Not much is known about Yukio, or her early life. Even her full name is a mystery. What is known is that in her youth she trained vigorously in multiple martial arts, under many martial arts masters. She ventured out, considering herself a ronin, a samurai without a master.
A free spirit, with a mischievous sense of adventure, Yukio often found herself on the wrong side of the law. Many associations with underground or notorious figures developed, as Yukio worked as a mercenary, thief and assassin. During her years of criminal activities she interacted with a young cajun thief Gambit who at later stages of her life she would know as a member of the X-Men.
Yukio spent a lot of time traveling, finding herself in such places as England, Singapore, Italy and Japan. Yukio's first interactions with the X-Men came when she worked as a hired assassin under Lord Shingen Harada of the Clan Yashida. Shingen Harada was also the father of Wolverine's girlfriend Mariko Yashida. At that time Yukio worked for Shingen, and one of her tasks was to kill Wolverine.
She had poisoned at one point which allowed Harada to defeat Wolverine in combat, a blow to Wolverines ego and casting shame on him, but Yukio herself grew to know Wolverine more and more and she developed a crush on him and subsequently aided him in bringing about Shingen's downfall. Her feelings not entirely reciprocated she moved on and maintained a friendship with Wolverine.
Yukio is a Marvel comics character and she was created by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. Yukio first appears in the very first issue of the verry first Wolverine solo series Wolverine #1 released in 1982. Her first appearance in Uncanny X-Men is Uncanny X-Men #172, released in 1983. After a fairy long period of absence of use Yukio has reappeared in the Wolverine #300.
Although not a mutant, Yukio is typically involved in mutant affairs and characters such as Wolverine and the X-Men. Primarily a supporting character to both franchises, she fulfills many of the characteristics and traits of ninja, kunoichi and rōnin archetypes.
This is no surprise given that both her creators Chris Claremont and Frank Miller are self confessed fans of Japanese culture, topics and subject matter. Starting off originally as a supporting character, Yukio eventually developed strong associations with the X-Men, most notably Storm, and Gambit.
In more recent years Wolverine has entrusted Yukio with the care of the character Amiko Kobayashi, bringing a significant change in Yukio's writing, as she is no longer as careless about life nor engaged in outwardly criminal activities instead characterized as more responsible and maternal.
Major Story Arcs
Yukio later joined Storm in an altercation with Viper and Silver Samurai. During the battle Storm blasted the Silver Samurai with her lightning, finding to her horror that her powers were out of control. She drew the lightning back into herself, nearly being electrocuted in the process. Yukio knocked Storm out of the path of her lightning bolts and dove with her into the nearby bay, enabling them to escape from the Silver Samurai.
After the death of Mariko Yashida, Wolverine sent his adopted daughter, Amiko Kobayashi, to a foster family. He later discovered that her new foster parents were abusive and only interested in the money. Wolverine took Amiko away from them and asked Yukio to raise her.
When Sabretooth targeted Wolverine's friends and family, he hired Omega Red and Lady Deathstrike to kidnap Amiko. Yukio fought the two, but was overpowered and seriously injured. Wolverine then rescued Amiko but it is unclear whether he returned her to Yukio's care. Yukio reappeared in the pages of X-treme X-Men and seemed fully recovered. Yukio helped Wolverine to keep Matsuo Tsurayaba alive. Wolverine tortured Matsuo every year. In the Psylocke miniseries Yukio had to confront Psylocke to defend Matsuo. Yukio had a sexual relationship with Wolverine, but it is over now, because Logan has a permanent girlfriend, Melita Garner.
Wolverine Goes to Hell
With Logan in hell, and his girlfriend being hunted, Melita Garner calls Yukio for help, using one of the emergency numbers given to her by Wolverine. Unfortunately, while still on the phone, Yukio is fatally wounded by the possessed Wolverine. Shortly, Amiko arrives, clearly not prepared for what is happening.
After a brief fight and a few words between Amiko and Wolverine, Yukio attacks from behind, stunning Wolverine long enough for them to escape out the window. Following the fall, Yukio is motionless on the ground, ostensibly dead.
Recently, Yukio has reappeared, and although it seemed like she had died in her last encounter with Logan, she had lived. Unfortunately, she had lived at a cost: she had become paralyzed from the waist down and was now confined to a wheelchair. But for a Ronin, it is not as big a disadvantage as one may think; she still has her mastery of martial arts and was able to take down many armed men with a bowstaff in hand.
She is helping Wolverine take down Sabretooth, the new Silver Samurai, Mystique and Lord Deathstrike who have formed an alliance and are wreaking havoc across East Asia.
Powers and Abilities
Yukio is not a mutant and as such possesses no super powers. She is however a skilled hand to hand combatant with considerable expertise in multiple Japanese martial arts, and an expert with hurling bladed weapons. She is in peak health and an athlete with great agility.
Yukio is known to utilize many forms of weaponry such as throwing knives and scalpel-like shuriken. Yukio is a ronin, a masterless samurai. Occasionally a thief by profession, she has been portrayed as a free spirit with an almost careless disregard for personal danger.
Weight: 130 lbs (59 kg)
Unusual Features: Dragon tattoo across back
Marvel Anime: Wolverine (2011)
Yukio appears in the animated television show Marvel Anime: Wolverine. The plot is an approximate retelling of the first Wolverine series, and Yukio's role is similar here as it was in her first story arc. Yukio is voiced by Romi Park in the original Japanese version and Kate Higgins in the English version.
Yukio is set to appear in The Wolverine, played by Rila Fukushima. Yukio is an orphan assassin working for Master Yashida. She was ordered by Yashida to find Wolverine and bring him to Japan.
This version of the character is a precognitive mutant, with the ability to see the deaths of people before they happen.