Recently, the official San Diego Comic-Con trailers for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad were released for the pleasure of us common folk who could not attend the epic event, and I am so amped for both movies I have actually considered reading a little more from the Big Two, despite my reservations about diving too much into the mainstream superhero books. So while perusing through my collection of unread comics and while trying to figure out if I would want to purchase any of the upcoming Marvel or DC titles I found a comic by Stan Lee and Sharad Devarajan called Chakra the Invincible. This book was distributed for Free Comic Book Day and I found it most interesting because the art is a little different from what I’ve seen on the covers of other Marvel comics, and the fact that the main character is of a very underrepresented ethnicity in comics and the setting is in Mumbai drew me into this book right away.
Raju Rai is a 10-year-old kid who dreams of being a scientist and takes a job as a part-time assistant at a lab, similar to a certain wall-crawling superhero we all know and love. Dr. Singh, the inventor Raju works for, develops a suit that allows the wearer to use natural chakra energy, but when some thugs attempt to steal the suit from the lab and Raju escapes with the invention only to be struck by lightning which activates the suit, Raju is granted superhuman abilities and decides to protect Mumbai with his new powers. The stories include Chakra encountering a woman who can grow to enormous sizes like Giant Man, a thieving yogi master who can stretch his limbs like Mr. Fantastic, an angry former school teacher with freezing powers like Iceman, an amoral vigilante like Deadpool, and a blob creature created by his own employer.
Overall, this book was… cute. A lot of the dialogue was cliché and the action was limited, but from the art style and tone of the book, along with the age of the hero, it is safe to assume that this is a story meant for a much younger audience. I am sure the book that I read was only a sample, but the short stories actually do a good job of introducing the new superhero and some of his rogues gallery. Until I work myself up enough about Marvel and DC’s Cinematic Universes to buy their new books, such as the upcoming New Suicide Squad debuting on July 21, the free comics I have found such as Chakra the Invincible should amuse me for the time being.