By Ann Nocenti, Alex Sanchez & Cliff Richards
This is the last book in the Katana run. Katana is still confronting Mona Shard, leader of the Daggers Clan; Shun is on a vengeance spree against the Swords Clan; The Mad Samurai spirit is preparing for his battle with Katana and other subplots are still needing to be resolved in one issue…
It’s sad to say, but this comic failed as the conclusion to decent series. It’s clearly evident that Ann Nocenti was rushed to wrap as much she could in the storyline. She had set up some great conflicts and characters in previous issues and was not able to flesh them out over time. The old man Junko, who has been helping Katana periodically, turns out to be an undercover cop…Totally out of left field! There was no foreshadowing or inference prior to this reveal. Also, there is some terrible dialog throughout the book. At one point, Junko says to Katana: “We need your Soultaker to take his…Soul.” Seriousy?! Sure this was probably intended as a joke, but it just comes off as poor writing. Last, but certainly not least, only one of the subplots I mentioned was actually concluded. In the last splash page of the comic, Nocenti writes that there still unresolved issues. That doesn’t make the reader feel any better…just disappointed.
Alex Sanchez and Cliff Richards split art duties again, but their collaboration feels very mismatched for some reason. There doesn’t seem to be any consistency in style or tone and they alternate pages throughout the book. You would think that there would be some great, imagery in this last issue, but unfortunately no. It’s all very generic. Even the fight sequence with the Mad Samurai spirit felt dead on the page.
DC should have given Ann Nocenti more time to properly wrap up her run on Katana. This series heartbreakingly ends on a low point on all accounts.