Super Sikh: Volume 1
Eileen Kaur Alden, Supreet Singh Manchanda, Amit Tayal (Illustrator), Rosarium Publishing (JANUARY) Softcover $14.95 (108pp) 978-0-9987059-8-9
A Sikh secret agent fights terrorism and preconceptions in the entertaining graphic novel adventure Super Sikh: Volume One.
Deep Singh poses as a “second shift supervisor” at a large company, but he actually serves as an operative for the United Nations Global Unified Defense Force. He loves Elvis and decides to fly to America and visit Graceland on vacation. Trouble follows, however, and Singh soon finds himself the target of a terrorist organization called Group X, as he’s framed for several acts of violence and destruction. The repercussions include a backlash against Sikhs in America, but with the help of a capable waitress named Janelle, Deep brings the actual culprits to justice. This is a fun book, with the guts to use humor in situations that most steer clear of. Its authors keep a light touch with the material while taking on weighty subjects, such as unfair stereotyping by news broadcasts and TSA authorities. There are nods to James Bond, talking rats, and a mocking recruitment video for a terrorist group; even the act of hijacking a plane is infused with humor, as air traffic controllers misunderstand Singh’s message “this is Deep Singh” as “this is Dee Snyder,” the 1980s rock icon.
The art is good, but the book’s natural ebb and flow is hindered by the absence of variety in its font size, which delivers every word at equal volume and importance. Even so, Super Sikh: Volume One is a welcome representation of Sikh culture that wisely makes its points without taking itself too seriously.