Synopses & Reviews
From writer Saurav Mohapatra (WITCHBLADE, DEVI) and artist Vivek Shinde (SNAKE WOMAN, PROJECT: KALKI) comes a hard-boiled tale of crime, punishment, and redemption in the seedy underbelly of Mumbai. Five years ago, Arjun Kadam used to be a cop, a rising star in the ranks of the Mumbai Encounter Squad-an elite unit tasked by the powers-that-be to carry out extrajudicial executions of notorious gangsters. But the death of his pregnant wife at childbirth derailed his life and set him off on a spiral of depression and drug addiction, a pale shadow of his former self. When Kadam is the victim of a hit-and-run that also claims the life of a street urchin, he goes into coma for a month. Upon awakening, he finds a new sense of purpose and pursues the investigation, taking him on a journey through the deep, dark heart of Mumbai - from the glitzy tinsel of Bollywood, to the dank depths of the Mumbai Underworld, where the line between the police and the criminals has been blurred beyond recognition by his ex-colleagues on the Encounter Squad, who are now de-facto gangsters in uniform, running the very same extortion rackets they were tasked to eradicate. Obsessed with his mission, Kadam sets off a desperate gambit of deadly intrigue and deception that pits him against the very machine of violence and corruption he once helped create. “Gorgeously noir.” - Ron Marz (WITCHBLADE, ARTIFACTS, SHINKU, GREEN LANTERN) “Perfect example of noir storytelling in comics.” - GEEKADELPHIA.COM “Mohapatra's dialogue is sharp and his script is innovative, putting a clever twist on the genre. Shinde's lush and gorgeous cinematic art impresses the most, from strongly individual faces and photorealistic body language to a deep and rich range of shadows and light, water and blood. This is stylish, sophisticated, and metropolitan: a fresh entry in the noir genre with an Asian twist.” - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY “It reads like a sub-continental version of SIN CITY and has all the best elements of clas
"Down these mean streets a man must go, but the dark alleys and squalid corners in question are not in New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles traditional settings for noir but rather in Mumbai, India's capital and its biggest city. This sumptuously illustrated and crisply written graphic novel focuses on Kadam, a cop on the Mumbai Encounter Squad, the (real-life) police unit authorized to bring down the city's underworld through on-site executions. Battered by personal problems, physical attacks, and spiritual doubt, Kadam attempts to untangle the dark secrets of the Squad that have blurred the line between criminal and cop. Mohapatra's dialogue is sharp and his script is innovative, putting a clever twist on the genre. Shinde (Snakewoman, Project: Kalki) draws the majority of the book, but other artists draw short interludes in distinctively different styles; the juxtaposition is additive rather than jarring, deftly representing Mumbai's vast tapestry of peoples and cultures. Shinde's lush and gorgeous cinematic art impresses the most, from strongly individual faces and photorealistic body language to a deep and rich range of shadows and light, water and blood. This is stylish, sophisticated, and metropolitan: a fresh entry in the noir genre with an Asian twist." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Once Kadam was a rising star in the ranks of the Mumbai Encounter Squad, a secret unit tasked with carrying out extrajudicial executions of wanted criminals that turned it into a business for contract killings and extortion. However the death of his pregnant wife at childbirth triggers a downward spiral that leaves Kadam a pale shadow of his former self. When Kadam is the victim of a hit-and-run that also claims the life of a street urchin, he goes into a coma for a month. After waking up, he finds a new sense of purpose and pursues the investigation into the identity of the driver on his own, when the police close the case for lack of leads. Kadam finds out that the driver was Balwan Khan, an over-the-hill Bollywood B-Movie actor. This brings him into direct confrontation with his ex-colleagues, who are now de factor gangsters in uniform and use Khans movies to launder their money
About the Author
Originally from India, Saurav Mohapatra
currently lives in California and has written Devi, Sadhu, India Authentic and Ryders for Virgin Comics. He co-created Mumbai Macguffin and Jimmy Zhingchak for Virgin Comics and has contributed to the second volume of The Phantom Chronicles by Moonstone Books.
Vivek Shinde is a Mumbai-based artist who has worked on Snakewoman and Project: Kalki for Virgin Comics. He co-created and drew the newspaper strip Special Officer Sawant for Mid-Day, a Mumbai daily. Hes also a freelance illustrator, concept/storyboard artist and a painter specializing in photoreal.