By Will Barber – Taylor
Following on from the previous editions disappointing look at A Gotham Tale, this time we return to the world of The Outsiders and discover The Origin of Katana (Batman and The Outsiders 11 – 12).
While A Gotham Tale was very much based in Gotham, The Origin of Katana is an international story. Set mainly in Katana’s native Tokyo, the story is more focussed on Katana than other members of The Outsiders but still manages to capture the team spirit that was seen in their first outing (reviewed in The Dark Tales of The Dark Knight #3).
The story, does bare some similarities to A Gotham Tale though, in so far as that is lacks a brilliant plot. The story focuses on Katana’s attempts to reclaim her sword which has been stolen by the Japanese gangsters who killed her husband and which contains his soul. Right. Katana hotly pursues the gangsters, who have for some reason taken several years to get back the sword that she stole from them, and finds them back in her home city. Joined by the rest of The Outsiders, Katana decides to once and for all get her revenge on the men who killed her family.
The main problem with this story, as with A Gotham Tale, is that lacks palpable sense. Katana obviously doesn’t want her husband to be dead but she makes no attempt to free her husband from the sword. She uses the sword to get revenge on the people who murdered her husband and children, using the same sword. Now the sword can take the soul of anyone that is slays, which begs the question – why kill people with the sword when it will only trap her husband’s soul in with the souls of the people who murdered him? Logic is also lacking in the misadventures of the Japanese gangsters who steal the sword. They steal it so that they can double cross an American gangster who is helping them out. It is never fully explained why they want to double cross the gangster or why they had to send one of their people all the way to America to get a magical sword, so they could release the inhabitants of the sword to kill the American gangster. It seems like a waste of funds on their part and only happens so that the plot can happen.
The artwork for the comic is better than the plot. Mike W Barr and Jim Aparo’s artwork is better than their story and has the smooth and slick finish you would expect of such well known comic book artists. Particularly well illustrated are Batman and Metemorpho, with Metemorpho’s expressions providing some nice comic relief to this otherwise unexceptional story.
Overall, The Origin of Katana is a disappointing take on what could have been a very interesting story. Due to the lack of logic which it has in common with the rather uninspiring A Gotham Tale, The Origin of Katana fails at delivering a satisfying tale.
Next time we look at Voiceless!