What: Empire of Blood is a bone-chilling graphic retelling of history, in context with India’s freedom struggle. As the fictional story goes, the period is set at a time post the Great War, when the British Empire is looking at expanding its might, and crushing any rebellion that could threaten this onslaught. The quest is helped by Aqua Vitae, a miracle potion that has been sourced from the blood of Indians, to extend their invincibility across all mankind.
Why: Protagonist Tom Lawrence wasn’t just another Englishman living in India during the days of the Raj. With a horrific past and having to deal with a present where the ruling British Empire seems hell bent on extracting the maximum from the Indians, his leanings towards the later make him an outcast. Blood forms the centrepoint of this dramatic fictionalised imaginary scenario, replete with Ripperjacks (blood-collecting monsters) and a cruel Queen Elizabeth, sci-fi buffs, in particular, will love the characterisations and edgy illustrations by Alcatena. The crisp, racy storyboard makes for a page-turner. Watch out for twists and turns along the plot that lends from history but leaves plenty to the imagination. If you love the past, The Walking Dead and dig the world of zombies and dark worlds, this potboiler will keep you engaged for a while.
Where: Empire of Blood, created and written by Arjun Raj Gaind, art by Enrique Alcatena, Westland Ltd, Graphic India Pte Ltd, Rs 595. Available at leading bookstores and e-stores.