REVIEW: Is She Ready for Her Close-up? KATANA #1-3

Katana, if you haven’t heard, has received her own series, and given a chance to spread her wings and the main focus of a narrative, it’s interesting to see whether her character can handle that kind of scrutiny. That requires a certain depth of personality, motivation, and a world to move in that will at least partly separate her from team member roles, which she’s been associated with in the past. She’s done well as a supporting character, but this, really is a legitimate shot at the big time for her as a narrative lead. The fact that Ann Nocenti took on writer’s duties and the first two issues were drawn by Alex Sanchez suggests that DC really do want to give Katana a chance to shine and expand into a superheroine role. To do that she needs not only core qualities to make her a well-rounded superhero, but also writing that’s more than strong, since to many she’s still an unknown character, and artwork that can present a heroine in such a powerful role in a continually appealing way.

Katana_1

Though the series is part of the New 52, in many respects it has a strong genre comic feel, due to its martial arts focus and samurai tale of revenge framework. You might even call it a Yakuza tale. For issue #1 and 2/3 of issue #2, the story, in fact, doesn’t really have to be contained in the DCU to make sense, though by issue #3 it’s clear that for wider plot points and significant developments in Katana’s life, the DCU setting does come in pretty useful and help to establish tensions between her personal revenge quest and more public responsibilities.

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