Friday, May 31, 2013

A Comic A Day: Vimanarama #1

Published by DC/Vertigo
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Philip Bond

Grant Morrison had just left New X-Men and was about to return to the DC Universe in a big bad way, but first he made a little detour at Vertigo to leave little droppings of awesomeness in the corner of the room. Nearly everyone stepped in We3 and many people are still picking bits of Seaguy out of their shoes, but for the most part, I think Vimanarama went unnoticed. This was a charming little 3-issue miniseries with artist Philip Bond that deserves a lot more attention, in my humble opinion.

Imagine Jack "The King" Kirby taking a swing at Indian dieties, a la The New Gods or The Eternals. Pure imagination collides with ancient tradition to form a coming-of-age tale with a little Arabian Nights sprinkled on top. Ali, the protagonist, must deal with being emotionally cuckolded when his arranged bride-to-be Sofia is revealed to be the reincarnated eternal lover of the Ultra-Hadeen, an immortal hero who has returned to do battle with an ancient evil that Ali himself unleashed. It's a take no prisoners shit-storm from there.
Poor Ali feels like the whole world is against him and even minor background characters like soldiers and cheerleaders reflect this in an almost surreal way. The world really does revolve around him, despite what his family says. Remarkably, even with the end of the world as we know it looming, the series never feels grim. And ultimately, Love is the only solution.

Readers are starved for original ideas and concepts from the Big Two. Morrison would go on to sell a zillion more copies of Batman than he ever would with this, but I implore those who have enjoyed his work with commercial properties to seek this one out. It has the fast pace of Batman Inc. combined with the bright, exciting set pieces of All-Star Superman. It's an underrated gem and you should step in it.

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