When I got a bunch of issues of Caravan Kidd to fill in the gaps in my collection, I also picked up the last three issues of Shuriken: Cold Steel to complete my set.
I’ve talked at length about the different Shuriken series, and Cold Steel was easily the worst, but I wanted to see if it turned around before the end [because the series after Cold Steel by the same writer WAS good].
Well, it didn’t.
Start to finish, Kyoko is kind of a cold, self-centered bitch, drastically unlike her characterization in the original Byers runs. The art from Christopher Taylor never gets better and maintains a serviceable-but-generic B&W Indie aesthetic that doesn’t jibe with the IP. Cold Steel also feels like S.A. Bennett trying to back-door his own superhero team book through the then-popular Shuriken. And his superhero team isn’t terrible, but it’s not what I would’ve picked up a Shuriken book for.
Cold Steel didn’t publish many letters in its short run, and the few they did more or less like the new title, but at least one person who had previously been a fan unloaded on the shoddy writing.
Cold Steel is the one Shuriken book that’s just plain bad. Bland and no charm at all, which is a shame. I really wondered what happened between Cold Steel and Shuriken Vol. 2–whether it was an editor stepping in, Bennett taking the character more seriously and trying to understand her, or maybe he got into some weeb stuff and figured out how to write a Shuriken story, he goes from having written one of the worst Shuriken books to what may be one of the best Shuriken books.
Anyway, that’s it. That’s all I have. If Cold Steel was the first Shuriken book I’d read, I probably wouldn’t have read any others. As it is, it gives me something to gripe about in context of some more enjoyable titles.
Now all I have to do is find the Hellbender one-off…