Armor
Artwork from X-Men: Nation X Vol 1 #3.
(April 2010).
Art by Dustin Weaver and Morry Holowel
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceAstonishing X-Men #4
(October 2004)
Created byJoss Whedon
John Cassaday
In-story information
Alter egoHisako Ichiki
SpeciesHuman mutant
Team affiliationsPaladins training squad
Xavier Institute
New X-Men
X-Men-In-Training
X-Men
Jean Grey School Students
Notable aliasesThe Shield
Abilities
  • Ability to generate an impenetrable psionic exoskeleton body armor:
    • Superhuman strength, reflexes, agility, endurance, stamina, dexterity, and durability
    • Concussive blast of energy projection

Armor (Hisako Ichiki (市来 久子, Ichiki Hisako)) is a superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday, the character first appeared in Astonishing X-Men vol. 3 #4.[1] Armor is a Japanese mutant who enrolled at the Xavier Institute as a teenager and retained her powers after the events of Decimation.

Publication history

Armor first appeared in Astonishing X-Men vol. 3 #4, and was created by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday.[2]

Fictional character biography

Student at Xavier's

Hisako Ichiki is a young girl whose greatest aspiration is one day to join the X-Men. While it was originally thought that Hisako was not a member of any of the X-Men's various training squads, a 2010 handbook entry reveals that she was a member of Kitty Pryde's Paladins squad.[3]

Along with her friend and fellow student, Wing (whom, after his death, she later describes as being her best friend), Hisako is attacked in the halls of the Xavier Institute by the alien villain Ord of the Breakworld. Hisako and Wing attempt to oppose Ord, but are overpowered. While both teenagers survive the attack, Wing discovers that he has been injected with a "cure" for his mutant ability of flight. Despondent, he commits suicide after some goading from a Danger Room hologram of her. In the wake of this tragedy, Hisako, her teacher Kitty Pryde, and several Xavier students find themselves trapped in a sentient and hostile Danger Room with Wing's reanimated corpse. Danger, as the intelligence is named by the X-Men, eventually leaves the institute.

When M-Day hit, she was one of 27 students to retain their powers. She participated in Emma Frost's Battle Royale which determined who will train to be a part of the X-Men. Hisako later appeared alongside the New X-Men when the Acolytes attack the mansion. Her appearance is extremely brief and with no dialogue. She is recognizable only because she "Armors up" during the fight.

Member of the X-Men

Hisako finds classmate Blindfold "crying" in the restroom.[4] While trying to comfort Blindfold, Blindfold tries to convince Hisako that they are soon "to lose another one", as Wolverine, believing he is a defenseless child due to the manipulations of Cassandra Nova, barges into the restroom, followed closely by the feral Beast. Beast attacks Blindfold, but Hisako uses her powers to fight off Beast with a large blast of psionic energy from her psi-body armor. Exhausting herself, she faints. Blindfold tells Hisako that someone is awake in the infirmary; they find the unconscious bodies of Colossus and Cyclops.[5]

Soon after, both Ord and Danger attack the mansion, where they are confronted by Hisako and then Wolverine where the young girl holds her own only to be wounded by Wolverine's claws. Although she only receives minor injuries, when Cassandra Nova chooses Hisako to be her new host body. It is unknown if Cassandra was successful in getting Emma Frost to transfer her consciousness into Hisako, as S.W.O.R.D. beams the team, Danger, Ord, and Hisako into a spaceship headed for the Breakworld.

The team and Hisako find that S.W.O.R.D. have abducted the X-Men and Hisako because they need heroes to fight a threat: Breakworld has a weapon capable of destroying the Earth. Ord sends the ship's coordinates to Breakworld's ruler, and he sends a fleet to attack the ship. The ship is heavily damaged and the X-Men are separated. Hisako ends up with Wolverine. Hisako is given membership to the X-Men and Shadowcat's uniform.

Later, Wolverine and Armor are captured as Emma and the remaining X-Men try to free Cyclops. It is then revealed through a flashback that Leviathan is a fake and that Wolverine and Armor were told to be captured so the X-Men would have men inside Kruun's palace. Kruun only captured and brought Cyclops back to life so as to question him about the fake Leviathan. Cyclops then uses his newly regained powers to knock out Kruun and free Wolverine and Armor.

Back on earth, Armor attempts to console Wolverine after losing Shadowcat by forcing him to fight/train with her.[6]

Messiah Complex

Main article: X-Men: Messiah Complex

During Messiah Complex, some of the New X-Men launch a pre-emptive strike against the Purifiers. Hisako joins them and while spying on the Purifers, she is impressed by X-23's senses. After breaking into the Washington base and getting into a brief tussle with the Purifers they are ambushed by the Reavers, who wound Hellion.[7] Pixie manages to teleport the team out, and they are spread between Washington and the institute.[8]

Hisako is brought back to the mansion by Iceman with the other New X-Men. When Predator X shows up at the mansion, Hisako teams up with Gentle and battles it in the infirmary. Pixie believes X-23 can defeat the monster and teleports it and the entire team, along with Hisako, to the battle between the Marauders and the X-Teams taking place on Muir Island.[9]

Manifest Destiny

Main article: X-Men: Manifest Destiny

Hisako is currently a full member of the X-Men and is working alongside them in San Francisco. She is currently receiving classes from Wolverine in combat and classes from Cyclops in tactics. She is thinking of changing her codename because Wolverine keeps mocking her for her choice of Armor. She later accompanies the team to a spaceship graveyard known as Chaparanga where she performs a fastball special with Wolverine and confronts a mysterious man, dubbed Subject X who they find fixing and restarting the eponymous "ghost box" in a spaceship. Subject X is defeated but kills himself rather than surrender information about his intentions and "the Annex".[10]

The X-Men locate Tian, which is an uncharted area of China that no surveillance or satellite system can get through, not even the Chinese government or Cerebra. The X-Men are able to sneak into Tian and discover the headquarters of a group of mutants from another dimension. Sadly, they seem to be dying because of the effects of M-Day.[11]

As Armor and Logan go off to search the temple for anyone else, they come across a man who can fire lasers from his fingers. Armor is shocked when the laser goes through her armor and hits her in the arm. After the X-Men take down their foes, they reveal to the X-Men they have a mutual friend, Forge.[12] After finding Forge on Mt. Wundegore and discovering he has gone mad, he tries to open the Ghost Box. Thanks to the assistance of Abigail Brand and Beast, who borrows Hisako's phone, Brand fires a world-destroying laser at the Ghost Box and the phone, destroying it as well as much of the area while the X-Men escape.[13]

She is also sharing a room with Pixie and X-23.[14] During an attack by the Red Queen's Sisterhood, Armor is shown scared and hiding with X-23 when they are attacked by Chimera only to be teleported out by Pixie before her attack could succeed.[15]

Utopia

Main article: Utopia (comics)

Hisako is seen watching the protests between Humanity Now and Pro-Mutant Rights protestors. Hisako is then seen during the riots in San Francisco with Karma, Match, Angel and Bling! trying to keep calm.[16] She is later made a part of a team by Cyclops to take down the Dark X-Men[17] and participates in the final fight against Norman Osborn's forces, teaming up with X-23 and Pixie in taking on Daken.[18]

Powers and abilities

Hisako can create and generate an enormously strong and impenetrable dark red-colored psionic exoskeleton body armor.[19] It grants her superhuman strength, reflexes, stamina, endurance, agility, dexterity, and durability.[20] The body armor is depicted as enveloping her completely and protects her from tremendously strong and powerful attacks and greatly strengthens and amplifies the concussive force behind her unusually offensive and highly destructive blows. In some depictions, her psionic armor grants her enough strength to lift a Skrull ground tank and punch someone through several walls of a building.

Hisako's armor is strong and durable enough to survive the heat caused from a long fall through the atmosphere. Likewise, she is able to fully withstand the impact from falling to the ground from high up in the atmosphere without any physical or external injury. She can also cause her armor to release a large amount of solid, concussive energy at once,[21] though this is initially a difficult task.[22] Her armor is vulnerable to lasers, which are able to pass through it and harm her. This vulnerability is explained when she states later that her armor still has to let light through.[12]

Adamantium is also able to pierce through Hisako's armor, such as Wolverine's claws, although he is not able to go through it with the rest of his body.[23] In this case, she only remained uninjured because the distance between her armor's perimeter and her body was slightly greater than the length of Wolverine's claws. She can shape her armor, such as her ability to form Wolverine-like claws and make them extend outward. In instances of extreme duress, Hisako is also able to expand her armor, greatly strengthening and increasing its size and shape around her, though her own body remains the same at its center.

Hisako's body armor is partially explained as being composed of something related to her family lineage and ancestors. It is later described as being composed of memory. This is stated in an issue of Wolverine: Origins, when Hisako's armor is able to withstand blows from the Muramasa blade, which can cut through any material, since memory is "the only material that the blade cannot cut through." Similarly, in Astonishing X-Men vol. 3 #39, Armor's armor expands and grows to the size of a building due to the fact she feels strongly about not attending her recently deceased mother and brother's wake.[24]

Hisako has also received combat training from Wolverine and classes in tactics from Cyclops.[25]

Reception

Critical reception

George Marston of Newsarama included Armor in their "20 X-Men characters that should make the jump from Marvel comics to the MCU" list.[26] Marc Buxton of Den of Geek included Armor in their "40 X-Men Characters Who Haven't Appeared in the Movies But Should" list.[27] CBR.com ranked Armor 5th in their "10 Best X-Men Mutants Who Haven't Been In A Movie Yet" list,[28] 5th in their "10 X-Men That Are Surprisingly More Powerful Than Hulk" list,[29] 6th in their "10 Powerful X-Mutants Who Still Haven't Shown Up On The Big Screen" list,[30] 7th in their "X-Men: 10 Classic Mutants The MCU Needs To Introduce ASAP" list,[31] 9th in their "10 Most Powerful Female X-Men" list,[32] 9th in their "Marvel's 15 Fiercest Female Mutants" list,[33] 9th in their "15 Most Powerful Ultimate Universe X-Men" list,[34] 12th in their "20 Most Physically Strong Mutants" list,[35] 15th in their "X-Men: The 15 Strongest Members Ever" list,[36] 17th in their "25 Strongest Marvel Mutants" list,[20] and 23rd in their "25 Most Powerful Young X-Men" list.[37] Darren Franich of Entertainment Weekly ranked Armor 58th in their "Let's rank every X-Man ever" list.[38]

Other versions

Earth-6160

On Earth-6160, its version of Armor is the main protagonist in the 2024 revival of Ultimate X-Men by Peach Momoko.

During the "Ultimate Invasion" storyline, Maker visited Earth-6160 and started remaking it into his own image. Hisako Ichiki lives in Hi no Kune. While riding her bicycle, a car collides with her. While the driver was seriously injured, Hisako leaves without a scratch on her.[39]

On March at Kirigaya Minami Middle School, Hisako Ichiki arrives to attend her middle school graduation. She gets an anonymous note telling her to meet the anonymous writer at the temple in the mountain behind the school as their time as come with it signed "a friend". Hisako gets a call from her mother stating that she will be working late again and to eat with her grandmother. Upon arrival at the temple, Hisako meets a shadowy figure who gives her a special charm and mentions how they both knew Tsubasa until he passed away. The shadowy figure tells Hisako that it is now time for vengeance. After the shadowy figure disappeared, Hisako ran to her bicycle and drove away. Just then, a car drives towards her as a pink armored figure ends up saving her with the car getting wrecked. The next day, the news of the car accident is known as Hisako is called to have lunch with her mother and grandmother. Hisako heads out as her mother advises her to bring her key as she will be working late again. Leaving flowers at the temple, Hisako is confronted by the shadowy figure again who salvaged Hisako's diploma from the crime scene and once again offers Hisako to join up with him. When the shadowy figure tries to attack Hisako, she manifests the pink armored figure again who fights off the shadowy figure as he claims that it is too late. Hisako gets a call from someone stating that Tsubasa's coach has hung himself. Hisako then notes that something unimaginable is happening.[40]

While lying on her bed, Hisako Ichiki dreams about when she talked with Tsubasa. After waking up upon seeing the same shadowy figure in her dream, Hisako heads out to her motorcycle-riding class. After stopping at a hill, Hisako is approached by a female who recognizes her as the one from the car wreck. She introduces herself as Mei Igarashi and shows Hisako a robotic dog. Arriving at her school, Hisako states to Mei that she got a similar not to come hear just like she got a note to go to the shrine. Then she mentions about a shadowy figure and how a teacher of hers had died. Upon finding a stuffed animal, Hisako and Mei are confronted by a security guard. The shadowy figure is found in the room where the stuffed animal came from stating that the three bullies that picked on Tsubasa are no longer around. The security guard then disintegrates as the shadowy figure chases after Hisako and Mei. Just then, Mei suddenly emits a gust of wind and Hisako then manifests a pink armored figure around herself. It then cuts to a man who recoils from the attack on the shadowy figure as he comments that he knows he's seen that female somewhere. He then sees a picture of Hisako. At the Iridori High School entrance ceremony, Hisako narrates about three boys who were found hanging at their old middle school. She then finds that Mei is her classmate. Hisako officially introduces herself.[41]

After flashing back to when she last used a Japanese spirit board, Hisako Ichiki finds a 10 yen coin on the ground as Mei considers it lucky. Mei also tells Hisako that she doesn't know how the wind attack she caused happened as she assumes that it happened when she needed it badly. During a game of kickball Hisako also gets Mei familiar with Nico Minoru who she claims has something strange about her and that her parents are psychic. After a classmate tells Hisako and Mei not to be on their phones while on the bench, Nico figures out that Hisako and Mei are mutants too. This leaves Hisako and Mei confused about that comment.[42]

Hisako and Mei prepare for a test. Later that day, Hisako goes to her mom's restaurant to help out where she noticed a scratch on her bike. While bike riding, she is approached by a person named Amano who thinks that Hisako knows what happened to the boys who killed themselves. While trying to ride away, Hisako is ambushed by the shadowy figure who has possessed Amano. After the shadowy person attack and then retreated with his host, Hisako was seen using her abilities which is witnessed by a bunch of people including Mei who reluctantly uses her lightning powers to get people to stop filming. A few days later after getting their tests back, Hisako and Mei find that one person's phone was overlooked and the footage is leaked on to the Internet.[43]

Leader of the X-Men

In Runaways, a time-displaced future version of Gertrude Yorkes mentioned a future team of X-Men led by Hisako. Like Gertrude's Avengers, they were decimated by the villainous incarnation of Victor Mancha, known as "Victorious". Hisako and Gert are stated to be the last of the X-Men and Avengers, respectively and Hisako mentions that she does not have enough energy to generate her armor in a fight against Victorious.[44]

Ghost Boxes

In a variation of the Ghost Boxes storyline, two alternate versions of Hisako have been depicted. The first is a different ending to Astonishing X-Men vol. 3 #26. Cyclops and Wolverine are taken out by the Annex. The Annex then opens a Ghost Box and a Sentinel merged Magneto comes through and kills Emma Frost and Storm leaving Hisako the only surviving member of the Astonishing X-Men.[45]

In another alternate future, set 5 years after the Annex destroy the world, Hisako, Beast, who now has a childlike mentality, and Wolverine, who uses a wheelchair, are the last people on Earth. Kitty Pryde apparently returns to Earth and organizes an evacuation. After traveling to the evacuation point and finding out it was really a trap, Hisako breaks Beast's neck and burns Wolverine until his healing factor cancels out and dies leaving her as the last of the X-Men and possibly the last person on Earth.[46]

Ultimate Marvel

The Ultimate Marvel version of Hisako first appears as a young Japanese child being held captive in one of William Stryker Jr.'s Mutant internment camps. After being rescued by Iceman and Husk, she joins their Mutant resistance movement. In this continuity, Hisako's energy armor takes the form of a large, glowing dragon.[47]

When the Ultimate Universe was destroyed during the "Secret Wars" storyline, Armor was one of the few inhabitants to slip through the cracks of reality and ended up in the Prime universe. Disorientated and slightly amnesic from her ordeal, she was found by the villain Miss Sinister and brainwashed. Operating as part of Miss Sinister's New Marauders, she was forced to attack the X-Men against her will.[48]

In other media

References

  1. ^ Adams, Tim (2019-12-08). "Forget 'Make More Mutants' - An X-Man Wants to Find Missing Mutants". CBR. Retrieved 2023-03-16.
  2. ^ DeFalco, Tom; Sanderson, Peter; Brevoort, Tom; Teitelbaum, Michael; Wallace, Daniel; Darling, Andrew; Forbeck, Matt; Cowsill, Alan; Bray, Adam (2019). The Marvel Encyclopedia. DK Publishing. p. 28. ISBN 978-1-4654-7890-0.
  3. ^ The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z, vol. 13 (2010)
  4. ^ Astonishing X-Men vol. 3 #15
  5. ^ Astonishing X-Men vol. 3 #16
  6. ^ Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1
  7. ^ New X-Men vol. 2 #44 (2008)
  8. ^ X-Men vol. 2 #205 (2008)
  9. ^ New X-Men vol. 2 #46 (2008)
  10. ^ Astonishing X-Men vol. 3 #26
  11. ^ Astonishing X-Men vol. 3 #27
  12. ^ a b Astonishing X-Men vol. 3 #28
  13. ^ Astonishing X-Men vol. 3 #30
  14. ^ The Uncanny X-Men #505
  15. ^ The Uncanny X-Men #510
  16. ^ Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia #1
  17. ^ Dark Avengers #8
  18. ^ Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus One-shot
  19. ^ Davidson, Chris (2017-03-14). "The 15 Most Powerful Power Suits In Comics". CBR. Retrieved 2022-11-11.
  20. ^ a b Lealos, Shawn S. (2018-05-20). "The 25 Strongest Marvel Mutants, Officially Ranked". CBR. Retrieved 2022-11-11.
  21. ^ Astonishing X-Men, vol. 3 #15
  22. ^ Death of Wolverine: Life After Logan #1
  23. ^ Astonishing X-Men vol. 3 #13
  24. ^ Astonishing X-Men vol. 3 #39 preview
  25. ^ Astonishing X-Men vol. 3 #25
  26. ^ George Marston (2022-11-03). "20 X-Men characters that should make the jump from Marvel comics to the MCU". gamesradar. Retrieved 2022-11-11.
  27. ^ Buxton, Marc (2017-02-03). "40 X-Men Characters Who Haven't Appeared in the Movies But Should". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2022-11-11.
  28. ^ Cunis, Peter (2022-07-19). "The 10 Best X-Men Mutants Who Haven't Been In A Movie Yet". CBR. Retrieved 2022-11-11.
  29. ^ Suppa, Nicolas (2020-05-11). "10 X-Men That Are Surprisingly More Powerful Than Hulk". CBR. Retrieved 2022-11-11.
  30. ^ Ashford, Sage (2019-07-24). "X-Men: 10 Powerful X-Mutants Who Still Haven't Shown Up On The Big Screen". CBR. Retrieved 2022-11-11.
  31. ^ Harn, Darby (2020-11-11). "X-Men: 10 Classic Mutants The MCU Needs To Introduce ASAP". CBR. Retrieved 2022-11-11.
  32. ^ Lealos, Shawn S. (2019-05-24). "The 10 Most Powerful Female X-Men". CBR. Retrieved 2022-11-11.
  33. ^ Cardona, Ian (2018-05-22). "Hath No Fury: Marvel's 15 Fiercest Female Mutants, Ranked By Raw Power". CBR. Retrieved 2022-11-11.
  34. ^ Thompson, Jonathan (2020-05-21). "The 15 Most Powerful Ultimate Universe X-Men, Ranked". CBR. Retrieved 2022-11-11.
  35. ^ Gordon, Michael (2018-12-22). "Powerhouse Of M: The 20 Most Physically Strong Mutants, Ranked". CBR. Retrieved 2022-11-11.
  36. ^ Cronin, Brian (2016-11-28). "X-Men: The 15 Strongest Members Ever". CBR. Retrieved 2022-11-11.
  37. ^ Webber, Tim (2018-11-25). "Generation Next: The 25 Most Powerful Young X-Men". CBR. Retrieved 2022-11-11.
  38. ^ June 09, Darren Franich Updated; EDT, 2022 at 12:31 PM. "Let's rank every X-Man ever". EW.com. Retrieved 2023-01-26.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  39. ^ Ultimate Universe #1. Marvel Comics.
  40. ^ Ultimate X-Men Vol. 2 #1. Marvel Comics.
  41. ^ Ultimate X-Men Vol. 2 #2. Marvel Comics.
  42. ^ Ultimate X-Men Vol. 2 #3. Marvel Comics.
  43. ^ Ultimate X-Men Vol. 2 #4. Marvel Comics.
  44. ^ Runaways vol. 2 #2
  45. ^ Astonishing X-Men: Ghost Boxes #1
  46. ^ Astonishing X-Men: Ghost Boxes #2
  47. ^ Ultimate Comics X-Men #17
  48. ^ X-Men: Blue #4. Marvel Comics.
  49. ^ Mercado, Julia (2022-11-02). "10 Great American TV Shows You Didn't Know Had an Anime Adaptation". Collider. Retrieved 2022-11-11.
  50. ^ "SDCC: G4 Announces New Marvel Anime Series". Superhero Hype!. 2010-07-26. Archived from the original on 28 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
  51. ^ Holtey, Quain (2022-11-02). "Marvel Snap: The 10 Best Ongoing Effects". TheGamer. Retrieved 2023-03-16.
  52. ^ Tassi, Paul. "The Best 'Marvel Snap' Spectrum Destroyer Deck For Climbing The Ladder". Forbes. Retrieved 2023-03-16.