Legendary comic book writer Stan Lee has someone in mind that he would like to popularize as much as his 1960s co-creation “Spider-Man”: “Chakra, the invincible!” said the 90-year-old Lee, his voice booming with the excitement of a freshman working on his first project.
The American comics veteran, who collaborated on the creation of superheroes such as Thor and Iron Man, helped create an Indian superhero in partnership with Graphic India. Chakra will make his debut as an animated feature on Cartoon Network in India later this month.
The teenaged character Raju Rai, who lives in Mumbai, will tap into the ancient Hindu belief of chakras or centres of energy in a human body. He and a scientist develop a suit that activates these mystic wheels, giving superpowers to Raju, who fights crime in India’s financial capital.
Even though Lee has never done anything in India before, he told me by telephone from California that he knows enough about local legends and backgrounds to venture into the market.
“Coming up with any superhero — whether American, Indian, or Chinese … it’s always a challenge. People all over the world seem to react favourably to superheroes. So it’s just the case of coming up with another superhero, but finding a way to give it an Indian flavour. And it was fun,” he said about the challenge of working on a different culture, likening it to a crossword puzzle.