Name: Katma Tui
Voiced by Kim Mai Guest
A native of the planet Korugar, Katma Tui lived under the oppressive regime of Sinestro from an early age. Joining a resistance movement while the tyrant was off-world, she aided in making the Corps aware of Sinestro’s actions and personally testified against him during his trial on Oa. Recommended by Tomar Re as a replacement, she received a power ring and was trained as a Green Lantern by master trainer Kilowog.
During her tenure, Katma Tui proved herself to be an excellent teacher in her own right, eventually training John Stewart, with whom she shared a brief relationship. Other noteworthy accomplishments include preventing a jailbreak on the Guardian’s prison planet, serving as a member of Oa’s Honor Guard, and appointing a Green Lantern in the Obsidian Deeps, where she successfully devised a way of recruiting from a species that had no concept of light or color. Through her determination, along with the realization that sound could be a possible way of manipulating the ring's energies, she selected Rot Lop Fan as the sector’s newest hero, the F-Sharp Bell.
Katma Tui Image
We tend to cling to images of people from when we knew them best, forgetting that they do change.
Hawkgirl (to Green Lantern) in Hearts and Minds
Considering the plot of Hearts and Minds, it should come as no surprise that Katma Tui was featured prominently in the episode. A veteran of resistance movements even before becoming a Green Lantern, Katma served in the movement to overthrow Sinestro from her home planet of Korugar, which led to her being chosen to join the Corps in his place. A cunning and dedicated warrior, she provides Justice League with another fascinating character for the series’ blossoming supporting cast.
In addition, Katma’s presence provided further opportunity to explore the background of John Stewart. Through their relationship, we gain a link to the prior, comic book incarnation of Stewart; plus we also learn that he has a history of being attracted to strong, aggressive females (which foreshadows his eventual relationship with fellow League member Hawkgirl). Based on their current situation, it would appear that they will not be married (as they were in the comics), but perhaps this means that she will be spared her murder at the hands of Star Sapphire.
It is worth noting that her physical appearance on Justice League differs significantly from her cameo in the Superman episode In Brightest Day, which more closely resembled her comic book incarnation. Most notable is her skin color, which has changed from dark red / purple to a light orange / pink hue. I speculate that this was done to differentiate her from Despero and his people (who are purple) and from Kilowog (who is pink); maintaining her regular skin tone could have potentially confused the non-comic book audience, who might have thought she was a Kalanorian without a head fin. In addition, it is worth noting that shifts in skin tone are nothing new in regards to character translations from the comic books to the screen; other such recipients have included Brainiac (green to pale blue), Draaga (green to dark gray), Solovar (black fur to pale gray fur), and Lex Luthor (who took on a darker skin tone in the Superman series). Finally, it also provides additional texture to the inhabitants of Korugar, who now appear to have ranges of skin tone as we do on Earth.
Another change to her appearance worth mentioning is the decidedly Asian influence that crept into her character’s design (coupled with Asiatic voice actor Kim Mai Guest, best known for providing her voice to video games, such as the Metal Gear Solid series, and to the animated series .hack//SIGN). This could be interpreted as a way of reconciling some of the characteristics of Sinestro, who—based on his resemblance to characters such as Ming the Merciless and, indirectly, Fu Manchu—could be seen as deriving from the Yellow Peril archetype (that of the evil Asian mastermind who schemes to conquer the West, a category that Batman villain Ra's Al Ghul fits into). Implying that the Korugarian people simply display Asiatic features diffuses some of the speculation regarding Sinestro’s own appearance.It is unknown if Katma Tui will make an appearance on Justice League Unlimited, but she would be welcome, especially considering the hostility that her presence generated in Hawkgirl, who harbors feelings for John Stewart; another appearance could further explore this triangle.
Images courtesy of The World's Finest and Supremus; additional information provided by Jess Nevins.
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