Captain Weekend, created by Abhijeet Kini; his superpower is the ability to binge on beer.
Captain Weekend, created by Abhijeet Kini; his superpower is the ability to binge on beer.

Meet Wolverine the barber, desi Deadpool and a beer-loving Captain Weekend

Young artists are creating desi versions of comic superheroes, putting their art online as prints and merchandise.
By Lavina Mulchandani | Hindustan Times
PUBLISHED ON DEC 01, 2017 05:45 PM IST

Isn’t it unfair that, barring Hulk in his running-away-from-the-world phase, none of the Marvel or DC superheroes has ever bothered to visit India?

Some young designers think so, and they’re fixing this by creating alter-egos in very local settings.

So you have a bulked-up Batman-inspired dude eating vada pav near Gateway of India. A desi Deadpool wearing an Anna Hazare cap that says ‘Marta hoon roj-roj’. And Martian Manhunter reimagined as an Aghori.

They artists are selling their work as prints and on merchandise. “I also get called to comic cons to sell my desi hero artwork,” says Abhijeet Kini, 35, the artist behind Captain Weekend, whose superpower is the ability to binge on beer.

The desi Invisible Man, created by Delhi art director Raj Kamal, smokes a beedi, wears earrings and a colourful Rajasthani turban.
The desi Invisible Man, created by Delhi art director Raj Kamal, smokes a beedi, wears earrings and a colourful Rajasthani turban.

Desi super-dudes

Superhero merchandise

Prices for Abhijeet Kini’s merchandise start at Rs 100 for coasters and magnets. He can be reached at Facebook.com/KINIMERCH/

Prices for Ahmed Sikander’s artworks start at Rs 400. He can be reached at Instagram.com/monky_inkstagram

Prices for Raj Kamal’s art start at Rs 3,000. He can be reached at Facebook.com/rajkamalaich

Anurag Halder gives prices on request. You can reach him via Instagram.com/artanurag

Raj Kamal, 39, an art director from Delhi, likes to reimagine the superdudes as spindly guys going about the business of being urban Indians.

His Invisible Man is smoking a beedi, clad in a white kurta and colourful Rajasthani turban. His Hulk is a bulky farmer and Hellboy is dressed as a Bengali groom.

“My Wolverine is inspired by a friend who eats a lot and Wonder Woman by Bani Thani paintings,” he says.

Graphic designer Anurag Halder, 27, has reimagined Flash as a modern-day Narad Muni. “I picture him as being funny, moving around swiftly… I think they would have quite a lot in common,” he says.

His Supergirl is inspired by Durga.

Mohit Shah, 29, a businessman from Bandra owns two artworks by Halder. “The desi Supergirl is fascinating. She looks contemporary, has laser powers and rides a lion!” he says.

In India, Wolverine would definitely be a barber, says Ahmed Sikander.
In India, Wolverine would definitely be a barber, says Ahmed Sikander.

Get to work

Ahmed Sikander, 30, has reimagined his favourite superheroes with local professions too. Wolverine would definitely be a barber, he says laughing.

“If Superman were in India, he could help with things like carrying cars to prevent traffic jams,” he adds.

Zohra Khan, 22, student from Powai, recently ordered Caption Weekend coasters online and says she prefers desi superhero merchandise.

“The firangs are all mundane, with similar costumes and masks,” she adds. “The desi versions are so cool. They wear what we wear and know about the traffic problems!”

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