Written by Mark Millar
Drawn by Karl Kerschl
Published by Image Comics
PREVIOUSLY: The Ambassadors #1
This issue primarily focuses on Binnu Bhatia, a young many living in Deli, India where he works in a mall and harbors a crush on a girl named Gita who doesn’t even know he’s alive as he’s never had the courage to speak to here. One day a group of armed terrorists attacks the mall, randomly shooting people. When one of the terrorists grasp Gita Binnu tries to save her and gets shot and nearly killed for his actions. This is what leads Choon-He to select him for her her superhero program.
After a successful surgery saves his life he’s whisked away to Choon-He’s HQ in the South Pole where he’s told about what happened and gets to test out his new superpowers. It’s completely explained how all of this works, but apparently, there are some of kind of satellites which enables Choon-He’s recruits to mentally download up to 3 different superpowers at a time, on a temporary basis. Binnu chooses gravity manipulation, meaning he can make things around him light enough to float or so heavy they sink into the ground. After some hilarious exercises, he’s given a costume and a superhero name, Codename India, which is admittedly not very creative but the purpose is to identify each recruit with their home county. And then we see Binnu in action, doing super-deeds in his costume.
But the catch is that he has to keep his identity a secret, like a typical comic-book superhero, he can’t tell his family (or Gita) that he’s Codename India. And there’s a pretty big plot twist, which also makes the timeline of this story a bit confusing.
Choon-He tells Binnu that after he’d been shot he was in a coma for 7 years, during which time his family thought he was dead, and Gita married and has a child with his best friend.
This reveal threw me off at first, as I didn’t understand the timeline of events The story begins just 4 days since Choon-He made her public debut and announcement, and when we see her talking to Binnu for the first time a caption says “one week later.” So I’m guessing the opening sequence of the mall attack was taking place 7 years in the past, and Binnu’s been in that coma since then, and when Choon-He selected him her scientists were able to revive him now in the present? This would have been clearer with a “seven years ago” caption in the beginning but I suppose that would have ruined the dramatic surprise for the readers.
Still, it’s a good story, with a cliffhanger involving Choon-He’s scummy ex-husband. New artist Karl Kerschl does a fine job here. He’s no Frank Quitely but, let’s face it, if Quitely were drawing this it’s unlikely this second issue would be out on time. I understand that each issue of this 6-issue miniseries is going to have a different artist, which is done to guarantee a solid monthly schedule. As long as they’re all good, I’ll take it, because I’m definitely excited to see how the rest of the story unfolds.