Uncanny Avengers Vol 1 8 Textless.jpg
Real Name
Shiro Yoshida
Current Alias
Famine, Taiyo Kaji, Japan's Ichiban (number one) Son
Tomo Yoshida (paternal uncle, deceased);

Shingen Harada (paternal uncle, deceased);
unnamed aunt;
Saburo Yoshida (father, deceased);
Yashida (mother, deceased);
Leyu Yoshida (Sunpyre) (paternal half-sister, deceased);
Mariko Yashida (cousin);
Keniuchio Harada (Silver Samurai) (cousin, deceased);
Yoshi (cousin, deceased);
Ichiro (cousin);
Fukuko (cousin by marriage);
Noburu-Hideki (cousin by marriage, deceased);
Rikuto (1st cousin once removed, deceased);
Shin Harada (Silver Samurai) (1st cousin once removed);

Amiko Kobayashi (foster 1st cousin once removed)
Living Status
Marital Status
Adventurer; former Horseman of Apocalypse, teacher


Unusual Skin Color
Black (formerly)
Unusual Features
None, formerly the right side of his body was tainted black from Zero Fluid.
Mutant enhanced by Apocalypse
Place of Birth
Creators and Appearances
First Appearance
Quote1.png 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.png
Sunfire (Shiro Yoshida)[src]


Early Years

Shiro's mother died 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.[1]

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.[2]

Having redeemed himself, Sunfire was accepted as Japan’s protector. When Captain America and Namor battled in Osaka over a piece of the Evil Eye as part of the Avengers/Defenders War, Sunfire interrupted them and took the Eye for himself, feeling neither of them had the right to fight over it in his homeland. He held it for a brief moment before Namor knocked him out of the sky, causing it to fall into Captain America's hands.[3]

Wanting to regain honor in Japan, he took it upon himself to advance Japan's reconstruction work in Vietnam. While there, a Vietnamese Major proposed an agreement for him to eliminate Iron Man to gain top priority from his government, which in actuality was just a deception to off the Golden Avenger for his benefit. Sunfire gladly agreed, thinking that he'd be taking out the bodyguard of Tony Stark, whose corporation rivaled those of Japan's. Sunfire ambushed Iron Man and Roxanne Gilbert, and the two heroes proceeded to fight, lasting until Sunfire suddenly teleported to Mandarin's underwater base. Mandarin, who at the time remained trapped in Unicorn's dying body, baited the trapped Sunfire into powering his Mind-Exchange Machine with even more energy than he needed, returning him and Unicorn to their proper bodies.[4]

Later, Iron Man attacked Mandarin's base, resulting in the bonds of the device confining Sunfire loosening. Realizing the potential for his escape, he distracted Mandarin from his attempt at freedom by indulging him in his egotistic explanations of his plan. Soon afterwards, Iron Man entered the base, and Sunfire continued to try to escape while he fought Mandarin. The ensuing destruction of Iron Man and Mandarin's fight resulted in the base flooding, and Sunfire nearly drowned, only for Iron Man to return to save him. He said it was a deed he'd never forget. The two then combined their powers to destroy his bonds, which rendered Sunfire unconscious, and Iron Man brought him onto a floating piece of wreckage.[5]

After regaining consciousness, Sunfire endeavored to defeat Ultimo, whom Mandarin summoned to take back his fortress from Yellow Claw. He had very little success, though, due to using up most of his sun power earlier. Sunfire tried to use his remaining sun power to fly away, but he wasn't fast enough and ended up in its grasp. Fortunately, Iron Man managed to free him, and they worked together again to trick the alien robot into burying itself under a mountain. He and Iron Man parted ways, and Sunfire reconsidered his views of America.[6]


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.[7] After the mission, Sunfire left the team,[8] but their paths would cross again. Most notably when the X-Men stopped Moses Magnum's plot to destroy Japan with earthquakes.[9]

Sunfire was named as one of the mythical "Twelve" by Apocalypse, representing the power of nature along with Storm and Iceman.[10]

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.[11]

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.[12]

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.[citation needed]

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.[13]


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.[14]

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. [15] 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.[16]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Sunfire as Famine

During his time as Famine, Shiro attacked the X-Men, using his flares to give their 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 while Gambit as Death and Polaris as Pestilence were captured. Despite Apocalypse being defeated and having escaped, Shiro was still under his mental control and tried to save his former horsemen from the X-Men. While Polaris was able to refuse Shiro's offer, Gambit went with him. Shiro 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 a mutant army to find Destiny's diaries.[citation needed]


Under Sinister's guidance, Gambit and Shiro were re-brainwashed, 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 attacked Cable alongside Gambit 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.[citation needed]

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 wandered for a year in a drunk haze.[citation needed]

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 regarded himself as disgraced and no longer a superhero. Wolverine told him what the Red Skull had done to Charles Xavier, which prompted Shiro to accept.[17]

Shiro later assisted Rogue in fighting off the Grim Reaper, which ended with her killing him. He then joined Captain America on a trip to the Peak to review footage of the Apocalypse Twins, who appeared and attacked the Peak. Shiro wanted to stay and fight, but Captain America convinced him otherwise; when Captain America's escape pod wouldn't open. Shiro sacrificed his pod to save Captain America. As the escape pods drifted away, the Twins' ship blasted the Peak in half. Shiro fell to Earth, but managed to survive.[citation needed]

While destroying a huge chunk of debris that threatened to destroy a city, he met up with Thor, who also came to destroy the debris. They traveled to an old Apocalypse base and found a recording which revealed that Wolverine and his X-force killed the child Apocalypse and then later Dark Angel, the twins' father.[citation needed]

Shiro joined Wolverine in the team's dispute alongside Thor and Rogue. He later found Wolverine, after he had been crucified by Daken. Sunfire later learned of Scarlet Witch's betrayal of the team, and paired 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.[citation needed]

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. Beforehand, however, he used his power to transform his body into a state of pure energy that could absorb most of the Celestials' energy.[18]


Months later, Sunfire and the Unity Squad traveled 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 deployed two Stark Sentinels, a model of Sentinel programmed with knowledge of different superheroes that allowed them to turn the heroes' strengths against them.[19] Sunfire was captured along with the other heroes and stored within one of the Stark Sentinels after being shrunk using Pym Particles.[20]

Sunfire and the other heroes were freed when Magneto led a team of super-villains against the Stark Sentinels. Scarlet Witch and Doctor Doom then defeated 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.[21]

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 coexistence between humans and mutants. The heroes wanted to stand above them, with the help of Evan Sabahnur, who had become Apocalypse due to the inversion spell.[22]

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.[23] 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.[24]

Sunfire and the X-Men got into a fight with the Astonishing Avengers formed from Magneto's team of supervillains that had been inverted on Genosha. The X-Men defeated them,[25] but an inverted Carnage sacrificed himself to prevent the X-Men's gene bomb from killing all non-mutants.[26] 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.[27] 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.[28]

X-Men Disassembled

Shiro was one of the many mutants that opposed the crazed X-Man from remaking the world in his image. When X-Man realized that his vision of the world would never come about with the X-Men around, X-Man made his enemies vanish in an instant, including Shiro.[29]

Age of X-Man

Shiro and the other mutants were transported to a different reality created by X-Man and a Life Seed, a world where everyone on Earth was a mutant and familial and romantic relationships were strongly discouraged or illegal. Sunfire became a Civil Management instructor at the Summers Institute for Higher Learning in Westchester County. Like its mainstream reality counterpart, Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, the Summers Institute taught mutant children how to control their mutant abilities. Dean Angel showed new arrival, Luna, the classroom where Shiro was seen teaching his students how to keep and manage the peace.[30][31]

Mr. Yoshida was later seen telling everyone about embarking on the mentorship program with Department X clerks. They had a special guest from the department, Psylocke, who shared with the students on the daily routine of the clerks.[31]

Fearing the threat of the mutant drug Unveil and its impact on her friends, Pixie interrupted a meeting between Sunfire and Dean Angel to express her concerns about Anole and Armor. Warren immediately called in Department X to deal with the issue. Blob and Psylocke arrived to investigate and were let into Anole's room by Warren and Sunfire.[32]

Although not shown on panel, it can be assumed that Sunfire returned to the mainstream reality with the rest of the trapped mutants through Nate Grey's portals.[33]

Powers and Abilities

Power Grid[38]
Energy Projection4
Fighting Skills4


Sunfire is an Alpha-mutant:[34]

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.[35]


Martial Artist: Sunfire is trained in karate, Japanese Samurai swordsmanship, and kendo.[36]

Physical Strength

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. [37]

See Also

Links and References


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