You'd think with all the comic books being adapted for television, we'd be seeing more ladies donning masks and kicking ass. Unfortunately, the memorable female characters in comic book TV shows have seemed few and far between. Thankfully, along with Laurel Lance becoming Black Canary, we will also see another female superhero making her way to the screen and she's unlike any you have seen before. Played by Rila Fukushima, Tatsu, aka Katana, has been appearing on Arrow Season 3 mostly through flashbacks. The show has yet to truly tap her potential. In DC Comics, Katana is brilliant, immensely skilled in combat, and has been a member of the Birds of Prey. While she tends to initially come across as cold and distant, she does care about her fellow heroes and the greater good.
Expect her character to get even more of a spotlight since she is responsible for bringing Oliver Queen back to life in the Jan. 21 episode "Left Behind". And hopefully she won't just interact with Oliver. Tatsu Yamashiro, most commonly referred to as Katana, is known for being closed off, ruthless, and highly skilled. But she wasn't always this way. Let's take a look at the comic books she comes from to get the lowdown on this deadly character and what we might see from her on Arrow.
A Tragic Backstory
Born and raised in Japan, Tatsu had an interest in martial arts from a young age. Her skills catch the eyes of the Yamashiro brothers, Maseo and Takeo. Tatsu and Maseo fall in love, but they don't get to ride off into the sunset together. That's just not the kind of backstory comic book characters are known to have. Instead, the spurned Takeo joins the Yakuza gang and decides revenge is a good idea. Apparently, people don't handle rejection well in comics either. Tatsu and Maseo end up having two kids, however that idyllic life doesn't last long. Takeo enters the picture again, this time carrying the Soultaker, a sword of mystical nature that has the ability to capture the souls of those killed by it.
Takeo kills Maseo, which is a big mistake. Tatsu challenges her murderous brother-in-law to a duel to the death. She proves that she is a far more skilled fighter. Unfortunately, a fire breaks out in her home. Before she can try to go back inside, her husband's soul speaks to her from the Soultaker, letting her know their children are dead. The fact that Maseo inhabits the sword puts a new spin on "until death do us part." After losing everyone she cared for, Tatsu wears the attire of the Samurai and establishes herself as the vigilante Katana, keeping the Soultaker as her most used weapon.
She Can Kick Your Favorite Superhero's Butt
Or at least give them quite a challenge.
Katana is immensely skilled in martial arts and hand to hand combat. Great marksmanship, agility, speed, unparalleled stealth, and a brilliant mind when it comes to battle all make Katana an immensely powerful human in the DC Comics universe. She's used her skills as a member of the Justice Society of America, Birds of Prey, and the Outsiders.
The Soultaker Is Much More Than A Sword
Having the Soultaker also helps. Not only does her sword hold onto the souls of those it kills (including her dead husband), but it can also deflect bullets, withstand a variety of attacks including extreme heat, and be used for tracking purposes. Having a mystical sword definitely comes in handy.
Will She Get Close to Black Canary?
In the New 52, the only person Katana seems to connect with is her fellow Birds of Prey member Black Canary. Things end up changing often for the Birds of Prey, but wouldn't it be nice to see female characters interact as fellow heroes? Can we look forward to seeing the new Black Canary on Arrow? I hope so, but I honestly doubt it. Arrow really dropped the ball on Huntress, so it would be nice for them to get back into my good graces by not messing up another beloved female character on their show. But even if we won't see her interact with Black Canary, let's hope they develop Katana beyond interacting with Oliver Queen.
Images: DC Comics (2); arrowcwgifs/Tumblr (2)