Welcome to “Comics Corner” a new column here at Nerd Nation, where popular independent comic book artist/writer Kevin McVicker explores various topics both in and around the realm of comic book fandom. In this latest edition, Kevin will be exploring Priya’s Shakti – an independent comic, out now via Comixology…
Typically I pay attention and money to “the big four” comic companies (Marvel, DC, Image, and Darkhorse). There are enough pages and characters produced by those four to make even diehard fans feel unknowledgeable and lost at times. Because of this I generally don’t branch out and read many independent comics. This is something I am attempting to correct because I know there are some great series out there of which I am completely ignorant.
So when I stumbled upon the first issue of Priya’s Shakti I knew I should read it. The one major factor being is that it is basically an Indian superhero comic (yes, as in from India). Whereas American superhero comics have borrowed from other mythology, theology, and ideology, but is basically original, India often uses the gods of Hindu theology as their equivalent of our superheroes. Being fascinated by both superhero comics and world religions, this comic was perfect for me.
Typically, this is where a review would start, but this book is free (last time I checked) on Comixology, so go download it and read it for yourself instead of me writing about the art and the dialogue. I will promise you that you have spent money on much worse comics (not all of which were created by Rob Leifeld, but most were), and the topic of this issue is very relevant even in America.
The issue deals with the hot-button issue of victim-blaming of sexually assaulted women. This is an extremely heavy subject, and sometimes an uncomfortable one to discuss. It is handled with great care, compassion, and respect within the pages of the comic, and gives a unique perspective especially for us Americans who are unaware that this is an issue in India. But why should it be considering victim-blaming is an issue in America? Humans are humans.
I do encourage those who read comics to pick this up, because I think this could be the excellent start of a conversation. It was interesting for me to hear this woman blamed for being sexually assaulted because of the loose parka she was wearing. That juxtaposed to what is commonly heard in America that if woman wore “that type” of clothes they somehow wouldn’t be sexually assaulted. That alone begins to make one aware that it isn’t the clothes a woman wears, but the attitude of sexual predators towards women, regardless of the culture that is the issue.
Geek culture in general has earned some heat (some of it truly deserved and some of it just ignorant social media “call-to-arms” garbage) over society’s attitudes towards women. The view that geeks have some exclusive “woman haters club” is about as outdated as the Little Rascals reference used here, but it is a view that we geeks sometime perpetrate when we immediately circle the wagons and get defensive about these subjects.
Comics have a long history of addressing social issues, whether Spider-Man dealt with Harry Osborn abusing drugs, the X-Men tackled/addressed racism and civil rights issues, Alpha Flight openly discussed (and featured) homosexuality/gay marriage, or the Green Lantern broached the subject of AIDS, there is a history of us geeks actually being ahead of the curve. With the advent of social media though, it appears some (hopefully a true minority) of geeks are forgetting this.
So I encourage those who read this to go read Priya’s Shakti (again, it’s totally free!) and let’s have the potentially uncomfortable conversations that should arise from reading this issue. Let’s make it known that it is okay to use the mediums we love to share the outrageous belief that regardless of… well… anything, we’re all equal. Let’s show the world that maybe, yes, we can be socially awkward sometimes, but we are not socially backwards!
Columnist: Nerd Nation Magazine
Editor’s Note: the views and opinions expressed by Mr. McVicker are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Nerd Nation Magazine, or anyone else for that matter. So don’t be a d-bag and try to sue anyone over the stuff he writes. Especially if you’re Rob Leifeld’s agent- who we’ll admit, we’re mostly directing this little end-of-article notice towards. It’s called an opinion, don’t like it? The internet is a big place, just go read something else, hopefully on here!