Indian Spiderman Update

Culture and Media

I had written about Pavitra Prabhakar, way back in June. Recently there was an interview with the CEO of Gotham Entertainment, Sharad Devarajan on Fresh Air on NPR. Its a nice interview, Devarajan says that one of the ways in which Spiderman has been transformed into Pavitra is by making him a hick from the hinterland, since being good in school isn’t necessarily uncool in India! and Peter/Pavitra has to be a bit of an outsider. I didn’t see copies of the comic when I was in India, but at least one Indian reviewer seems to hate this comic, he sees the comic as symptomatic of American hubris: Nagraj

The typical American superhero is designed to defeat evil at all costs, using a set of special powers that he has acquired by some means. Good versus evil, always ending in victory for good. Black and white, zero or one, with no room for gray. With great power comes the notion — If you are not with us, you are against us.”

Ouch! trawling around I found other comic book fans who think the Indian Spiderman to be a ridiculous, and a form of cultural imperialism and not a patch on the homegrown Raj Comics with characters such as Bheria (Wolf Man), Nagraj(King Cobra, on the left) and Super Commando Dhruva. Nagaraj has serpent powers but in his non-superhero life wears spectacles and works in a PR department, sound familiar?