Advance Review: Jae Lee Is The Reason To Worship `Seven Sons’ TPB
by Tom Smithyman
Jae Lee has the ability to make even mediocre writing exciting through his unique art style. From piercing eyes to sharp angular features, Lee puts on a master class. If you find this story offensive – and there are plenty of reasons to feel that way – the artwork alone is worth the cover price.
Some artists are just so good, they can lift even middling writing and turn it into a compelling story.
Jae Lee largely accomplishes that tall task in the limited Image series Seven Sons, which is being released in a trade paperback. Lee’s artwork – the angular features, the flowing hair, the eyes that pierce your soul – is on display in true master class form in this collection.
The story – an indictment against organized religion – deals with a United States that has been turned into a theocracy after seven boys are allegedly born of virgins on all seven continents all on the same day. A mysterious leader declares an American Idol-like contest where one of the seven – so called Jesi – will be anointed as the new Messiah. It includes pay-per-view concerts coming to you live from New Canaan, formerly known as Las Vegas.
But the festivities turn into something more akin to Survivor, as the Jesi are killed off over the years by Islamic fundamentalists. It’s an ugly stereotype perpetrated onto readers by writer Robert Windom and Kelvin Mao. We get it. You think all religions are bad. But do you really need bigoted behavior to prove it?
That’s where Lee’s artwork – along with the vivid colors of June Chung – steps in to save the day. From individuals to landscapes, his unique drawings are masterful. A double-page spread that illustrates a Las Vegas transformed into a Christian mecca is stunning and will help to distract readers from the lazy plot. It will actually make people want to visit Vegas.
If the script were as good as Lee’s artwork, Seven Sons would be a masterpiece. As it is, this volume is an interesting, but troubled story that is relevant largely thanks to Lee.
Seven Sons TPB will be available for purchase on March 15, 2023.