Katana, vol. 1: Soultaker

Katana, Vol. 1: SoultakerKatana, Vol. 1: Soultaker by Ann Nocenti
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Good grief, this was awful. In every possible way. The plot is vague and never even remotely satisfying. Katana’s goals change every issue, and her personality and voice are weirdly inconsistent. She can go from formal and morose to casual and flippant, from one word balloon to the next. Not that either mode is particularly well written. Aside from the plot being a total mess, the ideas are also pretty bad. The Creeper as Japanese demon (with a conveniently English name, whatever) just doesn’t work, and that ribbon sword is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen. Oh, and the whole thing ends on a cliffhanger, because it got put out of its misery canceled.

And the art is just so, so bad. Don’t be fooled by the covers, because they’re actually pretty good. But the art inside the book… God. Over the course of a few pages, Katana can go from pretty to “Dear God, what is that thing?” That probably has something to do with the fact that this book, over the course of ten issues, had (brace for it) a combined total of fifteen artists. One issue had three pencillers, and another had four different inkers. No, there was no apparent deliberate artistic choice to do so. I guess nobody wanted to work on this book for that long.

After ten issues, DC finally put this series out of its misery. Thank God. I have no idea why DC labeled this trade volume one, because surely they don’t think anyone is going to want to tackle this character again anytime soon? Judging by this, that’s probably a good thing.

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