5 Indian Comic Book Characters That Should Be Adapted to Films

The American film industry already has a thriving 'Comic-book-films' scene, with at least two movies based on comic books being released in the summers from the past many years. Not all such movies are good though

Cases in Point
But there have been many good films of late based on comic books. I have often wondered why India does not have movies based on comic books, we do have a decent comics culture (which is sadly declining), but then there is a huge cult following that would love to watch their favourite characters come to life. Raj Comics tried coming out with a live action Nagraj serial (with disastrous results), executing a good treatment of Nagraj is quite tricky since you need someone of the stature of Industrial Light and Magic to do all the special effects. I have tried to make a list of comic book heroes who have a huge cult following and who would fare off better with a live action treatment.

5. Hawaldar Bahadur

Kutte fail kar doonga
The cartoonist for two of India's best humorous comic books (Bankelal and Hawaldar Bahadur), Bedi Ji, passed away recently. It was his signature style that added to the appeal of buying comics drawn by them. Bankelal has now been taken up by artists who can only do a decent imitation of what Bedi Ji was capable off, but sadly Manoj Comics has gone out of publication, so there are no new Hawaldar bahadur comics.

He was a constable in one of the most inept (yet functional) Police forces in comic book history, and he managed to catch mad scientists, dictators of Banana republics, dacoits, robbers quite easily (often with some supernatural help). His villains had funny names, his comics had funny names, his dialogues veered on the verge of being too vulgar for a comic book, and he managed to make you laugh.

Armed by his pride in being a Policeman (and the perks that come with him) and a sense of self-preservation, Hawaldar Bahadur has no Superhuman powers, but he would translate well to the silver screen.

The Actor who should Play Him

Kya bhaiya...Chakkar kya hai...

Irfan is not known for comic roles, but he is a brilliant actor with a deadpan dialogue delivery. Just imagine him saying 'Abey Hawalaat mein sadaa doonga' and you would get the picture. With a 'sword like' moustache, Irfan would also look perfect for the part. If only someone from the heartland shows up with enough love for the source material, who knows, it would be one awesome film after all.

4. Gamraj

Tragedy King

He was clearly modeled after Stanley Ipkis (and not Mask), and is the lovable loser in the league of Raj Comics heroes. His name literally means Sorrow King or Tragedy King, and that is his one kryptonite. He cannot see anyone being sad. Like Hawaldar Bahadur, he too does not have any supernatural powers of his own, but he is often aided by Yamunda, a magical Buffalo provided by his foster father Yamraj

Also known as Kader Khan
Yamunda is a desi (and better) version of a Transformer, since he can Transform at will in to any vehicle or any thing demanded by the situation. Gamraj's chief side kick is a three feet (approx) tall guy called Shankalu, who has a dozen kids, and to avoid the chaos they would create in his home, he lives with Gamraj.

The story format of this hero is pretty simple, every evil villain in his comics has a back story which can be as sad as he (or she) not being able to drink milk during teenage because of lactose intolerance, and Gamraj listens to all of their sob-tales patiently, before allowing their own stupidity to defeat them or getting Yamunda to head butt them into oblivion.

Why he deserves a movie? He is the hero with the golden heart, one of those so-good-natured-that-they-are-naive kids, whom no one really wants to bother. This explains why Doga allowed him to get the better of him (this is the same Doga who punched Nagraj an infinite number of times just to cool his anger off).

The Actor who should play him

He already owns a yellow t-shirt, and looks pretty much the same. All you need to do is give him one of the comic books, prepare the scene and yell ACTION! The movie will make itself.

3. Super Commando Dhruv

Nagraj is Raj Comics flagship character, but the winner of a Mr Popular contest would undoubtedly be SCD. And it is not without reason, while there are Superheroes who compensate for their inability to sprout snakes from their wrists by using Guns and Science (etc), Dhruv carries only a few blades, some acid capsules and signal flares. He beats the bad guys by using the things around him, including an instance once when his opponent had the intelligence to shift the fight to a desert because of a strict lack of electric poles (one of Dhruv's most useful thingamajigs) fire hydrants, cars or anything else, and Dhruv defeats him using parts from his motorcycle and sand. Freaking Sand.

See! No Guns!
Before Ajay Devgn did his bike stunt, Dhruv had already surfed his motorcycle across a piece of freaking wire between two high rise buildings. He has the brains of Batman and Slade Wilson combined (although for all is intelligence, he hasn't been able to figure out that Chandika and Shweta are the same person), and has defeated the most awesome Side character created by Raj Comics.

This Guy
He has his own commando force, Renu, Peter and Kareem (the Amar Akbar Anthony of the comics world).  He has hot gun-totting chicks (the best kind) falling head over heels for him. He once made a mockery of his entire roster of villains by faking his death and asking them to come forward and prove who murdered him. He can breath underwater because of some (science thing) equipment fitted in his neck.

Also, he can speak to animals. All of them.

Who Should play him?

with Natasha being played by

Prerequisite = Hot
And Rajan Mehra :

Probably owns multiple Police costumes as it is

And of course, Grand Master Robo

2. Bankelal

He is not a hero by any stretch of the imagination, he is not even a proper anti-hero. He is this guy who spends all his waking hours (and most of his dreams) in figuring out ways in which to kill his king and take his position. However, due to a curse/boon by Shankar Bhagwan, he is under the spell of 'Kar Bura to Ho Bhala' meaning that no matter how hard he tries to hurt or harm someone, he always ends up benefiting them.

Pure Evil
Bankelal too had the good fortune of having Bedi Ji as the artist and Tarun Kumar Wahi as primary writer, hence the dialogues were replete with Punjabi one liners (people in trouble would say 'Hun appa da ki houn!' and demons about to die would exhale 'Hun appa da kuchh nahi ho sakta' and all characters would exit saying 'Appa chalde hainge') and pop cultural references (when a hunter is killed he dies humming 'Shikar Khud Yahan Shikar Ban Gaya'). All the rishi in the comics have names that tell exactly who or what they are (Rishi Gussacharya, Rishi BinBulayaMehmanaCharya, Rishi Thappadacharya).

The story takes place in an unspecified time period of history, which enables the canvas to have magic, demons, kings, witches, swords, apsaras and even Gods in abundance. Bankelal's adventures always involve employing some evil character or scheme to kill Raja Vikram Singh

Who has a better chance of dying by either choking on his own moustache or from an obesity related disease
but in the end, after around 60 pages of healthy over the top comedy, all Bankelal can do when he sees his schemes falling apart around him is to pretend that he was told by Shankar Bhagwan in his dreams that he should either try and make it look like he was about to kill the king or was about to put the kingdom in harm's way.

Who should play Bankelal?

Just add a small moustache and you  are done
And Vikram Singh already exists outside comic books in this form

1. Doga

Now I know that from the past three years (in fact ever since Dev D released) there have been talks of Anurag Kashyap making a Doga movie, a recent photograph of Manish Gupta meeting the director has again sparked flames of online discussion, however, the pessimist in me says that there were a couple of months in which Kashyap was interested in making a movie about the best Raj Comics Hero, but then for some reasons he has put it in development hell.

Too Awesome for even  AK to attempt
Unlike the other two main heroes of Raj Comics who live in fictional cities called Mahanagar and Rajnagar, Doga lives and operates in Mumbai. It's a city whose ruthlessness he echoes in his actions, he imitates his adoptive city's cruelty in his methods, and he knows what it would take to cure it. Doga would not hesitate in  breaking off the legs of a petty pocketmaar thief, and he reserves his worst punishment for drug smugglers and murderers. 

That's why 'Kaun Bada Jallaad' is not even a question

He proclaims himself that he has no need of performing a root-cause analysis of a problem, he just takes it by the root and pulls it away. He lives by the rule of the gun, and his comics used to address real problems that Mumbai faces (and Bombay faced), be it the plight of the slum dwellers, corrupt construction magnates, drugs, extortion rackets. In fact, he was considered culturally significant enough by writer Gyan Prakash to include a whole chapter on him in his book called Mumbai Fables.

If from this list of 5 I had to chose 1 character on whom a movie should definitely be made, it is Doga.

Who should play Doga?

That's Suraj Right There
Agneepath showed in bits and pieces that Hrithik can play 'cold', but then it had scenes of him breaking down and crying. Besides, Doga would need a heavy voice, apart from that, Hrithik Roshan is the closest you can come to a mainstream actor who can play Doga convincingly.

Also, there is a TV actor by the name of Yuri Suri who would be perfect as Adrakh Chacha

Of all the above, Doga was the closest we came to having our own comic book hero movie (Krishh and G.One had no history, and shall hopefully not have a future). However, I sincerely hope that someone with a genuine love of comic books or a mindset of Christopher Nolan or Peter Jackson picks up the slim volumes (especially those published in the 90s, the golden era for Indian comics) and realizes the story telling potential that they carry.


{ evil@snipe } at: April 29, 2012 at 8:33 PM said...

wish i had enough money and camera, you be the script writer and other stuff and all those patriotic indians out there who want to see bollywood doing sensible things = AMAZING DOGA movie :D

{ amit } at: August 16, 2012 at 2:47 PM said...

I think Film on naagraj would be best because he is true novel indian comic character....

{ kaminey } at: August 30, 2012 at 7:57 AM said...

ithink movies should make on some heroes like Dhruv, Naagraj, Doga & the last but not least Parmaanu. because his suite have many sci-fi powers

{ kaminey } at: August 30, 2012 at 7:58 AM said...

ithink movies should make on some heroes like Dhruv, Naagraj, Doga & the last but not least Parmaanu. because his suite have many sci-fi powers

{ rahulkothari } at: September 14, 2012 at 1:38 AM said...

ist let thr b a movie on chacha chaudhary whom v all used to love during our childhood

{ mickey } at: November 8, 2012 at 12:58 AM said...

good list.. quite agree with most of your view points.. would rather have SCD movie first but directors we have will make a mess of it.. Anurag Kashyap certainly has it but is more suited for Doga in my opinion.

{ Amartya } at: November 9, 2012 at 12:54 AM said...

Although I would prefer new faces but otherwise farhan akhtar as Doga, arunoday Singh as SCD, boman irani as vikram Singh, doga by kashyap, bankelal by rajkumar hirani, SCD can't think of anyone

{ D !!! UNMATCHED } at: November 20, 2012 at 7:16 AM said...

I dont know if u all know... but nagraj ke upar ek TV serial hai... search for it on youtube sometime....

warning: It sucks...

{ deekay } at: January 17, 2013 at 11:03 AM said...

agree with u vaibhav.....

{ Rajiv Choudhary } at: May 5, 2013 at 11:50 PM said...

I thiknk SCD should be given preference of others to make a movie as his comics selling is in the top
and Vidyut Jamwat is the perfect for SCD as we saw action scences of commando movies. Mujhe SCD ki yaad aa gayi thi

{ Shamsher Singh } at: November 30, 2014 at 9:17 PM said...

Pramanu is Indian version of Atom and Ironman from Marvel and DC comics and there must b a movie on pramanu and the excuse is not acceptable that there is huge science effect needed if this is only reason any one pls tell why only one movie was madeon He-Man I. 1986 with daulph laurgen as He-man(villian of universal soilder 1, and seen in moves like Expandable series / universal solider series )

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