Chakra the Invincible: Secret Origin.
Written by Stan Lee, Sharad Devarajan, Ashwin Pande, Scott Peterson.
Illustrated by Jeevan J. Kang
“The only thing worse than failing is not even trying.” That is Chakra’s motto in the same sense that ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ is Spider-Man’s.
The phrase really sets up the theme of the story, eventually motivates Raju to become the superhero Chakra and let’s be honest, Stan Lee is great at catchphrases.
Chakra the Invincible is the first Indian hero from the mind of Stan Lee. Meant for all ages and the story doesn’t disappoint.
Before becoming Chakra, Raju was just a boy trying to live a normal life with his brother, Sameer. Sameer has had to take the responsibility of bringing up Raju since their parents’ death and therefore he has become like an idol to Raju. At one point, Raju was trying to defend a man (who is obviously a nod to Stan Lee) from a group of young bullies but failed miserably. He had the heart but not the strength to deal with the group, but just when things got really bad for Raju, Sameer appeared and made quick work of the ruffians. Raju sees his brother as a hero and that inspires him.
Raju spends most of his time with a funny, eccentric scientist named Dr. Singh who, for the life of him, can never remember the boy’s name. One night, a group of thugs come to steal Dr. Singh’s work and in a hurry, he gives Raju his most important invention of all: the chakra armour.
From that moment on, we see Raju learning what the suit is capable of and how the suit can be used for good.
What we get onwards is an exciting accessible story that contains adventure, action and heart. Sure it may be too lighthearted for some but what lays deep in this story is a message that applies to the best of superheroes. Never give up. There are times, especially towards the end that Raju feels overwhelmed and alone. However, it is the symbol of what Chakra is that encourages him throughout to keep on trying.
The story is mainly centred around Raju and his brother but we do get to meet a few other characters. One that stands out to me is Leela, a neighbour to Raju who shows her affection through punches and teasing.
The comic is advertised for all ages and for the most part I would agree, though containing a few adult themes, they are more implied than shown. Chakra the Invincible does lightly deal with death and murder but nothing really steps into an area where I wouldn’t recommend it to parents for children. Just as long as the parents are aware of some adult themes similar to Uncle Ben dying in Spider-Man.
Though I do not know how much of the story came from Stan Lee, you can’t help but be amazed with what he has accomplished in his early 90’s.
The art is fantastic, think Ben 10 but with bold outlines that draw you into the picture and what’s happening in the scene.
I genuinely enjoyed this. Though sure it may not be as dark as other comics out there, it has a light spirit that is refreshing in a world full of such darkness.
Excelsior! Stan Lee has another hit with Chakra the Invincible.
Review by Tyrone Burns