Blade of the Warrior: Kshatriya #1 (Virgin Comics)
by Arjun Gaind & R. Manikandan
Virgin Comics continues its efforts to incorporate East Indian mythology into the pop-culture consciousness with this new limited series about a warrior and his battle with his corrupt brother. I have to give writer Arjun Gaind credit to driving home the ancient nature of the story and characters by making Alexander the Great the audience for the story within the comic. It not only drives home the eons-old quality of the backdrop, but it also reinforces the longevity of East Indian culture. This is a Conan-esque barbarian story, and R. Manikandan’s artwork suits it incredibly well. His style puts me in mind of Barry (Storyteller, Conan the Barbarian) Windsor-Smith’s art, as well as that of Michael (Sandman) Zulli. The visuals are full of rich detail, but the artist doesn’t necessarily strive for a realistic look either. He captures the supernatural elements incredibly well with his slight sketchy style, and the muted colors aid him in that effort.