How Sunfire got her Age of Apocalypse costume in the Marvel Universe

Although Sunfire’s Age of Apocalypse version is quite different from its traditional counterpart, the two have started to sport similar appearances.

Like many of its mutant counterparts, Sunfire has been radically redesigned for “Age of Apocalypse”. This alternate reality saw Shiro Yoshida take on a drastically different story and visual appearance as a hero, and he was also one of the few mutants whose “Age of Apocalypse” appearances were transferred to Earth-616.

The “Age of Apocalypse” Sunfire made her first appearance in 1995 Stunning X-Men # 1, by Scott Lobdell and Joe Madueira. In this universe, Sunfire was part of Magneto’s X-Men team, who fought Apocalypse. This version of Sunfire was already quite distinct from its Earth-616 counterpart, as the original Sunfire rarely worked alongside the X-Men. Visually, Sunfire also made a radical departure from its Earth-616 counterpart.

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Shiro gained a new costume following a tragic battle against the forces of Apocalypse. The Holocaust, a Horseman of the Apocalypse, destroyed Japan, and thereafter, Apocalypse tormented Shiro by almost drowning him in the blood of his people. From there, Sunfire was captured and experienced by Apocalypse’s minions, who pushed her powers to their absolute limit.

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The torture suffered by Sunfire significantly overloaded his powers, burning most of Shiro’s skin. The X-Men saved Sunfire, and Magneto made him a new costume that would contain his powers. This costume was remarkably different from the red and white Sunfire costume on Earth-616, which was designed primarily as a containment costume rather than a superhero costume.

Years later, in 2005 Thug # 10, by Tony Bedard and Karl Moline, Sunfire suffered a similar physical trauma to her “Age of Apocalypse” counterpart. During a battle with Lady Deathstrike, the villain chopped off Sunfire’s legs, severing them completely.

This sent Sunfire spiraling into a depression, until 2006 X Men # 182, by Peter Milligan and Salvador Larroca, when Apocalypse approached Sunfire to restore her legs. Apocalypse’s offering came at a price, however, turning Sunfire into a horseman of the Apocalypse. Shiro hesitated, but finally the choice eluded him. Sunfire was brainwashed to become Famine, one of the Horsemen of Apocalypse.

Physically, Sunfire looked like her “Age of Apocalypse” counterpart, with the two appearing almost identical. As Famine, Sunfire attacked the X-Men, before Marvel’s mutants captured him and attempted to break free from the villain’s control. Despite these efforts, Sunfire fled the X-Men after Apocalypse was defeated.

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Alongside Gambit, also now Cavalier of the Apocalypse, Sunfire joins Mister Sinister’s Marauders. After regaining his senses and leaving the Marauders, Sunfire was recruited into the Avengers Unity division in 2013. Strange Avengers # 5, by Rick Remender and Olivier Coipel. By this time, Shiro had reverted to his original costume.

Overall, it’s interesting that in the mainstream Marvel Universe, Sunfire ultimately looked the same as its “Age of Apocalypse” counterpart. Much of this change could be attributed to the influence of Apocalypse, as he made Sunfire one of his horsemen.

Additionally, Apocalypse’s influence on Sunfire exemplified his growing sphere of power, which was most illustrated when he ruled the planet during “Age of Apocalypse.” As his influence grew, Apocalypse physically transformed mutants like Sunfire, into their “Age of Apocalypse” counterparts, which represented greater control over Earth-616. In “Age of Apocalypse” and Earth-616, Sunfire had suffered serious physical injuries which led to her new look.

Another major difference between the two versions of Sunfire was their alignment. In “Age of Apocalypse”, Sunfire fought alongside the X-Men against Apocalypse. When Earth-616 Sunfire got the same appearance, he fought the X-Men alongside Apocalypse. When Earth-616’s Sunfire appeared in her “Age of Apocalypse” costume, it meant a much deeper transformation into a darker character in the bondage of a divine villain.

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