Exclamation: "Now who the heck are these 'Trident' fellows?"
Explanation: Showing up on the last page of the previous issue, this month's Devi spends a sizable amount of time elaborating upon the character of Avni, Tara's hereto unknown sister. Intriguing enough on its own this new twist becomes all the more mysterious with the other developments in the issue. For one, we get finally see who, or rather what, it is that is doing all the killing. Introduced in Devi #15 the Demon Devi (don't know what else to call her) returns by beheading a corrupt minister, an act which makes the "killing case" very high profile. Elsewhere, having made some investigations Rahul Singh finds that the DNA found at the previous crime scenes is 58% matching to Tara's. Is it Tara's own DNA that got transmuted while in her Demon Devi form? Or is it the DNA of Tara's new "sister" who could very well be the human form of the demon? Those answers will hopefully be answered in the upcoming issues, along with the revelation of who are those guys who just attacked Tara, Rahul, Sandy and Avni.
Examination (Story): Devi, the title got off to a commendable start. Not only did the creators have a set plan for the characters, both good and evil, they also had great visuals complementing it.
Too bad they lost their lost way (for a while).
For one, given the ominous threat that was Bala, both by himself and through minions such as Iyam, his defeat and subsequent departure left a gaping hole in the series. Given how big a threat he was built up as, thwarting him so soon comes across as akin to a Batman title introducing, building and defeating the Joker relatively permanently within the first ten issues itself. The issues that followed (#11-15) made the difference all the more glaring. A couple of issues were okay, but when the doldrums stretched on, the series seemed to have lost its way with writer Saurav Mohapatra just putting the characters through the paces.
Thankfully, that seemed to have changed. Not only is Mohapatra developing Sandy, a relatively new character, he has also introduced Avni, a character just brimming with potential. And while there are hints of possible romantic leanings between Sandy and Tara, the Tara and Rahul dynamic hasn't been wiped away completed.
Add to all of this the new threat(?) of whoever the trident tattoo bearing gang is. For someone who has been a reader right from its first issue, Devi hasn’t look this good in quite a while.
Examination (Art): Devi seems to be working on a new creative team for every arc basis. While none of them have been able to reach, let alone cross, the benchmark set by Mukesh Singh and Nanjan J. in the first arc, the team of Chandrashekar A. and R. Gavaskar does make a play for it. Even if the details aren't quite intricate, the characters do sport a uniform look and more often than not are expressive enough.
Proclamation: In somewhat doldrums since the end of the Bala story, Devi seems to be finally finding some footing. Here's hoping that it isn't just a temporary development and that the title as well as its characters continue to carry on and not lose their way…again.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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