Writer: Samit Basu
Artist: Aditya Chari
Published by: Virgin Comics
Last seen in the first issue, Lord Bala, the big baddie of Devi, makes a return to its pages. Although talked about and heard in the spanning issues, this is the first time Lord Bala makes an actual physical appearance, and what a way to do so than with a fresh pair of magical eyes, ones going back to Hera. Talk about linking mythologies. Then again, with DCís Wonder Woman, both the series and the character in the crapper (thanks to a certain someone on its current creative team), itís not like Olí Lady Hera has much to do nowadays.
Bala and his machinations aside, this issue continues the Devi action introduced with the last issue, all the while adding to the reluctant (with a capital-R) hero angle. As seen in the last few issues, this incarnation of Devi is quite a bit different from the previous one(s), mainly because instead of an empty shell (i.e. body), this time around the Devi spirit entered and occupied one with already a resident in it, namely Tara Mehta, the woman who was to be sacrificed so that the Devi could enter onto the mortal plane of existence. With Inspector Rahul Singh as her (semi-)guardian, (semi-)sidekick and constant companion, the Devi has been learning the ropes of this current time.
At the same time both she and Tara are "getting" to know each other too. Perhaps it is this that leads the Devi to handing over the power reigns (temporarily?) over to Tara, who wanting no part of the Devi, her duties, her fight against evil, her, well, anything to do with her, makes for a quick getaway. When the next call for help comes in, she does not respond, not even after Rahulís best efforts. Fed up, disappointed and/or probably looking to work some emotional blackmail, Rahul leaves Tara to her own devices and rushes himself to help the people calling for the Devi. As to how he plans and finally gets there is a mystery, maybe he has a mystical walkie-talkie, but whatever the means, itís a given that he would find himself out of his depth. This becomes all the more clear when forcibly taking control, Devi teleports to the problem area, only to find a demon and his horde. At his feet is Rahul, beaten up and unconscious (dead?).
Back to Bala and while his first appearance occupied just a page, this time around he has quite a lot to do, right from doubting and confirming Amaraís treason, the obligatory dispensing of a lackey, introducing another new character and putting the call out for yet another one. All in all, Lord Bala has quite a hectic day.
As for the artwork, although not at Mukesh Singh levels, artist Aditya Chari seems to be finding his feet with these characters. Not only is there more of a uniformity in their visual portrayal, even the emotions (already good) seem to have seen an improvement. What has me worried is the solicit cover for the next issue has a new name on it, meaning with just two issues done with this new artist, there is going to be yet another change for Devi.
Conclusion: Lest I forget, Iyamís back and although a character on the dark side, there is something about him, some hidden depth (at least thatís how I view him) about him that has me hoping to see more of him. Him, Kratha the apsara assassin, the upcoming Falchion, Tara, uhÖ, okay I give up, lets just include all the characters, except Okuma. Him I could do without.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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