Super Sikh, No. 1, by Eileen K. Alden, Supreet S. Manchanda, and Amit Tayal (2015)

Adventure/Thriller (comic book)
15 to Adult
Super Sikh, No. 1Hey superhero fans – aren’t we long overdue for a badass hero with a turban? Supreet Singh Manchanda and Eileen Kaur Alden launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring their idea to life, and reached their target in just 27 hours! With the help of illustrator Amit Tayal, they launched the first issue in 2015, and have now released the fourth issue. First, it’s not a full-length graphic novel, but rather your traditional comic book, a la Superman and Spiderman. It’s 24 pages of full-colour panels, and issue one, Takeoff and Landing, introduces readers to Deep Singh, our hero, who works for the United Nations Global Unified Defense Force protecting the world on secret agent missions. We meet Deep successfully fighting the Taliban to ensure girls have access to education. Exhausted, he fights to keep awake on the drive home from Pakistan to Amritsar, India, where Deep lives with his uncle, aunt, and cousin Preeti, who happens to be the gadget quartermaster with the Unified Defense Force. Auntie Ji worries about Deep, a lot. She worries about his eating, his sleep, and his seemingly impossible chances for a good marriage, given his non-stop schedule. She encourages him to take a vacation, and he opts for a dream trip to Memphis and Graceland, where he can indulge his adoration of Elvis to his heart’s content. But trouble follows our superhero on board the flight when terrorists try to hijack the plane. This is the first issue of a continuing storyline, and the authors are now up to Issue 4. The artwork is high-quality, and the plot is complicated enough to intrigue adult readers without leaving teens too confused. Deep upholds the Sikh values of justice and equality, and the American creators cheerfully skewer their own country’s tendency toward discrimination of “others.” When Deep finds himself in a TSA holding cell, he is surrounded by brown-skinned men, including a quartet of what appear to be Sikh engineers who came to the US for jobs, but were jailed under suspicion of nefarious activities. Rated teen, this will probably appeal to younger readers. A great choice for public libraries with Indo-Canadian clientele, though the comic book format will probably not last long. Let’s hope the authors opt for a compilation issue in full graphic novel format, once the story arc is complete. My thanks to Rosarium Publishing for the digital copy of the first issue provided through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
You can read more about the team behind Super Sikh, and find out how to order print copies, at http://www.supersikhcomics.com/, and check out more reviews and discussion of this graphic novel at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25750785.
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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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