Bam! Pow! Indian Comics Clamor to Make their Mark

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By: Katy Daigle, Associated Press
NEW DELHI (AP).- The superhero — bulging legs stuffed into tight pants, broad chest adorned with a symbol of power — has vowed to fight the enemies of humanity. He is not Superman. He is not Batman. He is Shaktimaan, protector of all humanity — at least in India. In the cartoon skies over India soar a host of comic book superheros that have little to do with the leotarded titans of the West. Instead, the green-skinned and venomous Nagraj fights evil with snakes, widely worshipped across India, while three-eyed Shakti, clad in clingy leopard skins and skull ornaments, channels the Hindu death goddess Kali in waging her battle against the local scourge of female infanticide. It’s heroes like these — drawn from India’s culture and mythology, and endowed with powers from Hindu gods — that the $65 million Indian comic industry hopes will launch them into new media like animated TV shows, action films, advertising and digital Internet distribution.