Erica Schultz Talks Swords Of Sorrow: Masquerade / Kato

With Dynamite's recent announcement of the Swords of Sorrow event lead by an all-female writing team, a lot of people took notice. Byron Brewer chatted with Erica Schultz to talk about her part of the event, Swords Of Sorrow: Masquerade / Kato. Cover art by Billy Tan.

SS-Masq-Kato-Cov-A-TanBYRON BREWER: As a fan of the 1960s Green Hornet show, I have always loved Black Beauty and here it/she is as a featured character! This WILL be wild. How did this plot twist come about?

ERICA SCHULTZ: This whole series is steeped in magic and mystery, so [co-writer G. Willow Wilson] added to that, coming up with this fantastic idea of the Black Beauty being possessed by the evil forces afoot.

BB: So Erica, how did you come about this very important, special event?

ES: I've always been a fan of [event overseer Gail Simone's] work, and more recently, Willow's work. After Gail and I had met at Baltimore Comic Con, she contacted me about being a part of this big mash up. There are really wonderfully talented ladies coming together, and I'm very proud and honored to be a part of it.

BB: Will Kato be out of place here as a male hero? (laughs)

ES: Well, this Kato is Mulan Kato, daughter of the original Kato that we know from The Green Hornet. She has trained with and been trained by her father when he went to Japan and met his wife. She's just as kick ass as her father, but she has more of a modern view of things. She was always very headstrong and lacked discipline. But when her mother was killed, she refocused everything she had into training and becoming the best warrior she could. She fits right in with the rest of these kick ass ladies.

BB: Kato is … a girl? … Sure, why not? Now, Erica, are you a fan of your protagonists? Have you ever worked with either before?

ES: I've never written for either of these characters, so I had to do my research. Masquerade is a Golden Age character that fell into public domain, so she, as an intellectual property, has changed hands a great deal. My familiarity with Kato was limited to the same 1960s show you watched with Bruce Lee. Again, I read up on this new incarnation of Kato (the daughter of the original Kato) to get familiar with her.

BB: What is the process in which you and G. Willow Wilson plotted/wrote/scripted this imaginative one shot to the main Swords of Sorrow event?

ES: Willow had this great idea for the story and gave me the basic plot. I put something together and brought it back to her for input. It was a great collaboration of ideas.

BB: Is there either of these characters you would like to handle in a solo ongoing, perhaps spinning out of this event?

ES: I'd happily write either of these ladies in a solo book, if given the chance. Both have a good deal of history and potential. Kato is based in reality with no special powers, whereas when Masquerade emerged from Pandora's Urn, she was given the ability to possess others. I think, if I had to choose, I'd work with Masquerade, simply because I've tackled the real world crime genre in my independent series, M3, with Vicente Alcázar.

For more on the Swords of Sorrow event, check out our original story on the announcement.

About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.