Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Deadly Hands of People Who Are Not Shang-Chi

Batman and the Outsiders 11 - Pages 18-23
A few hoodlums, a non-lethal ninja... you know what we haven't seen yet? Supervillains worthy of battling the Outsiders. In most cases, this means total losers who don't deserve a page in Who's Who unless Alan Davis wants to draw them. In this case it means... well, exactly that. Let's meet them, shall we? They'll be in that building designed by the same architect who did STAR Labs.
Ah. Well, maybe we won't. You don't have an appointment, do you, dear reader? Neither does Ninja Takeo, but then he can use stealth and subtlety to get where he needs to--
Or not. Clearly, despite Mr. Noguri being some kind of criminal mastermind, his security force will let an obviously armed man walk in if he plays the "I know the bouncers here" card. Security is so lax, in fact, that elevator doors will stay open until you board them. Meet Mr. Noguri:
We know he's bad not because Takeo wouldn't dare fail him, but because he likes to sit back on a raised throne in a room with nothing but a polished floor and harsh spotlights. And he's a SMOKER! Booooo. Hisssss. PREPARE FOR THE CEREMONY!
 The SEXY ceremony! I'm going to call this our visual double-entendre of the week.
Takeo shows off his big tat, opens a briefcase and lays out a few fondue dishes, and we're ready to go.
Nice rack. (Oh, I'm FULL of double-entendres today. It's how I keep myself entertained while reading Outsiders comics.)
A nice bit here as the stuff written on the piece of paper is exactly replicated in Takeo's next speech bubble. Good work, uncredited letterer (Jim Aparo, maybe?).
It's time to get the ghosts out of the ghost trap. Meet... all sorts of deadly hands of kung fu!
The Outsiders will face all these people who were killed by the sword. So they start off as losers. The odds are even! And if you think Katana's name is obvious and dull, you'll see where she got the tradition from. First up, SHURIKEN! Guess what she throws?
She's got ninja stars all up and down her costume just so she can out-glitter Wonder Woman, and she also wears a wavy stiletto dagger that's from another culture entirely. Sigh. (Yes, that's a pun.)  Moving right along - NUNCHAKU!
This samurai-looking joker has nunchuks for HANDS. Least functional prosthesis EVER. Even Bruce Lee hit himself in the face ALL THE TIME when doing nunchuk work, so I can't imagine living with those things. He was killed by the sword before he could die from starvation. Third? BLOWDART! (No, really, did these apparently unconnected people ALL have the same unoriginal approach to their aliases?)
He'll do anything. ANYTHING! Orgy's back on.  But who uses TWO blowguns. I guess that gives you two attacks before reloading, which right there should tell you what this guy's weakness was against a swordsman. Number 4 is... ANTHOR STONEAXE!
Yep, even the Wisigoth who somehow found his way to Japan named himself after his weapon. There's no getting away from it. The big "A" with horns on his chest is rather anachronistic, so maybe they were all killed fairly recently in some kind of Legendary Weapons of Not-Shaolin Kumite tournament. Issue 11 doesn't tell. Is that all? No, there's a fifth member...
But who is he, this MASEO?
Despite the historical attire, he's Takeo brother AND Katana's slain husband! His weapon is the sword itself.
No, I don't know why Shuriken is so prominent in the foreground. Appealing to the teen demographic, I guess. But wait for it...
SHOCKER!!! Go off and kill your wife. Just like I almost did and really could have, but then didn't because I'm a real douchebag and thought this would be much funnier, if not practical. Can't even be sure she's in Tokyo, though she is. The Yakuza are really getting a great deal on their investment, aren't they? All this work just to kill a girl who could and should have been dead already if Takeo had done his job. END PART ONE.

Well, we're not even close to "The Truth About Katana", so join us in January for Part 2. We're gonna get to the grimy bottom of this if it kills us.


Kid Kyoto said...

My Japanese is not perfect but I'd say the characters on the scroll are just made up jumbles that kind of look like Japanese. Most, if not all of the signs are, except for the two characters above the mob boss' chair which Nippon/Japan.

Y'know if you're going to draw a whole adventure in Japan you'd think Aparo might have, y'know found out what Japanese actually looks like and stuff.

Just saying here.

Siskoid said...

Too bad, but unsurprising. I bet it would be the same if it were meant to be Chinese.

Anonymous said...

Back then, Aparo would have had to go down to the library and hope he could find an appropriate book. I put it to you that there is no aspect of BatO that suggests any commitment to quality, much less going to the library.

Siskoid said...

Since it IS writing, it should have been Barr's job. You'd think he'd have an interest in Japanese culture given that he created Katana.

Boosterrific said...

Wait until January!?! I'm counting the days.

Thanks for all of your great posts in 2012. I look forward to 2013 with great relish!

Siskoid said...

Need any ketchup or mustard with that?