Monday, August 28, 2006

Virgin Comics Review - Issue # 0 & #1

Issue #0
The free issue which can be downloaded from the Virgin comics site shows a sneak peek into Virgin Comics venture. This preview contains two stories - Devi and Ramayan Reborn.

(The pics are taken from respective Virgin Comics' online edition. For enlarged view, right click on the images and open in new browser)

Devi, an audacious feminine warrior,the wonder woman from India, sent by the gods to save the world sounds like any other super-human story. Devi is a mystic heroine who kicks some rakshas(demons/monster) butt in the world corrupted by renegade gods and demons. Devi's storyline, as per this preview, is rather conventional and it doesn't impress me as much. The artwork is brilliant and fantastically coloured. A novelty in the storyline is what I will be looking for in the next issue, if writer Siddharth Kotian wants me to be Devi's fan.

Ramayan Reborn
“Scratchy art at places, slapdash appearances” were the first to hit my mind while reading Ramayan Reborn preview. The Ramayan has been reborn with unimpressive artwork. We are directly plunged into the mythological battle between Rama and Ravan. The pace of the story is lighting fast and hectic. There are only three characters shown in this preview, Rama, Laxman & Ravana but I was unable to connect with any. The epic Ramayan has the immense potential to be made into one of the best comic books ever. Will the comics live up to it? The preview may be a misleading here. Anyway, I will pick up the first version when it comes along to see if they can tap the inherent supremacy of the epic.

Issue #1

The Sadhu story
"The Sadhu" has been written by Deepak Chopra's son, Gotham Chopra. It is about a young Englishman, James Jensen, inducted in Queen's army as a soldier and stationed in India. His transformation into a spiritual warrior in India is the story behind Sadhu. Issue 1 runs two parts of the story parallely :
1) Introduction of warriors in India (Bengal, East India specifically) led by sadhu named Dadathakur and
2) A young lad named James Jensen trying to find a life with his wife in London.

Artist Jeevan Kang (Gotham Comics' "Spiderman in India" fame) has proved his mettle again by designing The Sadhu in a form which will appeal internationally. A visibly strong and muscular figure with liberally flowing cape, long wooden staff, long hair, beard and rudraksh necklace makes the sadhu look as much a saint as much as a combatant of evil. The tilak on the forehead completes the authenticity of the sadhu. The art in this first issue is excellent. The characters are distinctive and the action is good.
The minus (if you would want to call it so) in the action, is the war cries include cries like 'Bhagwanji', which doesn't fit in an international comics until the meaning is explained specifically.
The facial expressions have come out great as Kang and S.Sunderkannan (color) do an extraordinary job of portraying emotions. The colour conveys the message, place, time et al extremely well eg. The London of yore is shown in a white snowy background. In short, Jeevan Kang kicks ass.

“The Sadhu” a nice book to read and I am eagerly waiting to read the next issue. And if it will be as Gotham Chopra says 'an epic quest: the conflict between two quintessential human longings--enlightenment and revenge. ', then I am doing a sadhu's penance on one leg for Virgin Comics to release further issues of the comics.


Varkey said...

Thanks for the great review ... will surely buy a copy of it if i can get my hands on one !

Dinesh said...

Cheers mate!

Gautam Ghosh said...

good review!

Dinesh said...

Thanks Gautam.