Shi (comics)


Shi (comics)

Superherobox


caption = Shi
character_name = Shi
publisher = Crusade Comics
debut = "Razor Annual" #1 (1993)
creators = William Tucci
alter_ego = Ana Ishikawa
full_name =
species =
homeworld =
alliances =
partners =
aliases =
supports=
powers = Skilled martial artist

Shi is a fictional comic book character created by William Tucci for Crusade Comics. She first appeared in "Razor Annual" #1 (1993) and has run for over ten years with a variety of publishers. Shi is a young woman of mixed Japanese and American ancestry drafted into a modern-day "shadow war" between descendents of the infamous sohei warrior monks of medieval Japan. The story is deeply rooted in Japanese history and mythology, "Shi" literally translates to death (死) in Japanese, and her signature weapon is the naginata.

The series is known for its scenes of stylized violence, and originates from the era of comics sometimes called "bad girl comics". The series often touches on spiritual issues, especially as they pertain to Ana's dual background in the traditions of the yamabushi warrior monks, and Christianity.

Publication history

After her debut in "Razor Annual" Shi received her own series, "Shi: The Way of the Warrior", which ran for 12 issues. The 12 issues were later collected into three trade paperbacks. The first series was followed by several limited mini-series: "Shi: Senryaku" (1995), "Shi: Heaven and Earth" (1997), and "Shi: Akai" (2001).

Shi has also appeared in several crossovers with characters from other publishers, including Lady Death, Daredevil, Vampirella and Cyblade. She is scheduled to appear in "War of the Independents", a six-issue crossover mini-series featuring heroes from various publishers; it will be published by Arcana Studios.

Fictional character biography

Shi is a young woman named Ana Ishikawa. Her father Shiro is a Japanese warrior and her mother Catherine is an American Catholic missionary. As a child, Ana witnessed the brutal murder of her father and brother at the hands of an upstart Yakuza thug named Masahiro Arashi. After this, she swore revenge on the Yakuza and went out to become one of the deadliest assassins in the world. Ana was trained by her grandfather Yoshitora in the martial arts. In order to disguise herself, she painted her face white in order to resemble Tora No Shi ("Tiger of Death"), a legenday female warrior of medieval Japan. Ana herself gained the name "Shi" ("Death" in Japanese) for her ferocity and ruthlessness.

Bent on impressing the leaders of the Osaka crime syndicate, Arashi leaves a calling card with every murder he commits – a simple coin engraved with the kanji for death, Shi. Escaping the hitman, Ana is consequently spirited away and raised by her grandfather, Yoshitora amid the sacred temples of Kyoto. There Yoshitora secretly trains Ana in the ways of the Sohei so that she could seek out Arashi and avenge her family's honor.

Still clutching the coins left on the bodies of her brother and father, this vengeful obsession consumes Ana's very being as she completely gives herself to "Shi" - the living embodiment of Death, a demon who since childhood, has terrified while encouraging her in her crusade of vengeance. However, Shi is soon confronted by her mother's Catholic teachings, and Ana's life soon becomes one of inner conflict between her programmed mission of revenge and the Christian faith she secretly harbors.

Eventually, her conscience forced her to rein in her bloodthirstyness; once her parent's killer Masahiro was finally sent to prison, Shi renounced killing and became the manager of a New York art gallery. From time to time she still takes on her Shi persona to aid the innocent.

Ironically, it is this duality that rages in Ana's soul that will not permit her to totally succumb to the death demon that terrorizes her. In the end, it is Ana's faith and the ethereal visions of her gallant Sohei ancestors that shepherd her along the "Way of the Warrior". The series often touches on spiritual issues, especially as they pertain to Ana's dual background in the traditions of the yamabushi warrior monks, and Christianity.

Powers and abilities

Shi was trained by her grandfather to be a "sohei", a warrior of feudal Japan. As such, she is a skilled martial artist and swordsperson.

Appearances in other media

A film based on the original "Way of the Warrior" storyline was scheduled to begin production in 2000. William Tucci wrote the script, and Tia Carrere was attached to film to play Shi. However, production was halted and the film was never completed. Tucci continues to work on a possible "Shi" film with producer Mimi Polk Gitlin; no production or release date has been set.

Merchandise

Through William Tucci's "Crusade Fine Arts", the multi-Eisner Award nominated Shi has been printed in four languages and has sold more than 4 million comic books and also grossed over 25 million dollars in prints, toys and other merchandise worldwide while garnering several international creative and printing awards.

Bibliography

*"Shi: Way of the Warrior" #1-12 (1994 - 1997)
*"Shi vs. Tomoe"
*"Tomoe" #1-3 (drawn by Amanda Connor)
*"Shi: Tora No Shi" #1-3
*"Shi: Heaven & Earth" #1-4 (1997)
*"Shi: Ju-Nen" (4-issue mini-series, 2004-2005, trade paperback, 104 pages, Dark Horse Comics, 2006, ISBN 1-59307-451-4) [ [http://www.darkhorse.com/profile/profile.php?sku=12-692 Dark Horse Comics > Profile > Shi: Ju-Nen TPB ] ]
*"Shi: Poisoned Paradise" (with Karl Waller, Avatar Press, 2005)
*"Definitive Shi":
** "The Essential Warrior Vol. 1" (576 pages, Crusade Fine Arts, 2006) [ [http://www.williamtucci.com/news/20051130definitiveshi.php News: Crusade Fine Arts ] ]


= Crossovers =

*"Avengelyne/Shi"
*"Image comics/GEN 13 - Number 13C"
*"Cyblade/Shi" and "Shi/Cyblade" - "The Battle For Independents" (1995)
*"Daredevil/Shi" and "Shi/Daredevil" (1997)
*"Fallen Angel (IDW)/Shi (Fallen angel v2 #17-19)
*"Grifter/Shi: Final Rites" #1-2 (1996)
*"Razor & Shi Special" (1994)
*"Shi/Vampirella"
*"Vampirella/Shi"
*"Vampirella" #7-9 (features Shi)
*"Wolverine/Shi: Dark Night of Judgment" (2000)
*"Tenth Muse/Shi: Bluewater One Shot" (2007)
*"Jetta/Shi: Arrow Of Destiny" (2008)

References

External links

* [http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/s/shi.htm A short biography]
* [http://www.crusadefinearts.com/comics/shihome.php Shi at Crusade Comics website]
* [http://www.crusadefinearts.com/comics/shi.php Shi page at Crusade Fine Arts]
* [http://www.avatarpress.com/gallery/shi/ Avatar Press]
* [http://www.crusade-fan.com/ Shi by William Tucci]

Reviews

* [http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/reviews/8600544003161.htm "Shi" #12]
* [http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/reviews/97401462555599.htm "Year of the Dragon" #1] , [http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/reviews/97641982076326.htm #2] and [http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/reviews/98126866841472.htm #3]
* [http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/reviews/103947296511411.htm "Poisoned Paradise" #1] and [http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/reviews/103953386652546.htm #2]


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