The origin of Amiko Kobayashi, the surrogate daughter of Wolverine. The X-Men would return from the Secret Wars doing battle in a world called " Battleworld" created by the Beyonder. They wouldn't be sent to their home; but Tokyo, Japan instead and they didn't come alone. While in Battle World, Lockheed, Kitty Pryde's pet dragon, would befriend and get involved with another dragon similar in size to him. She would follow the X-Men and once on Earth her body would react strangely. She grew to monstrous proportions and in a fit of rage began razing the city. Sunfire, a one-time X-Man, would also help in the conflict. The X-Men would split their efforts; some would do battle with the she-dragon while the others would try and help the citizens of Tokyo and evacuate the destroyed homes. Wolverine would happen upon a house that was almost entirely ravaged and on fire.
Once he entered, he found a lady mortally wounded under a pile of debris from the collapsed ceiling of her home. He would try to help her as best he could but realized that there was no saving her. Instead, she made him promise to take her daughter, Akiko, who was there, and take care of her and raise her as she no longer could. Feeling slightly guilty for the dragon's attacks as she came with the X-Men, Wolverine would accept. He would take the burden of honor and promise to fulfill the dying woman’s wish and took the young Akiko with him. Shortly after, the dragon would also be stopped by none other than Lockheed and the X-Men were free to return to America. Since Wolverine was with the X-Men and lived a very dangerous life, and was in no situation to care for a young child; he would make the decision to leave her to be adopted by his fiancè Mariko Yashida in Japan. Akiko would stay with Mariko for the next couple of years. Mariko being from the Clan Yashida, she was able to provide Akiko with a comfy, luxurious lifestyle. Though to Akiko's dismay she rarely saw Wolverine, but tried to keep in touch. Unfortunately, Mariko became a target of the Hand and was assassinated.
With no plans for Akiko beyond being with Mariko, she would be placed in a Japanese foster care service and Wolverine would send money regularly. It would be a few years before Logan heard anything from Akiko. He was under the assumption that she was being cared for properly. He was very wrong. Akiko had been adopted by a very abusive set of parents. Her only way of living was that she held tightly to the idea of her savior, "Samurai Logan" and that he would come to rescue her. It would be during this time that Akiko would also change her name. Dropping the "k" she would change it to Amiko to give her a more powerful, masculine sounding name. Wolverine would decide to pay a visit to Amiko and find her situation not to his liking. He would take action immediately. Once he paid back all those that did Amiko wrong, he would take her away and place her in a much safer place. He would turn to Yukio, a ronin and close personal friend of his and Storm's. With Yukio as Amiko's guardian, he would then enlist the help of the Silver Samurai. Being a part of the Clan Yashida, he had the necessary funds to support Amiko and Yukio's needs. He would also provide protection for them. To ensure the Silver Samurai would help, Logan would return to him the "Yashida Honor Sword." The Silver Samurai would gladly accept and willingly assist.
Amiko Kobayashi was created by both Chris Claremont and John Romita.
Amiko Kobayashi serves as one of the few characters in mainstream Marvel comics to truly develop not only in a character sense, but physically, despite being a relatively minor supporting character to the Wolverine mythos.
Mayor Story Arcs
All would go accordingly with Amiko's safety and well being; but even the most well laid plans can fail. With all the protection provided to Amiko, the Hand would still prove successful in abducting her. They would send a man named Akatora, who would brainwash Amiko into believing that Wolverine was responsible for her mother’s death. Once Amiko was completely convinced, Akatora would begin his plans. He would train her as an assassin and arm her with a dagger dipped in blowfish toxins intended to be used on Wolverine, to kill him. This would be just one instance of many where Amiko was in danger simply for being connected to others.
No incident would be worse than the arrival of Wolverine’s lifelong foe, Sabretooth. Weapon X reorganized and resurfaced as a team. Sabretooth was one of its first members. Having access to all of Weapon X's technology, he would use it to his own end to exact revenge on Wolverine. Despite Wolverine's checkered past with the Weapon X department, they had nothing to do with Sabretooth's actions. In fact they were against it and actively helped in stopping him.
Sabretooth would enlist the aid of Lady Deathstrike and Omega Red to go to Japan and being back Amiko. A battle ensued that would severely injure Yukio (Amiko's guardian) at the hand of Deathstrike, apparently paralyzing her permanently. As they headed back to Sabretooth, he double crossed them and didn’t pay them for their services. Ultimately, it comes down to a final fight between Sabretooth and Wolverine. In the end, Wolverine wasn't able to save Amiko and he found her strapped to a tree, dead. Sabretooth had killed her. Wolverine would return to America racked with guilt. To his surprise though, answering the door, he found Amiko there alive and well. Apparently Weapon X had resurrected her and sent her back to Wolverine. They were very apologetic for the circumstances as Sabretooth was one of their agents and acted without permission. Both Wolverine and Amiko would be elated over the unexpected reunion.
The Mark of Mana
In the not too far past, Yukio had been involved in a caper where she came upon a necklace. It wasn't until later that she found out it was called the Mark of Mana. Not knowing what to do with it, she chose to simply save it and put it away. Only recently did she start hearing voices that she would find were coming from the necklace. In the end it was revealed that the necklace was a prison for a woman by the name of Mana Ianowa. Once she was freed she would explain that she was the High Priestess of the Shosei Clan. As such, she was the current Mystical Guardian of Japan. It was her duty to protect Japan and the rest of the world from other dimensional evils and magical threats including demons and curses. She explained that while the Samurai and Shogun of old fought over land and power, it was Mana's clan/family who kept Japan safe.
Upon meeting Amiko, Mana instantly knew that she was no ordinary girl. Amiko and Mana shared the same blood lineage. Although Mana has lived more than 800 years, she and Amiko were family. Apparently, Amiko's mother left the clan wishing to hide from her destiny as a future priestess herself. Amiko was the next and last in line for the throne of power, which left a huge decision for her to make. Does she run from her destiny as her mother did in the past? Or would she head straight for it and embrace her destiny? For Amiko it wasn't a hard choice at all.
Amiko learns from Mana Yanowa, the current High Priestess of the Shosei Clan, that Amiko, and her mother, were both descendants of the Shosei Clan. A clan who’s destiny was to protect Japan and the world from other-dimensional evils and Mystical Guardians. Amiko is the last in the line and will take the place of Mana eventually. Mana would decide to take Amiko in as her apprentice to instruct her in the ways of the Shosei Clan. During this time, she would train her in the use of her natural born magical powers and further grow her fighting skill. Amiko gladly accepted, wanting to be successful, so that she could live up to the name of her savior, Master Logan. She trained with Mana and the necklace was entrusted to her and remains with her to this day.
Wolverine Goes To Hell
In Japan, Amiko is confronted by Hellverine. After attacking Yukio, he turns his focus on on Amiko, intending to kill her. Before he can harm her, Yukio attacks Wolverine from behind, stunning him long enough for them to jump out the window and onto a roof. Following the jump, Yukio lays prostrate on the ground, ostensibly dead. Amiko regards this moment as the beginning of her new life.
Back in Japan
Wolverine is back from Hell, and back in New York. When he get information that the Yakuza and the Japan branch of The Hand are about to start an all out war, Wolverine flies to Japan to stop them. Once there Yukio, informs him that Amiko is now dating, Shin, the now deceased Silver Samurai's son and heir to the Clan Yashida. Meanwhile Amiko and Shin are breaking into one of the Hand's research facilities to steal an experimental power source, but something goes wrong and Amiko is captured. She is held captive by Azuma Goda as bait to make Shin, now armed with a more powerful Silver Samurai suit, do his bidding. Amiko does not take kindly to being used as bait and tries to fight back but Azuma's new muscle, Sabretooth recaptures Amiko. With Shin's help she is able to escape again but this time Shin is captured and teleported away. Shin begs Wolverine to help her but he sends her to her room.
There Yukio gases her room, with knock out gas, so her and Wolverine can find The Hand's stronghold, but Amiko uses a gas mask to escape. She follows Yukio and Wolverine to the Lair of the Mind Ninjas, but once inside she gets hit with their mind gas. She hallucinates a giant unkillable dragon, like the one that killed her mother. Just when she thinks it has her she realizes it just an illusion and in truth is ninjas, which she can kill. She is then rescued by Shin, who unknown to her was forced to watch Amiko almost die. Shin then takes her to the treasure of the Silver Samurai and Amiko discovers that Shin has sold out to Azuma Goda. Amiko is angry.She slaps Shin and cries off into the night.
When Amiko and Shin meet again, they fight and Amiko tells Shin its over between them. Shin tries to explain but Yukio shows up and Shin has to run away. Later after Wolverine has killed Azuma, Yukio, Amiko and Wolverine are back at Yukio's home. There Wolverine plans to leave for America but Amiko stops him and asks if he'd like to help her stop a bank robbery. Wolverine, Yukio and Amiko are then seen on the roof tops of Japan in full hero pose.
Powers and Abilities
Although Amiko is not a mutant, her natural human abilities are at ranges beyond that of the finest athlete due to her rigorous and constant training. This may be largely in part to her continuous training or perhaps due to her lineage as part of the Shosei Clan. She has been trained in one form or another since the day that Wolverine saved her as a young child. Amiko also is gifted with the ability to wield magic as a descendent of the Shosei Clan. Those of her peak human skill include: Peak Human Agility, Peak Human Speed, Peak Human Stamina, Peak Human Durability, Enhanced Reflexes, Highly Acute Senses (Hearing & Sight), & Peak Human Strength Level.
As a blood and only remaining descendent of the Shosei Clan, Amiko is destined to become the future Mystical Guardian of Japan. She has a natural and as of yet unmeasured aptitude for magic granting her the ability to eventually manipulate magic for a multitude of effects. Some of the magics that Mana has preformed included: Levitation, Flight, Concussive Magical Energy Blasts, Mental Possession of others & Time Freeze. All of which are being taught to her.
Amiko is a formidable hand to hand combatant, trained in self defense in combat training by none other than the likes of Wolverine, Silver Samurai, Yukio, The Hand, Mana Ianowa and multiple other highly trained Martial Arts senseis. Amiko eventually became skilled enough to subdue Wolverine. Amiko is an excellent tracker and hunter. Amiko is trained in multiple and varying styles of Martial Arts. Amiko is highly skilled in the use of bladed weapons specifically that of daggers, swords and sais.
- Gender: Female
- Height: 5' 6"
- Weight: 115 lbs.
- Hair: Black
- Eyes: Black
- Known Relatives:
Mother (unknown name, deceased)
Wolverine (James "Logan" Howlett, foster father)
X-23 (Laura Kinney, foster sister)
Mariko Yashida (foster mother, deceased)
Silver Samurai (Kenuichio Harada, adoptive uncle/protector)
Sunfire (Shiro Yashida, adoptive cousin)
Mana Yanowa (only living relative/descendent)
Hana Yanowa (decendent and twin of Mana, deceased)
- Citizenship: Japanese with no criminal record
- Place of Birth: Tokyo, Japan
- Marital Status: Single
- Occupation: Student, Adventurer, Apprentice, and Mystic Guardian of Japan in training, destined High Priestess of the Shosei Clan (previously: assassin, freedom fighter, undercover agent).
- Education: Unrevealed. Though it was stated that she did attend school, presumably to middle school.
Days of Future Past
The Amiko of this reality shares a very similar beginning to that of her mainstream Earth-616 counterpart. Their lives differ when she is sent to the Silver Samurai by Wolverine for protection. Shortly after he took Amiko in, the Silver Samurai was promoted to the Emperor of Japan. Knowing that Amiko's life was going to be even more at risk by both Wolverine's foes and those of the Silver Samurai's they would devise and put a plan in play immediately to ensure her safety. An accident would be faked which would result in the apparent death of Amiko. Though truly alive, the Silver Samurai would lead all to believe that she was dead for the plan to be effective. In actuality, she would go into hiding and change her name. If Amiko was "dead" then no one would make attempts at her life to get at those who care for her. A success, she would begin training under the greatest masters of Martial Arts so that she could protect herself if ever need be. She would also no longer respond to her name and change it, now going by Midnight. Along with her name she would adopt an entirely new persona.
Many years would pass and as she grew, into adulthood, so too did her fighting ability. She eventually became a Ninja Master, skilled in many fighting styles and very effective in battle. Being as accomplished as she was, she would take on an assignment given by her uncle Emperor Harada (the Silver Samurai). He would have her infiltrate the growing threat of the Hellfire Club and bring them down from the inside. Amiko would accept and set off immediately to begin her task.
All would go as plan until the emergence of her surrogate father Wolverine. He never believed the claims of Amiko's death. Especially since there was never a body found or buried at her grave site. He would run into a picture of a now grown woman that he felt was her though obviously older (Amiko is actually 20 years older in the picture). This would only enforce his search for her and would consume him entirely. Meanwhile she effectively joins the Hellfire Club run by the Black King, Shinobi Shaw. She became the personal and trusted bodyguard/assistant and assassin of the Red Queen who was actually the once X-Man named Psylocke, who had been brainwashed.
Eventually, Wolverine found her and intended to rescue her, only to be attacked by Midnight. So trained was she, that she easily bested him and, in the eyes of all around, killed him. Unknown to both of them, Wolverine too had rescuers in the form of the X-Men, well what was left of them. Led by Jubilee the ragtag group of X-Men survivors, including Magneto, would come to aid Wolverine and successfully put an end to the Hellfire Club and its Black King, killing him. In the end, once everyone regrouped, they decided to all work together and become the new and apparently last team of X-Men. This group included Jubilee, Wolverine, Magneto, the White Queen, Synch, Leech and now Midnight; thus making Midnight one of the last known X-Men and one of the few to gain membership without actually being a mutant. Their fate as a team was not recorded, only Magneto and Wolverine would be mentioned in the future.