An interesting issue from Marvel’s Bronze Age was Daredevil #111, which introduced the Silver Samurai to readers for the first time. The Silver Samurai, Kenuichio Harada, proved to be a nuisance for several of Marvel’s greatest heroes, including Daredevil, Spider-Man, Black Widow, and, probably most notably, Wolverine.
Harada is a Japanese mutant who has the ability to “charge” his katana via a tachyon field; his style of fighting and silvery armor are what gave him his nickname. He was most often seen alongside the Viper, where he acted as her bodyguard, though he wasn’t shy to mercenary work either. Over the years he was quite the problem for a number of people due to his nature of committing crimes, but he had some periods where he wasn’t all bad. In fact, the Silver Samurai was actually the leader of the original Japanese superhero team, Big Hero 6 (which of course today is maybe best-known as a Disney film). Unfortunately, he ended up being brainwashed by Blindspot into forgetting his heroic deeds and returned to his antagonistic lifestyle.
The Silver Samurai has appeared in a number of different types of Marvel media, from the popular 1990s X-Men cartoon to the Marvel vs. Capcom 2 video game. An altered version of the character also appeared in the 2013 live-action film, The Wolverine; this iteration of the Silver Samurai was named Ichiro Yashida, who used a robotic suit made of adamantium to battle the film’s titular character.
Hake’s Americana & Collectibles’ current auction is presenting a rare chance to own not just the issue that started it all for the Silver Samurai – Daredevil #111 – but the original cover art for the book as well. The image features dynamic layouts and pencils by Ron Wilson, who has long been known for his extensive work on Marvel titles ranging from Marvel Two-in-One to The Thing. The artwork and the issue have been custom framed in order to preserve the artwork without necessarily needing to have it restored, though the winning bidder will certainly have the option to do so given the way the piece has been framed. The art presents well and comes framed as shown, and while the original art has issues, it displays fine as currently framed.
Interested parties are encouraged to get bids in soon, as the auction will close on March 15, 2018.