Top 10 Indian Comic Book Characters
Comic books stir up happy childhood memories and they are 100 million dollar industry in India. Comics have made a comeback in the last decade and with the conclusion of second Comic Con in October 2012, the industry has matured from its early years and has come a long way. Indian comic industry is probably dominated by foreign comics for the most part, but there are many indigenous characters that have huge fan base in Indian than their western counterpart. Here is a compilation of Top 10 Indian comic book characters.
Shaktimaan was a fictional Indian television superhero created by Dinker Jani and Mukesh Khanna telecasted on Doordarshan. Mukesh Khanna played the role of Shaktimaan and his alter-ego Gangadhar. The television series became a huge hit among the masses and the character was later adopted into a comic series in association with Diamond Comics and Raj Comics. The comics were published in many Indian languages and English. The characterization of Shaktimaan and Gangadhar is inspired from Superman where the superhero lives and works in a city as a reporter Clark Kent. Shaktimaan has superhuman powers, which lie inside his body in his seven chakras of Kundalini attained through mediation. He has super human strength, laser vision, power of telepathy, teleportation, etc. His only weakness is a crystal possessed by Tamraj Kilvish that makes him powerless.
Pinki is a lead character in the comic series published by Diamond Comics. The character was created by the famous Indian cartoonist Pran Kumar Sharma in 1978. Pinki is a mischievous five-year-old girl, who creates a lot of problems. Champu, Bhiku and her neighbor Jhaptji are other notable characters from the series. The character of Pinki resembles American comic character, Dennis the Menace, who is mischievous and creates a lot of trouble for his neighbor, Mr. Wilson. Jhaptji, Pinki’s close neighbor, is much annoyed with her antics. According to the storyline of the series, whenever Pinki tries to help Jhaptji, she creates lot of chaos and messes everything around for everyone. Pinki has also been featured in several issues of Chacha Chaudhary and Billoo comic series.
8. Tenali Raman
Tenali Ramakrishna, popularly known as Tenali Rama, was a court-poet of Krishnadeva Raya of the Vijayanagara empire. He was known for his wit and impressive poetry written in the Telugu language. Based on the character of Tenali Raman three movies, a television series, cartoon series and various comic series have been produced. Comic books in various languages by different publishers have been published and this has been a hit series in India. All stories are set in the 16th century in the Vijayanagara empire where Tenali gives a philosophical twist to even mundane matters. They carry fun-filled and yet thought-provoking stories that make the kids think.
7. Akbar Birbal
Akbar, the emperor and Birbal, his top minister are one of the most beloved characters with adults and children alike. Many stories published by many publishing houses of India are very mirthful and gives us a glimpse of great camaraderie shared by two of them. These stories are primarily morality tales that are very useful for parents to teach their kids important values of life. These stores have largely become part of Indian folk tradition. Birbal was the most trusted advisor of the Mughal emperor Akbar. They are one of the most published characters in India and they have found their way in to modern movies and television cartoon series.
Parmanu was created by Sanjay Gupta in 1991 and features in comic books of the same name published by Raj Comics. Without the mask, he is Inspector Vinay, an officer in the Delhi Police Department. A special suit given to Vinay by his maternal Uncle, Prof. K.K enables Parmanu with various atomic based powers. He can fire atomic rays from his wrist and chest and his belt contains various gadgets. Parmanu`s other powers include size-manipulation, teleportation, ability to transform into atoms and flying. Nearly 40 titles have been published till date by Raj Comics on Parmanu.
5. The Sadhu
The Sadhu is an Indian comic series based on the character of the same name published and distributed in India and abroad by Liquid Comics, earlier known as Virgin Comics. It was created and conceptualized by Gotham Chopra and artist, Jeevan Kang. The story of The Sadhu is based on the character of a British soldier named James Jensen, who comes to India during the British rule in India. He eventually discovers that he is the reincarnation of a great sage from the ancient era. The story primarily deals with the lessons that he has to learn so as to remove his connection with his current life. The comic book was well received and was praised of having more mature storyline and surreal artwork. The use of Hindu history and mythology alongside many fantasy elements has been said to have brought out a fresh approach within the comic series.
Doga is the first and the only antihero character in entire Raj Comics universe. Doga was first published in 1992 in the issue titled Curfew. The character was created by Tarun Kumar Wahi and Sanjay Gupta and was designed and illustrated by Manu. Doga along with Dhruva and Nagraj are the three most popular characters published by Raj Comics. Doga has a huge fan base with Hindi readers. Suraj, an orphan due to his bad life experiences is compelled to become a vigilante and eradicate all evil against humanity. He adopts a new persona and names himself Doga concealing his true identity behind a dog mask. Doga believes in rooting out the problem instead of solving it. As the entire system is corrupted, Doga is not bothered about upholding the laws and rules. More than 175 titles have been published under this famous character to date.
3. Super Commando Dhruva
Super Commando Dhruva or otherwise known as Captian Dhruva is a famous characters of comic series published by Raj Comics. Dhruva was created by Anupam Sinha back in 1987. According to the origin story, Dhruva was born to a couple working as trapeze artists in a circus. At the age of 14, his parents as killed to a conspiracy in the business and he swears to dedicate his life to fight crime and terrorism. The comic is published both in Hindi and English and is said to be highly inspired in the lines of DC Comics’ character of Batman. He received most of his martial art, acrobatic and stunt training in the circus itself. With no inherent super power, his only supernatural power seems to be the ability to communicate with most animals and birds, which he learned in circus during childhood. His lack of super powers is equally compensated with his detective skills, scientific knowledge and acrobatics and martial art skills. It is immensely popular in the north Indian states and abroad, but has had a bad stint in non-Hindi speaking states of India.
Nagraj is one of the most popular comic book superhero published by Raj Comics. The character was created in 1980s by Parashuram Sharma and illustrated by Pratap Mulick. The name Nagraj means snake-king. The plots of Nagraj are a combination of mythology, magic, action, science fiction and fantasy. Based largely on the Hindu myth of the shape shifting snake, Nagraj derives most of his powers from microscopic snakes that live in his bloodstream, in lieu of white blood cells. He has a number of powers, such as superhuman strength, poisonous breath, vish-foonkaar and bite, instant healing powers, and snakes that come out of his wrists. Nagraj was presented to the world as a creation of Professor Nagmani and was meant to be an ultimate killing machine, and his original plan was to hire out Nagraj to the highest bidder among villains, but Sage Baba Gorakhnath frees him from the mind control of Professor Nagamani.
1. Chacha Chaudhary
Chacha Chaudhary is one of the most popular Indian comic book characters. Chacha Chaudhary is an old and frail man, who is extremely intelligent. Chacha Chaudhary was created by cartoonist Pran Kumar Sharma in 1971 and it went on to become one of the most successful Indian comic series. Chacha Chaudhary is currently published and distributed by Diamond Comics. He is always illustrated with his iconic red turban, a waist coat and his wooden stick. Sabu another important character from the series is his sidekick from planet Jupiter, who is very strong and faithful to Chacha. Chacha uses his shrewd brain and presence-of-mind to fight off evil robbers and thieves. A brain sharper than a needle and faster than a super-computer is the tagline of the series. Chacha Chaudhary was also adopted in to a television series of the same name featuring actor Raghuvir Yadav as Chacha Chaudhary.