In the newest promo for The Flash's fourth season, fans got their best look yet at a rather unique antagonist - Baron Katana.
If that name doesn't register with you, (and his appearance brings to mind a completely different sci-fi show), you're probably not alone. While he's one of the more colorful villains that Barry Allen has gone up against in the comics, he isn't necessarily a well-known member of the DC Comics canon.
Katana first made his debut in 1968's The Flash Vol. 1 #180, and was created by Frank Robbins and Ross Andru. In a two-part story, titled "The Flying Samurai" and "The Attack of the Samuroids!", Katana was established as a war criminal, who was inspired to build an army of robotic "Samuroids" (yes, really) to take over Japan. Barry and Iris conveniently were on a vacation in Japan during that time, leading Interpol to ask for his help defeating the Samuroids.
Barry and his friends led a strike force on Katana's private island, where Barry shorted out the Samuroids' power source and defeated them. In the chaos of the fight, Baron Katana jumped from the castle into the ocean. But that wouldn't be the last time that his creations went up against the Scarlet Speedster.
The Samuroids made a return appearance decades later, in Mark Waid and Jerry Ordway's Brave and The Bold #13.
In the story, titled "American Samuroids", Penguin obtained a large quantity of Samuroids from an abandoned warehouse. He brought them to T.O. Morrow, who realized he had designed them for a Warlord decades before. Once Morrow upgraded the Samuroids with artificial intelligence, Penguin sent them to kill Bruce Wayne.
The plans were quickly foiled by Batman and Jay Garrick/The Flash, who counteracted the Samuroid's AI.
Batman and Flash would go up against the Samuroids yet again, in an appearance that fans of DC Comics' current run are sure to recognize.
The Samuroids made a brief cameo appearance in Batman Vol. 3 #21 - also known as the first chapter of "The Button."
While we won't go too into the plot of the event, the Samuroids can briefly be seen early on in the comic, while Bruce calls up Barry for help. Barry exclaims that he's busy dealing with "some kind of Samuroid invasion", and gives himself a minute to fight off the remaining robots and meet Bruce in the Batcave.
While their appearance is quickly overshadowed by the return of another Flash villain, 'The Button' does help bring the unique Samuroids into a new era of DC storytelling. Fans will just have to wait and see how The CW's Barry Allen fights off the robots - and their leader - when The Flash returns in October.