The Indian Superhero League: A Look at the Desi Avengers

If you are a comic book buff who grew up in the '90s, chances are that your childhood companion was either the snake-shooting Nagraj, or the calm and composed science dude Parmanu, or the hot-headed, gun wielding  Doga. Or all of them. Shockingly enough, despite their vibrant costumes and highly imaginative hairstyles, these beloved superheroes never made to the silver screen. In an effort to help Bollywood producers in case they take inspiration, here's our list of five Indian comic superheroes and the actors who could play them.      

1. Super Commando Dhruv: He could swing like Tarzan, his right hook was enough to floor even the beefiest of goons, he wore a blue and yellow uniform and somehow made it work, and to top everything, he rode a motorcycle. Complete winner. The son of circus acrobats, Dhruv was adopted by a police officer after his parents passed away and lived in a city called Rajnagar. And although he didn't know this, it was Dhruv's sister from his adoptive parents who doubled up as the blonde-wig wearing superwoman Chandika, who sometimes showed up to help him. Kali Billi (obviously inspired by Cat Woman) was the morally questionable petty thief Dhruv often crossed paths with, but would rarely outsmart.

650_Salman_Dhruv.jpgActor(s): Salman Khan could easily play Super Commando Dhruv. Forget beefy goons, the man could probably crush trucks. Or at least tempos. Plus he would make the bikes look good. 

650_Kangana.jpgKali Billi could be played by Kangana Ranaut. No, no, no. Nobody question the Queen.   

2. Nagraj: What's cool about Nagraj? Everything. Well-sculptured, snappy hair-do shaped like the hood of a snake, with a minty green snake-skin body, Nagraj specialised in fighting terrorists who disturbed his city, Mahanagar. Inspired by the web-casting Spiderman, Nagraj could shoot long lines of (real) poisonous snakes and could have mortified even Orcs, had he known they existed. The man had no vices either. He frequented pubs, yes. But drank only milk. It's true. Look it up. Oh, and his (alleged) love interest was a snake-woman, Saudangi, who lived inside his body and came out to help him whenever he was in trouble. Admit it. He sounds like the coolest superhero ever.

650_Hrithik.jpgActor(s): Leander Paes. Okayfine. Hrithik Roshan. Forget Krrish 8 or whatever number they are on. This is where the money's at, Mr Rakesh Roshan. Priyanka Chopra could play snake-woman Saudangi and look 'charming' while doing so. 

3. Doga: This muscular superhuman was quite in dogue at one point of time. Umm... vogue. We mean vogue. He wore the mask of a dog, beat bad men into a pulp and whenever required, used an ultrasonic whistle which attracted dogs the same way the Pied Piper's flute attracted children. Only these dogs weren't lead to a river but rather came to Doga's rescue in almost every fight. Adopted and brought up by a dacoit, Halkan Singh, Doga grew up in the company of dogs and understood their language just as they understood his. This series did much for the reputation of street dogs back then. 

650_John.jpgActor: John Abraham. The name is enough. End of matter.

4. Parmanu: A Delhi police inspector by day and a vigilante by night, Parmanu was the science nerd's representative in the comic book community. He wore a special yellow-green suit designed by his scientist uncle which helped him 'create atoms' to destroy his enemies, fly, and even reduce and increase his size. Although he wasn't as popular as Nagraj or Super Commando Dhruv, but he deserves a mention for his 'contribution to science'. Or fashion.

650_RanbirK.jpgActor: Akshay Kumar. Or Ranbir Kapoor, if someone could coax him to not play a confused pseudo-adult for once.  

5. Shakti: Sadly, women did not have much of a spotlight as far as superheroes comics were concerned, except perhaps for Shakti. Blessed with powers from goddess Kali, she could turn any metal into a weapon and had the power of fire in her hands. She could turn goons into crispy marshmellows if she wished. And least we forget, the woman had a third eye. Enough said.

650_Deepika.jpgActress: Deepika Padukone wins this one hands down. She can rock the tiger skin clothes, the fairly temperamental third eye, make turning any metal into a weapon look believable, and can most certainly breathe fire. Or shoot it from her hands. Whichever.

Interesting trivia: Amitabh Bachchan had a comic series dedicated to him (by his approval) in the '80s. Called The Adventures of Amitabh Bachchan, the superhero was named Supremo, and was the alter ego of the superstar himself in the comic. To make things even more interesting, Supremo had a falcon and a dolphin to help him from time to time. Wait. So a bird, a non-violent mammal and an angry young man made a crime-fighting team? Absolute awesomesauce. Wonder why they didn't make a film on this back then. 


Story First Published: May 07, 2014 14:01 IST

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