Katana #7Someone guns for Katana by harming those around her.  First, the mysterious tattooed lady Shun had one of her inked legs forcibly amputated.  In short order, Tatsu discovers that Madam Yoko’s brothel has been torched and Nori’s restaurant (where Tatsu works as a waitress) has been trashed.

Later, Tatsu notices Jack Ryder (The Creeper) on TV and remembers seeing him in Japan.  Shun reveals what is beneath her veil and insists on accompanying Tatsu to confront the Sword Clan.  After taking out several low tier Sword Clan ninjas, she comes face-to-face with Sickle… and the spirit of her dead husband Maseo.  Once more, she is caught between the two men.  She thinks back to her past and makes some startling discoveries.

The pacing of this series is very well handled as secrets are revealed slowly a bit at a time, piecing the story together like a puzzle.  Tatsu’s supporting cast work very well and help… well, support the focal character.

The action is nice, but one thing I didn’t like was what a Chatty Cathy Katana has suddenly become.  Up til now, the character has been shown to be nearly silent most of the time, but as she zips through the Sword Clan’s base, she spews forth a narration explaining her every move.  It was unrealistic for one thing and just somewhat annoying.  Thought bubbles or captions would have been okay, but her verbally describing everything she did and what was happening around her was outright annoying.

There were two pencillers this issue.  As usual, I loved Alex Sanchez’s work on this title.  His work just fits the story so well!  The second artist was Fabrizio Fiorentino and his work meshed well with Sanchez’s.  It wasn’t a disruptive transition between their different pages.

I think this is one of the most underrated books out there right now.  The story is engaging, with a fun, quirky cast and a unique setting.  The story telling is nicely paced as well, as the pieces fall together over time.  And the art is consistently solid!  This was a risky choice for a solo comic, and I get that it’s a hard sell for DC, but it’s definitely a strong book in all areas.

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KATANA #7
Written by Ann Nocenti
Pencils by Alex Sanchez and Fabrizio Fiorentino
Cover by Fabrizio Fiorentino