Series Name- Aghori (Arc-II)
Book V-Bloodlines, Issue 9.
Writer- Ram V
Artist- Gaurav Shrivastav
Issue 9 opens again in an occult ceremony, where hooded men offer the five elements to raise the Hashisheen (ancient Persian assassins) from the land of dead and sinners. A bald and greenish grey man raises our Antagonist for this arc. He is branded with various marks and has yellow eyes. Our Hashisheen is summoned by a man who refuses to give his name and asks him to kill the people whose names are on the paper. He is asked to erase their bloodlines from the earth. Next pages we find a handsome Kris being pushed to tracks. A seventy year old man Avi Dada killed on his birthday followed by Big Mak. Our Hashisheen finally goes to kill his easiest and last target a baby in cradle. But as his soliloquy ends he is stabbed by Vira. Vira saves the baby while our Krona kills other of Hashisheen’s comrade on roof top and Desh killing rest on the road. Our antagonist escapes to his master who asks him to avoid Vira and finish his task. He disobeys his summoner and moves to seek his entertainment in Vira.
The hooded figures reminds of various movies and horror shows. It specially reminds of a particular scene from Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire. Frankly a reader would have no idea what Hashisheen is unless we seek google god. Hashisheen is our ideal Antagonist, the fallen being, scary face and an air of arrogance. His eyes are beautifully done yellow and dangerous. He has a magician’s hat and has belly in place of a toned abs. His physic is a contrasting one to that of Vira’s. The art work of Krish was adorable; in few panels you really wanted him to be alive and not dead. Avi Dada’s death evokes sadness. He really looks sad and empty sitting alone. Big Mak really provides no clue to reveal secrets of this story, yet he is well drawn. The blood spurting out is wonderful panel. The expression of the stabbed Hashisheen is of confusion and fear- awesome. It appears our Krona despite getting his innocence has grown up faster. The boy is taller and muscular at age of twelve going on thirteen (what’s his age again?). Desh really has beautiful hair and manly face. We missed Ashwin, alas he has work to do. When did Krona get his ears pierced and got his hair spiked? The question here arise what’s the time leap in this arc? The baby in wrapped in pink towel is really cute let’s hope it’s a she. After all she is the last one of bloodlines. The expression of fear in the face of our summoner is really good. His face reminds me of the evil wizard from Aghori Book 4, who first tried to wake our main antagonist Kali. But his face is burned which has come from Balnath’s attack. Yet he has survived centuries, so we can understand his desperation to avoid Vira and finish the bloodlines. The artwork has developed and colour scheme is splendid. But the best artwork of the book is its cover. Bloodlines comes with a surprise at its end too... “That Man Solomon”
This issue arise many questions in readers. Firstly what bloodlines are we talking about? Secondly why Hashisheen? Thirdly what’s the time scale, as we can clearly see our Krona has entered teens and his features are way to manly? Fourthly who is Desh and if he was even with Vira in book-4, why is he helping now? Fifthly what’s the name of evil conjurer? Finally where is Ashwin? Hell yeah we have loads of question to ask and the story ended way too fast like previous book.
Issue- 9 gets: - 3.5 out of 5 (we deducted .5 for ending it too fast)
Series- That Man Solomon
Book-I:- Issue- 1
Writer- Sudeep Menon
Artist- Gaurav Shrivastav
|Not the actual cover|
The first Issue opens in the 80’s, the Bombay now Mumbai. The Gate Way of India, the only Female Prime Minister, Kapil Dev and the Angry Young Man all come in one page in consecutive panels of beautiful colour. We are taken to the Bombay which came up after Jeet Tahyil’s Bombay. The city of dreams had its own shadows. The youth dying in gang-war and we enter the den of a crime lord. From the den we get a peek of pillow talk too. Rajan Shetty wants Yusuf Pathan dead for killing his brother. Rajan Shetty sits with his adviser and bedding lady. We find our not so tall, but rough guy -Solomon. He loves to joke, eat, drink and off course fuck and is a Sridevi fan. He loves to dance and go jiggy iggy with bar dancers. Our perfect criminal is hired to kill Gosht Baba aka Yusuf. After months of planning and plotting Solomon finds out Yusuf’s weakness from Slow-motion-Shardul. The third W was his weakness. A sadist is what we can call Yusuf when we find him tied and in pink blouse. Solomon claded in Hijab kills his target only to find both our gangsters had same bed warmer. Our lady- Sorja meets tragic end and a gruesome one with Solomon singing “Kabhi Alvida Na Khena”
The artwork beautifully creates the 80’s and the world crazy after movies. The hairstyle, the white shirt, white trouser and white shoe that Solomon wore showed the white mania. The colour scheme gives a sense of the 80’s. The use of Chutney Language and desi gali makes one feel enter a really shitty world. Solomon is the man we will love to hate. He knows he is a sinner and hence he is free of any moral obligation. The woman of the story- Sorja, her role was predictable to an extent. She is a man’s dream beautiful, bountiful, acts like a damsel yet is a bitch. I fell in love with her wickedness and ambition, though her death makes the reader shiver. The best panel of the issue is a short Solomon hugging a tall Sorja, it creates both laughter and pity at same moment. That Man Solomon is all about this son of a bitch, we will hate him, loathe him but won’t forget him. The question this flagship character raises is- What is this man made of? Yes we also want to know why he has the gate of hell in his godown too. Overall Solomon has given us a powerful beginning, so we can hope that his story will move to and fro in past and present.
Issue-I gets:- 4 out of 5
P.S- I need to find which college offers Master in Comics Study
thanking you to bear with me