Thursday, December 11, 2008

"the longest-living Indian action comic superhero"

Does anyone reading this blog remember me mentioning a comic which featured Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, and some guy I'd never heard of in a crossover? A comic which featured such well-distilled insanity I wrote 22 bullet points about details and hadn't plumbed into its depths?

I need to start looking stuff up before I post stuff here.

Behold: A Wikipedia page.

Yes, that character, Nagraj, can "arguably be termed as" the longest running star of an Asian Indian comic. And, in keeping with the hilarity of the Nagraj comic I've previously examined, the Wikipedia article itself is a source of great entertainment.

Nagraj was originally conceived as an enemy of international terrorism. Interestingly, in his debut, Nagraj was unleashed as an international terror weapon by the evil scientist Professor Nagmani. Nagraj in this first mission was tasked to steal golden statue of a Goddess from a temple protected by tribal devotes, snakes & by a mysterious more than 300 years old Sadhu named Baba Gorakhnath.Nagraj succeeded in his task but upon confrontation with Gorakhnath & his mystic Black Mongoose Shikangi was defeated. Gorakhnath read his mind & found out that Professor Nagmani had implanted a mind controlling device in form of a capsule in Nagraj's head to keep him under his control. Gorakhnath operated & removed the capsule from Nagraj's head setting Nagraj free who became his disciple & vowed to eliminate crime & terror from the Earth. Since then Nagraj has thrice toured the World & defeated many villains & terrorists.

This is nuts. Note the heavy and unconventional ampersand (&) usage, and the run-on sentences and incomprehensible grammar, not to mention some just plain wrongness. For instance, let's examine the first two sentences closely:

Nagraj was originally conceived as an enemy of international terrorism.

Interestingly, in his debut, Nagraj was unleashed as an international terror weapon by the evil scientist Professor Nagmani.

Wait, what? An "enemy of international terrorism" is "unleashed as an international terror weapon" by a mad scientist guy? I think that what the writer of the article was trying to say was lost in this nonsequitur. Nagraj becomes a terrorist-fighting agent after his origin story, apparently.

Also, "Presently Nagraj lives as Raj in a fictional Metropolitan City Mahanagar as an empolyee [employee] in a TV Channel secretly owned by himself."


Conveniently, the article is modelled after the format of Western comic book characters, and thus has a "Powers and Abilities" section. Let's see what some of them are.

Nagraj has the power to vaporize himself into minute particles and become invisible but he can remain in an invisible state only for three seconds.

He can vaporize himself to become invisible! Woo! But he can only be invisible for three seconds. I suppose that is kind of impressive-most people who get vaporized stay invisible forever.

His body is a container of millions of "micro-snakes"(sukshma-sarpa) which he can release at will from his wrists to grow and carry out a variety of tasks.

My sister's first reaction was "So, he's like a cutter or something?" Sadly, I had to say "No, I think they just kinda pop out." Incidentally, it mentions earlier in the article, although not in the Powers and Abilities section, that Nagraj's body contains no white blood cells because it's got snakes instead. That's hardcore.

He can form ropes out of groups of snakes, for use for swinging on or lassoing objects.

Hmm... Sounds familiar somehow.

His bizarre ability to contain snakes means he is home to a number of allies, whom he can release to carry out independent actions using their own abilities.

Yes, Nagraj is a snake container. And, if you don't know what kind of abilities such "allies" might grant him, here's a hint.

His only vulnerability is the situation when someone is successful in cutting off his body part completely, after which he cannot regain that part and also looses [loses] blood which in turn means the loss of snakes and his powers.

Um, how do we know that he can't regain "that part?" Looks like he's got all his fingers and stuff to me.

Another funny feature of the article is the "list of Nagraj's major alive enemies who can be expected to make a comeback in his future issues." My favorites are "Tutan Khamen," the ancient Egyptian mummy "whose main power-source, his mask, was snatched away by Nagraj," and "See-Through," "an invisible soul which thieved a big share of Nagraj's shape-shifting power & still wants more." Sadly, the list doesn't mention Shakoora, the villain of the comic I've looked at, who apparently was slated to be Nagraj's archnemesis in a Nagraj cartoon(!), which was apparently yanked before it aired.

Also, there is apparently an ongoing "crossover event" which is running long. That also sounds familiar. The crossover is primarily with another character from the same company named Super Commando Dhruva. (Dhruva has an enemy named Grand Master Robo, who "has extra-ordinary physical abilities. His body is immune to the poison of Mamba snake. On his left eye, he has a metallic eye, through which he shoots powerful laser beam." Hehehe.)

I'm sure I could say more (lots more), but that's enough for now.

-Signing off.

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