Uh-oh #1

There are no words to describe the wrongness here.


India Alert #2

I have already mentioned the utterly fantastic Fables, written by Bill Willingham. Well, last month saw the release of Fables #39, an issue that took a break from the ongoing story arc to introduce a character we are all familiar with - Mowgli.

And why does this have me so excited? Well, its yet another appearance of an Indian character in mainstream comics, and Willingham has absolutely nailed it. Brilliant, I say, brilliant. Not only has he remained absolutely true to Kipling's Mowgli, he has added some of his own spins to it which are absolutely consistent with the character's background, and yet add much to him.

And not to mention - Lan Medina has drawn Mowgli REALLY HOT. And not superhero beefcake hot, but regular everyday guy who happens to be incredibly handsome hot. He also manages to totally outshine the clean-cut pretty Prince Charming and the rugged Bigby Wolf.

Of course - all Indian men look like that. Yeah right.

Willingham also proved how much research he has done with this bit of dialogue from the opening page.

Trusty John is waiting for Mowgli at JFK Airport. He holds a sign which says "Vipinbehari"
Trusty John, how pleasant to see you again. Wrong name, though. I'm going by Jagatbehari now.

For the linguistically challenged, let me point out that "Vipinbehari" means "Jungle Wanderer", and "Jagatbehari" means "World Traveller". A perfect name, given Mowgli's history.

Shortly after Mowgli arrives, he goes off to meet Bagheera. However, Bagheera is now in jail, having taken part in an ill-conceived revolution led by the Three Pigs against human fables.

Again, a little exposition - "Mowgli" means "Little Frog".

Then there is a piece of dialogue that directly references Kipling.

FINALLY! A writer who actually reads the source material.

Upon being asked why he chose jail over working off his sentence through community service, Bagheera replies - "I refuse to labor in the fields like some common draft animal", which is exactly what I'd expect him to say.

The last page spread also suggests that Willingham has big plans for Mowgli in the future. He's given a very important task to handle. Also, with the ongoing arc, in which non-European fables land up and racial tensions are stirred, I can see Mowgli playing a very important role as mediator.

Also this last page shows just what a wimp Prince Charming looks like next to our own Desi Baba.

I've said it before and I say it again - Willingham rocks (in spite of Batman #644)


World's biggest fanboy #1

Nicholas Cage is a serious fanboy.

I learnt yesterday that he named his newborn son Kal-El.

For those who crashlanded into an Amish farm as a baby, this is the original Kal-El. Seem familiar?

But this is not surprising for Cage. Everyone knows by now that he was born Nicolas Coppola, but chose to change his name to hide his association with his famous uncle, Francis Ford Coppola - wanting to make it in Hollywood on his own steam.

What many do not know is that Nicolas chose the surname Cage, after B-list Marvel hero Luke Cage, a.k.a. Power Man.

Luke Cage was the first black superhero to have his own comic, and to also not have the word "Black" in his superhero name. He was introduced during a period when there was a boom in literature about the exploitation of blacks in America, in an attempt to jump that bandwagon.

Born Carl Lucas, he was a thug who was experimented upon in prison, and got unbreakable skin and superhuman strength as a result. He escaped from jail and took on the name Cage, as a memory of his torture in prison by racist guards. Unlike other superheroes, he demanded a fee for his services and started Heroes for Hire. Later he had a long-running partnership with Iron Fist under his new codename Power Man. He was later made a member of the cast in Alias and The Pulse, together with long-time girlfriend Jessica Jones - both fantastic books.

Interestingly, Luke Cage has recently returned to the spotlight, having been made a member of the Avengers last year.

Here's wishing his namesake a similar streak of good luck.