After the events of Flahspoint, Katana joined the Birds of Prey, which consisted of Black Canary and Starling, by a request from Batgirl. Poison Ivy also joined the team soon after Katana's recruitment. After facing opponents who can't be seen, Poison Ivy betrays them and forces them to help her in her eco-terrorism.
Not much has changed about her character besides her appearance. She has a new suit of armor and is even more ruthless. Black Canary seems to be the only person that Katana is close to. Katana usually communicates with her husband only. She uses Soultaker's special abilities in missions for intel as well as combat.
She will soon be joining the Justice League of America along with Catwoman, Baz, Vibe, Stargirl, Green Arrow, Hawkman and Martian Manhunter. This version of the JLA will be lead by Steve Trevor. She also stars in her first solo title.
Tatsu Yamashiro has a tragic history, having lost all she held dear to her heart, she became an instrument of vengeance. Tatsu was born and raised in Japan and was allowed to follow her interest in the arts of combat at an early age by her parents. Very serious about her studies and dedicated to her teachings she grew quickly in her teachings and art of hand to hand combat. Always drawn to her homelands ancient teachings of the Samurai belief structure, she read much on the age old warriors. As matured into a young woman Tatsu gained extraordinary skills in various types of Martial Arts.
Tatsu would catch the eye of two young men, the Yamashiro brothers, and was admired by both Yamashiro brothers, Maseo Yamashiro and Takeo Yamashiro. Tatsu had gotten to know the brothers for sometime and cared for both to some extent, however she had realized that she had started falling in love with Maseo. With the beginning of sad turn of events in Tatsu's life her parents both passed away from unknown reasons. The two shortly proclaimed their love for each other and soon announced of their immediate wedding plans. Takeo however didn't take this turn of events well and soon after Tastu and his brother announced their marriage he left and joined the criminal gangs of the Yakuza. He also complicated ties of honor for Tatsu and Maseo with the rest of the Yamashiro clan and soon had the whole family hating them both. While he was planning his revenge on Maseo, Tatsu and Maseo married and sometime later Tatsu found out she was expecting.
The happy couple had two children who happened to be twins, boys they named Yuki and Reiko. While in the employment of the Yakuza for several years now Takeo had tattooed his chest with the symbol of the dragon and he grew in their ranks. Takeo went on with a desire for exotic weaponry and acquired a pair of katana's, however one was the mystical Soultaker, a ancient sword with magical abilities. Takeo started training for sometime and planned to use it to finally get revenge on his brother and his new family. The Soultaker had ended up in the hands of General Karnz, who would later be under the service of Brother Bedlam and sold the swords to him.
Takeo sought out Maseo and attacked him in his own home and Maseo was killed in the fight, the distraught Tatsu grew furious and challenged Takeo to a dual to the death. Knocking out Tatsu so he would face Maseo alone a fire started at the home of Tatsu and Maseo, and it soon began to engulf to residence. As the combat came to an end Tatsu showed her impressive skills and disarmed Takeo during the fight, leaving Soultaker behind which Tatsu now held. As Takeo fled, she started to rush to her burning home to save her children, however the mystical sword manifested its dubious nature and Maseo's captured soul spoke from the blade telling her that it was already to late. Tatsu watched in horror as her house burn to the ground with both her children, Yuki and Reiko, still inside house barely escaping with her own life. With her past ruined, all her loved ones gone, Tatsu made an oath of revenge and decided to make sure this never happened to anyone else ever again. She started her training as a Samurai at this point, returning to a love of the art of battle for very different reasons this time and eventually fulfilled her studies. She decided to take up the the garb of the Samurai, became the modern costumed vigilante known as Katana, taking the name of her chosen weapon, and started her hunt for Takeo to finally enact her revenge.
Created by Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo , Katana first appears in The Brave and The Bold #200.
Katana's character is based off mostly tragedy. Her family dies in her origin, and it makes her lonely and bitter to villains. She was very harsh speaking and cold to others in the beginning of her career. After she joined the Outsiders, she started to lighten up after becoming friends with Halo. She took a parental role in Halo's life, as Halo had no memory of her past. She started showing the caring and gentle side, which came from her maternal instincts. She still was cold to villains, but not to friends.
After Halo dies in the second version of the Outsiders, Tatsu showed her rage to the world as she struggled with Violet Harper. Once again, she returned to that bitter state of mind and blamed the world. Eventually, Halo was brought back to life and Katana became normal once again.
When the Black Lantern's show up, Both her husband and sons get rings and haunt Katana. She has to fight and kill her husband, while her sons were dealt with by Halo. This reminded her of her past, but she pushed through the pain and finally came to terms with their death.
Tatsu also has a short relationship with Geo-Force, but it doesn't last long because of Geo-Force's actions.
Major Story Arcs
Batman and the Outsiders
While in Markovia, Katana got caught up in a fight she didn't intend on being apart of. This eventually led her to become a founding member of the Outsiders, by helping Batman save Dr. Jace and save Markovia from Baron Bedlam. Batman took her and 4 others, Geo-Force, Halo, Metamorpho, and Black Lightning, under his wing. He taught them just what It meant to be a team and how to use there abilities to the fullest potential. Katana eventually had to face Takeo again, after he took the Soultaker. He then used a secret spell that brought select people who had been killed by it back to life. This included her deceased husband Maseo. Katana and the Outsiders eventually defeated all of them and Tatsu killed Takeo. She fought many villains during her time with the Outsiders including Masters of Disaster, Agent Orange, Duke of Oil, Nuclear Family, Force of July and Baron Bedlam. Batman eventually left the team and Geo-Force took over leadership. Katana became an official agent of Markovia during this time, along with the other Outsiders. Batman eventually came back to the team and they split apart soon after.
Eventually, the outsiders reunited after Markovia was attacked by Roderick and his army of Vampires. The team that assembled to battle were Geo-Force, Halo, Katana, Looker, Technocrat, Wylde, and Faust. She successfully helped defend the castle, but was framed, along with all the rest of the Outsiders present, for all the destruction and the death of Markovia's current ruler. Katana and the team then went underground and eventually cleared their name. They picked up two members during this time, Eradicator and Atomic Knight. Eventually the team split up and Katana and Geo-Force lead their team. During this time, Katana faced Lady Shiva who killed her with the Soultaker. Katana came back and stalemated Shiva, who then fled. The team came back together when Felix Faust, Faust's father, attacked them. After a long struggle, the team defeated him and the team split up.
She was eventually on the Team again under many peoples leadership including Nightwing and Batman. She grew close to former Outsider member Metamorpho and fellow Asian Cassandra Cain during that time. She showed her deadly skills many times and played a pivotal role in many of their missions. The team eventually split up again when Batman took leadership from Nightwing. During this time, she met Captain Marvel, Billy Batson, and killed herself with the Soultaker so she could travel to it's dimension and stop Takeo from taking over there. Captain Marvel brought her back to life before her body was destroyed.
The Latest Outsiders
The latest incarnation of the Outsiders includes many of the original members and a couple of fresh faces. They were brought together by Alfred to stop the Insiders. The original team he brought together included Black Lightning, Geo-Force, Katana, Halo, Metamorpho, Creeper, and Owlman. They eventually defeated the Insiders and then started hunting some of Gotham's villains to help out when Batman died. Katana, along with Halo and Creeper, went after Killer Croc, but also came into conflict with Man-Bat who teamed up with Croc. Alfred left the team as mentor during this time. They eventually went through Blackest Night, in which Maeso, Yuki, and Reiko (Katana's deceased husband and children) were resurrected. This was hard for Katana to cope with, but Halo eventually stopped them. Halo disappeared soon after the fight was over for an unknown cause, making the things that happened during Blackest Night even harder.
Geo-Force then changed everything and made the Outsiders agents for Markovia. He had words with Owlman and Black Lightning on occasions about his sudden alliance with New Krypton. Eradicator, or a clone of him, being their ambassador. They then take on the Masters of Disaster, who had 2 new members, but the fight stopped when Black Lightning and Geo-Force break into a fight. Katana eventually stops the two and the 2 groups separate. They are all declared enemy's of Earth and Geo-Force brings back Halo. The team eventually goes to war with one another, causing mass destruction in Markovia. Veritas ended up being the cause of the problem, and the team united together at the end.
Katana is always seen with her fellow Outsider members during major crisis. She has been called by many people to help in various situations. She has helped Batman, Black Canary and others specifically because of her unique abilities. She has had encounters with many of the worlds top Martial Artists and has done well, proving her skills. She has been a part of other teams for short amounts of time including Birds of Prey and Suicide Squad.
Powers and Abilities
Katana has amazing Martial Arts and also Swordsmanship skills from her training as a child and from becoming a Samurai. These only increased when she trained with Batman during her membership with the Outsiders. She is adept in the use of pressure points and other advanced Martial Arts techniques. She has unparalleled stealth that some of the world's best have not been able to match. She has great marksmanship as well showing this with a bow and arrow and shuriken. She is a great leader and has a brilliant tactical mind, being able to tell others how to use their powers to the fullest in any situation. Her agility, speed, and reaction timing are faster than a normal humans and she is a great acrobat.
The ancient mystical katana blade named Soultaker is her main weapon of choice which she has used at times to kill without second thought. The sword has various mystic properties which give it unique capacities. First off it is nearly indestructible, coming into contact with high impacts and not receiving any damage. It is also able to cleave through most material's with amazing ease, its mystical sharpness never ebbing. The Katana sword also contains the souls of any being ever killed by its blade, and over the centuries of use it retains quite an amount of souls. The wielder of the sword may also call forth the entities of the sword to manifest on the blade and speak to the current wielder, giving as much help as they do in begging for mercy from the swords limbo. When a certain ritual of magic is preformed than the wielder can also physically manifest these souls in corporal states and temporarily command them to do her/his bidding. Katana is extremely skilled with all of the swords capacity's while in combat.
She also keeps other weapons on her person the majority of the time which have assisted her during events which battling her way out of would not suffice. This includes shurikens, a dagger, caltrops, bracelets which tie together to act as projectile weapons, and other utensils of various uses. She originally used samurai armor, but has since used more modern costumes while fighting crime and her most latest costume is equipped with padding and armored sections to add to further protection.
In Other Media
Katana appears as a member of the Outsiders in several episodes of this series on Cartoon Network. She is young and angry when the Outsiders, consisting of Metamorpho, Black Lightning, and Katana, met and fought Batman and Wildcat. They have since became allies and have fought others alongside Batman including Despero. He has taken the young teenagers anger and redirected it through training.
Katana assists Batman in numerous episodes of Beware The Batman. She is voiced by Sumalee Montano
Katana appears as one of the many heroes trying to find and capture Superman and Batman. She make a non speaking appearance.
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
An alternate version from a parallel earth appears in the film as part of the Crime Syndicate of America. She wears a costume similar to Cheshire's traditional one.
DC Super Hero Girls (TV and Web Shorts)
Katana is one of the main characters in DC Super Hero Girls. She is voiced by Stephanie Sheh.
DC Super Hero Girls: Super Hero High
Katana is present in Supergirl's welcome, as well as in the fight against Granny Goodness and the Female Furies. She is voiced by Stephanie Sheh.
DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year
Katana is one of the heroes nominated to Hero of the year. She helps defend the school against Eclipso and Dark Opal's attack, fighting the shadows. She is voiced by Stephanie Sheh.
Tatsu appears as a recurring character in the third season of the CW series Arrow, portrayed by Rila Fukushima.
Katana appears in the live-action Suicide Squad movie, portrayed by Karen Fukuhara. In the film, she is a volunteer member of the team and Rick Flag's bodyguard.
Katana is a playable character in the game.
Her bio says:
Tatsu Toro’s idyllic, but brief, marriage to her husband, Maseo, came to a sudden end in a single, tragic night. Her husband and his twin brother, Takeo, were both members of the Sword Clan, one of the clans in the Yakuza criminal organization. Takeo confronted his brother over a matter involving the clan, and in the struggle, Maseo was killed by his own sword, the Soultaker. This ancient Katana, one of the clan’s relics, was said to contain the souls of those it killed, as well as possess other mystical qualities. Tatsu witnessed her husband’s murder and collapsed by his body, overcome with grief. Takeo ran off into the night, and when Tatsu finally came to her senses, she took up the Soultaker and swore revenge against not just Takeo, but the Yakuza and all crime everywhere.
Tatsu is a woman wracked by grief and guilt. She goes by the name of Katana in honor of the sword she wields, which she is convinced contains her dead husband’s soul. Due to this fact, she regularly has conversations with the sword, which is quite disconcerting to others. While she is a gifted swordswoman and martial artist, the sword can, at times, enhance her abilities in combat. When the sword is empowering her, the hilt of the sword glows with an unearthly light, burning Tatsu’s hand.
- DC Collectibles released a Katana figure as part of a Justice League two-pack with Wonder Woman.
- Katana is featured in Mattel's line of DC Super Hero Girls dolls and action figures.