Readers of The Lost Art

The Sadhu

March 4th, 2009

The Sadhu 

Writer: Gotham Chopra

Artist: Deepak Chopra

Reviewer: Louise

The Sadhu represents a interesting take on the “warrior’s mystic quest” genre. Set in India under British rule during the reign of Victoria, it follows an James Jensen, an English soldier who, following a personal tragedy, becomes a sadhu, a spiritual warrior with supernatural gifts. Yet Jensen is consumed with rage, and, in seeking to rid himself of it, sets himself and his brother on a collision course with his worst enemy…

The Sadhu is an interesting departure from superhero fare, inasmuch as it focuses on the teachings of Hinduism and the supernatural abilities said to be granted to those who devote themselves to its teachings. It must be said that the artwork is very, very, good, particularly in the depiction of the Hindu goddess Kali. Indeed, the sections describing Kali, the ferocious demon-slaying goddess, really jump off the page. The plot rattles along at a fair clip.

If I have one complaint with it, it’s that the book can’t seem to decide whether it wants to delve deeply into the mystic aspects of Jensen’s journey, or stick to the tried-and-true quest plot of a man seeking to transform himself into a fearsome warrior to avenge a tragedy and vanquish his enemies. Ultimately, it leans more towards the second approach than the first, which is in some ways a pity. There are a great many quest stories out there, but not enough Prometheas – in my opinion anyway.

I would also have liked a little more attention paid to the clash of civilisations between the culture of the British soldiers and the Indian rebels. Jensen’s enemy represents the worst aspects of the British empire. It would have been interesting to see a little more time spent on how Jensen himself reacts to the utterly different world-view of the Hindu devotees before getting on with the slam-bang action. Still, it’s not a fatal flaw. Sadhu is a gripping read, and comes recommended.

Paperback: 196 pages
Publisher: Virgin Comics (11 Jul 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1934413038

(First published 23/10/2007.)

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