Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Please Shove Something Up My Ass While I Shoot You (Seven Brothers #3)


Main Heroes: Rachel Kai, The Seven Brothers
Main Villain: The Son of Hell, Zheng


At the end of issue #2, the "Seven Brothers" have been informed by protagonist Rachel Kai that they are all -- despite their different nationalities -- Brothers. Hundreds of years earlier, a Chinese sorcerer's apprentice named Fong travelled the world with the Chinese fleet, seducing (raping?) women in each port of call. These seven men are all lineal descendants of Fong, and have been imbued through ancestry with various magical gifts. At the end of issue #2, the Son of Hell (whom Fong was apprenticed to, and whom he eventually destroyed) has been brought back to life.

The Seven Brothers begin this episode spying on the Son of Hell (via a Brother who can see across any distance) who has taken over the body of a businessman. The Son of Hell is instructing his assassin servant Zheng about his needs -- primarily bodyguard services. Meanwhile, the Son of Hell is supervising the placement of a number of magical stones that will give him ultimate power and -- not coincidentally -- destroy the world.

As Rachel the Seven Brothers approach "Donald International" -- corporate home of the Son of Hell's host -- they are approached by Zheng who promptly kills them all.


Rachel Kai is, without a doubt, the most kick-ass new superhero concept I have seen in a long time. I have absolutely no complaints that there is only one female in the book, because she's really been used as 50% of the "good guy" cast, with the "Seven Brothers" as her single partner. And, I have no complaints at all about Rachel herself. She is awesome. Here is a scene from Seven Brother's #1 that gives a taste of her powers:

Rachel: This man obviously presents no threat to you or your business. Why not simply let him go?

Pimp: Why the [profanity deleted] you think you getting out without suckin' [lots of profanity deleted]?

Rachel: Because of what I did thirty seconds ago. . . .

Pimp: Thirty muthafuckin'. What the fuck?! I am gonna . . .

Rachel: Then on your own head be it. First I broke your leg. Then I broke your nose. Then I kicked you harder than I had intended. Do you remember?

The Pimp first acts like she's crazy, then slowly the memories come to him, and he collapses as if the fight actually happened. It's unclear if her powers involved time travel, or mental suggestion, or what. It doesn't really matter. Rachel is just completely kick-ass. Later on, Ronald (the Brother she saved from the pimp) is talking to another Brother.

There is thus no doubt, Rachel Kai is the shit. I am not really concerned that she was "killed" at the end of Issue #3, along with everyone else. Assumedly, this will turn out to be one of Ronald's vivid-realistic-future-telling dreams or something like that. What bothers me is that she is depicted on the cover as, essentially, an ass. Not a metaphoric ass, but a . . . well, you can see for yourself.

Her powers are not based on contortionist gunslinging. She is not portrayed at all as a sexual creature in the story itself, and she has no patience for those who do see her as such. If Rachel ran into the cover artist in a dark alley, it is clear what she would have said to him:

But, unfortunately, she didn't. So we are stuck for all time with that unfortunate cover image of an absolutely awesome character.

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