Kanto is one of the New Gods created by Jack Kirby, who first appeared in Mister Miracle #7 in 1972. His role is Darkseid's master assassin on the planet of Apokolips.
An expert organizer and strategist, Kanto's tactics are only second to Darkseid himself on Apokolips. Kanto's costume is based on the people's clothing from the Renaissance period, the time in which he was trained. He is a master swordsman and can adapt to almost any weapon. He has accomplished a lot for his master, Darkseid, but has also developed a respect for other people's arts. He once let Mr. Miracle go free for impressing him with his escaping skills.
For his duties to Darkseid, Kanto was put in charge of his own dominion and received a horde of soldiers at his command.
Originally named Iluthin, Kanto was brought up in Granny Goodness's orphanage, and was one of her most promising warriors. When he decided to steal a pair of Neuro-Skraggers from Darkseid's then personal assassin, Kanto-13, the dread lord used his Omega Beams to blast the young Iluthin. Instead of killing him, Iluthin was transported to Italy around the Renaissance period in 1502. It was here where he learned his swordsmanship and other fighting skills. Iluthin was employed under the king at the time as a messenger.
Claudia Borgia was young Iluthin's first love. She was the sister of Iluthin's trainer, Cesare Borgia. Cesare and Claudia Borgia were the relatives of Pope Alexander VI. In his personal chambers, Cesare was told that his sister was seeing Iluthin. When confronting his sister about the ordeal, she denied it. Thinking to get rid of Iluthin, he sent him on a mission to deliver a message to people distantly from there. He said he feared the Orsinis is plotting against him.
On his way, Iluthin was captured and tortured. After returning with news of plots against him, Cesare gave Claudia to Iluthin as a bride. During the wedding, however, Kanto-13, still sore over Iluthin attempting to steal his weapons and tries to slay him by planting a bomb, and then fleeing. While Iluthin was distracted by Kanto-13's leaving, Claudia covered the bomb, gave her life, and saved her lover.
After Claudia's death Iluthin returned to Apokolips to seek out his bride's killer. He soon found Kanto-13. After some talking and drinking a glass of water, Kanto-13 and Iluthin fought. When the assassin fell to the ground with wracking body pains, Iluthin explained how he heard him talk of assassins always having a back-up plan, and poisoned his water. Looking at the man on the floor with disgust, Darkseid soon vanquished the minion. It was at the same time he renamed Iluthin the numberless Kanto, and dubbed him his new personal assassin. The assassin refers to his job as an "art". During the time when he caught Mister Miracle and was told to dispose of him, he created many ways in which to preform the matter. Each time, however, Mister Miracle escaped Kanto's traps. Impressed by his techniques, Kanto rewarded the escape artist by letting him go free. It was told, as well, that Kanto would trust his talents with his life.
At one time, Kanto thought he killed a mortal with one of his daggers. While he boasted to Granny, the mortal took the dagger out of himself, and stuck it into Kanto's back. He and the mortal fell over dead immediately afterwards. Darkseid resurrected him after. Kanto has always been an assassin of a peculiar sort. Only twice did Kanto ever kill anyone, even though he has trained for killing all his life. He refrains from putting his faith in "toys", but instead into his skills.
Even though Kanto dresses and talks like one of the nobles, he refuses to take up any sort of throne. During the time Orion ruled Apokolips, Darkseid's Elite where discussing what to do about it. They eventually decided to let Mantis try and kill Orion. Desaad brought up the point of who would rule Apokolips, and Kanto was the first to decline. Kanto claims to be one of the most loyal to Darkseid. Even though he has never tried to kill his leader, like other members of the dark lord's Elite, such as Desaad or Virman Vundabar, Kanto is willing to serve whomever it is that rules.
Relationship with Artemis
During John Byrne's time on the Wonder Woman comic, he insinuated Kanto had not only been the teacher of, but also had an affair with the Amazon, Artemis. This falls out of established history due to the fact that no prior connection between Artemis and the New Gods have been established until Darkseid's invasion of Themyscira, which was shortly after Artemis' death. Because of this the only other time Artemis could have met Kanto would have been before the Banas invaded Paradise Island, leaving Artemis to be between infancy to fourteen years of age. Thus she would have been much too young to have had a relationship with the grown adult. Artemis also admitted in the Requiem series that she was still a virgin, further removing the Kanto/Artemis romance plot.
Death of New Gods
While he was stalking Mr. Miracle and Orion after they arrived on Apokolips, Kanto met his doom with the "God-Killer" who ripped his soul from his body, later his corpse was discovered by Kalibak.
Kanto reappears in during the events of Final Crisis in Blüdhaven, alongside Kalibak as the bodyguard of Boss Dark Side and watching the children corrupted by the Anti-Life Equation, the New Gods have demonstrated the ability to possess human bodies and using them as hosts.
Powers and Abilities
New God Physiology
The beings of Apokolips call themselves gods and live in a realm called the Fourth World which is outside normal space and time. Their strength is due to their relative proximity to the Source, an energy which fuels the powers of the beings in Apokolips. The inhabitants of New Genesis are far more stronger, faster, smarter and are said to be immortal.
- Superhuman Strength
- Superhuman Speed
- Superhuman Stamina
- Superhuman Senses: As a New God,he has all senses expanded at superhuman levels.
- Invulnerability: As a New God, Kanto is resistant to most form of energy physical attacks, he already survives a fall into Apokolips's fire pits.
- Immortality: As a New God, Kanto has an extended lifespan which allows him to exist indefinitely. He doesn't age, wither or degrade. After being killed by Infinity Man, he was raised with the ability to possess others bodies.
- Immunity: New Gods have an advanced immune system, which allows him to survive on Apokolip's environmental (which is full of diseases and toxins) and be immune to toxin and diseases from other planets.
Kanto is a superb athlete, master swordsman, tracker, strategist and expert fighter. Kanto was trained, during the Renaissance in many forms of armed and unarmed combat and weapons, during his stay on Earth he trained Artemis in hand to hand combat. Kanto was also trained by Granny Goodness, becoming an incomparable strategist and leader, he proved able to adapt to any type of weapon, whether modern or ancient. He considers his work his art.
- Height: 5'11"
- Weight: 170lbs.
- Eyes: Blue
- Hair: Black
- Skin Color: White
In the Amalgam Universe, Kanto is the only character that wasn't fused with any other character, he appeared in Bullets and Bracelets as the son of Diana Prince and The Punisher (Trevor Castle), called Ryan Castiglione. The little Ryan was kidnapping by Thanoseid and held by Kanto, they are confronted by Diana, Big Titania and Punisher, annoyed by their interference Thanoseid hit Ryan with his Omega Beams, making the baby disappear, but Diana discovered it was only a plan for Steve kills Kanto, which was actually their son Ryan (Thanoseid sent Ryan back in time so he could be raised as Kanto).
Superman: Animated Series
Kanto appeared on the episode "Tools of the Trade" voiced by Michael York, In that episode the Intergang terrorizes Metropolis,with hi-tech weapons from a mysterious downer (that later would be revealed as Kanto) and they would use it to kill Superman, unsuccessfully. After the unsuccessful mission Kanto return to Apokolips and Bruno Mannheim following him.
Justice League Unlimited
Kanto make a cameo on the episode "Alive" voiced by Corey Burton, in the episode he is one of Virman Vundabar's lieutenants during the struggle with Granny Goodness, until a resurrected Darkseid arrives putting an end to the war and stunned by the return of his master, he asks what is his greatest wish.
Kanto has appeared in Superman: Shadow of Apokolips based on Superman TAS, he plays one of the several villains. He was voiced by Michael York.