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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)

Yep Yep. Cannot wait for fables 42.

ooh. i MUST read this. mowgli's grown up to be as hot as i wanted him to :)

why don't most indian men look like that? why, oh why?
by the way, saw funny pictures of you at samit's. *smirk*

can i ask why you're so excited that Willingham got the details right?

Charming isn't really a wimp, is he? if there's something Willingham has shown us about his pet fables, it's that they're highly unpredictable and, being so many centuries old, in the habit of staying alive. let's not forget Charming's efforts in protecting Fabletown from those wooden bastards. and he killed Bluebeard singlehandedly. but he *is* an asshole; i don't like him.

I'm excited because most people get the details wrong, thats all. And if you read closely you will see that I never said that Charming WAS a wimp - I said he LOOKS like a wimp next to Mowgli. Quite frankly, Charming is one of my favourite characters - mainly because of the shades of grey in his character.

just... funny pictures.

bhery nice, bhery nice.
my five year old niece is currently smitten with version 1.0
she has something to grow up to now
but 3 little pigs??? did i get that right?

Thanks for this! Really informative and it's just amazing what Willingham is doing! I've just started reading this and am on this issue now and I can't get enough of it. Brilliant analysis too.

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