Oh, how could one not hate poor Katana? By pitying her, I suppose...
She's clearly one of those characters from those parlor games they play at DC's annual Klordny Party. You know, where the editors point at a writer and artist standing together at the punch bowl and say: "A new character! Female hero! Thirty seconds! Go!"
"Quickly, Jim!" the writer says knowing well enough when to use adverbs. "Draw one of those clay Chinese guard statues."
"Heroic red and yellow?" the artist mumbles, lurching for his sketchpad.
"Whatever," the writer agrees, "just give her .... a sword. A big shiny sword."
"Wht yr gnna c'l ur, M'k?" the artists asks, gripping a yellow pencil between his teeth.
"Let's see, a sword ..." mutters the writer. "KATANA! We'll call her Katana, after her weapon! And she'll be a Japanese martial artist with ties to the Yakuza and a trained samurai with twins and an ancient mystical sword that itself has an evil twin..."
"5 seconds left!"
"Hey, wait," the artist says, "Is this a Chinese costume or Japanese?" The writer hisses back, "I dunno, just superimpose a Japanese flag motif, who cares? Besides, it's not like they're going to actually --"
Star Sapphire's new costume does not make me believe in sexism in comics; but the Outsiders does. In the Outsiders, the previously established characters were all guys and were pretty cool: Batman, Black Lightning, and blue blazing Metamorpho. The women were all newly thrown together, slapdash, stock characters: Little Blonde Girl with Rainbow Powers! Kick-ass Samurai Asian Chick! Ugly Girl Who Wants to be Pretty and Thereby Control Men!
You know, I really have to be grateful for the Outsiders. I never really understood what the kids mean by "lame", until I started Hating the Outsiders Week. The Outsiders are a pretty good demonstrative definition of "lame" and they are helping me develop operational ones too. For example, "If you are named after your weapon, or vice versa, then you are lame."
And, no, Green Lantern doesn't count; it's Power Ring who is lame.