Spider-man India
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Plot/Story:
Art:
Dialogue:
    Presentation:
Wr/Ill. Jeevan J. Kang

Never mind the scores up there. It was very hard to grade this book based upon "American" comic book standards. This book is far more important than simple story, plot, and art breakdowns. It promotes cultural diffusion and is a welcome addition to generally stale title revamps. However with that said, it warrants only minor praise as a whole.

I must admit I don't know anything about Indian culture. And the one thing that this book does, unlike Superman "True Brit", is promote the cultural aspects of the country in a positive light. Judging from the content, and I am hopefully justified in the assumption of the authenticity of it, India is a helluva interesting place. I can only assume that their country is heavily influenced by gods and demons. One of the main popular sports has to be cricket. And that their own culture is infused with many Western Civilization aspects.

Spider-man India by Jeevan J. KangWhat I probably enjoyed the most about the book is the Indian dialogue/words that the book's cast utters throughout the length of the four issue collection. That alone almost makes the bollywood like moments bearable. Through gritted teeth of course. At the end of every issue there is an after word by a prominent Indian member of the community explaining the meaning behind many of the interesting colloquialisms. Without that aspect, the book would still be very interesting in it's own cultural aspect. It is very well thought out and planned.

However, it has many flaws as a comic book story. Once again, everything has to start with the Green Goblin. Apparently the character has become Spider-man's Joker (I was glad that the Batman movie did not contain the Joker but I digress). This time around he is a demon incarnate, similar to the Ultimate Spiderman version, and receives his powers from a mysterious amulet. It is the same amulet that gives doctor Octopus, who resembles a male Hindu goddess Kali (minus the weapons), his own powers. And it seems like Spiderman gets his powers by chance, making him the very much stale idea of being "the chosen one". The story itself has a lot of time issues. Everything happens very quickly and at times without reason. In terms of problems, the story, aesthetically and pertaining to the craft, has almost the same issues as the comic book "Phantom Jack" (reviewed by Blazedent). It seems to be prevalent in writers that are not used to writing comic books. Besides those elements, there is a certain "cheesiness" factor associated with the English dialogue and the character names. I mean, how can you not smirk when characters are named Uncle Bihm and Aunt Maya, but in the creators' defense, they are probably representative of the cultural translation.

The art is very animated. Not in terms of Manga, but it has a very clean, animated, morning cartoon, feel to it. It is not superb or ground breaking by any means but one would think it fits with book perfectly and serves it's purpose. However it does have a lot of scale and panel to panel, page to page, consistency issues. But overall it is very original and sports a desirable quality.

At 10 bucks, this may be a decent look over, but that's about it. Unless you are writing a research paper about India and want to include this in it, which I would recommend at that point since it is filled with information about the country's culture. Hasta la vista. Wait...that's not...whatever...

- Pawel Goj


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