Spider-Man: India – The American Parallels

 While doing research for another topic, I stumbled across a picture of a comic cover for Spider-Man: India. Being interested in comic books, Marvel in particular, I was very intrigued to learn more about this, thinking it was perhaps an unlicensed knock-off or a creative Photoshop jpeg. Through a partnership between Marvel Comics and India-based publisher Gotham Entertainment Group, this is an officially licensed property of Spider-Man, with the same characters and basic story points being converted to reflect India. For example, Peter Parker, the alias of Spider-Man, is named Pavitr Prabhakar, which is intentionally a phonetic distortion of the American name. Other characters receive the same treatment her, as Mary Jane Watson is Meera Jain, Aunt May is Auntie Maya, Uncle Ben is Uncle Bhim, etc. The story seems to take place in Mumbai, where Pavitr gains his spider powers from a yogi instead of a radioactive spider bite. The villains are versions of the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, and Venom, though they are all twisted demons instead of costumed with super or technological powers. If anyone wants any further details here is the link for the Wikipedia page, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider-Man:_India. It was published and released in the United States, so for those curious it was in stock on Amazon.com earlier today.

The reason I found all this interesting is that the writer here didn’t really create a new property here. There are many different versions of Spider-Man, some with completely different Spider-Mans (Spider-Men?). For example, Spider-Man 2099‘s identity is Miguel O’Hara, who has no relation to Peter Parker but is instead a different Spider-Man. The writers here, however, chose to simply parallel the basic plot points, origins, and even the names to the American version. I don’t have an issue with this, but I’m curious about the motivation. I think that the opportunity to create a new property with a recognizable name would, as a comic artist, be much more enticing. It’s possible that it was Marvel’s suggestion (demand), but information like that is difficult to find at this time. The artwork actually looks incredible (better than some current American Spider-Man runs!) and it’s a proven (if not original) story, but as a comic fan I do find the decision to parallel the American version instead of creating a new Spider-Man franchise a bit confusing. What do you all think?

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About Justin O'Riley

A self-professed "nerd," I love to write about things that make me "geek" out, especially video games, film and tv, fantasy/sci-fi, pro-wrestling, football, and retro stuff. I'm a father of a wonderful daughter who drives me to nothing less than the best!

2 thoughts on “Spider-Man: India – The American Parallels

  1. My brother traveled in Europe a few years ago and brought back several comics from the various countries he visited. Quite interesting were the Bart Simpson comics. I’ll try to find them and bring them to class if you’re interested.

  2. Haha this is great, I remember my shock when I first saw this series in a bookstore…I think I actually have the first comic somewhere around my house…
    From what I remember the comic was almost exactly in line with the original story, with not that many Indian twists besides the setting and characters. Perhaps later comics were able to explore India’s culture more, but otherwise I remember being rather bored by it because of how similar it was to the American version.

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