COMICS: Ann Nocenti Discusses JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA's KATANA Solo Series
One of the most unexpected announcements to come from DC last year was the news that Katana (a member of Geoff Johns' Justice League of America) would be getting her own series in "The New 52". Hit the jump to read Ann Nocenti's comments on the book!
On Katana's Motivations And Her Need For Vengeance:
She's definitely driven by vengeance, because her husband was killed by his brother. She's so consumed by vengeance, and she's moved to Japantown [in San Francisco], where she knows there's information about the various clans, pre-courts and judges, when you would have trained samurai assassins that would go out and serve justice. And the ninjas were, of course, more spies. Ninjas were used to collect information, like the CIA, while the samurais were more like a SWAT team. And so she goes there, and in the book, she's going to be facing off against highly experienced clans that all use a different sword that they love. They think a long sword is the best, or a dagger is the best. But with Katana, this vengeance that consumes her is not necessarily a good thing. The best martial arts teachers teach you non-violence. They teach you, especially in aikido, using someone's power against them. When somebody wants vengeance, the grimness and the fury of her wanting vengeance — that's when you make mistakes...
On The Stories She Plans To Tell And The Tone Of The Series:
I'm very much about stories that are fast, but character development that moves slow. And we have an established character already who has been portrayed a certain way. So far, she's been portrayed as a grim, serious character that doesn't even smile much, you know? And of course, if my husband was stabbed to death by his brother, I might be pretty grim too. But what I'm going to do is surround her with people who have a sense of humor, that are going to start to pull something a little lighter out of her. The best samurais last a long time because they also have a sense of humor. And while we're developing this supporting cast, you'll also see some familiar faces. I'm not allowed to say who yet, but issues #2 and #3, there are going to be some very surprising guest stars.
On How The Series Will Tie-In With Geoff Johns' Justice League of America:
Yeah, the second issue, she has her first meeting with someone from the JLA. So we'll create the spaces for her to be pulled out of my book to do adventures in the JLA. In fact, she ends up meeting Catwoman. But these are things that are going to go on in the Justice League [of America] book, but I think that once we get used to this rhythm of the solo book plus the team book, I think we'll definitely see some crossovers.
On Working With Artist Alex Sanchez:
He's fabulous. He's bringing exactly what I wanted for this book. It's a Japantown that doesn't really exist. There was a Japantown in San Francisco, but after the internment camps that locked up all the Japanese, Japantown shrunk down to just a couple tourist blocks. So what we're doing is we're imagining a Japantown that has a couple alleyways that seem to go way back in time. So you're going to have some modern Japanese areas, influenced by those huge, modern Japanese sculptures and the hilarious, crazy fruit way of dressing those teenagers do. We're going to have some of that modern stuff mixed with the old rituals and the old looking buildings and architecture. Alex is doing this fabulous job of making you feel like you're in ancient times and you're in modern times. Since what she's doing is ancient — we don't see people walking around with katanas strapped on their backs anymore — what we wanted to do artistically is embrace, like, a thousand years of time in each page.
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