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Origins

Kenji Oyama (Earth-616) from Alpha Flight Vol 1 34 0001

Oyama as a POW

Kenji Oyama[3] was a military pilot for the Japanese Army[2] and famed[1] war hero[7] during World War II.[2] In 1945, Japan was losing the war, so Oyama volunteered for a kamikaze suicide mission.[7] Oyama crashed his bomb-laden fighter against an American aircraft carrier, but the defective explosives failed to detonate.[1][8][7] He believed his own survival was a shameful disgrace he would have to amend.[2] Oyama was scarred from the impact and became a prisoner of war.[1][7] From that very moment, Oyama has been committed to restoring both his own honor and Japan's by following a strict samurai-like code.[7] He even planned to use his family in his quest, branding his children[5] as a sign of superiority.[7]

After the war,[1] he also started covering his face, without explaining that his face was disfigured.[3] He privately swore to hide his face until he felt Japan's old values and honor had been restored,[1] hiding his face like Japan hides its shame.[5]

Yuriko Oyama (Earth-616) from Daredevil Vol 1 197 0001

Yuriko's branded face

Oyama also wrote a book[3] about his war experiences[1] and earned enough money to buy an island off the coast of Hokkaido (northern Japan).[1][2] Styling himself a lord by the name "Lord Dark Wind"[3] (to symbolize a wind from the past that will sweep away Japan's shame),[1] he married and had one daughter, Yuriko,[5] and two sons, branding their faces as planned.[1] Dark Wind saw this sign as marking their loyalty to his cause, even if they faltered.[7] Dark Wind adopted a scar-faced warrior deity Kami as the god of his household.[2] Dark Wind also owned a research facility in Yokohama.[9]

Dark Wind's code attracted other followers,[1] mostly young men he recruited for his private army and trained in the use of traditional weapons and paraphernalia.[3] These soldiers were fanatically loyal to Dark Wind,[7] fighting even in bad conditions[5] and living for their master.[7] One of these men was trainee Kira, who happened to be the beloved of Dark Wind's daughter.[3]

Dark Wind was also known to fund reactionary political activity and to have sent his sons in a mission to murder Japan's Prime Minister - although this operation failed and the Oyama men lost their lives.[3][1] Only much later, one of the sons was revealed to have survived.[10] Dark Wind's daughter Yuriko hated her father for having sent her brothers to their apparent deaths,[5][7] for branding her face as well as her brothers', and for the zealot-like loyalty he inspired in his followers.[7]

Kenji Oyama (Earth-616) DD198

Dark Wind and followers

Although Dark Wind's real implication in several activities was unclear, he had a terrible reputation based on real facts: It was said that he had branded his children's faces and that he used Yakuza to murder anyone who approached his islands. The local sailors refused to go near the island, fearing that it would offend Lord Dark Wind.[3]

Adamantium process

Looking for a way to create an ultimate soldier for an invincible Japanese army of samurai,[1][7][9] Dark Wind developed a process that bound the human skeleton with the virtually indestructible metallic alloy adamantium.[1][7] This procedure included surgery on the bones and herbs to prevent the body from rejecting the artificial implants. It was a very unsafe process, resulting in the deaths of patients who did not recover within a week.[2]

Dark Wind's notes were stolen and eventually used to on the mutant hero Wolverine in the Weapon X Project. Dark Wind devoted decades to recreate the process,[1][7] and never came to know the thief's (or thieves') identity.[7]

Another Japanese radical, Tomo Yoshida, discovered that Dark Wind had developed this adamantium process,[9] but not that the formula had been stolen.[1] Yoshida found the layout of Dark Wind's Yokohama building and hired a mercenary mutant team led by Mystique to infiltrate it and steal Dark Wind's notes. The team also included Mystique's protégé Rogue and memory thief Blindspot, with Yoshida providing his own nephew, fire-based mutant Sunfire, as additional muscle.[9]

Yoshida's team raided a storehouse at Tokyo Bay only to be attacked by Dark Wind's ninja guards. When Sunfire was stunned, Rogue used her powers to absorb Sunfire's and literally burned the enemies out. The mission was nonetheless a failure: Dark Wind ran away with his computer,[1] a movement that Yoshida considered cowardice, before Mystique could even reach its position.[9]

Smuggling Bullseye

Finally having rediscovered the adamantium process,[7] Dark Wind developed a plan: He wanted an assassin to murder the Japanese Minister of Trade,[1][5] during the politician's imminent visit to New York City. Dark Wind chose Bullseye,[5] a highly proficient assassin who happened to have a broken spine at that point. Dark Wind traveled to the USA to smuggle Bullseye to Japan in the ship Osama Maru, docked in the Brooklyn side of the Hudson River.[4]

Dark Wind's activities alerted the attention of the CIA, who in turn reported to Tarkington Brown of the Mayor of NYC's office. Brown asked Wolverine for help, suggesting that Dark Wind may know about Wolverine's adamantium skeleton. Wolverine was unable to prevent Dark Wind's men from taking Bullseye from his hospital.[4]

Kenji Oyama (Earth-616) DD196

In Western attire

Dark Wind decided that he needed local help against the local enemies and met with NYC crime lord Kingpin to ask him for help in exchange for payment; Kingpin agreed to provide Dark Wind with 20 men. Dark Wind then went on board to meet with Bullseye and explain his plan to him.[4]

At that time, Dark Wind's daughter Yuriko actively tried to distance her beloved Kira, one of Dark Wind's soldier, from her father, as she believed Kira would be harmed in his service.[3] This gained Yuriko her father's wrath,[5] and Dark Wind's agents captured her and kept her chained in the boat, in preparation for a terrible punishment.[2]

Meanwhile, Wolverine met Bullseye's enemy Daredevil and accepted to work with him during the mission. Daredevil indeed discovered that Bullseye was scheduled to leave on the Osama Maru thanks to snitch Turk Barrett, and also that Brown was Wolverine's contact. Daredevil then revealed Brown's past criminal activities to Wolverine.[4]

Daredevil and Wolverine fought Kingpin's twenty men while Dark Wind watched the fight from the boat's deck using binoculars. While Dark Wind was impressed with his enemies' prowess, he decided not to recruit them, understanding that they were loyal to an opposing cause. A badly-timed intervention of Brown in the docks allowed the boat to leave without a hitch.[4] Dark Wind's doctors started treating Bullseye during the trip.[2]

Final encounter with Daredevil

Kenji Oyama (Earth-616) DD199

Against Daredevil

When the Osama Maru reached Japan, Dark Wind stopped her 10 kilometers from the coast and left on a rowboat to take Bullseye to his island - as he understood his enemies could be waiting for the Osama Maru on the official harbor.[2] Indeed, Daredevil had traveled to Japan by plane[4] and boarded the Osama Maru in Tokyo to find Bullseye. Instead, he found, released[2] and allied with Yuriko, who hid her real identity.[1][2]

Bullseye successfully recovered with an adamantium skeleton.[1][3][7] He also insisted to Dark Wind that Daredevil was coming; Dark Wind, being a spiritual person, believed that the hatred between Bullseye and Daredevil was strong enough to create a psychic link, so he took the warning seriously. He readied three samurai to fight Daredevil, but refused to send the ill-prepared Kira. Daredevil defeated these samurai and continued approaching Dark Wind's home while also discovering Yuriko's origin and confronting her on it.[3]

Dark Wind sent three archers and three swordsmen to stop Daredevil and kill Yuriko; even if they failed, Dark Wind himself was ready to confront his enemies.[5] Meanwhile, Kira was asked to take Bullseye to the mainland on a rowboat and sent the assassin to America with his mission, which Dark Wind considered a just payment for his services; Bullseye however silently refused to murder without getting money and, once he was on the boat, expressed this opinion verbally.[1][5] Hearing this betrayal, Kira tried to retaliate against Bullseye, only to be thrown overboard.[5]

Daredevil and Yuriko reached Dark Wind's home, but a timely earthquake brought down the building's ceiling on Daredevil, trapping him. Dark Wind approached his helpless opponent and prepared a coup de grâce with his sword - only to be killed when Yuriko slashed his back.[1][5][7] Daredevil and Yuriko left for the beach where they found Kira, embarrassed at his defeat.[1][5] Kira committed ritual suicide on the corpse of his master.[7]

Legacy

After losing both her father and her beloved, Yuriko understood Dark Wind's goals and started a quest to recover the adamantium skeleton formula.[7] Only weeks after Dark Wind's death, Yuriko impersonated her father and spread the rumor that Dark Wind wanted Mystique and her partners dead for their attempted burglary. In reaction, Blindspot visited Japan and erased Tomo Yoshida's and Sunfire's minds so they forget everything about the heist. Blindspot then infiltrated Dark Wind's estate to erase his mind. She instead found Yuriko, discovered that Dark Wind was dead, and erased Yuriko's mind of her involvement.[11]

Yuriko continued her father's quest. Trying to track implants on Bullseye's skeleton, Yuriko -then known as Lady Deathstrike - eventually found Wolverine instead and fought him.[7]

Years later, improved technology allowed Yuriko to recover her memories. She captured Blindspot and, later, Rogue and Sunfire. The two heros were aghast, knowing nothing about the crimes against Dark Wind of which she accused them.[12] Yuriko wanted them to give her Dark Wind's adamantium process, but when she discovered her prisoners did not have that information she tried to murder them.[11]

Even later, Lord Deathstrike reappeared, proudly identifying himself as Lord Dark Wind's son [10] and was now working with his sister.[6]

Return?

Years later, Lord Dark Wind's dead body was stolen from his grave by a company called Soteira. Persephone, the mysterious leader of Soteira, then resurrected Lord Dark Wind as one of her undead killers. With the reanimated body of Lord Dark Wind under her control, she sent it to the town of Maybelle, Arizona to oversee and experiment, where she killed 343 people[13] as part of her efforts to extend the reach of her abilities.[14][15]

But the experiment was a failure and the town was now overrun by zombies, but shortly after Lord Darkwind's daughter, Yuriko Oyama alongside Sabretooth and Daken went to Maybelle after she located Lord Darkwind's adamantium signature, who she believed was Wolverine at the time. Now in town, Yuriko was shocked to discover that her father was "alive" and even more after hearing him repeating: "You will be useful" over and over again. Lord Dark Wind's reanimated corpse was then used to fight against Yuriko and proved to be a match for her, it defeated her with a samurai sword and then fought and killed Daken.[16]

After trying to kill Lady Deathstrike one more time, and cutting her hand off, Lord Dark Wind's reanimated corpse was stabbed by Lady Deathstrike in the throat and was defeated.[17]

Powers


Abilities

A scientific genius, Dark Wind was also a skillful swordsman. A leader of people, he used samurais and ninjas as minions.[1]




Weapons

He uses a katana sword as his weapon of choice.[5]

Lord dark wind 002

Brown eyes

  • Wolverine: Weapon X Files #1 (2009) lists Dark Wind's eye color as "unrevealed"; but in Daredevil #199 (1983) they are clearly shown as brown.
  • In Daredevil #198 (1983), Dark Wind is said to have had one son and one daughter; in the following issue, Yuriko mentions her brothers, in plural. Wolverine: Weapon X Files #1 lists Dark Wind's daughter and two unnamed, dead sons - one of whom is revealed to be alive in Wolverine Vol 4 #9 (2011).
  • Rogue Vol 3 #10 (2005) describes Mystique's failed heist to Dark Wind's research center, then explains that, "soon afterward", Sunfire made his public debut (as seen in X-Men #64 (January 1970). Rogue Vol 3 #10 (2005) adds that only weeks after that, Dark Wind was discovered to be dead, an event seen in Daredevil #199 (October 1983). This suggests that all the events happening in the comics published between January 1970 and October 1983 take place in a matter of mere weeks in Marvel time.

Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 Wolverine: Weapon X Files #1
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Daredevil #197
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 Daredevil #198
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Daredevil #196
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 Daredevil #199
  6. 6.0 6.1 Wolverine Vol 2 #304
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 7.17 7.18 7.19 7.20 7.21 Alpha Flight #34
  8. Daredevil #197-198
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Rogue Vol 3 #10
  10. 10.0 10.1 Wolverine Vol 4 #9
  11. 11.0 11.1 Rogue Vol 3 #11
  12. Rogue Vol 3 #7
  13. Hunt for Wolverine: Claws of a Killer #1
  14. Return of Wolverine #5
  15. Hunt for Wolverine: Claws of a Killer #2
  16. Hunt for Wolverine: Claws of a Killer #3
  17. Hunt for Wolverine: Claws of a Killer #4
  18. Wolverine: Weapon X Files #1
  19. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 14



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