- Name: Takeshi Matsuya
- Code Names: Wiz Kid
- First Appearance: X-Terminators #1 (Oct ‘88)
- Powers: He does machines
- Team Affiliation: X-Terminators, Avengers Academy
Anger is like a tumor. If you catch it early enough and remove it, life can move on with limited consequence. It may serve as a warning, a reminder to watch out for its’ return but you can prevent it from taking root. If it is allowed to grow, to spread across the whole body, it will only lead to destruction. Anger might start out as justified, but over time it just becomes a person’s default state. It is exceedingly difficult to soften an angry heart, but if you can, like Taki Matsuya did, life will be much more rewarding.
Taki was the young song of Japanese-American parents. From a young age he had a knack for technology but he struggled in school. He was bored in math and science while being frustrated in his English classes. School was a mix of work that was too easy for him and assignments that felt impossible thanks to his dyslexia. A car crash killed his parents and stole the use of his legs. His uncle tried to help, even paying for experimental surgery, but nothing worked. In the end, he sent Taki to St. Simon’s Academy, a school for students with unique needs. Even though it was for his own good, Taki resented his uncle for it. His anger grew and Taki withdrew himself from the world, lashing out at anyone who dared come near him.
Two new students at St. Simon’s, Artie & Leech, tried to reach out to Taki (because they are the best kids) but Taki got frustrated because his inventions went haywire whenever Leech was around. He yelled at Leech and Artie was not going to put up with seeing his best friend getting bullied. They began to leave but an accident threw Taki from his wheelchair. Taki’s immediate reaction was to tell them to leave but he thought twice about it. He desperately wanted friends and asked them for help.
That night, Taki saw something stir outside his window. Demons were breaking into Artie & Leech’s room trying to kidnap them. He rushed to their rescue but he was too late to save his new friends. He tried to fight them off, but the demons were too much for him. He knew needed help and used his mutant gifts to transform his wheelchair into a helicopter and flew away to recruit Artie & Leech’s mutant friends to help. Boom Boom, Skids, Rictor, and Rusty jumped at the chance to save their young friends and raced off into the night with Taki.
The teens quickly realized something, they were tired, hungry, and planning to fight demons in their pajamas. Something had to be done. Taki proved to have a bit more finesse than Boom Boom at opening up vending machines, but Boom Boom was leaps and bounds ahead of Taki in the fashion department. The older teens weren’t sure if they believed Taki’s story about Demons and Taki felt isolated from the group of established friends. He strayed from the team, just for a moment, and was captured by the Demons to be brought to their master, N’Astirh.
The demons overheard Taki talking about a spell checker on a computer. Not understanding that it was a proofreading tool (don’t worry demons, people who read this early enough know that I don’t understand it either) they instead thought Taki could help ensure quality arcane enchantments. Taki was able to talk N’Astirh out of turning him into a demon and tried to stall the demon lord until the X-Terminators could arrive. Unfortunately, the teens were quickly captured by N’Astirh and Taki was forced to help the demon execute his plan and open a portal to Limbo over New York City to save the kids from being eaten.
As N’Astirh’s plan was finally at hand, Taki knew he had to fix what he had created. First, he enlisted the help of his good buddies Artie & Leech to unplug the computer and close the portal. Second, he created fighter jets for the X-Terminators to battle the demonic hoard with. Finally, he destroyed the computer while N’Astirh was interfacing with it, effectively killing the now techno-organic demon.
After the events of Inferno, Taki, Artie, and Leech returned to St. Simons’s and became closer and closer friends. The Alliance of Evil attacked the school at the behest of their newest member, Harness. Taki tried to have the remaining X-Terminators (which were just the actual children) fight off the group but they were unsuccessful and Taki got squashed by the mutant Tower. He was found by X-Force and his friend Boom Boom who wanted to know where the Alliance was and how they could stop them. They left Taki to recover at the school.
The boys recovered and participated in school plays. The event was attended by Cyclops and Jean Grey, which raised Artie & Leech’s spirits, but they were bummed that they couldn’t stay. Taki created a UFO to cheer them up, but it only ended with a mob chasing them under the impression that the boys were aliens. A chase ensued and the boys took shelter with an elderly woman who decided to be their new unofficial grandma.
As he grew, Taki went through a rite of passage that many a young boy undergo. Taki developed a crush on his teacher Ms. Huntington. There were two challenges standing between Taki and the love of his life, him being a child while she was a grown woman, and her boyfriend Patrick. Taki was jealous of the way she laughed at Patrick’s stupid jokes, jealous that Patrick got to dance with her, and jealous that Patrick probably even got to kiss her too. Taki, being the resourceful young boy he was, spied on Ms. Huntington’s beau and discovered his dirty secret. Patrick was a mutant-hating bigot planning the extermination of mutant-kind! Taki, Artie, and Leech broke up his vile plan to exterminate a race. Taki tried to comfort Ms. Huntington, telling her that in a few years there would be a cute guy in a wheelchair that would make the perfect rebound. It made Ms. Huntington smile and gave Taki a false sense of hope that would sustain him for years.
Taki disappeared for a while after that. Artie & Leech transferred from St. Simon’s to the Massachusetts Academy but Taki remained, probably for another chance with Ms. Huntington. He was thought to be depowered after M-Day but just decided he wanted to keep a low profile. He eventually joined the Avengers Academy where he trained to relive his glory days with the X-Terminators. He continues to train there to this day, a bit less angry than he used to be.
Taki hasn’t been in a ton of comics. Counting cameos we are only looking at about 20 appearances, and few of those were in starring roles. However, his part in X-Terminators makes the book one of my favorites. Taki being the odd-man out on a squad filled with low profile mutants makes him a delight. He is the character who grows and changes the most throughout the story and the development is a ton of fun. To see this sad, broken, angry kid learn to make friends just fills my little heart with joy. It’s only 4 issues and you owe it to yourself to pick this up.
Taki is one of those underused characters in the Marvel universe just waiting to be properly utilized. He has potential to be a fun new addition to the growing roster of teen heroes at Marvel, but no one seems interested in revisiting him. I enjoy every one of his appearances, however I don’t think you can reasonably put him too high on this list. Fellow X-Terminators Skids, Artie, and Leech are all probably better characters and I don’t think he has gotten the depth of someone like Skin or Spiral. I do think I have gotten more enjoyment out of Taki than Senator Robert Kelly so I will slot him in as the new number 72 in the Xavier Files.
Taki was requested by Patreon supporter Gareth ‘G-Funk’ Mitchell. Thank you for the request. If you have a request for how about you send it below? If you want to cut to the front of the two-year long line, we have a Patreon you can support Xavier Files for just $1 to get a line cutting reward.
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Next week we go back to school as Synch joins the Xavier Files! See you then!