Review: The Other History of the DC Universe #3
Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: John Ridley
Artists: Giuseppe Camuncoli and Andrea Cucchi
Colors: Jose Villarrubia
Letters: Steve Wands
Reviewer: Tony Farina
1983. Japan. Tatsu Yamashiro’s life has been taken from her. Her home, her children, her husband are all gone. With nothing left but a burning pain and the sword that stole her family from her, Tatsu begins a long journey of healing, self-discovery, agency, and rebirth. This is the story of Tatsu Yamashiro, the woman known to many as Katana-a hero who became more than the world ever intended for her, ultimately making a family of like-minded Outsiders who rally together for the common good amidst xenophobia and oppression. The long-awaited miniseries written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter John Ridley (12 Years a Slave, Let It Fall) and beautifully illustrated by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Andrea Cucchi continues to look at the mythology of the DC Universe as seen through the prism of DC Super Heroes who come from traditionally disenfranchised groups.
Katana has always been one of my favorite characters. There has been an energy to her that is never fully explored. She is a B-lister with A-list abilities. The fact that she never has carried her own title is telling. She is one of the long list of characters who deserve more love, but is never really given her due. John Ridley realized that as well and in issue three of this 5 part series, he not only gives her her due, he shines the full power of the sun on her. Ridley is not one to sugar coat things, so there are some pretty uncomfortable passages in here, but that is good. We need that.
The art team once again creates a comic book that breaks the boundaries of what we thought we knew as is the concept behind this series. Having two artists is incredibly smart because it makes the passage of time and different locations look and feel more real. Every page is beautiful. I love it so much.
This issue can only be seen in a negative light by people who don’t like to read and who don’t like to think. There is a level of discomfort with this series that is intentional, but necessary.
The Other History of the DC Universe # 3 is equal parts glorious and disturbing. What Ridley and his team are doing in this series is long overdue. This one feels like I watched a PBS documentary about my favorite song only to realize I’ve been singing the wrong words all along.