Book Review: Devi vol 1

Devi Volume One
By Shekhar Kapur

My Edition:
Paperback, 144 pages
2007, Virgin Comics
ISBN: 9781934413005

Tara Mehta, a social worker in Sitapur, India, has no idea that she is about to become imbued with powers from all the gods and goddesses and inherit the mantle of Devi, protector of light. But the evil Lord Bala has his own plans and hopes to stop Devi’s reincarnation by taking Tara’s life, so he sends his own super powered henchmen after her.

I picked this up for $1.00 when I was on vacation and visiting my favorite used bookstore, Wonderbooks. I liked the cover art style (which is, sadly, the most important part of a comic for me) and was interested in the concept of a modern goddess with Indian influences.

In the beginning, we see Devi battling Bala alongside an army of what appeared to be monks. Bala is defeated and imprisoned and then we’re brought into modern times. I’m not sure what happened to the previous Devi, but now the group of monks – the Durapasya – have kidnapped Tara and plan begin the ceremony to infuse her with various powers from different gods and goddesses who gave their gifts to help stop Bala.

There’s a little montage showing some of the gods talking about what powers they are bestowing on Tara and I thought that was cute. My favorite was the techno-esque goddess that gave Tara the “coolest catchphrases” and good press – it made me laugh.

Tara is a little flat in this first volume, as the story focuses on the characters trying to help or hinder her in becoming the next Devi. I did enjoy that she was upset about her newfound powers because she never consented to them and I think that rebellion will strengthen her in future issues. I was also a little confused about what type of world Tara inhabits, as there seem to be plenty of people with superpowers. I wasn’t sure if that was the norm, or if these characters were hidden from normal society. There was a lot going on in this first volume, so I ended up with a lot of questions.

I do think I’ll enjoy the relationship with Devi and her cop buddy, Rahul, in future volumes, if I can get my hands on them. They seem to be a little scarce (at least on the sites I’m used to shopping on).  I’m curious to see where the writers take this comic and hopefully I’ll be able to read further. If you’re a fan of anti-heroes and mutant comics, I’d say this is worth a try.

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