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Area 51, vol. 7, by Masato Hisa. Grade: A
(Odin introduces his new snake friends to the Council of 9 Gods)
H25) It's a Waste for Him to be a God
Charming and Pike reach the Restaurant of the Gods, which is attached to the bottom of the Valhalla Tower, but the entrance is blocked from the inside by the World Snake. Amaterasu is in full rage, and blasts through the snake to let Charming in. The battle is going poorly for the gods. Son Goku has lost a leg and retreated to the second floor of the restaurant. Son tells Charming that when Odin killed Hades, he opened a curtain to reveal Saisho no Hebi, and all of the other snake-related deities and warriors that sided with him. There was a shaking in the building as it rose into the air, and the battle started. Since then, the Valkyries kept guarding the snakes, and the gods were slowly whittled down. Meanwhile, at street level, an old, bald man shows up, claiming to be Zeus. None of the other deities and demigods believe him until he summons lighting to blow them out of the way. Zeus uses his control over electricity to set up a communications line to the restaurant through a power outlet in the wall. Son Goku informs him of what's going on, and Zeus gets ready to act. Goku gives his expanding rod to Charming, as Zeus blasts lightning down out of the clouds to dislodge the restaurant from the tower. The expanding rod smashes through the roof of the restaurant into the base of the tower, and Charming watches the building fall below him. Zeus creates a force field, blowing a hole in the bottom of the building, so when it crashes around him he's automatically inside and facing Odin. Pike tells Charming to quit hanging around and climb up to save Tokuko.
(McCoy stabs Hebi with Kusanagi, and then decides they're going to trade memories. The little sketch to the left is something that Masato has been doing at the end of every chapter. He uses the last page to talk about one of the incidental characters in that part of the story, and how he decided to employ them.)
H26) Long Time No See
As the battle rages below them, Hebi confronts McCoy in the prison room. He knows that he can't get the Kusanagi sword by playing directly on McCoy's fears, so instead he projects Charming's progress through Valhalla. Charming enters the main entrance room, which is filled with all of the dead generals that Odin collected over the centuries. Charming may be dedicated, but he's simply outnumbered, and one WW II German general uses his machine gun to manipulate an ally (shooting his elbows and knees) to pin Charming to the wall, knock his sword out of the way, and then hit the Prince in the chest with a round. Hebi presents Charming's head to McCoy, saying "look what you're doing to your friends and allies. Do you want this kind of thing to continue in this way?" The sword breaks partway free through McCoy's chest, but she fires back with "I trust him. He may be stupid, but he's not that easy to beat." Charming pulls his jacket away to show that he's completely swathed in webbing from the spider streetwalker, Sonya, adding that it's good to have friends that are willing to help you. That, and he'd just spent 800 years trapped in endless battles, so he's not completely out of his depth. Charming launches forward and kills the German general. At the same time, Hebi asks, "So, what are you going to do now?" McCoy breaks free of her bonds (which were an illusion and not actually from the material used to bind Fenrir), replying, "This," and stabs Hebi in the chest with Kusanagi. She ends with, "And now you're going to give me all your memories about 'that person'."
(Zeus confronts Odin, his brother's killer.)
(I love this transition piece.)
(Rivaling war gods.)
H27) Oh God, When Can I Hear Your Voice?
Zeus puts on Hade's sunglasses, and the battle between him and Odin begins, with Odin activating a full arsenal of weapons and Zeus pulling out his lightning bolt. The restaurant is destroyed, along with an entire city block of buildings. The other gods and surviving gawkers pull back. In Valhalla, from the outside it looks like McCoy and Hebi are unconscious or dead, but within the realm that is Kusanagi, Hebi has McCoy almost completely surrounded with tentacles of doubt. She fights back, ripping out Hebi's spiritual guts. His memories leak out. Untold ages ago, he was the first creature in the oceans that had become self-aware. Over time, he wondered if he was alone, then humans came along. He learned about "God" and kept asking when this human God would talk to him, and why God had chosen humans to protect instead of him. He came to loath humans, and it's pretty clear he was the snake that tempted Adam and Eve. During WW II, an American bomber fell into the ocean near Hebi. Inside was a soldier that hadn't quite died yet. Hebi possessed him, and finally found himself with a functioning body (although it still looked snake-like). Hebi took the soldier's memories and learned about Area 51. The really shocking part was that there were multiple "Gods" there, from all known cultures, not just the one "God", and that NONE of them had bothered to try contacting him. Hebi decided to go to Area 51 to kill all the gods.
(The war starts to wind down.)
H28) I Can Almost Reach To Your Heart
Hebi had some success, but was eventually subdued and trapped inside the body of a brain dead man that was then hidden away in a top security prison. At this point, McCoy yanks on Hebi's spiritual entrails and demands the rest of his memories. At some point, "that person" visited the brain dead prisoner and talked about Kusanagi no Ken, saying that it could help give Hebi the power he wanted for defeating the gods, and that it was trapped inside McCoy's body. McCoy fights to get a better view of "that person". It's a woman, holding something in her arms. The image becomes clearer - the woman looks just like McCoy, and she's carrying a baby. McCoy realizes that the fetus that had been ripped from her is still alive. She loses her focus and Hebi fills her with more fear and doubt. And, back on the ground, Odin has been torn in half while impaling himself on Zeus's body. Odin shows off one last trick - the patch over his right eye is hiding a laser gun. It shoots Zeus full on in the face. In Valhalla, Hebi is winning, and McCoy is quickly losing control of Kusanagi. But then Charming arrives, wraps her in his arms, and says that the Princess isn't allowed to die.
(Charming happily defeats the despair living within McCoy.)
H29) I'm Depending On You, Detective McCoy
Charming enters the world within Kusanagi and easily glides past Hebi to start ripping the despair out of McCoy's mind. Hebi can't understand why this intruder is impossible to stop, and Charming comments that maybe it's because he's just too dense to have fear. He kisses McCoy, and asks her to promise him that she'll sing when she thinks of him. He then enters her spiritual body and frees her from the last of the despair. McCoy recovers her senses and regains control over her body. She pushes Hebi off of the sword as Pike calls out to her. The gun is lying on Charming's inert body and it seems that he'd stabbed himself with Kusanagi to save her. She grabs the gun. Below, Zeus steps out of the cloud of smoke and ash to show that he'd been protected by his brother's glasses as a kind of shield. The memories of Hades and Charming ask their partners to avenge them, and that's what the two fighters prepare to do.
(There was a little fold-out poster in this volume, about 3"x4".)
(Compare the front cover with the back here.)
Summary: Gods fighting for their lives! Snakes fighting for control of the planet! Swords, generals, bullets flying everywhere! Guts, blood and bloody guts! Highly recommended to those that are not easily offended. Great artwork, great story.