Gandhi turns into a Hulk-like superhero in this graphic novel
Ahmedabad: The madder the Hulk gets, the stronger he becomes — that is the signature trait of the mean, green, rage machine of the Marvel universe. But what if his alter ego was Mahatma Gandhi rather than renowned scientist Dr Robert Bruce Banner? J Michalski, a comic book writer from New York, and Antonio Rojo, a Spanish comic book artist, have imagined such a substitution.
In their graphic novel ‘Gandhi: The Beast Within’, a frail figure turns into a Hulk-like superhero. The transformations are triggered by anger or during confrontations with evil forces such as Hitler. The work will be released only in Spanish on October 24.
The artists have been careful to avoid the ‘green’ image of the Incredible Hulk, as the colour symbolises toxicity of rage or jealousy or envy. Such loss of control would be an anathema to Gandhiji. For Rojo and Michalski, Gandhiji stays a brown man.
The Incredible Hulk’s powers were born because of exposure to heavy doses of gamma radiation. In the case of Gandhiji, Rojo and Michalski have spun an intriguing theory.
In the 1900s South Africa, during the Boer War, a young Gandhiji is exposed to a mysterious alien power source. He discovers that he has thus been forever cursed — when consumed by anger, he transforms into an censed hulk-like figure!
“I came up with the idea in early 2013,” says Michalski in an email interview.
In the graphic novel, Gandhiji has adopted nonviolence to curb his destructive impulses. He is spotted by England’s Churchill and America’s Roosevelt, who are looking for the perfect weapon to beat Hitler and his forces. Churchill and Roosevelt kidnap Gandhiji and use him as a weapon to destroy the Nazis. Gandhiji is tied to a bomb and dropped on Germany. Gandhiji’s rampaging self is unleashed by the circumstances. Gandhiji then knocks down Hitler’s evil robot army and also fights his pet TRex and later befriends it!
Michalski says his work of fiction is not to be taken too seriously. “Even though Gandhi transforms into a Hulk-like monster, he’s still a good man who wants to help people,” he says.
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In ‘Gandhi: The Beast Within’, Bapu knocks down Hitler’s evil robot army and his pet T Rex