Comic Con Express – Bengaluru - 2012

Another year and another Express Event from Comic Con India. Our Pre-show coverage of the event in the Garden City.

Comic Con India – New Delhi - 2011

Get to know, more about India's first ever Comic-Con, how does it rate among the rest.

Chennai Book Fair - 2011

We catch up with the Annual Chennai Book Fair, and see what it has to offer for Comic fans.

Lion Comics Jumbo Special - XIII Collector's Edition

An inside look into a collection, touted as the biggest Comic Book released in India

Apr 6, 2009

Mehta Comics #20 – Monster | Nov 1985

After the Celebrity Comics run-down, which enthralled the Comicologists, we are back with our main theme of Comics Review. And what we have for this post is another yesteryear classic review for Tamil Comic fans, as we debut Mehta Comics (மேத்தா காமிக்ஸ்) in the Blogosphere. 

Mehta Comics LogoLong time fans will remember that Mehta Comics was started in 1984, the very same year, when the much famous Lion Comics and yesteryear Rani Comics started their venture in Tamil Comics Industry.  Eventhough, I won’t rate Mehta Comics, with more seasoned performers like Lion & Rani, the fact remains that they had their fair share of quality titles, which captivated Tamil Comic fans for a couple of years when it had its continuous publishing run, totalling up to 30 issues. (They had numerous re-runs, all with reprints of these line-up time in and again, but for obvious reason they don’t count towards the main lot.)

Indrajal Comics Tamil Logo Muthu Comics Logo Until 1984, there were only two recognised players in the Tamil Comics arena.  The first being the venture backed up by the Times of India Group, erstwhile Indrajal Comics, with their regional edition in Tamil language.  The second was none other than our very own and the ever-green Muthu Comics.  History of Indrajal Comics is well known in Blog-O-Sphere. Ref. Comix Planet

On the other hand, Muthu Comics was started by M Soundrapandian, and initially had Mullai Thangarasan as its Editor.  In 1984, S Vijayan, the elder son of Soundrapandian, joined his father, and started working on launching his own dream project, in form of Lion Comics.  Around the same time, Thangarasan left Muthu Comics, leaving Mr.Soundrapandian himself donning the Editors role for Muthu Comics.

1984's Mehta Comics #3 with John Havoc Whatever may be the reason for his departure, it was very clear that Mr.Thangarasan wanted to give a cut-throat competition to his former employers, by coming up with his own title before the impending launch of Vijayan’s Lion Comics.  He found an able ally in form of Ashok Mehta of Mehta Publications, in the same Southern Indian city of Sivakasi. Together they launched Mehta Comics in July 1984, with Mullai Thangarasan returning to don the Editor role.

John Havoc Unlike its competitors Muthu & Lion, Mehta & Thangarasan decided to base their titles on a titular character, in the form of John Havoc; an estranged pilot who lost his license, due to an accident, and wants to win it back at any cost. 

In the process, he is manipulated by the the British Intelligence Agency ‘Q Branch’, who promise to get his license back, in return for his help in their secret missions. 

The missions meant that he had to fight the crime lords in different parts of the world, but he did it with the sole aim of regaining his license.  Much of the stories of John Havoc always ends with him walking away in disgust from the Q Branch authorities, who would find some reason or the other at the end of the story to convey him that they couldn’t restore his pilot license. Havoc even though knowing that they are just buying their time to retain him in their service, would still continue to let himself be played as a pawn, hoping that he attains his goal someday in the future.

Top Secret Library with John Havoc (c) Top Secret Album 1 featuring John Havoc (c) Havoc is another story arc from UK’s IPC Magazines Ltd, in their comics brand of Top Secret Picture Library.  Surprisingly, not much is known on the creator details for this wonderful story arc featuring John Havoc’s adventures.  The only references I could find on the web for the same were:.

1. British comics historian, Steve Holland’s Bear Alley comics post, and;

2. Fellow comics enthusiast Sunshines Weblog, from a fan’s account.

As much as like discussing John Havoc’s titles here at Comicology, it’s a long list, as other than Mehta Comics, he is said to have been featured in Muthu Comics as John Silver. I do have them in my collection, so can cross-reference it, once I get the reference to the original series, for a exclusive John Havoc post at Comicology.

But today’s post more importantly discusses about another Comic series, which was featured in limited issues in Mehta Comics, one of which was in in November 1985, priced at INR 2.  It was Mehta’s #20 Issue, by which they had changed their Comics title as Ashok Comics (they eventually changed to Mehta again). The first on the list, which is said to have covered the initial episodes of this series, is not in my collection, so I will add it later with this post, when I grab the same. (Thanks to Chezhi, for the reminder).

Mehta 20 Cover featuring MonsterThe Mehta #20 issue, was titled Iratha Bootham (இரத்த பூதம்), and it spoke about the life and troubles of a ill-fated living being, named Terry, who is cursed in this world to live with a defaced figure, and as a semi-minded powerhouse, much in the lines of the character made famous by Marvel’s Hulk persona.  The only difference being that while Hulk is an alter-ego, Terry was born with the god-cursed persona, to live a life of his own.

Kenny-Terry IntroThe disfigured and frightening physique, leads him to live a life away from the common men, lurking in the shadows and abandoned sites. But there was one person who loved him the most, his nephew and 12 year old Kenny. 

Kenny finds one day that Uncle Terry was kept locked up all his life, in the secluded place at their home.  He had just now killed Kenny’s father, who had been torturing him all along. But, despite these circumstances, Kenny understands that Terry has done them only in the act of defending himself, and also understands that he still is a small child at his mind and heart.  So, he decides to escape along with Terry, now his only living relation, to fly away from the crime scene.

Police start their Search for TerryThis Mehta Comics Monster issue starts with this scenario, where Kenny and his Uncle Terry flee from their home, in order to avoid a police patrol, who have come to know of the deaths caused by Terry, albeit unintentionally.

Terry's Intro SceneReaders get to witness the terrifying face of Terry, during this scene, and also there is a hint of his innocence, where he is shown to be unaware of the words "Dogs", even.  Highlighting the fact that the secluded life of his has made him unaware of any external lifestyle.

During their stay, through a newspaper, Kenny becomes aware of a Scotland based doctor who is said to have cured the over-tempered people from their violent ways. Kenny decides to make the journey to cure his beloved uncle.

Terry controlled by Kenny Terrys Incredible Power on Show Kenny and Terry escape the town by hiding in a load truck, and manage to get away from the following police patrol.

But, they are attacked by some goons, who try take advantage of them for a ransom, as their faces are now more known through a Police Vigilants on Run advertisement being continuously flashed on State Television Channels.

During their escapade, readers get to see the Incredible power of Terry, as at one stage he even manages to roll a police wagon over the mountain’s cliff, as they try to stop them from their search of a new life.

Kenny despite being wary of these violent activities of Terry, understands that he couldn’t do anything less, as the aggression was always started from the other end, and Terry just responds to shield them away from harms ways. He is determined to lead his Uncle to the Scotland based doctor, for a possible cure to his running rage.

Closing  ChapterPolice arrives at the SceneAll through these scenes we are able to witness the love shared between these unlikely duo, and Kenny somehow controls the anger and tempered Terry, at times.

In return Terry finds his lovable friend Kenny, as his only trusted ally, and silently follows on his quest to mend the ways of his beloved Uncle. 

This one shot title spanning 64 pages, finally ends with the police officials arriving at the scene, and wondering how many more casualties would this fearsome creature lay on their paths before they get him under long-hands of law.

Readers are left to wonder, what happens next, as the final scene closes.

Terry Coming Back ? Even though, in the end page Mehta Comics had promised that there will be more stories on escapade of Uncle Terry and Kenny.  They were never released, as far as my memory serves, and the abrupt ending of the story might have fused this title as a not so impressive one, for the first-time readers back then, which includes myself.

But recently I came to know about the original of this series, and after reading through it, I understood how good the whole storyline was which was shown in poor light by this venture of Mehta Comics. A clear lesson that, you shouldn’t zero in on the series, without having a dedicated mind to continue it for long. 

Eventhough, the translation was well within standards, an area for which Thangarasan was known for during his stint with Muthu Comics, the story was mishandled starting with the very title of the issue (Blood Demon, if translated in its entirety).

By which they had put a wrong image over the character of Uncle Terry, which was to have been shown with a proper limelight. The Coupled with the chasing scenes, and gore action, many would construe to think him as what the title suggested.

Well, one of the good thing out of the whole scenario, was that we were exposed to a wonderful series, the Original of which is now available for the aspiring readers. And it is certain to put our thinking's and presumptions to a back-burner, when we meet a physically deprived person next in our life.

The Original for this Mehta Comics title was a Weekly series called Monster which debuted in the British Horror Comics Monster LogoScream! in its first edition, released on March 24, 1984.  Much like the Thirteenth Floor series reviewed at Comicology, this was also a weekly series which ran for 15 episodes in Scream.  The story was abruptly ended, with the closure of Scream magazine on 30 June 1984, which was mainly due to a strike at the parent company IPC Media (International Publishing Company).

Scream was then merged with Eagle.  Later, Monster along with Thirteenth Floor became the only series from Scream, which began their weekly run in Eagle magazine.  Monster was continuously featured then on weekly episode which spanned more than a couple of years.

The 1st episode of the series was originally credited to Alan Moore (the man behind the recent “Supposed-to-be” blockbuster movie Watchmen, as it was adopted from his graphic novel by the same name), with an artist named Heintl.  But from the very second episode the credits page started featuring Rick Clark as the scripter.  Rick Clark is actually a pseudonym of John Wagner, who is more known to the comics world as the creator of Judge Dredd in 2000 AD Comic series.

John Wagner (c) John Wagner was born in Pennsylvania, United States in 1949, but he was moved to Scotland when his family shifted location.  He started his publishing career when he joined DC Thompson as a Sub-Editor in 1960’s, and met his eventual long time friend Pat Mills in there.  In 1971, they both left DC Thompson, and started doing freelance jobs in UK.  During this freelance period, they also worked on a a handful of projects for IPC Media.  Monster was one such series which Wagner went on to script during its entire run. 

During his tenure with IPC, he is often credited along with Mills for their successful Battle Picture Weekly’s launch. Tamil Comics fan will remember that many of the wartime stories featured in Rani Comics and Lion Comics, during those yearly years all came from this IPC magazine.  Ironically, Battle Picture was a direct competitor to Warlod Magazine, which was from the stable of Wagner & Mill’s former employer DC Thompson.

Judge DreddMills, who is often credited as the Godfather of British Comics, then gave Wagner a chance to script stories for his new  comics magazine 2000 AD started for IPC Media in 1977. Wagner went on to create Judge Dredd, his more popular creation till date, which also remains the titular character for the entire 2000 AD Comic series.

In 1980s, Wagner was one of the members who were famously touted as the British Invasion of American Comics, which was often dated to Alan Moore’s work on Swamp Thing & Watchmen.  The so called Invasion, saw a number of writers from the 2000 AD Series, working for the US comics giant DC, and later with Marvel.

In 1997, Wagner wrote his first graphic novel, A History of Violence, which many critics consider as a good work even though it was a commercial failure.  I recently acquired this title, and found it impressive enough for an exclusive review at Comicology, very shortly.

Wagner till date remains a prolific writer for 2000 AD Series, still working on majority of Judge Dredd series every year.  He is said to be interested in retiring sooner, if we finds a suitable replacement to pen Dredd’s future series.

There is not much known about the Artists for the Monster series, which was Heintl for the 1st episode, but later was handled by Redonodo for its entire run.  In all possibilities this could have been the pseudonyms of artists, much like how different creators worked during the Scream and Eagles Horror series run, to give their pseudonyms an Imaginary feeling.

There was a significant difference between the artworks of Heintl and Redondo, as the later’s work brought the seriousness of the comic series in display.  Have a look yourself and take the judgement. (Pics Courtesy: BackfromDepths)

Monster v1 01-1 Monster v1 01-2 Monster v1 02-1 Monster v1 02-2

Overall it’s an issue, which certainly deserves its place in your collection, if you are a Tamil Comics fan, with a different taste.  Looking at the relative recent past this issue was released, I hope everyone do have this already in your cherished possession.  The English Originals can be found on BackfromDepths weblog.  So enjoy reading, while the content lasts over there, and get to know of another golden series from the Golden age of British Comics Genre.

Quasimodo (c) Origins of Uncle Terry: Staying on with the Uncle Terry or the Monster character, I was under the impression that the more famous Frankenstein character might have been the inspiration of this characterization too. But fellow Comicologist ShankarV shared an interesting fact that he shared much in common with the Quasimodo, a hunch-back character from the French novel Notre-Dame de Paris. After reading through the archives, it looks this character was the real inspiration for this comic series itself. Have a look at the image from a Movie, which was made on the Novel, and judge yourself.

But that doesn’t hide the fact that Quasimodo itself could have been inspired by the Frankenstein character. As the novel featuring Frankenstein was released in 1818, while Quasimodo made his appearance in Notre-Dame novel in 1830.

Thanks to Shankar, and his wide knowledge on every media. Without whom I wouldn’t have even known about the existence of this classic work.

And that brings us to the close of to our first ever Mehta Comics review at Comicology.  Hopefully, you would have found it useful and fun reading, just like I felt while working on it.  If so, then why not leave your comments to let others know, for which you could use the Comment section below.

Wish you all a Happy Week ahead.  Have Fun & nJoY, while I will be back with another post shortly (to go with April Fool’s Day concept, which should have taken place in this post, but needed a little more preparation). Adios Amigos !

Mar 28, 2009

Celebrity Comics – Ultimate Shower of Love – II

Just in case, if you had forgotten, I did promise to have our second and concluding part of V-Day Special Comicology Post.  So here it is.  In that comic post, we looked at the successful (?!!) attempts on bringing the celebrities into Comics format, but here are the ones who missed out on the bus, and remained only in concept and ill-driven media news.

Kkrish Movie Krrish (2006): It was the first mainstream movie from Bollywood, which featured an Indian Authentic Superhero, in the form of Hrithik Roshan, who is undoubtedly a talented actor.  It was sequel to Koi Mil Gaya (2003), which itself was inspired by the Hollywood blockbuster Spielberg movie, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982).  The movie centres around Krrish, the titular character, who had inherited superhero powers from his father, and creates a secret identity to defend the world against an evil scientist, played by one of my favourite actor, Nasureedin Shah.  The lady love was portrayed by Priyanka Chopra. 

Wonder, does she have a in-ept ability, as having been featured in two movies as lady-love to Superhero.  Well, she certainly has the physique to match up to that reputation. 

The movie was a blockbuster of success, and there were talks of it being merchandised in many forms, which included a series of Comics titles. But the producers then decided to concentrate on the next movie Krrish 2, thus shelving the project, at least temporarily.

This gave a chance for Drona, to hit the stands later as the first Bollywood Superhero to be printed in form of Comics, but the fact remains Krrish was lot better to have owned that credit.  Often, Krrish is touted as the first Superhero of India, but the fact is that Big B, scored ahead of him with Supremo, even though that was never made into mainstream. (Read more about Drona & Supremo, in our V-Day post).

Superhero TendulkarThe Master Blaster (2007): It was time for another Cricketer, to be made as a Superhero, this time another batting legend, Sachin Tendulkar, was touted to be the Superhero.  The series was coined by the erstwhile Virgin Comics, with Sachin’s alter-ego being named “The Master Blaster”.  Sachin Tendulkar was actually brought in as a business partner, to get his involvement to the project, and there was a huge media euphoria, when the series was announced.  Sachin was shown wearing a full body-armour, with a flowing thunderous Bat as his weapon. A real “Bat-Man”, you can say. 

Blaster in ActionBut, what followed was India’s abysmal performance in Cricket World Cup 2007, which prompted Virgin to drop their initial plans, and we were saved from witnessing this ill conceived concept, which even if it had materialized would have met the same fate as Supremo & Supersleuth.

He-ManThe first issue, which was supposedly being drawn by Jeevan J Kang (Spiderman India fame), was scripted as the Blade of the Masters, fighting a villain whose amulet of power holds 11 spirits.  Imagine that, they conceived him to change to his superhero avatar, by simply flashing his bat… eeks.

Doesn’t this characterization resemble much on the He-Man, from the Masters of the Universe animated TV series, back then.  Oops, and they were touting this as an Original concept.  Oh yes, I believed.

Superhero Priyanka

Princess Anamika/Priyanka (2007): After playing lady-love to both Indian Superheroes, it was a chance for Priyanka to make her own foray as a full-fledged Superheroine, or at least it was touted to be.  The publishing house, was again Virgin Comics, who after their failed attempt to create Celebrity comics early in the year, tried to cash in on the popularity of Priyanka Chopra, by touting her as a Wonder-Woman styled Super heroine, to base a series of comics and graphic novels on her.

The quote from the Virgin Comics that time on Priyanka’s supposed Superhero concept was

The superhero in question is an adopted girl who discovers she is the latest in a line of princesses with great mystical power and a sworn duty to take down evil wherever it lurks. 

Well it sounds, more like a Bollywood movie.  Luckily, we didn’t end up witnessing this comic series too, as Virgin Comics started having their own administrative and marketing problems and decided to halt their involvement in India for the time being (which they are yet to come out from).

No wonder they had problems.  They just paid the price for deviating away from their original and niche concept of basing comic series based on Indian mythologies, and tried to imitate and gain the mass-media attention and business by making superheroes out of media celebrities.  The result was there to been seen by all.

I have no qualms over Priyanka Chopra, who was Ms.World beauty contest winner for all her figure and charisma, and is one of the best actors in Bollywood at present.  But conceptualising her as a Comic series superheroine, eeks… Good that we were saved from witnessing it.  Euro Books, who later launched Drona Prequel Comics, were also planning to revive this concept which was put in cold store, by planning to make Priyanka in Comics format.  The result of Drona put this plan also into the backburner.

Priyanka Chopra Comics News Mar09 But recently, there was confusing media attention about Richard Branson, the owner of Virgin group, who was also the man behind the Virgin Comics, who then pulled the plug of out them.  It talks about Branson still being interested in casting Priyanka Chopra as a Comic heroine.

I don’t know how this media news came about, as this was originally a concept pioneered by the Indian creators at Virgin, and all those initial concepts are now owned by Liquid Comics.  All the news medias which I read about this new announcement seems to have taken excerpts out of the old news archives which came about in 2007.  

So I believe it is just a mistake by some media goon, as I don’t see Branson starting a comic business just to feature Priyanka in that.  But he is known for crazy things, so I don’t put my money on him. God Please save us.

Shadow Hunter 01

Shadow Hunter (2008): But Virgin Comics, was not to be denied.  Like the unsatisfied evil spirit, they went after their concept of basing comics series on celebrities, this time trying their luck in America, with their newly conceptualised Voices brand showcasing celebrities not linked to comics industry, to also create and pioneer their own comic series. 

There were numerous ones, which came out of that result, but only one of them was truly to be called a Celebrity Comics, because that particular individual decided to create a story in keeping up with the original story of thyself.  It was the Prom Queen, Jenna Jameson, who created a limited edition comic series, with a female superheroine named Shadow Hunter.

This was the official quote from Virgin Comics, that time:

Shadow Hunter, is the story of a provocative superheroine who survives a brush with death only to find herself fighting the legions of hell for her very soul. The story, while provocative and sexy, contains no nudity and is intended for a mainstream audience

Even though, this particular series was not based on any Indian Superstars, it had to find its place in our Celebrity Comics post, to map the freefall which Virgin Comics took ever since the series was published. It ultimately saw them wrapping up their projects, and going for a management buyout, with the resultant product being named Liquid Comics, which at present stands as per its name.

As a mid-post bonus to those who read the post up-till now, here are the covers of that 4 part mini series.  Enjoy !!

Shadown Hunter 02 Shadown Hunter 03Shadown Hunter 04 Shadown Hunter 05

This was not the scenario, when comics publishers like Amar Chitra Katha (ACK), were basing their comics titles on acclaimed national leaders, and successful entrepreneurs.

ACK Mahatma GandhiACK Ambedkar

Now the new breed of comics publishers seems to be toeing the American way, and trying to be one-up over them in bringing commercial characters into comics format.

The question remains, do they really love the Comics business, or do they only aim to see it as a money-making business? I hope normality ensures, and comics publishers take lessons from other publishers ill fate, who toed the line and seen their readers market erode.

As much as we despise, the American influence on commercialisation of comics, there is no denying of the fact that at times they did produce comics on legendary characters, without changing their originality, one such case was the comics based on legendary martial arts superstar Bruce Lee

Kung Fu Series Rani Comics 51 - One of the first Bruce Lee Comics Erstwhile Rani Comics and Indrajal Comics in India, had featured Bruce Lee Comic books in their line-up, which probably might have come from the British Genre.  Taking a cue out of them, American major comics giant Marvel, started a series inspired by Bruce Lee, named “Kung Fu” in 1974.

The series, which was drawn and inked by Superman,Batman fame Neal Adams, featured a series of fictional Martial art superstars, who were led in front by a characterization of Bruce Lee himself.  The series ran for a total of 33 issues, spanning until 1977.

That was not all, in 1994 Malibu Comics, a now defunct independent comics publisher, also ran a 6 issue mini-series featuring Bruce Lee as their titular character. The series was part of their comic series about Mortal Kombat game series.

Bruce Lee Malibu Issue 1 ArtBruce Lee Comics - Malibu 01Bruce Lee Malibu Issue 1 CreditsHere is the Credit page, and a sample of the Inner artwork, which proves that the quality of the comics was at the top level. Especially the close-up shots of Bruce Lee and detailed fighting scenes, which seems to have been inspired by the legendary Bruce Lee movies.

Here are the covers of 4 other titles from the series. Don’t they give an impressive look, I would love to own this series in my collection. (Pics:

Bruce Lee Comics - Malibu 02Bruce Lee Comics - Malibu 04Bruce Lee Comics - Malibu 05Bruce Lee Comics - Malibu 06

The reception to the series, which is now considered as a Collectors Item, does say that comics enthusiasts and fans always been receptive about comic series created with original and legendary personas from the past, and not the commercially motivated ones dished out by the likes of Virgin Comics.  It’s now left to the publishers to decide, what they make out of the reality.

Now that we have looked into the comics publishers attempts to build comic characters out of commercial personas, it will be good that we end the post by talking about some of the other attempts in our own Bollywood movie industry, which saw some famous comic characters like Superman and Tarzan, being brought in with a Indian touch. Obviously, without proper permission or copyrights.

Tarzan IndiaAdventures of Tarzan (1985): The plot of the movies goes like this.  Ruby Shetty, a beautiful and attractive young woman, lives a wealthy lifestyle with her widowed dad.  His dad ventures on to the deep jungles of India to find a fabled tribe in the Shakabhoomi region, where others have gone - but never returned.

Ruby also decides to follow her dad, and meets up with him near the jungle's edge, where she is introduced to a man named D.K., who her dad like her to get married to. The following few days Ruby has a number of misadventures and is rescued by an ape-like man who is called Tarzan, and both fall in love with each other. Tarzan cannot speak any language but is intrigued by Ruby, much to the chagrin of D.K., whose task is to capture Tarzan and take him to work for Krishnakant Verma, who owns Apollo Circus. Before Tarzan and Ruby's romance could take wing, Tarzan is captured, chained and taken to the circus. But by the help of the wild animals who attack the city, Tarzan gets freed, and marries Ruby and lives happily ever after.

Kimi Katkar 2Kimi Katkar 1Almost a complete ridicule,  of the legendary Tarzan character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, which simply borrowed the original plot, and added Bollywood of Masala Mix, and oomph factor.  One saving grace of the movie was the Ruby (Jane Porter equivalent) character portrayed by Kimi Katkar.

A little know actor that time, she was propelled to star fame, with her dare bare act, and smooching scenes in the movie. No wonder the movie was a hit, just because of her presence. Movie frantics would remember, that at the top of her career, she even played lady love of Amitabh Bachan, in the 1991 Bollywood blockbuster movie Hum, which had a star cast of Bollywood Comedian Govinda, and South-Indian Super Star, Rajinikanth. One of the popular songs of the movie was Jumma Chumma De De (and arguably part the reason for the success of the movie), which had Bachan & Katkar dancing to the tune of a music inspired by an African musician.

Superman IndiaSuperman (1987): It was time for Superman to feature in a Bollywood movie, again unofficially.  In this Indian take on the classic superhero story, a young baby from the doomed planet Krypton is sent to Earth, where he is adopted by an elderly couple in India who name him Shekhar. The role of Shekhar, was played by Puneet Isaar, who is more famously known as the actor who played the character of Duryodhana in the famous Mahabharata TV Serial, aired on Doordarshan (DD) from 1988 to 1990.

After growing to an adult and learning about his origins and powers, Shekhar goes to the city in search of his school sweetheart, Gita, who has become a newspaper reporter. At the same time, Verma, Shekhar's rival for Gita's affection in their school days, has gone on to become a crime lord and general super-villain. Verma has hatched at plan to become rich by devastating part of India with natural disasters, then buying up all of the abandoned land. Will Superman/Shekhar be able to put a stop to Verma's evil plan? Will he win Gita's heart? Will he keep his double identity a secret? well, those are answered in the rest of the movie.  No surprises, because it is a same plot of the original Superman character.

Unlike Tarzan, this didn’t have any saving grace, even though Bollywood star Dharmendra donned the role of Superman’s father.  It was a total failure at the box-office, and till date remains the worst example of a Bollywood parody, and continues to be a butt of joke on all foreign movie review sites.  A best example of them is on, who have given a complete review with the hilarious touch, for the so called Indian Superman. 

Superman 1960 HindiSuperman (1960): But this wasn’t the first ever Superman takedown in Bollywood. Yes, indeed there were two attempts earlier as way back in 1960 itself, even before the official Superman film released in 1978. Surprising as it may sound, its indeed true, even though on a worst quality.

Return of Mr SupermanManmohan Sabir directed this 1960 feature, but he had a competition from another director named Mohammad Hussain who also was making a movie on the same DC character, with the film simply titled as ‘Superman’. Thus, Sabir decided to name his movie as ‘Return of Superman’, without any meaning to the word ‘Return’, as both of them had the same story of Superman’s Origin bundled with Bollywood Masala Mix.

But there was a connection indeed, as both movies had then famous actor Jairaj, playing the protagonist. Obviously, the second movie is much more famous (?!) then the first one, so here is a VCD cover for the movie. Make what you want out it.

Now, who is out there who says that Superman is American…  You only have to laugh looking at the Superman costume, but if you still insist, here is a complete review of this movie, from a blogger named TODD.  Enough Said.

Dariya Dil (1988): No Indian Superhero movie would be complete, without mentioning about a ultimate cross-over of DC & Marvel, in our own Indian version.

Dariya Dil (1988)

It was a movie featuring Govinda, and Kimi Katkar (again), which actually didn’t have a plot revolving around Superheroes. But one of the songs in the movie, saw Govinda in a Superman Suit, and Kimi Katkar in a Spider-Woman costume, dancing to a Bollywood tune. I must say more than Govinda, Kimi seems to be a good fit for the costume :). Here is a YouTube video featuring the legendary (?!!) song. Isn’t that Funny :).

SupermanvsSpider-Man 1976 (c) I only wonder what would have been the reaction of DC & Marvel, had they seen this less talked about movie song.  I agree they wouldn’t care, but the fact remains that they took more than 4 decades since their inception during the Golden Age of American Comics, to have agreed on common terms to have a first ever superhero cross-over in form of Superman/Spiderman in 1976.

But, it took only a dream song in the minds of the lead cast and a couple of costume stitches, to get this concept into fruition in our sweet old Bollywood. :)  As funny it may sound, It’s time we start respecting the copyrights held by the publishers. If only there any listeners, to this morale in the free world.

Arkin Comics Arkin Customized Comics Advt And what’s more there is a new comic publishing company in India, in the name of Arkin Comics, who seem to have copyrighted a new concept, where we could get to feature as a hero in a Solo Comic title on our own.  They call it Customized Comics, and few titles are currently online, at a price close to INR 1000. At least, this is something new, from the celebrity comics junk, we have been dished out earlier.  This could really serve as a good gift for some kids or teens, on their birthday party.  You could learn more about this on their corporate site.

IrithTalks are also on about another pioneer Comic series from the same publishers, titled IRITH, featuring a Hi-Fi Anti-Terrorists Super Squad, on the backdrops of 26/11 Mumbai attack.  The first title is scheduled to be on stands in April this year, which is billed as a product out of a team of 20+ artists.

Even though, it is a sensitive subject to take your bets on, I am much more hopeful, because that has Ramayana 3392AD comic series fame, writer Shamik Dasgupta, on the cards.

Even though, the series reminds me a lot on the lines of The 99 Series from Teshkeel Comics, discussed over here at Comicology earlier, I hope it will be different in content as it involves a modern day menace, than the former.

Talking of which, there is a comic post pending on the further issues of The 99 Series, soon at Comicology.

And that brings us to the close of our V-Day Special 2 part comic posts.  Hopefully, you would have found this post useful and fun reading, just like I felt while working on it. Wish you all a Happy Week ahead.  Have Fun & nJoY, while I will be back with another old comics review post shortly. Adios Amigos !


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