of Earth-97082 circa 2015 A.D.
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
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
(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) - 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) - 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
(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
(Iron Man: Crash - BTS) - Fury then met with Stark, warning him against
(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
(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."
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Hiro Matsui should be distinguished from:
- HIRO - Cybersamurai, fell in love with Opal Tanaka, attacked by others in effort to taker his favored
position, saved by Iceman, who he then allowed to defeat him and
Opal to escape--X-Factor I#63
- HIRO - Hand, agent of Lady Bullseye--Daredevil II#112
- TAKACHIO, HIRO - Big Hero Six, created Baymax + numerous weapons and forms of technology. Super-genius inventor, pre-teen--Sunfire & Big Hero Six#1
- HIRO-KALA - son of Hulk and Caiera, twin brother of Skaar--Skaar: Son of Hulk#2
- MATSU ( ) - --Young Allies#1
- MATSU ( ) - Japanese
spymaster/saboteur; sent to kill Merzah the Mystic,
chased by Merzah in his car, drove into tree, seemingly died; later battled
Human Torch (Jim Hammond) and Toro (Thomas Raymond). Hypnotic powers--Mystic Comics#4/7
- MATSUO - scientist, victim of Mad Thinker's
Compound D--Torch#4 (2010)
- MATSUO TSURAYABA - Yakuza, responsible for
death of Mariko Yashida--Uncanny X-Men I#255
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)
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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