Katana, originally named Tatsu Yamashiro, is a superhero in the DC Comics universe. Created by writer Mike W. Barr and artist Jim Aparo, she first appeared in “The Brave and the Bold” #200 in July 1983.
Katana, originally named Tatsu Yamashiro, is a superhero in the DC Comics universe. Created by writer Mike W. Barr and artist Jim Aparo, she first appeared in “The Brave and the Bold” #200 in July 1983. A skilled martial artist and swordswoman, she wields a mystical weapon known as the Soultaker Sword.
Katana is an expert martial artist, trained in a variety of combat styles, but her most distinctive power comes from her weapon, the Soultaker Sword. This mystical artifact can absorb the souls of those it kills, trapping them within it. This provides Katana with an array of options in combat. For instance, she can communicate with the spirits inside the sword or even temporarily summon them for aid.
While Katana herself doesn’t possess any inherent superhuman abilities, her rigorous training and unparalleled discipline make her a formidable opponent. Her skills are comparable to some of the best human fighters in the DC Universe.
More On Soultaker
The Soultaker is a mystical katana, a type of long, single-edged sword traditionally used by the samurai of ancient Japan. Its power originates from an ancient, unknown form of magic, which allows it to absorb and house the souls of those it kills. These trapped souls can be communicated with or even, under certain circumstances, released. The nature of the Soultaker’s power places it among the most unique weapons in the DC universe. Its soul-trapping feature is rare among mythical blades, distinguishing it from weapons like Marvel’s Mjolnir or DC’s Sword of Athena.
Unlike Mjolnir, which can only be wielded by those deemed worthy, or the Sword of Athena, which grants the wielder enhanced strength and fighting prowess, the Soultaker doesn’t grant any physical enhancements to its wielder. Instead, it offers a more ethereal and spiritual power that hinges on the manipulation of souls, allowing its wielder an intimate connection with life, death, and the realm that lies beyond. Fortunately for pretty much everyone, you can’t get the actual Soultaker you definitely can buy a real katana from a reputable retailer.
Katana’s origin is steeped in tragedy. In her early life, Tatsu Yamashiro was a normal Japanese woman who fell in love with a man named Maseo. However, Maseo’s brother, Takeo, was also in love with her. In a fit of jealous rage, Takeo killed Maseo using a pair of mystical swords. Tatsu defeated Takeo with one of the swords, known as the Soultaker, and thus became Katana.
She moved to the United States where she began her journey as a vigilante. Katana became associated with a variety of superhero teams, including the Outsiders, a group of heroes formed by Batman, and the Suicide Squad, a government-sanctioned team of criminals performing high-risk missions. Katana served as the moral compass and sometimes leader for these groups, always guided by her sense of honor and justice.
Most Known Comics
Katana has appeared in many significant comic book storylines, but some of the most notable include:
“The Brave and the Bold” #200 (1983): Katana’s first appearance. This issue laid the groundwork for her character and introduced the Soultaker Sword.
“Batman and the Outsiders” (1983-1986): These issues showcased Katana’s skills and her ability to work as part of a team. She emerged as a key member of the Outsiders.
“Suicide Squad” (New 52 era, 2011-2016): Katana was a part of the Suicide Squad during this run, offering a more nuanced exploration of her character.
“Katana” Solo Series (2013): A 10-issue series that delved into Katana’s past and her struggle to balance her mission with the memories of her late husband trapped in her sword.
Katana is more than just her tragic backstory. Over the years, she has evolved into a multifaceted character whose martial prowess is matched only by her strong moral compass. Whether she’s facing villains alone or standing shoulder to shoulder with the Outsiders or the Suicide Squad, Katana’s dedication to justice is unwavering. In spite of her somewhat grim power, she embodies the resilience of the human spirit and the determination to overcome any obstacle.