(Iron Man: Crash (fb) - BTS) - In an undercover war for the control of Information Technology, Matsui and his associates designed and released a virus program that facilitated rampant piracy of the US artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
   
Matsui arranged for Shinoda to be implicated in the AI piracies.
 
(Iron Man: Crash (fb) - BTS) - Seeking to give more to the world, Stark recently agreed to market his Somatic Amplification Vehicle (SAV; see comments), a non-weaponized version of his Iron Man armor.

(Iron Man: Crash (fb) - BTS) -Considering them the best for mass production of the kind he needed, with excellent costs and high quality control, Stark chose ESON development, in part due to his long-term respectful competition with Hideo Shinoda.

(Iron Man: Crash (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Matsui had the Dreadnoughts designed using code similar to Stark's and labeled them as having been created by Hideo Shinoda.

(Iron Man: Crash) <2015 AD (see comments)> - At an executive session of the International Monetary Network (IMN), Fury announced SHIELD's discovery of the Japanese design behind the virus program and equated it to a modern day Pearl Harbor.

    Hiro Matsui countered that Fury had reacted recklessly to superficial evidence. He further noted that while he admired Fury's reputation as a warrior, his evoking of Pearl Harbor indicated he still harbored feelings from political climates long in the past. While claiming not to call Fury a racist out of respect for his record, he argued that Fury's presence in the Information Technology Investigation compromised SHIELD's peace-keeping neutrality.
Matsui continued that he could not remain on this board -- and he invited all delegates in agreement to join him -- until such time as Fury was barred from IMN proceedings.matsui-hiro-97082-face-glasses

(Iron Man: Crash - BTS) - Fury then met with Stark, warning him against ESON.

(Iron Man: Crash - BTS) - Presumably under Matsui's direction (and without Hideo Shinoda's knowledge), ESON severed contact after receiving his SAV schematics and prototype.

(Iron Man: Crash (fb) - BTS) - Matsui arranged the design of the SCV (Somatic Combat Vehicle) Samurai (created based on Stark's SAV)

(Iron Man: Crash - BTS) - Traveling to Tokyo, Stark subsequently ordered the completion and activation of the Next Step, a robotic Iron Man duplicate.

(Iron Man: Crash) - Alongside Shinoda, Matsui met with Stark.

    Shinoda noted their new buildings' communications systems were down (presumably information given to him by
Matsui or his agents) and argued that Stark's concerns about tampering and distribution of the SAV was unfounded and represented an excuse to regain leverage lost during their negotiations. When Shinoda asked for his input, Matsui noted how an atmosphere of mistrust had poisoned the recent IMN session and that it would be pity to allow the same to block their original goal.

    After Stark suggested that they could have used a pay-phone or something else, Shinoda angrily departed, and
Matsui noted that his superior had developed a deep understanding of the Western business world at the price of indulging in that world's more unpleasant excesses. He then suggested that perhaps it was best to leave the matter to their mutual attorneys, whom he was confident could resolve it to everyone's satisfaction.

(Iron Man: Crash (fb) - BTS) - Matsui apparently had an armed attacker sent to assault Stark.
    Matsui arranged for Shinoda to be implicated in the attempt on Stark's life.

(Iron Man: Crash - BTS) - As Stark's Tokyo executive Keiko Takimoto tried to eased his tensions in an intimate Japanese bath, Matsui's agent slew Stark's bodyguards.

(Iron Man: Crash - BTS) - When Matsui's agents ambushed Stark, Keiko slew the attacker.  Fury and a SHIELD contingent then arrived, and Fury -- unwilling to risk Stark's life -- had Stark put into a plane headed back to the USA.

(Iron Man: Crash - BTS) - Returning as Iron Man, Stark confronted a Dreadnought and read its code, learning of its seeming creation by Hideo Shinoda.

    Stark subsequently received the
IM2 robot, which Stark activated to help him take down ESON.

(Iron Man: Crash (fb) - BTS) - Matsui summoned Shinoda to the new ESON building under false pretenses and then demanded Hideo resign.

(Iron Man: Crash) - The indignant Shinoda warned Matsui that he and his schoolboy allies underestimated him, but Matsui countered that they predictably saw that reason was wasted on Shinoda. Matsui continued that Shinoda's generation of barbarians had corrupted Japan and its proud traditions, causing them to pander to the many westerners now living among them, and to "play sushi chef and electronic toymaker to the world."

   
Matsui continued that he and his associates meant to bring Japan back to the true way of the samurai warrior, and that -- cloaked by ESON and the IMN -- they had already won the first war.

    When
Matsui slid a ceremonial blade at Shinoda and told him, "A last chance at honor, old man" (implying Seppuku/ritual suicide, considered the honorable way out to avoid disgrace), Shinoda asked what kind of victory Matsui had won with pirated technology.

   
Matsui argued that they had achieved a permanent victory and that taking ideas and developments from the USA was justified by the US having done the same to Japan in the past. He continued that what mattered was how they built on such ideas, and that they had fulfilled Japan's goal of achieving the 10th generation in cybernetics. With the new SCVs, they would take the lead in military might, enabling them to hold the hill conquered in the Information Technology wars.matsui-hiro-97082-full

    Noting how he had implicated Shinoda in the AI piracies and the attempt on Stark's life,
Matsui recommended Shinoda commit seppuku to save him the disgrace of being arrested by SHIELD; additionally, Matsui noted how he would use the memory of such a respected figuring being hounded to fan anti-western sentiment, and that this climate would allow their influence to move into the Japanese government.

    When Shinoda argued that
Matsui's actions had instead disgraced Japan and ESON, refused to die for Matsui's disgrace, and hurled the sword at Matsui (piercing the chair beside his head), Matsui ordered his men to eliminate Shinoda.
 
    Iron Man then confronted Matsui and took out his men, allowing Shinoda's escape, after which he told Matsui it was over, but Matsui countered that Iron Man failed to understand, as the situation was beyond his ability to prove anything.

    To punctuate
Matsui's point, at least nine of the SCV (Somatic Combat Vehicle) Samurai smashed a hole in the floor in front of Iron Man and pulled him down to the next level.

    Watching from above,
Matsui noted, "NOW it is over...a good general always has something in reserve." Iron Man then called in IM2 to help, and the two progressively took down the Samurai.

   
As the ESON tower suffered gravely from the conflict, a wounded Matsui noted, "It appears that...you have won," but then -- noting that he could not be the American cliche of the good loser -- used a device to do something to both Iron Man's armor and IM2, stunning Iron Man and removing IM2's inhibitors; it's not clear, but IM2 may have punched down Iron Man.

    
Matsui vaguely noted, "Independent decision...inhibitors...wiped! Crash..."

    As the top levels of the ESON tower exploded, presumably killing Matsui, both Iron Man and IM2 flew out in time.

(Iron Man: Crash - BTS) - Having achieved sentience/independence, IM2 escaped to live its own life, although it kept in touch with Stark.

Comments: Created by Michael Sanz

    Crash was billed as "The First Computer Generated Graphic Novel." That was a big deal back in 1988. There's an extensive feature on how they did it at the back of the book. Buy it, and read it!

    Much like Earth-8410, the "future" of 2020 A.D., this is a reality where Stark was active from the mid-60's forward, with no sliding timescale. With the graphic novel published in 1988, the main story in 2015 AD was meant to take place 27 years in the future.
    The technical abilities seemed to extrapolate on defined technologies, rather than being as high-tech as in Reality-616. Advanced technical abilities, for sure, but no repulsor rays or uni-beam, for example.

    The terms SAV and SCV were used somewhat interchangeably in the story, but the SAV was a non-weaponized version, while the SCV was the combat version. Hiro weaponized the SAV technology to make his SCV Samurai.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Hiro Matsui should be distinguished from:

other "Hiro" or Matsu" characters


images: (without ads)
Iron Man: Crash graphic novel, story pg. 15, panel 2 (upper body, full face);
          panel 4 (face, close-up);
    pg. 48, panel 2 (face, without glasses);
    pg. 57, panel 8 (full body, battered)


Appearances:
Iron Man: Crash graphic novel (April, 1988) - Mike Saenz (writer, artist), William Bates (producer/programmer), Archie Goodwin (editor)


First posted: 09/15/2020
Last updated: 09/15/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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