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Vimanarama

Posted: Wednesday, April 26, 2006
By: Stephen Holland

by Grant Morrison & Philip Bond
Publisher: DC Vertigo/Titan Books (ISBN 184576207X)

Ali is a young man with problems. Stuck working in his father's grocery shop in Bradford, he's hours away from meeting his arranged wife-to-be, Sofia, when his cousin falls down a hole in the shop's floor...and it's Ali to the rescue. Little does Ali know that his cousin's piece of bad luck is going to lead to the near-total destruction of Earth, as an ancient and never-ending battle between the forces of light and darkness begins anew. And what about Ali's battle for Sofia? Visionary writer Grant Morrison ("The Invisibles", "We3", "Seaguy") and fan-favourite artist Philip Bond ("The Invisibles", "Kill Your Boyfriend") bring this magical, madcap adventure to vivid, technicolour life - and afterlife!

Sofia: "That tiny little sort of popping noise you just heard was the sound of me going completely insane."

Ali: "Mine was sort of a 'ping'."

Poor Ali is at a crux in his young life. His father has arranged for him to be married to an accountant's daughter from Southampton. If she's ugly (or stupid or boring), Ali will take it as existential proof that God does indeed hate him, and hang himself. But before he can get too Emo, the floor at his father's shop caves in, burying his brother Omar under a mountain of Turkish Delight, and creating an opening to an ancient city which has lain dormant under what we know as Bradford for six thousand years. Ali's baby nephew, Imran, decides to learn to walk and goes off exploring the buried city, accidentally releasing an army of 8-foot-tall demons bent on unleashing hell on earth. Now the only one who can stop them is... No not Ali, but Prince Ben Rama and the Ultra-Hadeen. Unfortunately for Ali, Ben Rama gains his power from love - and he loves Ali's betrothed, Sofia, who's actually everything he could want in a girl. And now the world's going to end, the girl of Ali's dreams has been pulled by an 8 foot Demi-God, and everyone's going to die before he's even had a chance to really live.

I've never seen Bond's art look better than it does here. Nobody draws slightly despondent young adults quite like him. And, yeah, this isn't WE3 but if you ignore all the weird fantasy and boil this story down, it's all about family. And how at 18 years of age they may seem like nothing but a hindrance, when in fact they really are your only hope.



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