Friday, May 23, 2008

All-New, All-Different X-Men, X-tra: Sunfire

I occasionally miss the "All-New, All-Different X-Men", so from time-to-time over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to profile these seminal 1970's superstars, who radically transformed Marvel Comics for all time. My nostalgia is driven by the sad fact that we will NEVER see this grouping of characters together again within the pages of the same book for a monthly run .... and that just SUCKS!

Sunfire (Shiro Yoshida) first appeared in X-Men #64 (January 1970) by writer Roy Thomas and artist Don Heck. He is a temperamental and arrogant mutant who can generate superheated solar plasma and fly. Shiro's mother had suffered radiation poisoning due to exposure to the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. As a result of his mothers death, he grew to hate the United States and later attacked the U.S. Capitol, where he battled against the original X-Men. After this incident, Sunfire continued to have some presence within the greater Marvel Universe.

Professor Xavier ultimately recruited Sunfire to join a new team of X-Men to rescue his original team from Krakoa, the Living Island in Giant-Sized X-Men #1. Sunfire accompanied the fledgling X-Men on this mission, but then immediately resigned from the team before he ever actually received official membership. This was mainly due to his own personal arrogance and his irrational temper, but Sunfire was not really suited for teamwork. Despite being only very briefly a member of the X-Men, Shiro has maintained limited ties to the team ever since.

In my opinion, Sunfire is almost unrecognizable as the same character these days. (Above; left) several of Sunfire's pre-X-Men apps. & character illustrations for this & subsequent "X-Men X-tra's" by Bob McLeod.

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