It Was Me and A Gun And A Machine
So this story I’m going to tell you about this week has a massive trigger warning on it. Like supermassive, and some parts were honestly hard to read for me personally. But I loved it, because it’s a story about a girl who has gone through something very real, and is flipping the script on attackers.
Her name is Emma Spencer, AKA Emmie, and she lives in the world of Unleash, written by Jennifer Van Gessel and El Torres. Her story is brought to life by the art of Nacho Tenorio and Sergio Mora and published by Amigo Comics. Yes those lovely people who brought you the black and red world of Straightjacket.
First of all, Emmie went through one of the most horrible things a person can go through: she was assaulted and raped, and never got justice for it. Her father is a police officer, and even he talks about her incident in phrases such as, “She should just get over it already.” It also doesn’t help that this young woman seemingly wasn’t of legal age when it happened, and that her abuser was never caught. But that doesn’t stop her from doing something about it.
She finds a way to get a monster, a machine, as she calls it, to do her bidding. What exactly is this bidding? To get one thing: revenge. I mean, what else? The fact that a staggering ninety-seven percent of all rapists go UNPUNISHED is a disgusting fact. So Emma decides to get revenge on the people who commit this very crime, because justice isn’t served rightly by any legal system in play right now.
Her pet-like “machine” is a huge man adorned in bandages and chains, with a chain also serving as a sort of leash for Emmie to hold while she wears her signature pink outfit. The fact that her machine is so obscure and scary while she is the picture of innocence does not go unnoticed. Nope, not for these sharp kitten eyes, ka-chow!
There are only two books out of this four-part series, but the rapists she and her machine have brought justice down upon are both white males, which architype accounts for sixty-nine percent of all rapists. Also, don’t even start with the “but not all men” stuff, it ain’t welcome here. It’s yet to be seen if there will be any other races or genders in this story, so I can’t speak on that detail just yet.
Though Emmie and her, uh, friend are conflicting a good bit of fair play on those who deserve it, she has yet to find the man who hurt her personally. She has some clues to follow to figure out exactly who he is, and though nobody around her is helping her, all she needs is her strength. It is a very difficult place to find yourself needing help with a trauma, and there is nobody beside you. It doesn’t matter if it was two minutes ago, two days, or fifty years ago when this happened. Living through a sexual assault trauma is different for everyone, and easy for no one, regardless of age, race, or gender. The fact that Emmie is following her heart and standing up for herself, by herself, is an immense show of strength, and above all, bravery. You don’t get over it, you have to adapt to be able to live without it haunting your every breath. To do that takes courage, and to see the fight in a survivor on a mission is a very fresh change from dropping a refrigerator on someone.
It does not go overlooked that when Emma’s machine is attacking these people with the power of equality, it’s hard for her to watch. Even after one of the rapists’ calls her the token eyeroll word “feminazi” (be more creative, that doesn’t even make sense) after he confesses what he’s done. It’s obvious that she has PTSD, like over one in ten rape victims do and will have for the rest of their life. She stands behind what she’s doing, as she defends a woman whose husband is about to do horrible things to his wife, claiming that because they’re married, he can do whatever he wants. Not a very uncommon thing, as twenty-nine percent of all sexual assaults of adult woman are done by their husband or lover, and the fact that some people think marriage crosses out assault is simply asinine. But tears still show in Emma’s eyes and she gets flashbacks to that night when her life changed forever.
It brings light to the question, “Is an eye worth an eye?” Is that how you right a wrong, by the same exact punishment? Many people would say no, another many would say yes. The simple fact is there is no righting that wrong because nothing can take back what someone did. No matter how many apologies or claims of “mental illness” (which is extremely offensive to those who are mentally ill and not monsters) or shady lawyer statements can turn back the past. But Emma isn’t one of those girls who accepts the fact that if nobody is going to do anything about it, leave it be. Rape and the punishment for it need to be brought up and thrown in our faces so we can step up and start doing something about it. Until then, there will be a strong girl in pink, and a machine to do her bidding.
7-page Preview of Unleash #1