Essentially what we have is the story of seven identical twin brothers, born in China in the late 1800s. These aren't your typical seven-tuplets (i know that's not the correct term but who can remember past "sextuplets"?) however, as each of them is born with a unique "talent".
One can stretch his limbs (ala Mr. Fantastic), one has the strength to lift ten elephants, one can fly, one is immune to fire, one can see great distances, and the last can swallow the whole ocean (um... yeah). Ok so that last one doesn't quite fit with what we'd normally find in our western catalogue of "super powers" but turns out he's the linchpin of the story (more on that later).
The boys live in seclusion with thier mother when civil war breaks out in China. Having heard rumor of the boys abilities (and hoping to gain an advantage in the war), both sides of the conflict attempt to recruit them. Fearing for their safety (and obviously hoping to avoid their exploitation), the boys mother packs them up and moves them to a small, left-coast mining town in America (right about gold rush time), where they buy a plot and use their abilities to pan for soft yellow rocks.
Everything seems cool (the town thinks they are an old lady and her single immigrant son) until one day (now even i'm sounding like i'm spinning a yarn), one of the brothers comes across a couple of young kids who have broken through the ice and fallen into a nearby river. In an attempt to save them, he sucks the river (yeah the WHOLE river) into his mouth but ends up accidentally drowning them despite his best efforts (and the indecisiveness of a fellow rescuer). The townsfolk are less than understanding and a lynchmob quickly forms...
Ok i'm not giving away the rest of the story, but let's just say that it ends as any good story should (well), and stacks up against most western classic fables i can remember. Great story, great B&W art (the layouts remind me a bit of TenNapel), and ultimately a must read-to/with my kids someday (when i have them ha). Don't let me pigeon-hole Seven Brothers as a children's book though... there's enough here for graphic novel fans of any age.
Good stuff. A.
PS - Next to worthless (but fun!) fact: In a selfless act of friendliness, Grecian and Rossmo changed the name of thier book from Seven Brothers to Seven Sons, as not to conflict w/ Virgin comics new flop (which i'm also enjoying).