India has a host of fascinating comic characters, some inspired by ancient myths and legends. Unfortunately, this is one industry that hasn’t received the recognition it truly deserves. Here’s taking a look at some of the most popular Indian comic heroes of all time.
Indian comic books are infamous for their lack of female superheroes, which is why the popularity of characters like Devi is so important to the genre. During the second century, the gods created Devi to conquer the demon, Lord Bala. When the devil reemerges after centuries and threatens to destroy the universe, Devi is reborn as a young woman named Tara Mehta. The character is based upon Hindu goddess Durga.
Nagraj is a character inspired by the myth of icchadhari naag (shape-shifting snake). Instead of white blood cells, Nagraj was born with millions of tiny snakes in his bloodstream that he can use at will. He can even unleash a powerful venom that is believed to be the most poisonous of all snake species in the world. Raj Comics, the creator of Nagraj, is responsible for producing some of the most iconic Indian superheroes.
Dacoit Halkan Singh finds an orphan boy named Suraj in a dumpster and raises the boy by treating him like a dog. But this maltreatment becomes Suraj’s biggest power, as he gradually learns how to communicate with dogs and use them to his advantage. As an adult he becomes a vigilante named Doga, who doesn’t think twice about breaking rules in order to wipe out criminal activities.
What separates Super Commando Dhruva from other comic heroes is that he neither has an alter ego nor any super powers. He relies solely on his intellect, intuition and physical prowess. Working with a crime-fighting organisation called Commando Force, Dhruva is called upon numerous times to save the fictional town of Rajnagar from shady villains.
Chakra- The Invincible is a comic hero co-created by the legendary Stan Lee and Sharad Devarajan from Graphic India. With the help of his mentor Dr. Singh, Raju Rai, a young boy living in Mumbai, develops a suit that activates the mystical chakras of the body. The boy wonder Chakra then vows to help defend the city against super villains like Boss Yama and Kildune.
Chanda is a simple housewife who one day finds out that her husband has been killing her daughters inside her womb. Enraged at this injustice, Chanda transforms into Shakti with the help of goddess Kali and takes revenge on her husband. While Chanda becomes a social worker, her alter-ego Shakti becomes the saviour of all women, reaching out to them whenever they’re in distress.
In high school, Vinay is witness to the murder of his classmate by a police officer, and has to go into hiding. Vinay turns to his uncle, Professor K.K. Verma, for protection, and the latter gives him a suit that lends the wearer superhuman abilities. Once he dons the suit, Vinay becomes Wonderman Parmanu who can shoot atomic bombs, fly at unbelievable speed, teleport and reduce to any size he wants.
Chacha Chaudhary is a rare comic book protagonist in that he’s more of a wise old man than a young hunky hero. His years of experience are one of his greatest weapons, and his brain is said to function even faster than a computer. However, Chacha Chaudhary isn’t all brains and no brawn, as he used to be a professional boxer and still displays some agile moves when fighting the bad guys. He’s aided by Sabu, an alien from Jupiter, who serves as Chacha’s muscle man.
Gojo is a hero summoned by Hrishi Taptamukhi, a Hindu sage, after performing a yajna (ritual conducted before a sacred fire) in order to fight and defeat a mighty demon who’d been creating havoc on earth. Gojo’s body carries seven celestial creatures and he can call on any one of them during his battles against evil forces. One of these divine beings is called Teesri Aankh, whose power is similar to Lord Shiva’s destructive third eye.
Amar, a police officer, suffers a near fatal accident and is saved only when his brain is transferred to a machine by his scientist friend, Professor Anees. Amar thus becomes a cyborg named Inspector Steel. The character is quite similar to Robocop, and many people argue that Indian comic books can only increase their popularity by creating uniquely Indian superheroes instead of copying Western ones.