Those who live by the sword...
Katana hasn't shown up prominently in the other three books in this series, but when she is late getting back from picking up BatGirl's cake, everyone starts to worry. Katana has entered a secret passage under the school because she heard voices calling to her, and is caught in a tidal wave of swords! Luckily, Miss Martian locates her, and her friends snap her out of her trance, and no one is injured. The swords are stowed away safely, and everyone gets back to their school day. The latest project is all about ancestry, and this is very timely for Katana. Her grandmother was a super hero samurai, which was very unusual for a woman. Unfortunately, her grandmother disappeared and is presumed dead. Katana starts to investigate her own background, and odd things continue to happen. Sand crabs appear around the school, and seem to want to communicate with her. There are mystical haiku poems that seem to indicate that Katana needs to harness the power of the swords. Most worrying, a super villain named Dragon King is on the loose and seems to be targeting Katana. With the help of her super friends, can Katana figure out the mystery of her grandmother and subdue the Dragon King?
Like the previous books in this series (involving Wonder Woman, Super Girl and Bat Girl), Katana's story works in a distractingly large number of DC characters. I'm starting to get to know a few of them (like Big Barda and Carzy Quilt), but fans of actual DC comics who are already familiar with the characters will definitely enjoy the appearances of even obscure characters. including Granny Goodness, who was the librarian at Super Hero High before she caused problems!
Yee seems to have hit her stride in this fourth volume, though. I liked how Katana's school work aligned nicely with her super hero mission and led to a better understanding of her own powers and motivations. Her mythology is more clearly delineated than the other characters, and I thought it was especially clever to have her solve a mystery involving her grandmother.
There are a growing number of books where girls have amazing powers, such as the new McMullen, Beth. Mrs. Smith's Spy School For Girls releasing at the same time as Katana. Older titles include Hale's Playing with Fire (School for S.P.I.E.S., #1), Salane's Lawless, and Hale's Dangerous. If Wonder Woman was a big hit in your house but you're a bit tired of untying children from the Golden Lasso, by all means take a look at this series and introduce some other female super heroes into the mix.