Quote1 I...I will, my uncle! I shall avenge the incalculable wrong done my people, in this place, these many years ago! I shall smite the eternal enemy...humble him...with all the vast powers at my command! So do I Shiro Yoshida swear! Quote2
-- Sunfire (Shiro Yoshida) src

Early Years

Shiro's mother died out of radiation poisoning when he was still a young child. Shiro (吉田 四郎 Yoshida Shirō) was raised by his uncle Tomo to hate the West and seek for a return to Japan's imperial days.

After years of training, Sunfire, wearing a costume that looked like a rising sun, attacked America when the X-Men intervened. The battle ended with Sunfire killing his uncle and returning to Japan[1]. Back in Japan, Shiro found himself a social outcast for having dishonored his father. He fled to Tokyo’s slums and fell in with the criminal Dragon Lord of Krakinowa, who sought to restore Japan’s status as a world power. Sunfire was sent to destroy an American cargo ship, leading to conflict with Namor, who made Sunfire realize the ramifications of his actions and teamed with him to defeat the Dragon Lord. Having redeemed himself, Sunfire was accepted as Japan’s protector.


When most of the original X-Men were captured by Krakoa, Sunfire was one of the mutants recruited by Prof. Charles Xavier to aid him. Sunfire agreed only because he felt honor bound[2]. After the mission, Sunfire left the team[3], but their paths would cross again. Most notably when the X-Men stopped Moses Magnum's plot to destroy Japan with earthquakes.

Shiro Yoshida (Earth-616)


Sunfire was named as one of the mythical "Twelve," representing the power of nature along with Storm and Iceman.

After being exposed to "Zero Fluid," Sunfire began having problems with his power. The Weapon Plus Project falsely told him his powers and the fluid had formed cancer throughout his body and that he would have had to serve them for the necessary treatments. After refusing, Sunfire was shot by Wild Child and was thought dead, though he managed to survive.

During this time, Prof. Charles Xavier was kidnapped by Magneto who threatened to start a third World War. Jean Grey-Summers called Sunfire in hopes that he would once again answer the call to join them, but he was still recuperating and sent his sister, Sunpyre who had very similar powers.

With a new outlook on life after his near death experience, Sunfire looked at things differently, re-joining the X-Men after they went global.

Big Hero Six

Also, closer to home, Sunfire and a reformed Silver Samurai formed the Big Hero Six. They also began to dismantle organized crime in Japan in order to clear the name of Clan Yashida.


It was then publicly leaked that Sunfire and his uncle had dealings with Rogue, Blindspot and Mystique back in the day. They plotted to steal the plans for the Adamantium bonding process. Tomo wanted to form "an army of invincible samurai" with this process, and the Brotherhood would have received a substantial amount of money. The plot failed and Blindspot removed the memories of all involved as well as Lady Deathstrike. Deathstrike's cybernetics enabled her to find the missing memory. Silver Samurai was reverted to being a criminal by Blindspot. Rogue contacted Shiro and the two sought to learn the truth. The Silver Samurai fled after being absorbed by Rogue.

During a battle with Deathstrike, Sunfire's powers triggered the sprinkler system, filling the room with steam. Lady Deathstrike moved behind him and severed his legs from his body. While prisoners to Deathstrike, he told Rogue to absorb his powers so she could fight her. She agreed, but only a momentary touch so as not to strain his condition. Blindspot then pushed Rogue onto Sunfire, and she absorbed his memories as well as powers. Shiro was presumed to be dead, although the X-Men were unable to find his body.

Horseman of Apocalypse

In actuality, Shiro was taken to a hospital and kept under watchful guard by members of Clan Yoshida and the Hand who were trying to convince him to accept prosthetic limbs. Shiro however was suicidal, and asked only for a sword so that he could end his misery. He then received a visit from the newly resurrected Apocalypse who gave him an enticing offer to join him in saving mutantkind, in return for which Apocalypse would restore his powers and his lost limbs. Shiro agreed.

During the process of being transformed into the Horseman Famine, Shiro's heroic side returned and he knew what he was doing was wrong. He struggled with his choice and thought about escaping, but he did not want to leave the mutant Gazer to suffer, who was also being turned into a Horseman. Shiro finally decided that he couldn't let Gazer suffer more and tried to save him, but he was too late and they were both turned into horsemen of Apocalypse.

Sunfire 616

Sunfire as Famine

During his time as Famine, Shiro attacked the X-Men, using his flares to give the eyes and brain imagery that made them feel like they were starving. During the X-Men's battle with Apocalypse, Gazer as War was killed and Gambit as Death and Polaris as Pestilence were captured. Despite Apocalypse being defeated and having escaped, Shiro was still under his mentality and tried to save his former horsemen from the X-Men, while Polaris was able to refuse Shiro's offer, Gambit went off with him. Shiro then himself tried to use his fire to cleanse Gambit of the ways of the X-Men as he was having doubts about Apocalypse, but during their training, they were approached by Mr. Sinister who was building up a mutant army to find Destiny's diaries.


Under Sinister's guides, Gambit and Shiro were re-brain washed, and cleansed from a lot of the damage done by Apocalypse, with only enough still standing that they would work for him. During his time as a Marauder, Shiro alongside Gambit attacked Cable and left under the impression that they had successfully murdered him. He fought against the X-Men on numerous occasions, and joined the Marauders in killing the Purifiers when they went after the first mutant baby born after M-Day, an act Shiro took a lot of pleasure in.

During the final battle to get the baby on Muir Island, Sunfire was knocked out while most of the other Marauders died or escaped. He was last seen unconscious when Bishop used his flame powers to close up his wounds before going after Cable and the baby. When he awoke, he saw that the battle was over, Sinister dead and the Marauders disbanded. Lost and facing an identity crisis, Shiro gave up his Sunfire identity and essentially wandered for a year in a drunk haze.

Uncanny Avengers

Shiro eventually found himself back in Japan where Wolverine found him and recruited him to be a part of the Avengers Unity Squad. However, Shiro says that he is disgraced and is no longer a super hero. Wolverine then tells him what the Red Skull did to Charles Xavier, which prompts Shiro to accept.[4]

Shiro later assists Rogue in fighting off the Grim Reaper, which ended with her killing him. He then joins Captain America on a trip to the Point to review footage of the Apocalypse Twins, who appear and attack the Point. Shiro wants to stay and fight, but Captain America convinces him otherwise; when Captain Americas escape pod won't open Shiro, sacrifices his pod to save Captain America. As the escape pods drift away, the Twins' ship blasts the Peak in half. Shiro falls to Earth, but manages to survive.

While destroying a huge chunk of debris that threatens to destroy a city, he meets up with Thor, who also came to destroy the debris. They go to an old Apocalypse base and find a recording which reveals that Wolverine and his X-force killed the child Apocalypse and then later Dark Angel, the twins' father.

Shiro joins Wolverine in the team's dispute alongside Thor and Rouge. He later finds Wolverine, after he has been crucified by Daken. Sunfire later learns of Scarlet Witch's betrayal to the team, and pairs up with Rogue to stop her from calling the mutants to the Twins' ship. He would ultimately fail, and was last seen in a pod next to Wolverine, deep in a cryo-sleep.

Following a confrontation with the Celestial Exitar, who had come to judge Earth due to the machinations of the Apocalypse Twins, Sunfire was apparently killed by Kang the Conqueror, but he was able to use his power to transform his body into a state of pure energy that he could use to absorb most of the Celestials' energy.[5]


Months later, Sunfire and the Unity Squad go to the island of Genosha to aid the Avengers, Storm's X-Men, and Cyclops' X-Men in the fight against Red Skull, who had become Red Onslaught and was causing havoc all over the world with his tremendous telepathic power. Onslaught eventually deploys two Stark Sentinels, a model of Sentinel that was programmed with knowledge of different superheroes that allowed them to turn the heroes' strengths against them.[6] Sunfire is captured along with the other heroes and stored within one of the Stark Sentinels after being shrunk using Pym Particles.[7]

Sunfire and the other heroes are freed when Magneto led a team of super-villains against the Stark Sentinels. Scarlet Witch and Doctor Doom then defeat Red Onslaught by casting an inversion spell to force a fragment of Charles Xavier's psyche trapped within Red Onslaught to emerge and knock Onslaught out.[8]

It was later discovered that the inversion spell had inadvertently caused most of the heroes to become evil, including Sunfire. Sunfire joined the X-Men at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning to declare the unification of mutants and to reveal their new agenda of no longer wanting co-existence between humans and mutants, but to stand above them, with the help of Evan Sabahnur, who had become Apocalypse due to the inversion spell.[9]

Led by the new Apocalypse, Sunfire was among the X-Men who appeared above New York City and proclaimed their intent to conquer Manhattan, issuing an ultimatum that all humans be evacuated within three hours or perish.[10] They also broadcast a warning for humankind and revealed that they had created a gene bomb designed to kill everyone on Earth that didn't have the X-gene in their body.[11]

Sunfire and the X-Men get into a fight with the Astonishing Avengers formed from Magneto's team of super-villains that had been inverted on Genosha. The X-Men defeat them,[12] but an inverted Carnage sacrifices himself to prevent the X-Men's gene bomb from killing all non-Mutants.[13] Later, the inverted Avengers attacked the X-Men. In the ensuing battle, an inverted Doctor Doom and Scarlet Witch, possessed by the spirit of Daniel Drumm, cast another inversion spell that returned almost returned every hero and villain to normal, including Sunfire.[14] After the incident, Sunfire chose not to return to the Avengers Unity Squad.


After Cyclops started a revolution in Washington, D.C., Sunfire sided with him. They came into conflict with the Inhumans, and something terrible happened that resulted in Cyclops' death. Sunfire was later seen with some other mutant refugees on Weirdworld when the X-Men arrived.[15]


Sunfire is an Alpha-mutant:[16]

Solar Flare: Shiro's mutant powers enable him to absorb solar and other radiation to generate the process of ionized matter (usually air) through a mentally-triggered unknown biochemical process so that it is converted to plasma, the superheated state of matter. Plasma is the state in which matter making up the sun exists; hence, Sunfire refers to his projecting "solar fire". Hence he can sheath his body in flame.

  • Flight: He can use his powers to create super-heated air currents which push him forward through the air, enabling him to fly. Sometimes this super-heated air is visible as a trail of flame behind Sunfire. The upper limit to the speed Sunfire can achieve in flight is not yet known, although it is known to be greater than that of the Angel, who can reach 150 miles per hour.
  • Plasma Blasts: He has the ability to project the flames he generates as powerful blasts of energy.
  • Plasma Emanation: Sunfire can generate plasma temperatures which match those that can be generated by the Human Torch, reaching about 1,000,000 degrees Fahrenheit at maximum level. He can also use his power in a massive blast similar to Johnny Storm's "Nova Burst". However, Shiro has much more control over the area of effect, enough to where one person may feel like they have been sunbathing all day to total incineration of another target.
  • Heat Signature Sense: He has the ability to sense beings by the heat signature that they give off.
  • Plasma Shield: He has the ability to manipulate the plasma around him to form an aura that can melt incoming bullets or stave off other attacks.

Solar Shielding Psi-field: He is protected from the heat and radiation he emits by a short-range psionic force field which automatically comes into being whenever there is air friction, and also prevents excessive amounts of light from the plasma from reaching his eyes so as to blind or damage them. Sunfire's body emits a protective field whenever he uses his powers. However, it is speculated that he can generate power in excess of his natural protection.

He has also retained some abilities from Apocalypse's enhancement:

  • Bio-Oxygen Generation: When Sunfire was transformed into the Horseman of Famine, he was given the ability to produce oxygen, allowing him to maintain his flames and breathe in areas lacking oxygen, like deep space.[17]


Martial Artist:Sunfire is trained in karate, Japanese Samurai swordsmanship, and kendo.[18]

Strength level

Normal human male with moderate regular exercise. Since his transformation into Famine, Shiro's strength is unknown.


Flight under his own power, formerly X-Men Stratojet.

  • Although Shiro never seemed to officially accept Professor Xavier's invitation of X-Men membership, he is considered a member.
  • Both "Yoshida" and "Yashida" seem to be correct spellings of his surname; however, while the word is plausible in the Japanese romanization system, "Yashida" as a family name does not exist.
  • When he was Famine his costume looked similar to that of his Earth-295/Age of Apocalypse counterpart.
  • According to the narration of Alpha Flight Vol 2 7 (February, 1998), Sunfire's grandfather was in Nagasaki during World War II. When the atomic bomb fell in the city, the grandfather was exposed to the radiation. He died of radiation poisoning. [19]

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