Writer: Samit Basu
Artist: Mukesh Singh, Nanjan J & Mukesh Singh (colors)
Publisher: Virgin Comics
Well, yeah, she’s here, finally. She, as in the main character or rather "entity" of this series, the Devi. Built up over the last three issues, (the first issue introduced the Devi energy,) the new Devi, finally makes an appearance here. If this confuses anyone, well, just spend a minute or two reading up on the first page and the quickie flashback it provides. Having not picked up issues #2 and #3, I did the same with #4, and except for a few instances, the reading experience has been smooth sailing.
As seen in the last issue, Tara Mehta, the young woman who is to be "host" to the Devi (and as such stipulated to be sacrificed), is unconscious and is being ferried to the secret temple where the Durapasya Council awaits to, well, to kill her. Simultaneously, the bad guys, Kratha (the apsara assassin) and Iyam (Lord Bala’s right hand man) are also headed towards the same destination, and so is the good guy (note the singular), Inspector Rahul Singh. As expected, especially for anyone who has seen Hindi action movies, everyone arrives just in time and a good old fashioned free for all cockfight ensues. Even the council members, peeved off at having their sacrifice ritual interrupted get into the mix, along with their gun-toting underlings.
While all this is going on (i.e. hell breaking loose around her), Tara (her "essence") is undergoing yet another ritual, one involving a whole bevy of gods. Speaking of gods, I for one was pleasantly taken aback by the ones showing up here. Not only do we have the Hindu deities (in the form of KAMA, the Hindu "grown-n’-buffed up" equivalent of Cupid), we also have MARS (the Roman God of War), RA (the Egyptian Sun god), and even funky ones like KAPITAL (the God of, well, Wealth) and INTERFACE (the Communication god). Then of course is Bodha, the biggest n’ oldest of all ‘em gods (including the gone bad Bala). All these gods bless Tara/Devi with gifts/powers, ones that are going to help her in her war against evil.
The only problem? Tara doesn’t want to fight. In fact, she wants no part of the Gods and what they want from/for her.
As far as the artwork (and style) goes, Devi has the most tight and polished style of all Virgin titles. The closest that any of its siblings (Snakewoman, Ramayan 3392AD, The Sadhu, 7 Brothers) come to it is The Sadhu, however even that doesn’t have the same level of flair that this title requires and has (thanks to Mukesh Singh and Nanjan J).
Conclusion: More than anyone, it is the character of Inspector Rahul Singh that comes across as most clichéd to me, right from his lone ranger shtick to his frustration at the laziness (and most probably greed) of his seniors. Ah, how I miss the "fighting against the establishment" days of the quintessential "Angry Young Man" of Hindi movies, Amitabh Bachchan.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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