Tag Archives: Katana

5 Ways To Make Your Superhero Miserable

So, you’ve probably heard by now all the fuss about writers J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman leaving DC Comics after the editors told them they couldn’t write Batwoman‘s marriage. Big hulabaloo ensues. DC replaces them with an openly gay writer to make themselves look better, and they defend themselves by saying the no marriage thing had “nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the character,” but rather because, as Dan Didio said at Baltimore Comic Con

“Heroes shouldn’t have happy personal lives. They are committed to being that person and committed to defending others at the sacrifice of their own personal interests.”

Okay…

I mean, fine. It’s true. Heroes of the super variety do tend to basically have shitty lives. Batman can’t hold on to a lady friend, Iceman basically almost destroys the world, Rogue can’t get anywhere near first base…

But let’s think about this for a second.  Marriage is kind of a sensitive topic in the LGBTQ community.  You know, the institution being not-so-fictionally denied them until about oh two and a half months ago.

So an editorial board denying one of its few LGBTQ heroes the chance to get married without some kind of story referencing DOMA or something and then saying it has “nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the character” is sort of like putting a giant banana on a comic full of Black characters and saying it has nothing to do with race… Oh wait… that happened too.

Point is, sure maybe they didn’t decide Batwoman couldn’t get married because they are against gay marriage, but rather because they don’t want any of the Bat family getting married (which isn’t actually what they said, they only said they don’t want them having happy personal lives, but whatever). Nonetheless, it’s pretty ignorant to pretend the denial of marriage in general has nothing to do with the LGBTQ community.   Add on top of that the fact that they created an alternate universe Alan Scott, the classic Green Lantern, who was gay and proposed to his boyfriend only to see the boyfriend die like 2 seconds later. Smell an unfortunate trend? But let’s stick with their story and accept that it wasn’t anti-gay marriage, just kinda dumb and insensitive.

Bananas are bananas. Put them on a picture of a bunch of Black folk, they’re not just bananas anymore… regardless of the intent. Is DC’s decision anti-gay? Probably not. Is it ridiculously stupid? Yup.

To exemplify just how stupid, here are 5 other ways that DC could make sure Batwoman’s personal life stays full of suck (mildly spoilery if you don’t keep up with your DC).

1. Paralyze her

oracle-570x414

What could possibly be worse for a hero who’s “committed to defending others at the sacrifice of their own personal interests,” by punching and kicking things than taking away their ability to punch and kick things. Oracle (Batgirl) knows a thing or two about it, lucky for her she’s also a super computer whiz and managed to stay in the game that way. But what about our military-trained, party-girl Kate Kane? Here’s betting she go on a twenty-year drinking binge and destroy her marriage before Batman bought her bionic legs or something. Then she could be all sad and wompy all the time about how she alienated her wife and was half-android now.

2. Kill her wife.

You know what’s more traumatic than not getting married? Getting married and then watching your significant other die. Just ask Katana. The whole kill the love of your life thing is totally a staple of hero adventures. It’s basically how women got into the business at all. Got a hero? Here, have a woman he can love and lose so he can go all dark and gruffy, just how we like ’em.  And it makes life totally worse if you give the hope of happiness first and then rip it cruelly away and scar them for a good long forever. Just look at Katana, she’s been talking to her husband’s spirit in a sword for some 30 years now.

3. Kill her son. 

damian

Seriously, the potential for a miserable personal life only increases with marriage (no jab intended at you lucky couples), but honestly, imagine if Kane was allowed to marry her beloved, and then they have a successful in vitro, despite all odds, and raise a happy plump little boy name BatAwesome, who lives a solid 10 years only to be used to try to murder you and ultimately get killed by his own clone.  Ya. That’d really suck, wouldn’t it TaliaBatman?

4. Blow up her whole planet. 

Actually, maybe not. Superman seems to be doing alright with all that baggage…

5.  Kill every single woman on Earth in one fell swoop, except her. 

LOL. Ya that’d suck, right?  Brian K. Vaughan was clearly playing off of that male fantasy to be the only male option on Earth when he killed off all but one guy in Y: The Last Man. But imagine it the other way around. A woman who loves women stuck in a world full of dudes… I can’t even deal with the level of sad and effed up that is. But now imagine if she had been married to Mags when that horrible ish went down. Rather than a man alone in a world full of women (with mostly violent intents towards him) searching desperately for his girlfriend, you’d have one really really lonely, miserable, sexually-frustrated Batwoman.

Okay, that’s a stretch, but you get the point, right? Marriage is maybe sort of totally a big deal for everyone, but it’s especially poignant for those denied the right, and the wound is still fresh, so maybe a little extra thought on this one DC? Maybe no hard fast rules that you blanket across your mostly white, male heroes. If you’re gonna have a diversity of heroes, you might want to have a diversity of miseries too, ya?

TOP 5 Asian American Comic Book Heroes In The Mainstream

May and the official Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month are coming to a close, but we can continue celebrating Asian American culture year-round and we can do it all geeky like with some on-going comics featuring Asian American & Pacific Islander heroes!

Non-stereotyped or side-kick-ed Asian/ Asian American heroes are a rare thing in comics history and present, but right now there are two major ongoing series with leading AA heroes – the slicing and dicing Japanese transplant Katana in her own self-titled series Katana (DC Comics) by Ann Nocenti and Alex Sanchez and the crime-fighting cibopath Tony Chu in Chew (Image) by John Layman and Rob Guillory. 

Tony Chu – Chew

Tony Chu in Chew

If you’re not already reading Chew, go pick up volume 1 now. It’s amazing. The storytelling, the art, Tony Chu… Often disgusting, usually hilarious, always incredibly imaginative, Chew is one of my favorite comics four years running. John Laymanhas created a world where birdflu ran rampant killing millions of Americans and turning the FDA into one of the most powerful agencies in the country. And that’s where Philadelphia police detective Tony Chu’s story starts off. A scrawny sickly looking guy, Tony Chu is a cibopath, meaning he can get psychic visions from anything he eats.  Anything. Yep, just imagine all the potential for gross. But beyond the disgusting, Chu is stone-cold cop with a wacky ability in an absurd world, and he isn’t the only one with “special” talents…

Continue Reading at UnleashTheFanboy.com

5 Superhero & Sci-Fi Movies That Could Add A Little Color to The Big Screen

These days it seems more and more the case that we are in a Golden age of Geekery. There are comics, cosplay, and gaming cons all over the world and new ones are popping up in unlikely places. And one look at the movie line-up for this year shows just how open are the arms embracing all that nerdery.

Iron Man 3 started the season off with a bang (and quite a few “boom”s). Star Trek: Into Darkness is still packing theaters. Man of Steel is right around the corner, and we’ve got Ender’s Game, World War Z, Thor, and The Wolverine to look forward to this Fall. In fact, at least 25 films with sci-fi or superhero themes are premiering this year.

It is a glorious time to be a geek.  But you’ll notice that the leading lads of all of these films are white guys. That, of course, is nothing new.

The industry has even been improving somewhat its representation of minorities with controversial casting choices like Viola Davis as Major Anderson in Ender’s Game or Michael B. Jordan as The Human Torch in the upcoming Fantastic Four movie. John Cho as Sulu and Zoe Saldana as Uhura had major roles in the new Star Trek movie. A few other heroes of color, like War Machine (Don Cheadle) in Iron Man 3, Gail (Rosario Dawson) in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,  and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) in the next Avengers film, are on the roster…

Keep reading  at UnleashTheFanboy.com

Mother’s Day Ideas for the Geek Outsider Mom

For the Trekkie Mom: 

Let’s face it, your mom was the first geek you knew.  Before you were uncool, she was well beyond the frontier of geekery. “The Final Frontier”, if you will. And what better way to show you care than a little cross-generational geek appreciation? Not to mention, every geek outsider out there appreciates the social frontiers that Star Trek boldly broke through.  So, celebrate the bada** geeky lady in your life with the boundary-busting women of Star Trek: The Original Series. Throw a geeky slumber party, complete with comfy pj’s and the complete collection of The Original Series to choose from!

Then don your matching insignia pins and take her to see the new Star Trek: Into Darkness movie opening night!

Star Trek: Into Darkness May 17, 2013
Star Trek: Into Darkness May 17, 2013

For the Comics Fan Mom

With a little Mod Podge, some old comics, and a little craftiness, you can make some display-friendly comic book storage:

This Batwoman themed comics box was made out of a magazine holder
This Batwoman themed comics box was made out of a magazine holder

Or dig through the bins at your local comics shop or scour Ebay for older or rare comics featuring strong female characters, like …

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For the Gamer Mom

First things first, your mom is awesome.

For the multi-talented gamer mom, get her a multi-platform gaming headset, like the Astro A30 so she can game in peace on PC, console, or mobile.

ASTRO A30 headset (via Astrogaming.com)
ASTRO A30 headset (via Astrogaming.com)

For the gamer mom with a newborn, pick up a nifty nursing pillow, so baby can munch while mom keeps her hands free to showcase her hardcore Portal skills to her little future geek. Preferably an awesome one like these…gotta geek ’em young.

For the online gamer mom (and the last-minute kid), find out what she plays and buy her either virtual points for her platform or see about buying her in-game currency!

gift card for PlayStation Network
 

For the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Geek Mom

Sign her up for the Science Fiction Book Club or buy her a gift card to your local bookstore and make a day of it — Brunch, and then head to the bookstore to discover new sci-fi and fantasy books you can read together.

Here’s a few new books we’re a fan of here at Geek Outsider:

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For the Cosplay Mom

A cosplay mom does Merida (via. The Mary Sue)

Head to your local crafts store and stock up on sewing materials (needles, thread, fabric markers, fabric) and craft materials (dyes, zippers, wonderflex) and put together a cosplayer care package.

via CreatingKeepsakes.com

Or find out her cosplay plans for the upcoming con and hook her up with some essential costume elements s she’ll need to blow minds at con!

For the Not-So-Geeky Mom

So maybe your mom isn’t so geeky, maybe she never understood what you saw in all those weird fantasy lands, video games, and “cartoons”, but perhaps she supported your geeky ways anyway. Maybe this Mother’s Day is the perfect time to show her just how cool the stuff you’re into really is…

Create a couple new accounts on the MMO you play, or pick a 2-player console game and have a mother-son/daughter gaming session.

Rewatch your favorite sci-fi show with her.

Buy her a copy of your favorite fantasy novel or comic book series and reread it with her.

via SimplyHealth@School

A New Old Outsider: Katana returns

Joining the recent bump in female-led title comics, Katana #1 by Ann Nocenti and Alex Sanchez dropped last month, reviving

Katana #1
Katana #1

the 1983 DC character with a brand new, and carefully equipped, new costume, but she’s just as badass as ever. Though Katana has been on the scene, appearing in various roles in Batman series and in the New 52 Birds of Prey, this is the first time she has appeared in her own solo title. Nocenti, a former staffer at Marvel, is new to DC, but takes on Katana’s story with a deft hand. The narrative is tight, alluding to the back story enough that newcomers to Katana can jump right in.  And I think they’re gonna wanna.

If you don’t know Katana, here’s the brief. Katana was born Tatsu Toro, an average girl with an aptitude for martial arts, growing up in  Japan. She later marries Maseo Yamashiro. But their happy family is short lived when Maseo is killed by his own brother who was also in love with Tatsu. She also loses her two children in the fire that was started the same night that her husband is murdered. Finding her husband dead, Tatsu takes up the sword that killed him and fights her husband’s murderer and brother Takeo. Pretty miserably tragic stuff.  But she soon finds that the sword, a katana sword called the Soultaker, was possessed with her husband’s spirit, and she can talk to him through the sword. Having always shown a strong aptitude for martial arts, she claims the sword and, vowing to fight crime, becomes Katana. When she flees to the U.S, she becomes a founding member of a superhero team called The Outsiders.  With other founding members Black Lightning, Geo-force, Katana, Metamorpho, Batman, and Halo, the Outsiders is a fairly multi-culti crew. She later briefly joins Birds of Prey at the behest of Batgirl.

As for the new Katana series…

Katana's original costume
Katana’s original costume

First let me say, I’m digging the new threads, which trades in the flashy red and yellow of her past for a sleek black jumpsuit and a half-face mask rather than the Spider-Woman-esque eye mask. Maybe the Japanese flag on her forehead is a bit overkill (we get it, she’s Japanese). I mean, aside from Captain America, few superheroes wear their nation’s pride on their chest (much less their faces), and she’s hardly the overzealous patriot that Captain America is (and despite his “America fuck yeah!” spirit, even his costumery is a bit much). Nothing wrong with national pride, it just seemed a little International Day in elementary school to me.

We already saw the new costume in Birds of Prey, so Nocenti and Sanchez are just going with what they’ve got, and they do a great job with it. In fact, this first issue puts special focus on Katana’s fashion sense. One of the best sequences in this issue shows shot-by-shot Katana’s dressing routine, revealing how she arranges her outfit over her superhero costume, down to the deadly details of her accessories – from her pointed hair-sticks to the hem of her dress stitched with razors. Apparently Nocenti has a collection of books on weaponry to thank for the  inspiration on this one!

Katana adapted her dressing habits from a cartoon she’d seen as a child about a housewife that “used everything in her kitchen to fight an enemy”.  It’s the perfect parallel to the “women belong in the kitchen” bit that enemy Coil gives at the beginning of the issue, after she’s taken out a bunch of

Katana's deadly accessorizing
Katana’s deadly accessorizing

sword-yielding henchmen with her lady wear, and Coil gets her in a tough spot. I love how she flips his degradation of femaleness around on him, literally turning the blade back on him. The action scenes are dazzlingly graceful, capturing the style of her fighting, but also bold and strong, depicting her as the warrior she is.

Issue #2 is out this Wednesday, so go get it!

In the meantime, check out Tim O’shea’s interview with writer Anne Nocenti over at Comic Book Resources.