Spiderman and Rakshasa

NEW DELHI: Spiderman will put on a sarong and fight the bad guys through the rickshaw-clogged streets of Bombay in an Indian version of the US comic classic, reports said Sunday. Peter Parker, the American who becomes a superhero thanks to a spider bite, will be replaced by Pavitr Prabhakar who gets his crime-fighting powers from a Hindu holy man.

The Indian Spiderman, whose girlfriend will be not Mary but Maya, will swing across Bombay landmarks such as the Gateway of India monument and the Taj Mahal luxury hotel. Instead of fighting the US Spiderman’s nemesis the Green Goblin, Pavitr will wage battle against Rakshasa, a demon in Hindu lore said Sharad Devarajan, chief of Gotham Entertainment Group, the Indian licensee of US Marvel Comics.

“Unlike traditional translations of American comics, Spiderman India will become the first ever ‘transcreation’, where we reinvent the origin of a Western property like Spiderman so that he is an Indian boy in Bombay dealing with local problems and challenges,” said Devarajan. The first of four issues of the Indian superhero will come out in August and aims to reach five million readers, said Prithvijit Ramachandra, another official from Gotham Entertainment Group. He said that if the comic is successful, the company will consider turning it into a movie. Hollywood scored a massive success in 2002 with its film Spiderman featuring Tobey Maguire slinging across the skyscrapers of New York. – AFP