Shi Cards - 1995

Main Cards Page

Kettman really has a much better handle on these - well organized, too.  

http://www.kettman.com/dynamic/shi.html 

 

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/allender/shi95.htm

 

01 Meditation

02 DreamSea

03 Night

The Way of the Warrior is a straight and undeviating path.  For Ana Ishikawa, the rod to vengeance begins with meditation.  Only a centered spirit can carry her to her destination and yet her soul is torn by conflicting desires, by competing ways. 

 

There is a sea that only the heart can Navigate.  Upon its farther shore, beyond the cares of yearning humanity, Fuji serenely beckons.  But, on this sea of dreams, tranquility is an illusion, for at any moment the unwary soul may find herself tempest tossed.

 

Suffused with the sprit of the Samurai, she flings open the doors to the city, hurling herself into the arms of the night; into the darkness of blood and pain; into the oblivion of violence, into the glory of vengeance.  No w there is no Ana, There is only Shi, and Shi means Death!

 

 

©William Tucci, Produced by Comic Images, Saddle Brook, NH 07663.  Made in USA.  SGW US Patent #4933218, 5082703, 5106126, Chromium ©, Holochrome©

04 Chaos

05 Naginata

06 Compassion

The shock of battle, the fury of mayhem, the fox of war.  Even during first night as the hunter, Shi feels the violent spirit of her ancestors coursing through her veins!  Her sight obscured by a blood-red haze, she still sees in dreamlike vision the slaughter of her foes. 


The length of the staff lends tremendous leverage to the sweep of the blade, empowering it to cut, to thrust, to rend, to behead.  The spirit of the Naginata is a great and terrible warrior, who revels in the mayhem wreaked by Shi, the fury of the battle.

Even as she winds fown from a vicious battle, Shi is overcome by her compassion for a fallen innocent.  Such a dichotomy - while perhaps paradoxical and hard to accept in other heroes - speaks to the struggle at the very core of Ana Ishikawa's complex heart.

 

07 The final right of Kusunoki

08 Forgive Me

09 Sensei

This fictitious yet entirely plausible piece of Japanese fine art depicts the great warlord committing seppuku after all his men have been slain.  this print forms the vital link between Ana Ishikawa, art broker, and Masahiro Arashi, a man obsessed by his own eventual demise.

Shi silently begs for forgiveness, looking for an absolution that is not forthcoming.  Brought about by her inability to prevent Arashi's murder of a homeless man named Harold, Shi's mask of the proud warrior is stripped away to reveal the truth, a little girl still racked by guilt over her father's simialar (sic) death.

Behind every great warrior stands a great teacher - a mentor who imparts wisdom and prowess.  For Shi, he is more than a master, he Yoshitora, her own grandfather, who taught her father and now burns with a vengeful heat that rivals her own.

 

10 Tenderness

11 Soul Demo

12 Okazaki

Shall she set aside the blade, reaching instead for the lily that represents beauty and peace?  The tranquility of the moment lulls Ana Ishikawa.  Her resolve to follow the way of the warrior wavers.  It would be so sweet to embrace the light!  Does she dare... ?

Who is this terrible warrior who haunts Ana Ishikawa's dreams?  He rises from the depths of her soul, transforming her peaceful slumber into a torrid sea of nightmares.  He is the embodiment of the tempests that toss her heart, and the incarnation of the storms of conflict that threaten to engulf her being.

Showning only the serene face of experience, Mrs. Okazaki represents the eye of the sotrm in this bloody tale of vengeance.  It's her woodblock print, which surfaces mysteriously at her family's estate, that finally links Ana to Arashi... and it's her former student, Peter DeNyse, who completes the deadly triangle. 

 

13 Facekick

14 Decapitation

15 Ghosts

In a rooftop battle with Rick Tashegumi, on of Arahsi's innter guards, Shi recalls Musashi's advice from A Book of Five Rings.  When fighting at night, attack so that your opponent is blinded by any nearby fire.  In this case, Shi makes use of the simple magnificence of Manhattan's blazing skyline.

As a gesture of honor, not Sadism, Shi decapitates her mortally wounded adversary.  Indeed, Shi remarks this is the only mercy one Samurai can show another, assisting the vanquished in departing this life as quickly as possible.  The 'Shi' symbol appropriated from Arashi as her calling card, provides the only variation on this tradition.

The spirits of the past haunt the woman warrior known as Shi.  They stalk through her dreams and hover around when she goes into battle.  From the rooftop she scans her foes, preparing for the shock of the battle and the havoc of death, while around her swirl the spirit-samurai eager to savor the spilling blood.

 

16 War

17 Explosion

18 Faith

Shi moves like a whirlwind in a blur of dynamic, slashing vengeance.  It was men like these who murdered her family.  These are the underlings of Arashi, the murderer, himself.  She will show them the same mercy Arashi showed her father and brother, and their deaths will send Arashi the message: soon, Shi will come for him.

Shi leaves the fiery climax of her preemptive strike against Arashi's forces recalling the teaching of Miyamoto Musashi, Japans legendary samurai.  His classic, A Book of Five Rings, speaks of five scrolls, four of these, Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water, represent what Shi believes to be her most loyal allies.

Nothing is more important to Ana than the reaffirmation of her faith through prayer.  Even after, or perhaps especially after a devastating battle.  A contradiction?  Not for Ana, who mediates on The Good War.   This concern developed by Catholic theologians, helps to justify the taking of life for an honorable and selfless cause.

 

19 Gallery

20 First Encounter

21 Yakuza Lord

By day Ana works as an art broker in the prestigious Oike Gallery, located in Manhattan's posh Trump Tower.  Combining her formal training in fine art with her Amerasian cultural and linguistic background, Ana is the perfect ambassador to pull off the deal of the decade.

It is the initial meeting in a series of confrontations, all fueled by conflicting yet powerful emotions.  In a routine interview of one of Arashi's business associates, Detective Pete DeNyse comes face-to-face with the woman of his dreams, Ana Ishikawa, and the killer he's been tracking, Shi.

Masahiro Arashi proudly wears the shirt of tattoos, the story of his bandit clan etched upon his body in ancient, portentous symbols.  He is Yakuza royalty, heir to a tradition no less honorable and demanding than that of the samurai. He fears no man or woman, and is always ready to kill - or die - with honor.

 

 

22 Steel Horse

23 Tomoe

24 Mother

 

 

 

 High above Manhattan's skyline, Shi perches atop a steed whose paralyzed fury symbolizes her own hesitation to do battle.  Having already decimated Arashi's forces, Shi contemplates the cost of continuing this war.  How man more lives are to be lost in a city that already tragically undervalues life itself?

In a life dedicated to training for revenge, how could young Ana Ishikawa find a friend to ease her loneliness?  Even at college she was isolated until a friend found her.  When she met Tomoe Gazan - slightly older, ougoing, and far more worldly - Ana sensed immediately that they would be friends for life.  But at what cost? 

Ana's mother, Catherine, represent to her all that is spiritually pure in life...and all that stands in opposition to The Way of the Warrior.  A Christian missionary arriving in Japan from California in the late 1960s, Catherine broke several cultural taboos when she married Ana's father: Not only an Asian Buddhist, but a Sohei warrior to boot!

 

 

25 Roundhouse

 26 In the Zone

 27 Grief

 Shi strikes the first brutal blow in a war that will consume her life from that point forward.  This flying face kick dramatically breaks not only the nose of Arashi's goon, but also the paralyzing hesitation that had kept Ana from embarking on the warrior's path.  Behold, SHI is born.

In her fight to the death against Arashi's minions, Shi reaches the place internal mastery that her sensei, Yoshitora, had told her to expect.  No longer consciously thinking about her every move, Shi allows the ghosts of the past to guider her hands as they deliver each crushing blow. 

Arashi mourns for his men, slaughtered by the mysterious Sohei warrior.  He ponder the kanji, 'Shi' - death.  Long ago he left this same missive on the bodies of his victims.  Now it has returned to haunt him.  Arashi vows that the foe who taunts him with this relic of his own past will regret mocking him! 


28 Hardboiled

29 The Face of Death

30 Remembrance

 Two relentless detectives investigate the serial cop killings and the overlapping Shi murders.  Joe LaBianca, the team's senior officer, embodies the coupling of cynicism and heart that is the hallmark of a New York cop.  IN contrast, Pete DeNyse is the brash youngblood who's got a lot to learn, and is a lot deadlier than anyone suspects.

As Shi evolved in William Tucci's imagination, she became an incarnation of death so beautiful that her victims would stare into her eyes and yearn for life even as she took it from them.  This early rendition of Crusade Entertainment's woman warrior captures the essence of that beauty and deadliness.

At a touching memorial service for Arashi's men, Ana recalls the lonely ceremony that accompanied her father's passing.  Where were the crowds of mourners then?  The eloquent eulogies?  Memory yields but the comfort of her mother's arms and the warmth of her own tears, tears that have not yet ceased flowing.


31 Breakdown

32 Tenderness

33 Honoring the Dead

   

 Overwhelmed by grief, both old and new, Ana suddenly flees the dedication of the memorial pool at Arashiyama.  She seeks refuge at a nearby midtown church, but its doors are closed for the night.  Slumping to the floor of the church's threshold, Ana is engulfed by a wave of supreme loneliness.

Just when Ana believes herself to be completely alone, without anyone to which she can turn, she experiences an unexpected moment of compassion from Detective DeNyse.  He's followed her to this remote spot and - for now, at least - she doesn't question his motives.  Yes, she has a friend, perhaps more.

Long after the official memorial service has ended, Ana returns to Arashiyama to honor the first casualties in her twenty years war with Arashi: her father and her little brother.  She places into the water the traditional toro, or paper lantern boats, usually launched down river during Japan's annual day of dead.



34 Fear

35 Attacked

36 Defiance

He rises again from the depths, this masked demon, as the essence of all her doubts and fears.  It's just one more confrontation, another nightmare to shake her resolve and curse her with self-doubt.  But perhaps this time will be different.  Perhaps, at last, the endless battle will achieve a true resolution.

The demon strikes, dazing her with the sudden onslaught.  Icy, awesomely powerful fingers clutch her throat, threatening to tear her head from her shoulders.  She is paralyzed for an instant by shock and horror, unable to respond.  If she dies at the hands of her nemesis.  Will her restless, yearning spirit find peace at last. She will not allow the demon that haunts her to prevail.  For one brief moment she flirts with surrender...but now the warrior spirit fills her, she desperately grabs for a weapon.  She is determined that this shall be their final battle, and she will stand victorious.


37 Falling 38 Unmasked 39 Rise
Released by the Demon samurai, Shi descends endlessly into the waters of her own soul.  The bottomless void of the spirit sea rises to embrace her in despair and futility!  Pursuing her into the depths is her relentless foe, still determined that she will not rise again. The face of the demon that has bedeviled her all these years is revealed as ... her own.  Though the truth has been evident to her all along, Shi has refused to acknowledge it.  The demon is a manisfestation of her own unresolved conflicts, he is the dark side of her soul, which she must defeat if she is ever to find salvation. It is Shi's Christianity that allows her to emerge victorious in the allegorical battle against her darker half.  She experiences this vision of herself rising to the surface of her baptismal waters, reborn.  Her joyous passage toward the light of the Father mirrors the journey the soul takes when ascending to heaven.




40 The Warriors of Nara
41 Katana
42 Shuriken
43 Tomoe #1
44 Masked
45 Ready for Battle
46 Resolve 1
47 Resolve 2
48 Resolve 3
49 Kimono 1
50 Kimono 2
51 Kimono 3
52 Deathwalk 1
53 Deathwalk 2
54 Deathwalk 3
55 Shi vs. Tomoe
56 Tomoe Triumphant
57 Deadly Archer
58 Sensual Sai
59 "Nagal" Shi
60 "Manga" Shi
61 The Four Seasons of Fuji: Spring
62 The Four Seasons of Fuji: Summer
63 The Four Seasons of Fuji: Winter
64 The Four Seasons of Fuji: Autumn
65 Wind and Sea
66 Deadly Style
67 Chris Cross
68 Marc Silvestri
69 Jorge Farfan
70 Barry Orkin
71 "Phoenix"
72 Colleen Doran
73 Nelson Asencio
74 Geoff Darrow
75 Michael Bair
76 Jimmy Palmiotti
77 Jim Lee
78 Jeff Smith
79 Buzz
80 Amanda Conner
81 John Cebellero
82 Chris Batista
83 Poly Feliciano
84 Caesar
85 Robert Nemeth
86 Scott Barnett
87 Angela Daskalakis
88 Hugo Bravo
89 Juan Carlos
90 Checklist


CHASE CARDS

MagnaChrome Cards (1:16 packs)

M1 Shi Cover #1
M2 Shi Cover #2
M3 Shi Cover #3
M4 Shi Cover #4
M5 Shi Cover #5
M6 Trade Paperback Cover

New Crusade Subset (1:36 packs)

Card 1 Pan
Card 2 The Black Arrow
Card 3 Keisai

Autograph Cards (500 signed)

--- William Tucci
Tucci autographed all (or nearly all) of the individual cards.

Card Album

--- (Binder)
--- (Ten 9-pocket pages)
--- (Exclusive binder promo sheet)

Medallion Card (1:108 packs)

Jumbo Card (Case Bonus)

Autographed 90-Card Uncut Sheet (37-1/2" x 27")


PROMO CARD

--- Shi All-Chromium Collector Cards (Unnnumbered)

 

The images shown here are Copyright ©William Tucci,  and Crusade Comics unless otherwise indicated.

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