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To all appearances, the younger Shaw is completely given over to decadence and the pursuit of entertainment to the exclusion of all else. This is broadly true, but not to the degree that is generally assumed. He is unabashedly sybaritic, taking obvious pleasure in the company of women and (pretty) men alike, and seems never to tire of his endless games. Even so, Shinobi is also afflicted with almost constant boredom, the sort of restless ennui that only one who has never had to work for anything in his life can really achieve. 

Although not without ambition, he has no clear-cut goals to speak of, pursuing wealth and influence not as the means to an end, but rather as ends in and of themselves--an outlook that robs their attainment of any real satisfaction for him. It is little more than a diverting hobby, in his mind, though it is one fraught with dangers that he is not always capable of anticipating. Fortunately, his father’s reputation protects him for now, as the Black King would likely look upon any harm done to his son as he would interference with any of his other ventures.

Shinobi loves secrets--whether keeping them or ferreting them out. It was probably his father’s clandestine lifestyle which gave rise to this particular infatuation, but, however he came by it, the younger Shaw has an endless fascination for peeling away layers and making his way to the heart of any mystery, deception, or conspiracy that comes to his attention. He might not be quite the genius he believes he is, but he is clever, devious, and capable of surprising subtlety. Add to that an overflowing arrogance and a total lack of scruples, and it should come as no surprise that there’s no shortage of folks who feel that the world would be a generally better place without Shinobi in it.

He may have been born with a platinum Tiffany spoon in his mouth, but Shinobi isn't a classist, and is comfortable with people of all social and economic backgrounds (whether or not they are comfortable with him is another matter entirely, and one he treats with perfect indifference).  In his eyes, people are either charming or tedious; money doesn't really factor into it.  Of course, he's very free with his (father's) own, tending to splurge recklessly on impulse purchases of novelty ties, CD's (yes, he still buys them), Segways, posters with funny pictures of cats on them, spontaneous Bermuda beach vacations, fancy pens, ascots, tropical fish, and whatever else happens to catch his attention in the moment.  Sebastian Shaw tolerates most of these excesses, largely to keep his son from making a greater public spectacle of himself than he already does.

At the bottom of it all, though, Shinobi's seemingly-limitless appetite for possessions, alcohol, amusement, and superficial affection are mostly an effort to compensate for an even greater hunger for something he's never had: something genuine.  Unfortunately, the alternative strategies he's developed over time--the whole basis of his personality--present an obstacle to that he's unlikely to overcome.

His inability to empathize with larger groups has prevented Shinobi from reacting very strongly to the emergent mutant phenomenon, or the subsequent backlash.  Objectively, he is aware that he is a mutant, but he feels no real connection to "mutantkind", as such.  He's used to thinking of himself in purely individualistic terms, and that's not going to change anytime soon.  It would be different, naturally, if someone that he knew (and was inclined to care about) personally were to be persecuted on the basis of their genetic status--he'd be suitably outraged, in that case.  But the plight of random strangers affects him about as much as the price of tea in China, or the weather on the Moon.  He's sublimely convinced that his (father's) money and his powers can protect him from anything, a fact that more or less renders him immune to the bigotry of others.  He finds such rabid hatred more ludicrous than frightening.

By far his most glaring flaw is a tendency to think himself a great deal smarter than he actually is, and to overestimate his ability to control any given situation.  He's spoiled and somewhat insensitive, and quick to backpedal when he's aggressively called on his crap (at least when it is by someone he views as more than just a momentary diversion or part of the background scenery).  When he decides that he genuinely likes someone, Shinobi can become clingy and demanding, though he rarely gets jealous--after all, who could possibly compete with him, charming as he is?  It's simply unthinkable.


Personal Molecular Density Control


Surprisingly enough, Shinobi has an excellent head for business.  He prefers not to call attention to it, however, as he keenly dislikes the idea of being so stereotypical Asian.  He is fluent in English, Japanese, and French.  He's also a pretty good judge of who poses a physical threat to him (thank you, Daddy Shaw!), and as such usually knows just how far he can provoke somebody before risking a violent reprisal.


Shinobi adores music, though his tastes tend toward Britpop, J-Pop, American Pop, and pretty much anything that's peppy and catchy and ultimately kind of throwaway (or ironically throwaway).  His instructors in Japan insisted that music be part of his education, however, so he's also a pretty competent player of the shamisen.  He even enjoys it, though, again, it's so ridiculously Japanese that he doesn't like to be caught practicing.  His secret weaknesses are musicals--and especially any song performed by the villain characters--and enka.  He likes rum, vodka, whiskey, gin, tequila, schnapps, brandy, red wine, white wine, plum wine, sparkling wine, authentic champagne, sake, sochu, and pure grain liquor when he feels like slumming.  (About the only thing he appears to have inherited from his father is a "European" tolerance for alcohol, which made him an object of minor reverence in the Tokyo club scene.) He's also a fan of getting into other people's business, though not in a particularly systematic way--he's more an inveterate voyeur and tease than a spy.


Shinobi is the illegitimate son of billionaire corporate powerhouse Sebastian Shaw, owner and CEO of the multinational Shaw Industries.  For the first few years of the boy's life, Sebastian virtually ignored his existence--even after his mother's sudden demise under circumstances that were mysterious, to say the least.  That changed largely due to pressure from other members of Shaw's exclusive social circles, most notably those belonging to the secretive and influential Hellfire Club.  Other longtime members--among them Warren Worthington, Jr., Norman Osborn, and Howard Stark--had already secured their own dynasties by fathering sons, and it was a barricade to Shaw's ascension within the organization that he had not yet done the same.  It was for this reason that he allowed Shinobi to take the Shaw name and moved him from the isolated Hamptons estate where he had lived up to that point under the care of governesses and servants and into a sprawling penthouse apartment in Manhattan.

This was enough to satisfy the rest of the Club, and Shaw immediately went back to ignoring his bastard.

Shinobi spent his earliest years surrounded by people who cared for him because they were compensated handsomely to do so, and he was clever enough, even as a young child, to grasp this very quickly.  In grammar school, he met a small number of other privileged children he would come to think of as friends, though his understanding of the concept was somewhat skewed from the norm due to his isolated upbringing.  These were the closest to meaningful relationships he would ever have; shortly after his eighth birthday, Sebastian decided that Shinobi's obvious Japanese ancestry had become a bit of an embarrassment, and shuffled him off to be looked after by the managers of his East Asian holdings in Tokyo.

There, the younger Shaw lounged in the lap of luxury, provided with the finest tutors and all the indulgences virtually unlimited funds could provide.  As puberty came on, Shinobi developed a reputation as a party boy, infamous in the bars and nightclubs of Kabukicho.  Though they initially turned a blind eye to this raucous behavior, eventually his Japanese guardians began to crack down, increasing security in and around Shinobi's apartment and trying to restrict his movements as much as possible.

Nothing worked. Like his namesake, he seemed to simply melt into the night at will, returning at daybreak reeking of sweat, liquor, and smoke.

At their wits' end and distracted beyond endurance from their day-to-day business concerns by this ungovernable teenager, Shinobi's custodians finally contacted Sebastian directly, all but begging him to take the boy off their hands.  With considerable irritation, Shaw arranged for Shinobi to be transferred to the care of his company's European branch, headquartered in Paris.  It was not long, though, before the same pattern of mysterious disappearances followed by long nights of delirious excess began again.

His French handlers, however, were somewhat more zealous in their vigilance.  After about a year, they finally uncovered the secret behind Shinobi's vanishing act when several household staff and a regional vice president caught him mid-escape ... his body phased halfway through one of his closet walls.  Numerous frantic phone calls ensued, and in the end Shinobi was commanded back to New York where the elder Shaw could keep an eye on him while he decided what was to be done.

The answer came following a visit to Shaw's private offices by the headmaster of a singularly unique boarding school in Westchester.  No mention was made of mutants, exactly; as far as Sebastian was concerned, the Institute's state-of-the-art security systems and diligent staff were just the thing to keep Shinobi under lock and key for the next several years, at least.  That was all he really cared to know.  Shinobi, for his part, was delighted by the novelty of it all.