The turbaned superhero

  • Neetika Walter, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Apr 02, 2015 23:31 IST

He is not Superman, Spiderman or Batman. Unlike them, he’s a bearded, turbaned superhero, who like them fights villains and is a protector of justice and equality. Meet the new superhero in town, Secret Agent Deep Singh. Deep Singh or Super Sikh, as he is fondly called, is the hero of a new comic series.

Brainchild of California-based screenplay writer Eileen Alden and her co-creator and Silicon Valley executive Supreet Singh Manchanda, the idea of a Sikh superhero first came to life in 2012.

“It started as a screenplay idea. Supreet and I were friends and he suggested I write about a Sikh protagonist in one of my screenplays. I thought it sounded like a cool thing. We started swapping some crazy ideas and eventually came up with the idea for Super Sikh and I wrote the screenplay in 2012.”The creators of Deep have now decided to make it a four-part comic series, which is being designed by comic-con India award winner Amit Tayal.

Who is Deep Singh?

“Our hero is Secret Agent Deep Singh aka Super Sikh. At night, he’s on undercover missions destroying the plans of evil villains. By day, he’s working a mundane technology job as a cover. Quite frankly, he’s exhausted. Deep decides it’s time to take his dream vacation to see Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Tennessee (he is a big fan). However, one particularly crazy gang of Taliban terrorists decides to make it their mission to follow him to the United States and get rid of him once and for all. We picked them after the attacks on Malala and the school in Pakistan,” said an elated Supreet.

Blend of modern and traditional

“While Supreet and I created Deep, his look is inspired by many people, not just any one person, but we wanted him to be a blend of modern and traditional (like many of us). When you read the comic, you will see Deep is the kind of hero that’s like a mix of Batman and the skills of Jason Bourne. And his personality shows his traditional Sikh values but he applies them in a modern world.,” said Eileen.

Guardian of Sikh values “It was a natural choice when you consider Sikh history and values. Sikhs value the idea of a warrior-saint and we combine the idea of spirituality with ethical living in the real world. So it seems natural to think of a Sikh hero who fights against evil actions. Sikhs also value equality and so the villains you see in the comic are of all different types, to reflect the fact that it’s not the caste, race or creed that makes a person good or bad – it’s his actions. Deep is a modern guardian of values,” Eileen said.

Has a huge fan base

Super Sikh already has a huge fan following. For raising funds, Eileen and Supreet had posted about their project on Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects, and the response it generated had overwhelmed them.“The response was far beyond our expectations. We targeted $5,000 to create the first issue in our series, but we actually raised $22,511, which funded the cost to create all four issues and start on our next series as well,” said an elated Eileen.

Touched lives of creators

“It has affected me deeply. When I started research for the story years ago, I knew very little about Sikhism. But now I have learned Gurmukhi, read Sikh scripture and fallen in love with it. I have embraced Sikhism as my personal spiritual path. So this project has become much more meaningful than I had dreamed of,” said Eileen.For Supreet, it’s about educating people about Sikhs who are often stereotyped and have become victims of hate crimes “And for our children Super Sikh will fill a void by creating a new positive narrative and a modern role model,” Supreet said. The comic is slated for release in March/April.

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