Aghori Book- 4
Writer- Ram V
Artists- Vivek Goel, Gaurav Shrivastav
Book four opens in 13th century in a village, soon we find ourselves in the tantric ceremony of waking up the demon. The demon couldn’t be resurrected and hence the place was sealed and is being protected by the soul of Balnath. Soon we find a lamenting Vira and his desperation to save the one he loves most his son. A drunken Vira soon realises his desire to love his son and save him. Meanwhile our sidekick Ashwin is in search of the Aghori. Ashwin is helped by a silver hair character soon to be launched under HCE. Finally our boy Krona aka Vira’s son is seen with the Twins : Koka and Vikoka. So Krona is our medium standing on the land Balnath’s soul is protecting and Krona is the key to his resurrection. We find Vira waving goodbye to his crow and Ashwin. Vira has accepted his path to protect his son. In next pages we have high action Vira fighting Koka and Vikoka in their true form. Ashwin is the life saviour here and we finally get to see the use of the power of Innocence. Finally we see Mentor like demon-Kali growing out of chaos and fight. Vira goes into cardiac arrest and meets the first Aghori- Mahadev. Mahadev gives him the same chance to die and let things happen or to go back. Our Aghori wants to go back, Mahadev gives him an advice that everything comes with a price. Still lord Shiva gifts him with the third eye which diminishes our enemy for the next arc to come. Vira is saved by our mysterious character in white hair who carries a white kitten with him. So now Arc-1 ends with Krona being saved, Ashwin sticking with Vira and most probably our Crow coming back.
The art work is magnificent, the colour play and sketching done beautifully. The blood accumulated into the symbol Krona carries from four virgin girls actually makes one shiver. The expression of Vira’s despair and frustration in first few panels are wonderful. His agony and attempt to steal alcohol and asking the question “what I would give to be that man” shows all his lost hopes. The smile he gives at the joy of parents meeting their child is marvellous. Krona is drawn well, yet he still lacks his boyish or childish appeal. Off course he has good expression, his artwork is always over showed compared to Vira. Our Ashwin is growing into a man, reminds of Batman’s Robin at times. The landscape of the sealed village is very artistic and factual too. Krona’s demolishing the seal and burning in fire is filled with power. But the best artwork of the whole series is the Burning Peacock. It arouses pity and fear unlike any in the series. This one panel holds the eyes. Vira in fire and his fight with the Twins are executed pretty well. The father-son intense speech and Ashwin’s heroics all lead to though a predictable but good finale. Well Kali here is way different from Kali of My name is Kalki Mahadev gives the feel of someone who is ancient then time itself. Someone who knows it all yet chooses to ignore. Finally we meet Desh our future flagship character and him telling us that he and Vira are equal.
The only complain that Book 4 creates is, it ends too fast. It ends fast and yes actions are good but the ending was predictable, its good Krona theme-line has got a definition and direction. So now we are left intrigued for Issue 9- that’s Book-5 Bloodlines. Desh is really a curious character in leather and why does he have a cat. We are waiting for the new book.
Book-4 gets:- 3.5 out of 5
Book- The Skull Rosary
Writer:- Shweta Taneja
Artist- Vivek Goel
The book claims to be a hundred page graphic novel. Done in classic black and white art the book delves into myth of Shiva. Instead of calling it a novel, it should be graphic collection of legend of Shiva. Each story deals with the aspects of lust, doubt, fear, greed, pride, honour. The stories are picked from common folklore and household tales. Yet the book presents the dark aspect of blessing and good aspect of a curse.
Story-I :- The Blind Side
Is story of Andhaka, journey of a fallen blind ugly prince who gains the power of vision only to loose his sanity and vision of moral. With his greed to see more and his desire to lust for Parvati leads his downfall. His skull is the first in the rosary.
The first pages of art are well drawn and have a very grim and agony filled strokes. The art of divine Brahma is ethereal and Shiva’s calm face with his savage body is excellent. The fight scenes are in order with the story telling. A single flaw with art that bites the eyes is the women wearing Kuchuli, Kuchuli in general never had straps. The art work where Andhaka actually eats the eyes is really terrifying. Chandi is epitome of bloodlust. The first story gives a boost to the whole book.
Story-II :- Prahlad’s Dream
Story of Prahlad has been heard, watched and read throughout the country. But the story of his dream has never been told in a critical manner. Narasima the half man half lion who kills Hiranyakashypu turns violent and lusts for blood. When the preserver himself wonders in Chaos and risks the existence of Universe. The destroyer must destroy the particle of imbalance.
First think that strikes are Prahlad’s eyes they are very much like dark ocean reflecting full moon. Narshima’s brutal way of killing is executed well, had it been in colour nightmares were sure to stay for days. Virbhadra has four hands and looks like Shiva but more savage and less calm and Narshima with two hands almost kills him. Narshima gives the feel of hybrid human lion child over half human half lion being. The third eye opens and Sharabha is born the eater of death. Their battleground is the universe, they toss planets and satellites. Finally the Third eye collects the skull for his rosary.
Story-III :- The Other Woman
We meet Narad the trouble maker. The story tells good has no value if evil is passive. So here we have this sage instigating war, he visits the peaceful under land and meets king Julandhar. We meet Brinda the queen of Patal. Narad plans the downfall, results in making Julandhar craving for Parvati. We find lord Shiva being put under the spell of maya and the interfering of Vishnu. Finally the reason Ramayan happened because of the curse from Brinda the Pious Queen. Wefind the true power of Shakti here.
The artwork follows the same pattern and keeps it going. The demons with half eaten flesh, bull heads all contribute to wonderful collection of demons so far. The eyes of Shiva which is under spell was a comic relief. Narad giving us a quick background story of Julandhar in bulletins helped in better understanding. The wild aspect of Shakti in her raw form gives the meaning of power. Often beauty hides the most lethal secrets. This story is of Brinda and her morality which results in another skull to the rosary
Story-IV :- Brahma’s Fifth head
At first read, this story confuses. It follows a rhyme scheme and deals with the theme incest more seriously than other stories in book. It is solely a story of how lust drives even the creator crazy. What happens when the creator lusts for his creation. We have Brahma growing fifth head which is guided by lust only. He craves for his daughter Sandhya. We have Bhairava the wicked yet necessary evil residing Shiva who takes the sin of killing Brahma and Bhairava is being persecuted by wild Shakti who wants Bhairava’s blood.
This story is the least heard of all and the artwork is at its peak. The wicked, skinny, yet enchanting kin of Shiva, Bhairava is extreme end of life. He is timeless and aim less. Shakti who wants his blood, loves him, hates him, desires him yet loathes him. They walk the ends of universe to satisfy her lust. Each panel of art is terribly beautiful. The kiss on the forehead from a deformed face really shows a true passionate love. They are the darker versions of the pure, they are needed. The final panel shows their happy ending in hearts of wicked and love over a Skull filled with cupful of blood.
Story-V :- The King With A Goat’s Head.
It is the final story, the story of Sati’s sacrifice and Shiva’s rage. We have Daksha and his grumbling against Sati’s marriage. We find Sati offering herself as the purest of offerings to her husband. The howling of Shashan Bandhu raises the lord into a rage. In this rage he destroys the universe and Vishnu again has to intervene. Shiva goes berserk and his demonic form shows destruction can come anytime. Yet he undo’s all the killing. The dead Daksha is brought back to life but with Goats head.
The final story is the basis of all Shaktipit in the country. Sati in claded in animal skin and her hair done like Shiva gives a very balanced look to Shiva and reason to Dakshas distress. Daksha is well drawn. The most striking art work is the part where Shiva starts his death dance and his tongue wanders for blood. He goes on killing and collects skulls. A Shiva in despair holding Sati could have been better drawn. The eyes in this panel betrayed the seriousness. Whole artwork sticks to the flow of style, narration like other stories. The classic black and white raises the book above others.
Book gets :- 4 out of 5
P.S- Wish Comics soon become part of serious literature
thanking you to bear with me