Yuriko Oyama was born in Osaka, Japan. Her father was Lord Dark Wind, a Japanese crime lord and criminal scientist who created the process by which adamantium can be bonded to bone. Kenji was a former Japanese kamikaze pilot during World War II. His face was horribly scarred in a failed suicide attack on an American battleship. Feeling shamed by his failure decades earlier, he scarred the faces of Yuriko and her two brothers in a ritual design. Her two brothers would later die while in the service of their father. Yuriko teamed up with Daredevil to free her lover, Kiro, from her father's servitude, and to gain vengeance against her father for her scarring and the death of her two brothers. She guided Daredevil to Lord Dark Wind's private island in search of Bullseye. When Yuriko slew Lord Dark Wind (just as he was about to kill Daredevil), the devoted Kiro chose suicide to honor his master. Distraught, Yuriko belatedly embraced her father's ideals and sought to track down whoever dishonored him and restore Japan's honor. She adopted a costumed identity, as a samurai warrior. She attempted to rediscover her father's adamantium bonding process. Her trail led to Wolverine, whose skeleton had been bonded with adamantium, which she desired to retrieve for study. Deathstrike sought to kill him to right the wrong what she considered the theft of her father's theories and thus restore her family's honor, ignoring the fact that Wolverine had been forcibly enhanced with adamantium; however, Yuriko and her followers were defeated by Wolverine and Vindicator of Alpha Flight.
She then went to the Mojoverse and sought Spiral's "body shoppe" where she received extensive cybernetic enhancements including adamantium bones and talons. As a cyborg, she became a professional criminal, and joined forces with former Hellfire Club mercenaries-turned-cyborgs Cole, Macon, and Reese. The four cyborgs stalked Wolverine and Katie Power in New York. Lady Deathstrike — along with Cole, Macon, and Reese — joined the team of criminal cyborgs called the Reavers, led by Donald Pierce. Together, the Reavers captured and crucified Wolverine. She was accidentally teleported along with Wolverine and Puck to 1937 Spain. There, she joined forces with a Luftwaffe unit, and battled Wolverine. Her right arm was destroyed by a tank, and when she returned to the present she was given a new right arm. The Reavers gang was broken up by Trevor Fitzroy's Sentinels and most of them were destroyed, though Deathstrike herself survived. She later battled Wolverine and Sabretooth in Times Square.
At times she has resigned her quest to kill Logan and has even worked with the X-Men cooperatively toward a common goal, such as the defeat of Stryfe. In an encounter with Logan shortly after Magneto removed the adamantium from his skeleton, Lady Deathstrike again encounters Puck and Vindicator. The fight with Wolverine destroys much of Vinidcator's house and ends when Wolverine reveals his bone claws. Lady Deathstrike is shocked and examines them closely. As Logan no longer possessed the adamantium stolen from her father, she now feels there was no honor to be gained by killing him. She leaves the premises peacefully. However she still remains a mercenary and an assassin. Despite all this, Yuriko is set apart from many of the X-Men's foes in that she adheres to an honor code, despite being emotionally disturbed. When Captain America unexpectedly appears in Japan after a year spent in another dimension, he manages to find Lady Deathstrike working with terrorists. Their goals were to drive American influence out of Japan, by any means possible, including mass murder. Captain America defeats her before any innocent lives are lost. Deathstrike resurfaced as an ally of William Stryker. She displays a new ability to access the Internet via her cybernetics but this led to her being co-opted and controlled by Mount Haven's computer systems. Deathstrike was responsible for mutilating and nearly killing Sunfire, whose legs she severed in battle. Dying, he had Rogue absorb his powers so she could battle Deathstrike. The X-Men later went to see where Sunfire's body had been left, only to see it had disappeared. He later resurfaced as one of the new Horsemen of Apocalypse.
Following her confrontation with Rogue and Sunfire, Deathstrike resurfaced as a member of one of the United States government's Army of Thunderbolts in the super hero Civil War, temporarily released from prison in order to go after the Secret Avengers, who resisted the Superhuman Registration Act. She fights alongside other criminals such as Venom, Jester, Bullseye, Jack O'Lantern, Taskmaster, and Songbird. She participates in the final battle of the Civil War in Times Square, New York, before being sent to the Negative Zone Prison.
Deathstrike returns during the Messiah Complex story to play an important role in the series, facing off against X-23 . This was confirmed by IGN Comics, who, in their editorial analysis "13 Days of Messiah Complex," revealed that Deathstrike would be leading a new team of Reavers throughout the event. As reported, Deathstrike appears alongside the Reavers, now made up of nameless Purifiers with armor and weapons instead of any former members. Having allied with the Purifiers to destroy mutant-kind, Deathstrike leads the new Reaver team against the New X-Men, gravely wounding Hellion in the process. Her armor was destroyed by X-23 and Rockslide. She appears again in pursuit of Cable and the mutant newborn where she battled X-Force and X-23 again and X-23 nearly kills her.
Deathstrike is apparently saved from death due to the actions of Spiral, as she is later seen under repair in Spiral's Body Shoppe when Madelyne Pryor approaches Spiral with an invitation of membership in her Sisterhood of Mutants. Despite not originally being approached to join the Sisterhood, Deathstrike accepts Pryor's offer nonetheless. It appears that while Spiral repaired Deathstrike's body, she also gave her a more submissive personality, as during missions with the Sisterhood, she continually does whatever she is told, while referring to Spiral as "Mistress". After the Sisterhood resurrects Psylocke, they finally make their move on the X-Men, with Deathstrike being tasked to take down Wolverine, by piercing his lungs. Deathstrike kept Wolverine busy while the Sisterhood raided his room for one of his most treasured possessions: a lock of Jean Grey's hair. After the demise of the Red Queen, she escaped with Spiral and the remaining members of the Sisterhood.
Powers and Abilities
Lady Deathstrike possesses various superhuman attributes as a result of allowing herself to be transformed into a cyborg.
- Superhuman Strength: Lady Deathstrike is superhumanly strong and is capable of lifting about 1 ton with supreme effort.
- Superhuman Speed: Deathstrike is capable of running and moving at speeds greater than the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Stamina: Deathstrike's artificial musculature produces less fatigue toxins than the natural musculature of an ordinary human. She can physically exert herself at peak capacity for several hours before fatigue begin to impair her.
- Superhuman Agility: Her agility, balance, and bodily coordination have all been enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Her reflexes are similarly enhanced and are superior to those of even the finest human athlete.
- Cybernetic Healing Factor: As as result of receiving an upgrade from Donald Pierce, Deathstrike is able to rapidly repair damage done to both her cybernetic and organic parts within a brief period of time. She has proven capable of fully repairing damaged or destroyed cybernetic and organic tissues inflicted by Wolverine's Adamantium claws within the span of a few minutes. The more extensive the damage, the longer her reconfiguration program takes to repair her body.
- Cyberpathy: Deathstrike is able to cybernetically interface her consciousness with external computer systems, allowing for direct data access to her brain's memory centers and granting her the ability to remotely operate such systems.
Lady Deathstrike is a supremely skilled martial artist, considered an expert in the art of Kenjutsu and other samurai warrior skills. She is an accomplished pilot of various aircraft and seacraft, and is fluent in both Japanese and English.
Lady Deathstrike formerly wore a wristband that contained instrumentation capable of detecting Adamantium.
Adamantium Skeleton and Claws: Lady Deathstrike's skeleton has been infused with Adamantium. As a result, her bones have been rendered virtually unbreakable. Her fingers have been replaced with 12 inch Adamantium claws that she is capable of extending to twice that length. Her claws are capable of cutting almost any known material, with the exceptions of Adamantium itself and Captain America's Shield. Her ability to slice completely through a substance depends upon both the amount of force she can exert and the thickness of the substance. Prior to her transformation into a cyborg, Lady Deathstrike wielded a five-foot-long electromagnetically tempered steel katana. The weapon was destroyed after it shattered against Vindicator's personal force field. She subsequently used a high-powered, long-range blaster that fired armor-piercing explosive bullets, and has also used grenades of great explosive force.
Significant Comic Issues
Allied with Daredevil, exacted revenge on father (Daredevil #197-199, 1983); adopted costumed identity, sought to retrieve Wolverine's Adamantium skeleton, defeated by Vindicator/Heather Hudson (Alpha Flight #33-34, 1985); transformed into cyborg, vs Wolverine (Uncanny X-Men #205, 1986); with Reavers, crucified Wolverine (Uncanny X-Men #251, 1989); with Reavers, vs Muir Island X-Men & Freedom Force (Uncanny X-Men #253-254, 1989); traveled into past, vs Wolverine (Wolverine #35-38, 1991); left Reavers during Sentinel attack (Uncanny X-Men #281, 1991); gave up quest for Wolverine's Adamantium (Wolverine #76-77, 1993); with Reavers, vs Domino (Domino #1-3, 1997); possessed by Ogun, vs Wolverine (Wolverine #114, 1997); vs Captain America (Captain America #1, 1998); alongside X-Men, vs Stryfe's Prime Sentinels (X-Men 2000 Annual, 2000); alongside Omega Red, attacked Yukio, captured Amiko, betrayed by Sabretooth (Wolverine #173-175, 2002)