Writer: Shamik Dasgupta
Artists: Abhishek Singh, Ashwin Chikerur & K. Sampath Kumar (colors)
Published by: Virgin Comics
Hey! What gives!? Did Virgin just end this series or does the closing "The End - For Now" just signal the end of this first arc (of sorts). I really hope that it is the latter and not the former. Ramayan 3392 AD is one of my favorite Virgin titles and one that I want to see played out in its entirety, which given the expansive story that inspires it makes for a sizeable number of issues. These eight issues are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the retelling (modern or otherwise) of the Ramayan. Heck, not even that. Talk about downer.
The ending disregarded, this is one fast paced and character defining issue. Not only does Bharat appear to take the next step in his maturity (the one he has been about to take from the very first issue of the series), he does so in style. Assisting him are the three people who were instrumental in saving his royal behind and freeing him from the clutches of the Asuras: Sumantra, his daughter Mandavi and of course, Bharat’s own brother, Tubby, I mean Shatrughan.
Rushing towards Armagarh, the four of them have to not only unmask and rout the Asuras operating within the Council, they also have to do it before the coronation (as King of Armagarh) of the head Asura, Kalnemi. That is exactly what they do. While Bharat, along with Sumantra and Mandavi, faces off against the evil Kalnemi, his own forces and the Armagarh-ians that he commands, Shatrughan fulfills a covert and important mission. He finds and destroys a Yantra (machine) Generator which controls the Morph-Tech of the Asuras, thus causing them to revert to their true forms which reveals them to the general populous. The issue ends with Bharat dissolving the Council and becoming the king. However, as his words reveal in the closing panels, he has only become king until he finds and brings back Armagarh’s rightful ruler, Rama. Hence, my earlier comment about his maturing.
This brings us to the artwork. There isn’t much I have to say about artist Abhishek Singh’s style and visuals in Ramayan 3392 AD that I haven’t written in my previous reviews. It is fast paced and expressive. It has a rough edge to it, but most of the time that too works for and not against the story. The same goes for the colors of Ashwin Chikerur & K. Sampath Kumar. Although a bit subdued than the previous issue, the coloring also had fewer expanses of black in it. Overall, this is visually the most consistent Virgin title.
Conclusion: Here’s hoping that this wasn’t the last issue of one of the best futuristically-mythological series in the market.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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