Friday, June 8, 2012

DC's Katana to star in her own book?

He's either in there or he's not!

I've read some articles, or items, speculating that DC has a Katana #0 coming at us in September with a cover by David Finch.   Okay, it's the same rumor twice and then referred back to.  That doesn't change the fact I read all three of them and it's yakuza, not yakusa (unless yakusa is simply an acceptable alternate spelling in which case good for you).  Oh, and the old Katana really did have her husband's soul in her sword.  I'm not so sure about the new one.  This rumor seems all the more likely when you consider Katana will be co-starring in Beware the Batman, the new "cutting-edge" CGI animated series coming next year from Cartoon Network.  You know how these media companies love to create synergy.  Which is just a fancy way of saying they like to advertise their other products within their products.

DC occasionally does things that seem aimed directly at getting me—specifically me—to buy their product.  Of course this is solipsistic thinking.  DC’s plenty happy with the 100,000 or so regular readers they have.  They’re not about to aim a title at any one person, especially not a person who spends half his blogging time telling their editors, writers and artists how to do their jobs—although I do know best-- and the other half ignoring them.  And they do just as many things to alienate me however inadvertently.

But sometimes… sometimes… 

I’d love to see a Katana book.  My reasons?  Even though no one at DC cares in the least, I’m going to share them here.  Because it is my blog and because it is bitter.

As an American living in Japan, I’m endlessly fascinated with how the folks back home view my adopted home.  I’ve liked Katana since her Batman and the Outsiders days and she’s by far the most visually appealing character DC’s got at the moment.  I’m also a huge fan of katana-slicin’ action a la Lone Wolf and Cub and Lady Snowblood—to name a couple of books infinitely superior to just about anything either Marvel or DC has done with their Asian characters.  Or in most cases, their North American characters. 

Not every comic can attain those heights.  Kazuo Koike is a genius and there aren’t many around who can operate on his level.  But more funny book writers need to aspire to that instead of aiming for Michael Crichton.  Or Brad Meltzer.  And don’t bother reading Memoirs of a Geisha.  A smart Katana book that balances ultra-violence with moments of great beauty and perhaps some mono no aware as well would hook me.  Don’t make it resemble a cheap Rush Hour knock-off.  Ignore the Hollywood influence.  Stop trying to cram Michael Bay nonsense onto the printed page.  Instead, go for the nastiness of Takeshi Kitano with the humanism of Akira Kurosawa.

I have the feeling—cynic that I am—they’ll do it and it’ll be full of shallow characterization and a setting influenced more by secondhand info and The Last Samurai clich├ęs.  And it’ll be as disappointing as that god-awful Kato series I foolishly gave a shot for some of the same reasons I’m willing to take a chance on a Katana book.  I mean, it’s DC.

Still, I can’t help hoping this rumor turns out to be true…

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