Thursday, July 3, 2014

Mystic Rebel - Ryder Syvertsen

Mystic Rebel
Mystic Rebel 1
by Ryder Syvertsen
1988 Pinnacle Books

Bart Lasker, a down on his luck pilot, accepts a contract from the CIA to smuggle gold to rebels in Tibet.  He's shot down by a Chinese missile and is rescued by some monks and Tibetan freedom fighters.  This is the first 200 pages.  The late 80s were a rough time for men's adventure.

Do you like scenes where the hero passes or is knocked out, wakes up being cared by strangers, and is told he's been out for x number of days?  You better love them, because it happens like seven times.

The third or so time this happens, Lasker wakes up in a mysterious temple, where he learns that he is the reincarnation of Raspahloh, a Bonpo assassin that had assassinated a previous Dali Lama.  In the world of fiction and conspiracy theory, Bon is the evil, human sacrificing, satanic precursor to Buddhism in Tibet.  In real life, not even close, and I can't find where people even got that from.

Like kung fu training scenes?  Too bad, we're going to skim over that part, but Lasker's body is now capable of performing Raspahloh's kung fu magic.  There's a necrophilic orgy to give Raspahloh full control of his body, but Magic Buddha rubs his belly or whatever and Lasker takes full control.

Like kung fu fights?  Too bad.  Lasker escapes the temple, dispatching six guards on the way, in half of a sentence that's shorter than this one.  384 pages and here's where Syvertsen decides to be brief.  He escapes into the snow and the temple disappears because it's like that thing in Iron Fist.

Where am I?  You've been asleep for three days.  Now it's time to get trained by good guy monks. He gets locked in a cave with a sassy hermit who teaches him telepathy, astral travel, and other stuff we're not going to tell you because we haven't figured out what he'll do in other installments yet.

We also learn about the Celestials, I mean Cultivators - aliens from another dimension that crash landed on earth and humped monkeys.  They might have done some other stuff, but mostly monkey love, which is where people come from.  There might be good guy Cultivators and bad guy Cultivators, based on how much monkey love they got, and it looks like Buddhism is based the bad guys.  Again, we're just going to leave that open, we might want to get back to it in book four or something.

Lasker vows to use his powers to help Tibet, so he sneaks into an ancient temple which is now the headquarter of a sexy female Chinese officer.  He confronts her and uses his telepathy to discover a plot to sell nuclear material from Smoke Mountain, mined by slave labor, to a Middle Eastern power.  He also discovers that she is a virgin and is terrified of being raped.  So, in the name of Buddhist compassion, he rapes her.

Well, in text he uses his Buddha love magic to make sweet, tender, painful, blood splattered love to her, but whatever.  He breaks into her bedroom, restrains her, threatens her, does the deed, and she's crying and screaming rape afterwards.  All the justifications Syvertsen adds work about as well as the excuses of a fratboy after a kegger.

So, off to Smoke Mountain to put an end to the scheme, only to be attacked by a Chinese Red Army strikeforce, which for some reason has two ancient Japanese samurai working with them.  Yep, after several hundred pages of authenticish Tibetan culture, we get "Asian fighty time, whatever" for our only fight scene in the entire book.  Which is promptly cut short by a sedative blow dart.

Where am I?  Lasker wakes up to being tortured in Smoke Mountain.  He possesses a vulture, and from there raises a Zombie army to destroy to complex and free the prisoners.  Evidently Tibet has Zombies, and they're called Zombies just like the the voodoo ones.  Not that I'm going to complain - as jaded as I am on the Zombie glut of the last decade, this was pretty cool.

But we're not done.  Lasker has to get out Tibet, which involves a lot of walking, a lot of riding, a lot of pages, and a couple more trips to unconsciousness.

He hangs out with the Dali Lama a bit and threatens his CIA contact for his money, because Buddha gets paid, B.  There's a hint earlier that Raspahloh may try to regain control of his body, which I'm guessing happens in later issues.  I'm also guessing the KGB and CIA hitmen in the back cover are for a later time, because they sure weren't here.

For being a padded out travelogue for most of the page count, it actually went by pretty painlessly.  The zombie attack almost saved it, but it really needed like ten times more of "stuff happening".  Later issues reportedly focus more on the spirituality of the rapist thug that worships alien monkey humpers, so yea for that.

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