Robin Bansal, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, November 26, 2012
First Published: 16:11 IST(26/11/2012)
Last Updated: 01:20 IST(27/11/2012)
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Graphic Novel: Munkeeman Volume 2 — The Missing Years
Price: Rs. 150
Published by: Pop Culture Publishing
What happened to the Monkey Man? You have to pick up the Munkeeman issues to know what actually happened to the assumed monster, who vamoosed into thin air from
the streets of Delhi after creating mass hysteria in 2001.
Was he a figment of someone’s imagination or a morally twisted media channel’s way to cash in on TRPs? In fact, was there really ever a half human-half ape like creature leaping from building to building, first in Delhi and then in Kanpur? Considering the first issue of the Munkeeman series has long been out, we will restrict the review to the second volume. First of all, Tere Bin Laden director Abhishek Sharma needs a big pat on the back for quite literally ‘uncorking the munkee’ out of the dusty layers of history and presenting a gripping fictional account of his side of the story.
Taking forward the Monkey Man’s sightings in Kanpur after the Capital — the story follows a tested formula, with the protagonist being an average-looking desi loser — in this case with a paunch and receding hairline, but a genius in genetics; he has a beloved (ostensibly his stepsister); then an arch nemesis in the form of Captain Tamga, who is a Wolverine-inspired Terminator type humanoid. Then there is the society’s disgust at the hairy hero’s existence despite having the ‘need’ to have him as their saviour.
The guy, however, looks similar to X-Men’s genetics genius, Beast. Then there are easily recall-worthy inspirations from the Spider-Man series in Tamga’s grenade like star bombs just like the Green Goblin’s pumpkin bombs. The concluding slide of the novel has an open ending for obvious reasons, but the graphic is inspired from an oft-repeated Hollywood scene (also seen in Spider-Man 2).
Still, Munkeeman is perhaps our first genetically transformed superhero and its publisher, Pop Culture, should definitely keep the series going. Too early to be adapted into a live-action film for a couple of years, the character is capable of becoming an integral part of our consciousness. Bring it on guys, or as Munkeeman says, “Suck it!”
This is the second book in the Munkeeman saga, and is the beginning of Munkeeman’s story once he leaves Delhi and takes on a formidable enemy