|First appearance||Godzilla #6 (Jan 1978)|
|Created by||Doug Moench and Herb Trimpe|
Red Ronin is a gigantic humanoid robotic construct (a mecha) in the Marvel Comics universe. Originally created by writer Doug Moench and artist Herb Trimpe as a foil for Godzilla, the robot went on to be a menace to other Marvel characters such as the Avengers and Wolverine.
Red Ronin's design was influenced by those of the super robots that were the staple of anime during the 1970s. Super robots first came into the notice of American pop culture in the form of the Gigantor (Tetsujin 28) anime series that was imported into the United States from Japan during the 1960s. Mattel's line of imported Shogun Warriors toys became popular in the United States during the late 1970s, the same time period that Red Ronin first appeared in Marvel Comics. Indeed, then Marvel Editor-In-Chief Archie Goodwin admitted that Red Ronin's basic design was inspired by the super robots of anime.
Fictional character biography
Red Ronin was developed with the assistance of Stark International by engineers and scientists Tamara Hashioka and Yuriko Takiguchi, and constructed in Detroit, Michigan. It was intended to be used by S.H.I.E.L.D. as a combat instrument against the monster Godzilla. Before it could be utilized for this purpose, the robot was stolen by Takiguchi's twelve-year-old grandson Rob. Originally referred to as SJ3RX, the robot was named Red Ronin by the youngster.
After an initial attempt to control the robot failed and it went on an accidental rampage, Rob succeeded in piloting Red Ronin into battle with Godzilla, in an attempt to drive the beast off. Rob wished to prevent the radioactive creature from being harmed and his attempts to ward the monster off of the San Diego missile base were designed to actually preserve his life. He succeeded in doing so and it was discovered that Ronin had been imprinted with Rob's brain patterns, making the robot useless without him to pilot it. Red Ronin refused to respond to James Woo's brain patterns once imprinted with Robert's.
Rob stole aboard Red Ronin again, and confronted Godzilla and the monster Yetrigar in the Grand Canyon, causing a landslide that buried Yetrigar. Alongside Godzilla, he then battled the alien monsters Triax, Krollar and Rhiahn outside Salt Lake City, Utah. During the battle, Rhiahn decapitated Ronin, leaving Godzilla to finish the fight alone. Rob survived, but the robot was left inactive.
S.H.I.E.L.D. eventually rebuilt the robot with the aid of Stark technicians. One such technician, Earl Cowan, altered the robot so it would only respond to his brain patterns, similarly to how it had previously been linked to Rob Takaguchi. Cowan intended to use Ronin to orchestrate a series of events that would set off World War III with the Soviet Union. Cowan was completely ignorant of the shortest aerial route to the USSR and went eastward instead of going north and passed over New York City. This allowed the Avengers to intercept and defeat Red Ronin as it rampaged in New York harbor. The robot was torn to scrap in the melee, and its remains were carried off by S.H.I.E.L.D.
Stane International eventually gained possession of the remains. A scientist named Karaguchi Inoyawa rebuilt the robot, hoping to use it as a force for good. The robot was displayed by Stane at a trade show at the Pontiac Silverdome. While there it was commandeered by vengeful ex-Stane employee Joe Kilman who caused it to go on a rampage. This time Inoyawa guided the Wasp in deactivating Ronin.
Ronin eventually wound up in the hands of Fujikawa Electronics. It was altered to look even more like a samurai in appearance. Numerous military and criminal organizations such as the Hand attempted to gain possession of the mechanoid, but were foiled by Wolverine and Sunfire.
Red Ronin has since "joined" the Thunderbolts during the Civil War series. Tony Stark mentioned in the "Civil War Files" one-shot working on that version and that the Fixer is likely all over it, though he was never seen in any battles during the event.
In the limited series titled The Loners, readers are introduced to a character known only as Namie, since she was amnesiac after breaking out of a facility producing Mutant Growth Hormone. Julie Power looks after her while the other members of the group try to figure out what to do with her, but before anything can be decided, they are brought into a fight with Phil Urich, who went insane and stole the Darkhawk armor, where Namie helped to bring him down. However, in the aftermath, Phil spills the beans on a deal made between Turbo and Fuyumi Fujikawa that would have sold out the rest of the team, but he struck a new deal with her where he and Hollow would return to Fujikawa, while the Loners kept Namie, who is revealed to be the new Red Ronin UJ1-DX model and a cyborg.
Dark Reign: Zodiac
A version of the classic Red Ronin appears in issue 2 of Dark Reign: Zodiac when the titular character hijacks the mech and unleashes it on New York as part of a plan to discredit Norman Osborn, Director of H.A.M.M.E.R.
Powers and abilities
Red Ronin is over 100 ft (30 m) tall and weighs in excess of 23 tons, and its design was influenced by traditional samurai armor. Red Ronin is controlled by a human operator who wears a "cybernetic helmet" and sits within its head.
Red Ronin possesses immense strength and speed, is highly durable and can fly at subsonic speed using the atomic propulsion units in its legs. It is armed with a pulsating "rotary discus" shield, with a solar powered "solar blade" laser-blade sword and doubles as an ultraviolet laser Gatling gun device, on its right arm. Red Ronin also has a magnetic field generator in its shoulder epaulets and arm-mounted power blasters capable of firing blasts of concussive force equivalent to 100 tons of TNT. Additionally, the shield is also capable of firing missiles, which Red Ronin used during its battle against Yetrigar in the Grand Canyon, and can be used as a detachable thrown weapon, containing a homing device that enables it to return to the robot. Red Ronin's left hand also has the ability to convert to an energy cannon that projects energy blasts. In addition, it could release "Magneclamp cables" from its boot units, which were strong enough to hold and support a being as massive as Godzilla.
Ronin later gained the ability to automatically repair its circuitry and to detach its hands from its body and retain control of them while detached.
As Namie/model UJ1-DX, the Ronin is actually reduced down to the size and appearance of a young Asian woman with red and black hair. Her main weapon is a red beam of light that extends from her wrists and can be fashioned into a variety of weapons. She has also demonstrated some advanced fighting techniques as well.
A version of Red Ronin appeared on an Earth visited by the dimension-hopping heroes known as the Exiles (Earth-3752). On this Earth, Red Ronin was the chief weapon of a group of monster hunters known as the Science Squad, and was invented by one of the Squad's members, Bolivar Trask. This version of Ronin was destroyed by its reality's version of Fin Fang Foom.
Red Ronin also appeared in the Mega Morphs mini-series, when Doctor Doom had Doctor Octopus reprogram it so that Doom could control it remotely. After easily taking down the Mega Morphs of Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Ghost Rider, Red Ronin was defeated by the Incredible Hulk, whom Doom had previously taken over to assist in the prison break of Doctor Octopus.
In the universe of Earth-X, Red Ronin, after being decommissioned, was given to Tony Stark by president Norman Osborn. Stark eventually used the designs of the robot as the base for a towering final Iron Man armor.
- Red Ronin at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe