SPOILER ALERT: If you have not read KATANA #1 and do not wish to know what happens, stop reading this post now (major spoilers ahead!)
Spinning out of the pages of BIRDS OF PREY and JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA, KATANA reveals the secrets behind the elusive former assassin and her mythical sword that she believes is inhabited by the spirit of her deceased husband. Last month, writer Ann Nocenti teased a little bit about the series, which launched with this past Wednesday’s release of KATANA #1.
In the first issue of her new ongoing series, Katana removes herself from the Birds of Prey and embarks on a personal journey to Japantown in San Francisco. There, she sets up a base of operations and begins her mission of vengeance and enlightenment.
Hidden from the people of J-Town, Katana starts a rigorous training regimen. It is during a combat session that she realizes that she is not ready to avenge her husband just yet. She needs more training to master her Katana (a.k.a Soultaker) and needs a teacher to guide and educate her in the art of sword fighting.
After a night of restless sleep, Katana searches for a young woman named Shun, whose skin tells the story of the stealthy rise and mad decline of the ancient clans of Japan. When she locates the girl, she discovers a stunning picture of her sword and its place in ancient history. It seems like Katana is on the right track to discovering the history behind the Soultaker.
At that moment, Shun’s caretaker rushes Katana out of the house and she is left to wander through a park reflecting upon her innocent childhood. Suddenly, her thoughts are interrupted by the Sword Clan! Not only are they the men that killed her husband, but they also claim to be the rightful owners of the Soultaker!
In an epic battle, Katana uses her wardrobe to her advantage and defeats the men with her piercing hair sticks, earrings sharp as daggers, lethal necklace, and her dress stitched with razors. But only one of these warriors is skilled enough to face this unstoppable woman: the master of the spiral sword, Coil!
Coil attacks and the Soultaker takes control of Katana’s actions in order to assure victory. In the midst of the battle, Coil observes that Katana is no longer in control of her actions. Instead of continuing the fight, he offers her a spot in the Sword Clan so she can train safely and learn to control her weapon.
Naturally, Katana refuses to join her corrupt enemies. But if she wants to master the sword while insisting doing it without Coil’s help, then she risks madness and defeat. This is the tightrope she must walk.
Below, take a look at the final page of KATANA #1 (in stores now) as Coil and Katana face off. And make sure to pick up JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #1, on sale next week, for the continuing adventures of Katana!
KATANA #1, in stores now, is written by Ann Nocenti, illustrated by Alex Sanchez, and features a cover by David Finch.