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Spider-Man creator Stan Lee to launch geeky Indian superhero

New York: American comic-book industry icon Stan Lee is creating a geeky, yet virilely handsome Indian superhero with artists working at Liquid Comics’ Bangalore-based design studio.

Lee has created a roster of legendary action heroes like Spider-Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and Iron Man which have reaped billions at the box-office. Lee has also tapped popular culture to create the metrosexual samurai and now comes the Indian tech boy genius. Like Lee’s other action heroes, this one will wear a form-fitting costume and have a commitment to aerobic exercise.

“What better way to conceive of a new generation of Indian superheroes than in collaboration with the Godfather of the genre? Watching Stan mingle in the pantheon of great Indian Gods and Goddesses will go down as one of the coolest times of my life,” said Gotham Chopra, chief creative officer and co-founder of Liquid Comics.

Spider-Man creator Stan Lee is creating a new Indian superhero. Picture courtesy POW! Entertainment

Lee’s first Indian superhero is a Mumbai teenage tech genius, Raju Rai, who is determined to use science to unlock the secrets of human potential. Lee’s India-inspired “Chakra — The Invincible” comic-book will launch as a series of downloadable web and mobile comics. The first digital comic strip will be released in April 2012.

“Chakra” tells the story of how Rai develops a technically-enhanced suit that unlocks the chakras of his body and gives him phenomenal new powers.

"Against the spectacular backdrop of the great Indian metropolis of Mumbai, we tell the incredible saga of “Chakra,” our daring and dangerous teenage hero,” said 88-year-old Lee who shows no sign of slowing down or retiring.

“Wow! I’m incredibly excited to be collaborating with my friends at Liquid Comics and their best-in-class team of artists in India,” added Lee.

Liquid Comics was known as Virgin Comics when it was started in 2006. It has offices in New York and a large design studio in Bangalore. It uses the medium of digital graphic novel publishing to develop properties for films, animation and video games.

Concept art work for Stan Lee’s India inspired comic-book ‘Chakra – The Invincible.’ Picture courtesy Liquid Comics

It is creating a new wave of characters that appeal to audiences from Boston to Bangalore. It is also looking to Asia for content to be shaped into comics, movies, toys and video games. It first cracked open the $2.5-billion-market for comics in the US with Indian film-maker Shekhar Kapur’s India-inspired comic-book “Devi”. American readers took a shine to Goth-like Devi with her penchant for black leather and the comic-book quickly went into a second print run.

“We are mining the creative potential of India and bringing the great stories and characters of Indian mythology to the world. We have gifted artists and writers in India and our success can be attributed to the fact that these guys believe India can be a source of innovative content and not just a back-office for western companies,” said Chopra, who has embraced a trans-cultural idea of entertainment to create a global comics and animation powerhouse.

“India is ground zero for what we are building.”

Both “Devi” and “The Sadhu” written by Chopra went into second print runs in the US which topped initial orders of 10,000 copies. Their success paved the way for the release of more India inspired comics such as “Snake Woman” and “Ramayana Reborn.”

“I grew up on the comics of Batman and Krishna, X Men and the Mahabharata. I also worked on Bulletproof Monk, which was turned into a major feature film that I executive produced along with director John Woo. I think that has given me some sense of how to take a unique "eastern story" and translate it for a more global audience as well as build it into a successful media property,” added Chopra.

Updated Date: Dec 23, 2011 11:29 AM

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