Advance Review: Ugly Religious Stereotypes Doom `Seven Sons’ #5
by Tom Smithyman
For several issues, ugly Muslin stereotypes have been popping up in this series. With this issue they hit front and center. and it’s not pretty. Only Jae Lee’s artwork can provide some respite from the ugly text on the page. It’s a wonder that something like this can be made today.
From its start, Seven Sons has had an intriguing premise, an interesting storyline and some amazing art. But the book has a significant problem – its would-be villains.
Until now, the Watchmen, a group of fundamental Islamic terrorists, have been little more than caricatures of foreign bad guys obsessed with destroying Christianity. This issue attempts to give some backstory to the group in hopes of making them more sympathetic – and to show readers where the real evil lies. Unfortunately, it falls short.
That due to how we’re introduced to how writers Robert Windom and Kelvin Mao introduce the group’s leader, Sarboz. We meet him as he is about to execute Delph, one of the two remaining sons in line to be coronated as the Christ. Sarboz and his followers – who are responsible for the deaths of all but one other of the seven sons – plan to televise Delph’s beheading.
The writers eventually attempt to make the group more sympathetic, but it’s too little too late. The damage has been done. Frankly, it’s shocking that a story so full of religious and ethnic stereotypes like this could make it into print in 2022. We get that they aren’t the real bad guys here. We got it several issues ago.
The saving grace for the issue – and now the entire series – has been Jae Lee’s inspired artwork. The Jesi’s piercing blue eyes (brought to life through June Chung’s colors), a beautiful text-free two-page spread and even the violent explosions are made real thanks to Lee. Simply put, he has made this series.
Is there any coming back from the mistakes and sins of the past? That’s what Delph is grappling with as he heads into the final two issues of this miniseries. And it’s what the writers need to contend with if they are going to turn Seven Sons around.
Seven Sons #5 will be available for purchase tomorrow.