Series End Review : The Rabhas Incident
If there ever was a Metaphor for the Indian comic book industry finally coming of age, this is it folks. Featured as part of Level 10 studios’ Comic JUMP anthology, the Rabhas Incident has captured the imagination and unwavering attention of thousands of fanboys who never believed something as good as this would ever be done by an Indian company. Probably THE most consistently awesome comic book series ever published in India, Rabhas recently ended with JUMP issue 11.
The mini-series follows the story of one RAW agent’s mission to find survivors in a zombie infested Bangalore. What really hits you about the story is the number of diverse topics and characters it manages to cover within the short span of 10 issues. On his little adventure, Major Rafeeq Ahmed encounters Zombies, political activists, a Katanna-wielding Priest, Victims of regionalism, perverts, a mad scientist, a woman getting rescued in pure bollywood fashion and a whole bunch of more zombies.
One can see the inspiration drawn from Zombie stories in mainstream Graphic fiction and other mediums while adding a sort of inexplicable inherent desi-ness. Every character in the story has something very familiar about them, in that these feel like the sort of characters you encounter every day, stuck in a situation that is anything but normal. Writer Suhas Sundar does an excellent job of finding a distinct and fitting voice for each of the characters.
Talking about the art, Harsho Mohan Chattoraj’s heavy inks and figures take some getting used to, but the fact is undeniable that this man was born to draw zombies. His art style perfectly matches the general gory tone of the script and also manages to depict excellent facial expressions. Scenes with the priest taking down a bunch of zombies is to be seen to be believed and deserves cult status. Depiction of action and motion is very fluid and dynamic and gives an almost ‘Bryan Hitch’ feel of big screen goodness.
If you’ve been waiting for signs of the rise of comic books in India, this is it folks. The perfect amalgamation of western classics and Desi masala, The Rabhas Incident has taken the first step towards the Indian comic book renaissance. With it coming to an end, it’s time to look forward to more great work from the creators involved as well as Level 10 studios.
Score: 3.7 / 5
Review by Anubhav Sharma