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Spider-Man in India 358

Posted by michael
from the spidey-sense-is-tingling dept.
Lord Omlette writes "I'm really surprised no one else has mentioned this, but Spider-Man is getting redone in India! As an Indian-American, I'm quite excited. (Let's get it out of the way: even our comic book heroes are being outsourced, wtf!) The manga version of Star Wars was pretty good, but off the top of my head I can't think of any other comic books that were redone for a completely different culture. Anyone?"
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Spider-Man in India

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  • by l810c (551591) * on Friday June 25, 2004 @06:46PM (#9533156)
    Spiderman's a character built on the premise of New York. Nothing against India, his character wouldn't work well in my home city of Atlanta either. They just don't have the rows and rows and rows of skyscrapers for him to climb up, scale over and swing through. He would kinda lose that advantage.

    And what's with the bottoms? American spiderman doesn't ware suit pants. Is this to make him look more Indian or would there be a cultural backlash against tights?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      He would swing from the trees, like the monkeys do.

      They would have to change his name:

      Bhandri-Man!
    • I presumed you've never seen the Japanese re-make of Spider-Man manga? Essentially the same story, just taking place in Tokyo.
      • Never seen it. But, from what I know and have seen from pictures(I haven't been there in over 30 years), I think Tokyo could work.
      • Dare I mention... the Spider Man Live Action show that aired in Japan (think Power Ranger-ish show with Spider Man... He's got his own giant robot if memory serves.)
    • They just don't have the rows and rows and rows of skyscrapers for him to climb up, scale over and swing through.

      Maybe he can use human pyramids of well-wishers instead? Plus there has gotta be some good use for several cows looped together with spidey-thread.

      • Nonono. He's going to do a crossover between the American spiderman and the Indian Rope Trick, not only giving him the ability to move amazingly fast, but also powers to turn invisible, float in mid-air, etc.
    • by cygnusx (193092) * on Friday June 25, 2004 @06:57PM (#9533255) Homepage
      It's called a "dhoti". Allegedly more Indian, although you'd be hard-pressed to find a under-40 Indian wear one outside of a religious ceremony or political gathering. Looking through the changes, they are cute. Pavitr Prabhakar makes me laugh - it sounds *forced*.

      I like Spiderman, but for this to take off, Gotham Comics India better get their "localization" right - cosmetic changes like Parker -> Prabhakar are miles away from understanding what the typical (i.e., *not* English-speaking) Indian comic reader is looking for. And the Indian language audience already has lots of comic publishers (most notably Diamond [diamondcomic.com]) who do a far better job of creating characters that Indian language readers relate to. The (far smaller but still large) English language audience would never stand for something like this (has "cheap knockoff" written all over it) because they would rather read the originals.

      (offtopic) Of late /. has been accepting a lot of story submissions that originally appeared on Boing Boing days ago so here's a tip to get the stories early: use the Boing Boing slashbox [slashdot.org].
      • I don't disagree, but I don't think they're actually trying to start an ongoing comic book franchise. They just want to print a limited series of them to help promote the Spiderman 2 movie. The original Spiderman movie was a huge success in India for a Hollywood movie, so apparently the character already does have some appeal for many Indians.
      • by Afrosheen (42464) on Friday June 25, 2004 @11:47PM (#9534890)
        "...who do a far better job of creating characters that Indian language readers relate to."

        My favorite character is Outsource Man! He can do any job any American can, but cheaper!
    • The tree-swinging version of him already exists: Hanu-man :-)

      I'm kind of worried about people living around Mumbai airport in tin-roof huts and stuff. I wouldn't want Dhoti-man or his evil nemesis jumping on those. Besides, dhotis are not meant for high-velocity displacements. They tend to be left behind in such cases..

    • by AKnightCowboy (608632) on Friday June 25, 2004 @07:05PM (#9533316)
      Nothing against India, his character wouldn't work well in my home city of Atlanta either. They just don't have the rows and rows and rows of skyscrapers for him to climb up, scale over and swing through.


      He's going to swing on the hundreds of thousands of outsourced jobs, broken promises, and shattered dreams of American tech workers. Oh wait Spider-man? I thought we were talking about George W. Bush's re-election.


      Is this to make him look more Indian or would there be a cultural backlash against tights?


      I imagine it's similar to how most female comic book superheroes have extraordinarily large breasts. It's best to appeal to your target demographic.

    • by rjamestaylor (117847) <rjamestaylor@gmail.com> on Friday June 25, 2004 @07:15PM (#9533391) Journal
      If it were being remade in PAKISTAN then he could swing from minaret to minaret. In India guess he'll have to settle to swinging from US call center communication towers...
    • You think that remake is bad? how about these? spidey [newcomicreviews.com]
    • Supposedly the remake is based more on myth and magic as opposed to science and technology. Maybe this one will burrow and make traps like a wolf spider instead. Who knows? I'm interested to see the variation.
    • When I read in the summary that he was going to be an Indian-American I naturally assumed that he would still be in N.Y.

      Since the actual article says this story will take place in India, the real question is what makes him so American? Is this another example of the phoenomia where Americans call black people from around the world African American (even if they are neither African nor American)?
  • Well... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Gamoid (656769)
    In Japan, they released manga versions of Spider-man and the X-men. And when I say manga version, I mean manga version--the stories were all redone, with new characters, character names, and written and drawn by manga artists. Japanese Spidey had very little to do with American Spidey if memory serves.
  • by Kenja (541830) on Friday June 25, 2004 @06:48PM (#9533164)
    Given the problems Stan Lee has had with getting paid for his creations in the US, I dont think he's too pleased about this.
  • That's Truth, Justic, and the American way!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 25, 2004 @06:48PM (#9533167)
    "My movie went to India and all I got was this stinking t-shirt"
  • by The Only Druid (587299) on Friday June 25, 2004 @06:48PM (#9533168)
    Explain to me why we're re-doing comics for other locales? Can't they make their own comics?

    That said, its pretty much a non-issue. There have been several alternate spider-man styles over the years (most recently the on-going Ultimate line), so its not like this is anything special.

    The only thing I find really that stupid is that they're going to have to completely reinvent all the relevant characters to fit this 'new' spider man, so what is the point? Why not just make a new super hero?*

    *: obviously, the Ultimate line isn't vulnerable to the same criticism, because the entire point of it is to provide an alternate take on a hero that is already popular. Spider Man, however, isn't popular in India.
    • by geeber (520231) on Friday June 25, 2004 @06:53PM (#9533223)
      The only thing I find really that stupid is that they're going to have to completely reinvent all the relevant characters to fit this 'new' spider man, so what is the point? Why not just make a new super hero?*

      Because the movie Spider Man was one of the top grossing movies in India. They want to capitilize on the name recognition of Spider Man while at the same time making a superhero that more Indians can relate to culturally.
      • by Senjutsu (614542) on Friday June 25, 2004 @07:03PM (#9533299)
        They want to capitilize on the name recognition of Spider Man while at the same time making a superhero that more Indians can relate to culturally.

        So in their version, Spider-Man and Mary Jane are going to almost kiss each other and then spin away from each other and spend the next twenty minutes singing and dancing?
      • Yep, we do have our own comics. Chacha Chowdhury, Billoo apart from translated stuff like Phantom, Mandrake.. The problem is, the original stuff doesn't have a story line that can hold out for too long. Plus, till recently the quality of graphics was not all that great. Besides, as another reader pointed out here, the brand-name recognition goes a long way, which they are trying to capitalise on here..
      • by pla (258480) on Friday June 25, 2004 @07:28PM (#9533471) Journal
        Because the movie Spider Man was one of the top grossing movies in India.

        So let me get this straight... Indians loved Spider Man, so to capitalize on that, they plan to completely change him to make him more Indian.

        Riiiiiiight... So considering the popularity of Anime among geeks, Disney should add a more American touch to it? IIRC, Studio Ghibli had to invoke a minor miracle to prevent Disney from turning movies like Tenkû no shiro Rapyuta into Mickey's Vacation in Laputa.

        Strange. I will never understand the corporate world.
      • So, great, then they'll have this Indian comic version of Spidey, and then the one that shows up in Spidey 2, and kids are going be totally confused...

        That is, until 10 seconds later, when 2 competing Bollywood studios make movies based off of the Indian version of Spidey as well.

        To the comic fan, this is a big ol' WTF. To the studio execs, it's a big, "Why the Hell Not?"
    • I think it's better that this sort of thing adapts to regional tastes. Sesame St. is available in many different languages, for example. You should never underestimate the importance of local knowledge. The HSBC bank have a good series of ads going in the press that emphasise this point. There's one that shows three footballs, one Australian [labelled 'Football (Australia)'], one soccer ball [labelled 'Football (England)'], and an American football [labelled 'Football (America).]'
    • by nwbvt (768631) on Friday June 25, 2004 @07:42PM (#9533535)
      "Explain to me why we're re-doing comics for other locales? Can't they make their own comics? "
      How many Disney movies were based on old stories from other cultures?
    • >>Explain to me why we're re-doing comics for
      >>other locales? Can't they make their own comics?

      India is outsourcing it's superhero development and comic book writing to the US. I don't see a problem with it?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The cows will be grateful
  • Awsome! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Narmi (161370)
    But can he dance like Shahrukh Khan?
  • Now (Score:3, Funny)

    by blackmonday (607916) on Friday June 25, 2004 @06:51PM (#9533202) Homepage
    Now instead of saving new York city, Spiderman dances around buffet trays for 3 hours while the wedding guests clap in unison!

  • I object! (Score:2, Funny)

    by platypibri (762478)
    I object to the punjabification of our super heroes.
  • by BigFire (13822) on Friday June 25, 2004 @06:52PM (#9533215)
    For ages, due to censorship law in Turkey, the locals who want to watch American import have to make do with the next best thing, local remakes. If you can find it on sale online, it's well worth the effort to find the Turkish remake of Star Wars. Same story, no effect budgets...
  • Canadian comics (Score:3, Interesting)

    by westendgirl (680185) on Friday June 25, 2004 @06:52PM (#9533216) Homepage
    During WWII, Canadian publishers revamped several US comic books, creating a Canadian spin [collectionscanada.ca].
  • Marvel Manga (Score:2, Informative)

    by fiannaFailMan (702447)
    There's a Manga version of the Marvel universe [icv2.com]. I saw it in a bookstore the other day.
  • by panthro (552708) <mavrinac&gmail,com> on Friday June 25, 2004 @06:56PM (#9533248) Homepage
    So if they were to outsource Captain America, would he be renamed to Captain India? (Would he sport orange, white and green? Would his shield have a huge Chakra design on it?)
    • Re:Captain India (Score:3, Informative)

      by nkh (750837)
      They don't need Captain India, they've already got Dhalsim [cownetwork.ru]. This super hero can also climb everything with his stretching arms.
  • by turgid (580780) on Friday June 25, 2004 @06:56PM (#9533249) Journal
    There was a BBC comedy TV and Radio programme called Goodness Gracious Me, written and performed by Indians. It was superb.

    One of the regular sketches involved a very patriotic Indian man and his young son. Whenever the son mentioned something, the father said it was Indian, had been done first in India, or was done by an Indian.

    In one sketch, the small boy was reading in bed before going to sleep. His dad was watching over him. He was reading about Superman.

    "Indian," his father kept saying.

    "Superman can run faster than a train!" enthused the boy.

    "Of course he is Indian," exclaimed the father, "Where else can you run faster than a train?"

    I'll get my coat....

  • In 1986 or so, Alan Moore invented a character called John Constantine for his "Swamp Thing" comic. John later got his own comic book, "John Constantine: Hellblazer". Constantine is a chain-smoking, sarcastic, bastardly magician from Liverpool. Think what'd happen if Harry Potter had been a pissed-off British punk teenager in the 1970s and you've got a good first approximation.

    Of course, a movie called "Constantine" that's loosely based on this character has a September release in the USA. The charact

  • by RancidLM (723035) on Friday June 25, 2004 @06:59PM (#9533268)
    Im still waiting for Spider-Man in Canada eh! with his super hockey powers and lumber-Jack Strength!
    now wheres my Beer ya hosers!
    • What, Spiderman never made it to Niagra Falls, Ottawa, Torronto, or Montreal? I'd find that shocking.
    • Spiderman was in a 1990 series called "Skating on thin ice" It was comissioned to be an anti-drug keep-yourself-clean comic by some federal police group in Canada. Peter was sent to various cities to do some of photos and battled various villians dealing badness to the kiddies. Electro is in the first one, which is all I have since they handed it out for free. It was based where I live which is the only reason I kept it.
  • Apu: Today, I am no longer an Indian living in America. I am an Indian-American.
    Lisa: You know, in a way, all Americans are immigrants. Except, of course Native Americans.
    Homer: Yeah, Native Americans like us.
    Lisa: No, I mean American Indians.
    Apu: Like me.
  • spiderman was traded to india for cobrawoman, mongooseman and baloo from the jungle book in april of last year

    considering that spiderman is getting older and cobrawoman's amazing batting average, i think that the usa made out ok in that trade, but spidey is a different story... i mean, i hope he likes cricket, i hope he learns what a wicked googly is...
  • Ganesha [stevee.com] being the only eight limbed super(natural) being in India who squashes green guys.
  • US Examples (Score:4, Interesting)

    by phr4gmonk3y (660092) on Friday June 25, 2004 @07:09PM (#9533349) Homepage
    "The manga version of Star Wars was pretty good, but off the top of my head I can't think of any other comic books that were redone for a completely different culture. Anyone?" Well, all sorts of japanese media has been redone for America. Remember Power Rangers? The whole plot was completley different for the US and Japan versions. In fact, they just used fight scenes and such from the Japanese version of the series, and created a series with a new, completley different plot. Actually, I recall the Japanese version being better (Being relativley young, I remember watching it). Also, anime can sometimes be redone. Following along the lines of young, child fads and franchises, the Pokemon movies had seperate plots. And the series was reformatted to be more US friendly I think. So, while I'm sure the US has done it's share of "outsourcing" of it's pop culture, we're readapting other culture's pop culture to be more US friendly. [ Reply to This ]
  • Dubbing. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jelwell (2152) on Friday June 25, 2004 @07:12PM (#9533371)
    What I never understood is why bother to dub a movie/cartoon, from say Japan, into English and then not bother to change/translate the character names? It's all well and good that now I can understand what they're saying up until someone's name is mentioned.

    Yes, I like original language movies. I'm just pointing out that this Indian remake rather than a simple translation seems like a step in the right direction for people who aren't interested in seeing the original.
    Joseph Elwell.
  • by News for nerds (448130) on Friday June 25, 2004 @07:15PM (#9533390) Homepage
    There is an example vice versa, the Japanese manga Fist of the North Star [hillcity-comics.com] was remade into the fscked up live-action movie version [imdb.com]. I assume Hollywood has many other things it "smuggled" into the US from around the world (if you don't stick at comic books, there's the recent rush of the US remake of Japanese movies, such as "Ring" or "Shall We Dance?").
    • Sometimes it comes around full circle with movies like Yojimbo - Fistful of Dollars, The Seven Samurai - Magnificent Seven. They were Easterners (Ok, I'm probably making this word up), copies of western movie ideas that became westerns.
  • but most of these comments really toe the border into racism. Yeah, i understand that many people in the slashdot community have lost jobs to india, and i realize that there are many that are comic purists (for whatever that's supposedly worth). But honestly.

    The reason they don't "come up with their own heroes" is because the US comic companies would sue the new artists out of business in an afternoon.

    Why can't you guys be happy that someone else is going to enjoy a character you like? Or do you guys just
    • Seconded. The comic will live or die based on how it's received, but the fact that Marvel is doing this doesn't dilute the original Spider-Man's value as a character. If you want to talk about true cannibalization of characters, you don't need to look outside this country to find Marvel doing that: The Ultimate line of comics (some of which I must say that I enjoy - especially Ultimate Spider-Man) is dedicated to "re-imagining" the classic MU in a more modern style, changing plenty along the way.

      Bottom

  • I had heard that the Barbie(TM) doll from Mattel had been modified to suit the Japanese market years ago. If I remember correctly, she was made a little shorter. Never did confirm it.
  • Captian Britian is pretty much Captain America with a Union Jack splashed on his chest. I don't know if that counts.
  • Spider Man / Vishnu (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PetoskeyGuy (648788) on Friday June 25, 2004 @07:28PM (#9533469)
    Maybe in this culture Spider Man will actually have some extra limbs. Like Vishnu [muktinath.org]
  • As an Indian (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Laxitive (10360) on Friday June 25, 2004 @07:29PM (#9533474) Journal
    As an Indian, this is my official take:

    This is gay.. seriously gay.

    I'm at a loss for words. Someone needs to find the focus group that came up with this, and remove them from the gene pool.

    Spiderman with a dhoti? What the fuck? What is wrong with the world today?

    -Laxitive
  • "Doctor Octopus, you are a BAD MAN!" (waves finger in air)
  • I guess Captain America and Wonder Woman are still safe...
  • Xenophobic slashdotters?
  • That the first villian will the Man-Eating Cow from the The Tick. I am sure that Indians would love the irony of that sort of villian. Especially if all the people that he eats are Westerns, *YUMM*.
  • Readers of the new Spiderman: India comic were extremely upset and irritated when at the last page of the comic they were given a clifhanger "to be continued" and essentially put "on hold" for an entire week.
  • There was a manga version of Spiderman produced for Japan a few years ago. I saw some imported copies in a comic book shop at the time, and it was plainly an official adaptation and not a doujinshi fanfic or anything like that. They seem to have been translated and released on the US market [tfaw.com] in a limited way, but I never saw any of those on the shelves.
  • When was there ever a Superman for a different culture? Presumably Japan, since you said "manga".

    Pat Lee and others have done Superman in the art style of Japanese print manga, but that was in english for American audiences. Was there an actual Superman created for Japanese audiences?

    --
    Evan

  • How is since odd? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tehanu (682528) on Saturday June 26, 2004 @12:02AM (#9534961)
    I don't understand why so many people here find this odd. How exactly is this any more odd than say Hollywood making versions of Japanese manga (or even video games) eg. Akira, Dragonball Z, Evangelion, Streetfighter 2, etc. and redoing them for mass-media American culture (as opposed to mass-media Japanese culture)? Yet that doesn't raise any eyebrows (plenty of comments about the butchering it is likely to get though).
  • Manga Spider-Man (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BitwizeGHC (145393) on Saturday June 26, 2004 @02:21AM (#9535438) Homepage
    There was a manga Spidey not too long ago. It dealt with a student named Komori Yu who gets bitten by a spider and yada yada. Some things are similar to the American comic; others are not.

    In the 70s there was a tokusatsu program starring Spidey. Again, he was Japanese. This version was given his costume and powers by aliens, I think, and drove a giant robot. Weird.

    So... it's been done before.

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