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Sunfire

Real name: Shiro Yoshida
Other aliases: None
Identity: Secret, but known to the upper echelons of the Japanese Government
Occupation: (current) Adventurer, (former) Student
Legal status: Citizen of Japan with no criminal record
Place of birth: Agarashima, Japan
Marital status: Single
Known relatives: Saburo Yoshida (father, deceased), Tomo Yoshida (uncle, deceased), Shingen Harada (first cousin, once removed, deceased), Mariko Yashida (second cousin), Keniuchio Harada (The Silver Samurai, second half-cousin) Note: the dominant branch of this family transliterates its name into English as "Yashida" while Sunfire's branch transliterates it as "Yoshida"
Base of operations: (current) Department H, Canada, (former) Yoshida ancestral home, Tokyo, Japan
Group affiliation: (current) Alpha Flight, (former) The X-Men, the Pacific Overlords
First appearance: X-MEN (first series) #64

History: Sunfire's mother, although many miles from the center of Hiroshima, was severely affected by the explosion of the atomic bomb that the United States dropped on Hiroshima towards the end of World War II. She was left a hopeless invalid and she died years later giving birth to her son Shiro. Shiro's father, Saburo Yoshida, was a diplomat who was one of postwar Japan's greatest statesmen. When Saburo was absent from home on diplomatic missions, Shiro was left in the care of Saburo╬s brother Tomo, who was, however, fanatically anti-American. Ironically, while Saburo labored to maintain good relations between the United States and Japan, Tomo taught Shiro to share his hatred of Americans, whom Shiro regarded as his mother's murderers.

Tomo came to suspect that Shiro was a superhumanly powered mutant due to the effect of radiation on his mother's genes. Tomo brought Shiro to a site in Hiroshima and had him pick up some of the still slightly radioactive soil there. Touching the soil somehow triggered Shiro's first major release of his power. Under his uncle's encouragement, Shiro vowed to avenge Japan's wartime defeat by using his powers against the United States. Shiro trained himself in the use of his powers, assumed the name Sunfire, and adopted a costume reminiscent of the Japanese rising sun emblem.

Sunfire went to the United States where he destroyed a monument at the United Nations and clashed with the X-Men as he attempted to destroy the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Saburo Yoshida was present and attempted to persuade Sunfire not to destroy the Capitol. While Sunfire listened to Saburo, Tomo Yoshida fatally shot the diplomat. Furious, Sunfire then killed his uncle. Charges were not pressed against Sunfire due to his diplomatic immunity, and the upper levels of the United States and Japanese governments kept his true identity secret, allowing him to return to Japan.

Sunfire's anti-Americanism has considerably lessened over the years, although his nationalist pride is still strong. Professor Charles Xavier invited Sunfire to join the X-Men, but after a single mission with them, Sunfire resigned for various reasons including his unwillingness to leave Japan, his preference for operating solo, and his lack of ambition to act as a full-time costumed adventurer. However, Sunfire remained an ally of the X-Men and worked with them on various occasions. He has used his powers on special missions for the Japanese government as well.

Though generally considered an ally by most American crimefighters, Sunfire once fell under the hypnotic influence of the criminal called Dr. Demonicus, and thus became a member of his so-called Pacific Overlords. This brought Sunfire into conflict with the Avengers' West Coast branch (now defunct), and, fortunately, he was freed from Demonicus's thrall with the Avengers' aid. Sunfire returned to performing missions for his government as needed.

Recently, Sunfire was recruited by Department H, the recently reactivated branch of the Canadian Ministry of Defense, as a member of their government-sponsored super hero team, Alpha Flight.

Height: 5 ft. 10 in.
Weight: 175 lbs.
Eyes: Dark brown
Hair: Black

Strength level: Peak human

Fighting skills: Trained in karate and Japanese Samurai swordsmanship, kendo; expert in combat.

Known superhuman powers: Sunfire is a mutant with the power to ionize matter (usually air) through a mentally triggered unknown biochemical process so that it is converted to plasma, the super-heated state of matter. Plasma is the state in which matter making up the sun exists; hence, Sunfire refers to his projecting "solar fire." 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. Sunfire can temporarily exhaust his power by using it for too long a time, or at too high a level. The amount of the time he needs to rebuild his power depends on the extent to which he has used it. For example, achieving his maximum temperature would immediately exhaust his powers, and he would need an unspecified number of hours to rebuild his powers to their normal level.

Sunfire 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.

It is unknown whether Sunfire emits radiation when he utilizes his power. If he does, he is protected from at least its short-range effects by a psionic force field which automatically comes into being whenever Sunfire uses his power. The force field protects Sunfire from the intense heat he generates, as well as from air friction, and also prevents excessive amounts of light from the plasma from reaching his eyes so as to blind or damage them. Sunfire could be harmed by heat from another source if he was taken by surprise, and if he was not using his plasma powers at the time. Sunfire's force field is sufficiently powerful to protect him from Cyclops' quasi-solar optic blast. It is not known whether it can protect him from solid objects.

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