Even before the interest towards comics, my first encounter with Superheroes was when DD used to telecast Superman, Spiderman series on the National channels, when I was a kid.
I used to dream about all the Superheroes, and when the Comic bug bit me, I first garnered more interest towards the superhero storylines, namely Irumbu Kai Maayavi (Steel Claw), Spider, Robot Archie being published by Lion & Muthu Comics. Eventhough there were few glimpses of the Batman stories in Muthu, it didn't have a long run.
On those days, the American Superheroes were only available on DC, and Marvel's Original US copies, which were being sold for a fortune over here. So, my resources limited me with the access of Indian Comics alone. But, Gotham Comics is a breakthrough innovator, who made it possible to buy these comics in Indian prices, comparatively much cheaper than the original ones.
At one point Gotham published nearly 40 titles every month, and I used to run out of budget and somehow managed to collect them all. Then came the hiatus of more than a year, as Gotham went out of publishing. The only source of DC, Marvels was now over.
But, Gotham was about to strike back, and they came back at the start of 2007 with 17 Revamped Titles, thus launching new storylines for all the major characters. But, the re-launch also means that few of the original series were discontinued, the majority being the Ultimate Series (Ultimate X-Men, Ultimate's, etc.), with the exception being the Ultimate Spiderman series, which has teenage appeal, and thus seems to have been maintained on the current roster. But, there are some other good titles which were also discontinued, like Spider-Girl, Amazing Spiderman, JLA, Tarzan, and Conan. I would be more than eager to see them being launched again.
The re-launch also contains 3 India's own storylines featuring under the Virgin Comics brand.
1. Superman #40
Supergirl from Krypton : Part 5
Writer: Michael Turner
The storyline featuring Superman, Batman, and Supergirl comes to a climax, with the war on Apokolips reaches the Earth. The plot starts with a fight between the last survivors of Krypton on an alien land, and ends with Darkseid bringing the disaster to Superman's Parental home.
A fight between Darkseid and Superman is due in the next issue.
2. Batman #40
The Beautiful People
Writer: Paul Dini
After the incredible storyline of origin of Robin, this month has a self contained storyline.
3. Wonder Woman #1
Eventhough Gotham had a completed series on Wonder Woman, which ran for 22 Issues, they have re-launched Wonder Woman with a New plot-lines. So far it looks a promising start, let's hope the momentum continues.
4. Teen Titans #12
Writer: Geoff Johns
The encounter with the Brother Brood concludes, with Raven saved and brought back to Titan Towers. Looks a next storyline in making with the newly regrouped team.
5. Ultimate Spiderman #33
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Spiderman goes to Hollywood featuring the making of Spiderman Movie. Also Doctor Octopus escapes from prison and he has someone on his sight.
6. Incredible Hulk #29
Tempest Fugit : Part 5 of 5
Artist: Lee Weeks
The Hulk comes out of his nightmare encounter with a mysterious opponent. Lee Weeks artwork has added a new style to Hulk storyline, and hope the momentum continues in next series.
7. Wolverine #14
Enemy of the State : Part 5 of 6
Writer: Mark Millar
The whole world is in the hunt of Wolverine, and he gets down to recruit a new ally in the form of Daredevil. But, the story takes a new twist with Elektra being brought into the picture.
8. Astonishing X-Men #11
Writer: Joss Whedon
The Danger room comes to real life in form of Danger and Professor Xavier battles with her on the destroyed land of Genosha. The Mutant Killing Machine makes a surprise appearance at the end, with X-Men left stranded.
9. Fantastic Four #21
Writer: Mark Waid
Fantastic Four comes in meeting with Galactus, and they try to save Johny, who has been made as a new herald for devourer of the worlds.
What a timing for this storyline, when Fantastic Four part 2 movie is making its mark on the Cinema Theatres, which also features a Galactus storyline.
10. The New Avengers #24
Breakout : Part 5
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
The New Avengers storyline picks up heat with the Avengers meeting Wolverine in the Savage Land, and an interesting battle with a powerful mutant unfolds.
11. Devi #4
Prarambh : Part 4
Writer: Samit Basu
Shekhar Kapur's mythical adventure brings us to the
I don't remember reading a storyline which has a fair share of Indian mythology, Indian artwork presented in an International standard. The plot where Iyam reaches the battle space transiting through a Mobile Phone. Devi does promise to be a great adventure storyline.
12. Snake Woman #4
Writer: Zeb Wells
Shekhar Kapur's another blockbuster Snake Woman comes to an interesting point, where the Jessica's origin is retold and she comes to understand that she is a Snake Goddess, who is been hunted generation and generation by Harker's Upper Order and the 68. Snake Woman is captured by Harker, and she commits her first mistake killing his well-wisher Brinkley.
Wonderful artwork, and a plot which originates from East India Company, a treat for all Comics fans.
13. The Sadhu #4
Writer: Ashok Banker
Another story which has its roots deriving from the Victorian Rule of England over India, and follows a young soldier whose family is killed by a sadistic red coat, and he discovers the myth of being a Sadhu, a Saint, who can command all the forces in the environment.
It seems the plot is currently under development for a major Hollywood movie featuring Nicolas Cage as Sadhu. Hopefully, this turns out a blockbuster which will surely promote Indian comics to the international audience. Kudos to Gotham and Virgin's creative team.
Other than these there are self contained stories in
which together completes the #40 Set of Gotham Comics. And what's more Gotham Subscription is back, which will ensure we don't miss any issues on the book shops, mainly helping the collectors. And for those who missed out few series since Gotham's re-launch, Gotham has some backorders available. Grab them before the stock runs out.