First off, let me say Alex Sanchez is back on art duty this month so YAY! No offense to Cliff Richards, who did a fine job filling in last issue, but Sanchez just has such a unique style, I am rapidly becoming a super fan!
As for the story, after Killer Croc shattered Katana’s sword the Soul Taker, all of the spirits of the individuals slain by the blade were released, including a modern take on classic DC character The Creeper, who although he looks like an Oni (Japanese trickster ghost), has the same speech pattern as the wise-crackin’ classic DC version. Also among these spirits is Katana’s deceased husband Maseo whom she has been pining for since his death, but he delivers some… well, tough love to put it mildly. There are others as well, and I suspect each will get their turn in the spotlight as some have already began drawing in some of Katana’s supporting cast, not necessarily in good ways. Drunken master Junko urges Tatsu to go to Japan and find the finest weapon-smith to re-craft her sword, but for some reason, she keeps falling asleep for long intervals.
I’m not sure what it is about this series, but I find it captivating! Sanchez’s art is certainly a draw. It’s initially not very pretty, but as you read the story and connect that to the artwork, it works wonderfully. The words compliment the art and vice versa. The story is intriguing and seems to be building this issue with the introduction of all the ghosts once held within the Soul Taker.
My favorite part of the story though is the possibility of the once-emotionless Katana possibly branching out and opening herself up a bit more. The encounter with Maseo’s spirit seemed to push her in that direction and then her final battle of the issue seems to indicate that she is taking baby steps. While Katana is cool and all, her supporting cast has been the real spark in this series. Tatsu Toro herself is a closed off cypher, dedicated only to avenging her dead husband. Things look to be at least expanding here.
I know money is tight and people are tempted to play it safe and stick to the books they’ve been reading for years, but DC is really taking a chance and putting out some GREAT books that don’t star another different colored Lantern or another book with Batman in it. This is another one. Great writing, excellent artwork. Definitely one to take a chance on!
Written by Ann Nocenti
Art by Alex Sanchez
Cover by Juan Jose Ryp with Sonia Oback