Tsunami (Butcher ally) (DC Comics)




A very minor but colourful character, which could have a role in some martial-arts themed street-level campaigns. He only appeared in the obscure 1990 Butcher mini-series.

This profile assumes one has already read the John Butcher character profile.


  • Real Name: Sansho (last name unrevealed).
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Former member of the Military Intelligence Corps (United States Army).
  • Base Of Operations: A villa on the shore of Okinawa, Japan.
  • Height: 5’8” Weight: 157 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Tsunami is a highly experienced Military Intelligence field agent. Butcher bluntly presented him as “an expert at infiltration and assassination”.

He’s a spy, killer, detective, commando, stealth specialist, etc.. He also has demonstrated solid computer skills, though nothing like a cinematic hacker.

He is also a master and an excellent sensei in the Okinawan style of shorin-ryu . Howbeit Tsunami appears to have his own take on the art. It may be closer to the local Chinese-inspired arts that existed before the war.

Though he can be devastating unarmed (he once kicked a man into near-unconsciousness, through a closed door), he’s very pragmatic. Therefore, he normally prefer to do his close-quarter work with a commando knife, much like Butcher.

Weapons, no weapons

He was never seen wielding any of the traditional kobudo weapons . But on a combat op he will use appropriate firearms.

Tsunami has demonstrated a remarkable ability to use arrows without the benefit of a bow. He once pulled an arrow that had just been shot through his shoulder, then threw it 10 meter – killing a man by hitting him in the throat.

Tsunami also taught Butcher how to catch arrows shot at him, so he likely is a master of the technique.



Primary sources  imply that Tsunami was with a branch of the US Army Military Intelligence Corps, which secondary sources deny. It is thus possible that he was a mercenary, working as a close combat instructor and consultant. He excellent at missions requiring elite assassination skills and/or deniable assets.

It is possible, given his association with the US military, that he is a Japanese American man with a US citizenship.

Sensei and students

During his association with the military spooks, he met operative John Butcher. The two became friends. Among other things they shared a fascination for natural philosophies, though of different kinds. Butcher struggled with Lakota spirituality which he sought to reject, whilst Tsunami had a deep interest in several Asian belief systems.

Tsunami was one of Butcher’s main instructors in hand-to-hand combat.

At an unclear point in his career, Tsunami, famous in some circles for his mastery of shorin ryu karate, was one of the men who trained Oliver Queen. Tsunami and Queen stayed on excellent terms, as friends.

The work and teachings of Tsunami have been described in a number of karate magazines in the DC Universe.

Mustering out

Butcher left the Corps, and Tsunami either left or stopped working for them. Primary sources imply that the two men had a strong ethical difference with the Corps over something, and left in very bad terms with their erstwhile employer. John stayed with Tsunami in Okinawa for a time, likely to continue studying shorin-ryu karate.

Tsunami launched or resumed his career as a sculptor. He seems to have been successful, with some exposure in American galleries and art shows.


In 1990, Butcher called Tsunami for help. John was at war with the Namdorph Corporation, which was responsible for the death of his parents. Tsunami did not wish to be involved in spook work anymore, but agreed to help his old friends.

Tsunami took the liberty of calling in another former student of his – Oliver Queen. Green Arrow proved invaluable. He even saved Tsunami’s life from the superhuman operative, Kam.

Tsunami has not been seen since.


He occasionally smoke cigarettes from a cigarette holder. Tsunami likely wears the beret since he’s now entirely bald on the top.


At first glance Tsunami is a genial artist with an extravagant sense of personal fashion. He’s deeply immersed in his creative work, but will interact with others with pleasure and wit. While he enjoys putting on a show, he’s actually humble, polite and has the manner of an older Japanese man.

He has left his past as an operative and/or mercenary behind him. Tsunamionly got involved in the trade again because of the nature of the case, and because of his friendship with John Butcher.

In a fight, Tsunami displays great resolve. Also, he often uses innuendo and elaborate insults to enrage his opponents and push them into making mistakes.


“John, what is it ? I told you I would no longer involve myself in the trade.”

“I am an artist. Not a painter, young lady, a sculptor. Marble, wood, metal, wax, these are my mediums.”

Kam: “Too bad Corvus hurt you, Okinawan. I would prefer to demonstrate my superiority against a whole man.”
Tsunami: “I like it that way. I prefer to demonstrate a half-man’s superiority.”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 06 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Seeking Justice
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 06 Occupation: Sculptor
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 022 HP: 035

Projectile weapon: 04

Bonuses and Limitations:
Projectile weapon only with sharp objects of opportunity.

Acrobatics: 05, Artist (Actor, Sculpture): 05, Evasion (Subvelocity ranged only): 07, Martial Artist*: 06, Military science (Camouflage): 07, Scientist (Computers, Research): 04, Thief (Security systems, Stealth)*: 06, Vehicle (Land): 04, Weaponry (Firearms): 05, Weaponry (Melee, Thrown): 07

Expertise (martial arts lore ; shinto lore ; zen lore), Language (Tsunami likely speaks Japanese), Lightning Reflexes.

John Butcher (High), Green Arrow (Low).

Dark Secret (his past as an agent).


  • Tsunami usually wears extravagant Shades [BODY 01, Shade: 01].
  • When on an op he always carries a combat knife – probably a Ka-Bar 1245 Tanto-style blade [BODY 08, EV 03 (04 w/STR, 07 w/Martial Artist)].
  • When on a full-blown combat op, he will carry a submachinegun – again it’s impossible to tell from the art, but I assume a H&K MP5SD3 [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 05, Ammo: 07, R#02, Advantage : Autofire, Note: includes a built-in sound moderator].
  • He likely also was the one who brought about four meters of thumb-thick Rope [BODY 05] on a mission, using it as a sort of lasso to hurl a guard off a cliff.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Butcher limited series (1990, DC Universe).