“This actually hurts my hands.”

FCBD: Stan Lee’s Chakra The Invincible Special 2015

I’m calling this the digital edition because while I don’t know where my copy of the Free Comic Book Day hardcopy is, if I even have one, I’m using the comiXology version, which doesn’t have the same cover (no mention in the comiXology/Kindle cover about being based on a show streamed through Angry Birds ToonsTV, which streamed through the Angry Birds game apps) and I don’t know what else is different. Apparently the movies aired on Cartoon Network at some point.

Graphic India (2015)

CREATORS: Stan Lee, Sharad Devarajan, and Gotham Chopra

WRITERS: Aswin Pande & Dean Trippe

CHAKRA DESIGN: Jeevan J. Kang

COLORISTS: Sesha Sainan Devarajan, S. Sundarakannan, & Dean Trippe

LETTERERS: Aditya Bidkar & Dean Trippe

EDITORS: Sharad Devarajan & Ashwin Pande

In what I swear wasn’t an inspiration for Herodude’s origin, Raju Rai is a boy living in Mumbai with dreams of being a scientist. He finds a suit that is powered by the wearer’s own chakras (natural energy, it’s from Hindu beliefs) but gets hit by lighting while protecting it from bad guys, giving him superpowers. This is the one page origin followed by our adventures with Raju as Chakra The Invincible. (Hey, he’s a kid.)

“Chakra Meets The Giantess” finds Raju dealing with an adult bully who learns that “there’s always someone bigger than you” when a giant woman starts rampaging through the city. Chakra tries to nicely talk her into leaving before she destroys everything but when that doesn’t work he uses his smarts to defeat her. Able to change her size thanks to a formula she escapes and tells her boss that the stuff works. It’s a good story. The message that bigger isn’t always better and that “there’s always someone bigger than you” is a good one. Instead of going right to the punching Chakra uses his head to take the giantess down. A good first story.

“Chakra Meets Akram Pakram” (is this going to be the title method of the whole series? I haven’t seen the cartoons this is based on) has our hero going up against a pickpocketing yogi, who uses his flexibility to commit robberies. This one actually shows us Raju transforming into Chakra and has a bit more of Indian culture to it. Not that every story has to but if the goal is to introduce American kids to Hindu and Indian culture (and possibly be a superhero for kids whose ancestry IS India) it works quite well while the rest of us just get a good superhero story.

“Chakra Meets Thanda” (so we are doing this) has a crazed teacher upset for being fired since kids wouldn’t listen to her. Now gaining ice powers she’s trying to freeze Mumbai solid. This story we get to see Chakra use one of his unique powers besides flying as he uses “solar chakra” to defeat Thanda’s ice powers.

“Chakra Meets Shadow Runner” (sigh) is…confusing. For one thing the art style has changed. I’m guessing Trippe did this one on his own but I’ve seen his other work and this just doesn’t look the same. The story is confusing as well. Chakra takes a night patrol and runs into muggers, who are stopped by a hero named Shadow Runner, but he (possibly she, I couldn’t tell for sure from the body type and Shadow Runner is covered head to toe) want to take the money for himself, but Chakra just says “we should give this back” and he tosses it to Chakra and leaves….what just happened here?

“Chakra Meets Blobby” (no really, stop it!) is our last adventure and a different art style again, though closer to what we’ve seen earlier. Frankly I like the one used on the cover and first three stories. Again, I haven’t seen the show this is based on (back when the Angry Birds owners had their own mini-streaming service this was posted there) but I hope the art is closer to the others. Dr. Singh, the guy Raju works for and created the suit that led to him becoming Chakra, creates a blob creature who starts absorbing everything, including Raju’s birthday cake. This seems like a big mistake, Doc. It’s a fun little story that also gives us some insight into Chakra’s mentor.

Overall these were very fun stories. While the naming theme got silly after a while and you have to wonder what happens if he meets these characters again, the stories themselves are fun and interesting to see a superhero in India, much like watching Miraculous: Tales Of Ladybug And Cat Noir fighting villains in Paris. It’s something different and they use the idea rather well. I can’t speak to future issues or the show but this comic in particular is just fine.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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