Friday, October 13, 2006

The Virgin Line: Devi 1-4, Snakewoman 1-3, Sadhu 1-3

I have been really enjoying the Virgin Comics that have been published over the last few months, but:

P'Shat

Devi 1-4: Tara is an Indian commoner who is now relatively wealthy due to her rich boyfriend. She does not know that she is really the "Devi", and embodiment of the powers of all of the gods. Forces of evil are trying to destroy her before she discovers her true nature. Forces of good are trying to protect her until that time, and trying to show her her true nature.

Snakewoman 1-3: Jessica is an average American living in Los Angeles and waiting tables. She does not know that she is really the "Snake Woman", and embodiment of the powers of the reptile. Forces of evil are trying to destroy her before she discovers her true nature. Forces of good are trying to protect her until that time, and trying to show her her true nature.

Sadhu 1-3: James is a young working class Englishman who takes a job serving in the English army in India. He does not know that he is really the "Sadhu", an expert in eight mystic arts that control nature. The rest of the British army is trying to kill him before he discovers his true nature. Forces of good are trying to protect him until that time, and trying to show him his true nature.

Drash

Anyone noticing a pattern here?

There is value, of course, in variations on a theme, and at this early point one can assume that they will all eventually learn their true nature and go on to fight evil in their own ways. But, at this point, I'm kind of reading the same story three times.

But then, there is their methods of discovery:

Tara -- She seems to have been taking a nap for the pass two months, while the spirits of other incarnations of the Devi try to teach her the true path. Through four issues (although, to be fair, this incarnation doesn't appear in #1), she hasn't done anything more acting than nap. Lots of men are trying to save her for their own purposes. A man and Lord Bala are trying to kill her, and there are two "ambiguous" women, who are either trying to save or kill her.

Jessica -- Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry. Jessica doesn't have to "discover" her powers. They are right there on page 1 of issue 1. She doesn't know what they are, however, and through 3 issues hasn't made any real progess in controlling them. Men are trying to kill her, and one man, so far, has saved her.

James -- The British captain captures him, and kills his (pregnant) wife and child in front of his eyes. After being "Dibneyed", a friend helps James escape into the wild, where natives rescue him and tell him he is the "Sadhu". No, I'm not, James protests. Yeah, you are, the natives say. This goes back and forth for a while, and then James realizes, "Hey, yeah! I am the Sadhu!" and has immediate full control over his powers by the end of #3. What have been three issues of turmoil for the girls was condensed into about three pages for the guy.

Now, none of this would have been so obvious had the book not had the EXACT SAME PLOTS so far. I am going to continue to buy them (and Ramayan, which only has 1 issue out so far), because of the great art, the interesting stories (or, story) and the potential. It's an interesting case study, though, because of the similarities.

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