1980s Indian comic books were the best. Sometimes the English translation was baffling, other times the plots were inscrutable, and -- if you were really lucky -- these twain did meet, and you were transported to a realm of semi-unreadable fantasia. Here are five such glorious occasions.

Superman Goes to India, Gets Casual About Murder

A RARE SIGHTI THREE GREAT WA RRIORS AT ONE DLACE AND IMPRISONED- SUPERMANI BATMANT AND PROTECTOR OF PRESERVER SPIDERMAN. METROPOLIS! OF GO'THAM THE CI
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The greatest comic ever published is neither Watchmen nor The Annotated Hi and Lois. It's Nagraj vs. Shakoora the Magician. How come? In this comic book, Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man visit India, where they're vexed by a dwarf wizard from outer space (and some spotty Hindi-to-English translation).

The 5 Most Insane Moments in Indian Comic Books
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I hope Supperman also has Supper-Vision, so he can shoot casserole out of his eyes.

In this issue, the Indian superhero Nagraj fights alongside these paragons of justice, as well as a random circus ringmaster that the translators (for reasons unknown) designated as the now-deceased WWF wrestler Captain Lou Albano.

M
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R.I.P., greatest Super Mario in human history.

Every panel in this comic is magic, particularly the deus ex machina in which -- I couldn't make this up -- the heroes are saved from a burning child-sized locomotive by an 11th-century Hindu yogi who flies out of the sky.

MEANWHILE , BY THE GRACE OF GURU GORAKHNATH, LOU AL BANO ALSO BECAME NORMAL AND VISARPI'S FEET TOO WERE CURED. THANKS, GURUJII
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The guru is summoned by the power of prayer. Again, 100 percent serious.

Did Marvel and DC Comics sign off on this crossover? Well, no, as this tremendous team-up received zip fanfare stateside, and Superman happily craps all over his no-killing policy within the first five pages.

THEN SUPERMAN GAVE HIM NO MORE FLYING FAST, SUPERMAN TOOK HIM AWAY CHANCE. FROM ITS ENOUGH, METROPOLIS. NOTHIN6 you DEVIL CAN STOP NO MORE ME TODAY. D
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After that, the Last Son of Krypton's behavior grows even more erratic. At the comic's climax, the extraterrestrial magician transforms Captain Lou into a psychotic giant. Nagraj's pachyderm-murdering bite proves fruitless, so he improvises and launches thousands of cobras from his wrists into Lou's cyclopean pie-hole.

UFFI MY POISONOUS TEETH CAN'T CUT HIS NOW SKIN ! THERE'S ONLY ONE WAY TO FINISH HIM AND NAGRAJ, WHO CAN KILL WITH TENS oF ELEPHANTS HIS TEETH , FAILED
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Once Captain Lou succumbs to cobra venom, Nagraj and pals enjoy a big belly laugh around his bloated, decomposing corpse. Superman, ever the insecure jock, incorrectly assumes that he punched Captain Lou to death.

PRESS REPORTERS TOOK THEIR AND I THOUGHT, GROUP-PHOTOS. KILLED HIM. HAHAHA HA HA ha HA HA HA Carde
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The Caped Crusader relishes the bloodshed, knowing damn well that the GCPD has no jurisdiction here.

But why would a superhero as lauded as Superman be so eager to impress Nagraj? The translation adds a dollop of accidental subtext. Compare Nagraj's behavior on a hot date ...

NAGRAJI LIKED INDIA VERY MUCH BUt I AM FEELING QUITE ENCOMRDESS IN THIS SOON You WILL GET USED TO IT, NoW WATCH CIRCUS QUETLY.
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Ah, the ol' "bring a gal to the circus and tell her to shut up for two hours." Women adore that.

... with his tender interaction with Superman, who ran afoul of some mystical hoops.

NASRA SWIETLY LIFTED SUPERMAN UP AND- NAGRAJ DEAR! keep GUET, DON'T WORRY SUPERMAN! ABOUT ME. AM WE HAVE TO FIRE- GET OUt OF PROOF! HERE GUICKLY.
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Mind you, the only people Superman calls "dear" are Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen, presumably during those many escapades Jimmy went undercover in drag. (Remember, Superman's ever the farm boy. Even with his X-ray vision, he remains ignorant to the erotic caprices of big-city life.) But who is this Nagraj joker anyway?

Nagraj Sort of Blows at Being a Superhero

NAGRAJ SHAKOORA. BECAME I WILL KILL ANGRY- You TORTUROUSLY. COME OUT.
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The truth is, Nagraj is pretty godawful at this whole crime-fighting business, for the simple reason that he can't stop murdering his nemeses (or at least accidentally consigning them to oblivion).

In one of his capers, Nagraj defeats a terrorist named Zebra who has been poisoning schoolchildren with tainted chocolates. In lieu of notifying the authorities, our hero slings Zebra over a Delhi overpass, toodles off, and allows a vengeful mob to do the rest.

AND HANGING WITH HIM WAS THE POSTER- SOMEONE INFORMED THE POLICE. BUT AN ANGRY CROWD FINISHED HIM MUCH BEFORE 'THE POLICE ARRIVED THERE. PEOPLE HAD ST
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This is what happens when a superhero has to take a dump the entire comic.

Another issue saw Nagraj square off against an ogre so fearsome that he cows everybody into speaking in produce-related similes.

SNAKES COILED GUNTARA CHEWED THE SNAKES LIKE CARROT ARDUND GUNTARA- AND RADISH. KRUNC IRRR KRUNCU HISS AB. o 11#23 OH, MY GOD HE IS CHEWING APITT THEM
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And unlike his pitched battle with Captain Lou Albano -- whose tough hide stymied his toxic chomp -- Nagraj's hickey o' death immediately disintegrates the ogre into liquid pastrami. The sheer barfosity of this spectacle shocks his colleague into silence (and his internal monologue into hysterical illiteracy).

The 5 Most Insane Moments in Indian Comic Books
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Fortunately, Nagraj's mighty mouth has utility far beyond giving bystanders the meat sweats. His serpentine maw also works in reverse. Let us not forget the time he vacuumed venom out of the mouths of an entire herd of elephants. That's so heroic that I don't even want to think about it.

t SAILL KFEP My PROMISE TO SAVE YOu. FRIEND NAGRAJ SUCKED OUT VE NOM FROM THEIRI AMAZINGI MOU'THS.ONE THEY ARE BY ONE ALL WATCHING SILENTLY. NO ANGER
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Bosh, Nagraj. Given your track record, everything about this scenario is blissfully normal.

I suppose this is a good time to mention that if you ever become trapped in a Nagraj comic, you'll probably be mercilessly pancaked by an elephant.

REST OF THE ELE PHANTS iT waS MASG IT WAG A DEADLY STAMPEDE- ALSO STARTED TRAMPLING DESTRUCTION- THE PFOPLE HELPSS HELP SS NO EEESS MUMY uero UMCID S
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See, this lady knows the score. She's handling her impending doom like she's waiting for the bus.

ERROR OF DEATH WIDENED HER EVES. iT: MY END, NOW. BHAV 0.618
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She's so pro that she had time for a comma.

Super Commando Dhruva: Like Robin, But Balls-Out Macho

Let's move on to another superhero who knows a thing or two about elephant stampedes: Super Commando Dhruva. His origin runs parallel to that of Batman's sidekick, Robin -- both characters were raised in the circus by trapeze-artist parents who were murdered by criminals, prompting their sons to mete out justice in pastels.

The 5 Most Insane Moments in Indian Comic Books
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His bon mots are catchier than "Holy [insert noun here], Batman".

But the Boy Wonder was whisked away to stately Wayne Manor, as the Gotham YMCA didn't offer Krav Maga for Orphans. Dhruva had no such luxury. In fact, he began his crime-fighting career at the tender age of 14, with an equally tender murder spree. Growing up with the Jupiter Circus, Dhruva was hardened by years of executing songbirds and running headfirst into brick walls.

NoW IT WAS THE TIME FOR HIM TO 00 PUBLIC AND DHRUVA DID PERFORMANCES. NOT LET DOWN HIS PTONG PEERS. FUR FUR FUR BOOOMM THE PUBLIC SIMPLY IT LOOKED AS
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Ornithologists, please identify the bird whose death scream is FUR FUR FUR.

But not everybody was enamored of Dhruva's feats of child endangerment. No, an unsuccessful rival circus grew jealous of his success, so they hired a heavy to torch Jupiter's big top. Can you handle the dramatic tension?

I MUST START TIME IS HE HAD ACCOMPLISHED THE JOB OKAY. THIS THROWING PETROL WITHIN MOMENTS. SHORT. IS DONE DING EVERYONE IN JUPITER WILL HA HA HA. SHO
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To be fair, FUR FUR FUR carries greater dramatic import than OOUCH.

The gangster celebrates his arson by burning Dhruva's surprisingly flammable father alive in front of him ...

HE HAD THROWN THE UNCONSCIOUS HE BURNT TO ASHES SHYAM INTO THE FLAMES. WITHIN MOMENTS... NO-SSS. fa
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... and incinerating a clown for good measure. Note the man getting fresh with a rhino, their forbidden passions ignited by imminent death and thrown petrol:

IT WAS SIMPLY THE DANCE OF IN THE MELEE SEVERAL RENOWNED INSIDE JUPITER CIRCUS. DEATH...THE FLAMES HAD ARTISTS GOT CRUSHED UNDER ENGULFED EVERYTHINC E
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Once the fires die down, Dhruva grabs a pile of his father's ashes and vows his revenge, unaware that he's probably running his fingers through charred clown intestine.

TESTIMONY TO HE HIS FACE HIS TEAR-SOAKED THIS BEARS WHEN LIFTED ASH L PROMISE. EYES WERE BURNING LIKE ENBERS. MY PLEDGE. I WILL AVENGE IT ALL...
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Dhruva races over to the enemy circus. He promptly electrocutes an assortment of henchmen and big cats, which is maybe the least auspicious way to kick off one's superhero career.

THE GROUND WAS STILL HIGH VOLTAGE ELECTRICITY WET... WITHIN SPREAD QUICKLY. MOMENTS. A Ssse A MEN. ANIMALS FELL ELECTROCUTED ON THE CROUND.
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I take it all back, I'd rather devote my dying breath to OOUCH over ASSS.

With 1,500 pounds of circus hooligan and genus Panthera left smoldering in his wake, Dhruva is then captured and left to the mercy of an abused lion named Shaitan. And thanks to some imperfect translation, we are left wondering if he honed his mental steel by romancing apex predators.

THE NEXT MOMENT BOTH PAWS THE ROPE IS HOWEVER DANGEROUS THE A SHARP PULL... WERE ON DHRUVA'S SHOULDERS.. TORN INTO ANIMAL...HE UNDERSTANDS THE PIECES.
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SUPERHERO PROTIP: Unnerve your opponents by admitting to banging lions. Unprompted.

Despite the fact that all of Dhruva's foes end up dead, our hero waltzes away scot-free. Perhaps the best part of his 1987 debut issue was the cover, which sported Dhruva unhelpfully waving to a random old man being devoured by Shaitan.

Iii fE aifa IT 15.00 w a iS TERT ZET a TTIE Et
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Also, that motorcycle is the size of a tractor.

The second best part? The evil circus kingpin's muted reaction upon eavesdropping on unsatisfied customers. Remember, this is the bad guy who had zero problems immolating a clown.

THERE'S NO WAY ! AM COMING TO WATCH THAT CRAP AGAIN. I WILL ALSO SPREAD THE WORD AROUND. DITTO. 6OSH.
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At least it's not "UFF."

The Biggest Bollywood Star Alive Talks to a Bird

PU-Ppall PU-PPll yous ALWAVS HAVE YOUR ALRIGHT. WAV WITH ALRIGHT ME, DON'T NOWN YOU ELY YOU 9 ALONG

At the zenith of his career, Mr. T had his own Saturday morning cartoon show in which he coached a team of mystery-solving gymnasts. Now, take that previous sentence and replace "Mr. T" with "Brad Pitt and Beyonce, genetically fused together into an arachno-sapien with mind-control pheromones." You now have a rough idea of how screwball Supremo was.

At some point in the 1980s, Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan decided to star in Supremo, his own superhero comic. The series alternated between Bachchan's public life as an actor -- surrounded by strangers informing him how great he is -- and his secret life as the vigilante Supremo. Here's his bio from the first issue, as this article was in danger of making too much sense.

A few more facts about Supremo: he's a simple mam; loves peanuts; has a sense of hbumour; music is bis passion. Had he not been buman a being, be migh

Again, this is a career choice not unlike Will Smith suddenly announcing that he intends to replace the Jolly Green Giant on bags of peas. The best part of Supremo was that Bachchan spent every issue conversing with his falcon, Shaheen, who's a bit of an asshole by talking bird standards, perhaps somewhere between Sam the Eagle and Flintheart Glomgold.

SHSHH H you SHAHEEN THEY HAE ALWAYS MANAME CK .OK, KCIDNAPDED HUH HUH TO COME ATTHE RESERVE VOUR ME Wy nD YOU RIHIT TME LOVE ALLOW THEM WE HAVE 709 WO

He talked to that bird a lot.

Weirdly enough, I find the implication that Supremo went through the effort of teaching a falcon how to act far more impressive than the fact that he owns a verbose golden dolphin.

AH SONALI NO TIME TO EXPLAIN, TAKE SUPRIMO! ME TO THE ISLAND QUICK I WHAT'S HAPPENED you LOOK WORRIED. LISTEN CAREFULLYA SONALL. AM GOING to THE GOA A

Even when living the impossible dream of riding a talking dolphin, Supremo won't shut up about Shaheen.

James Bond Loses His Fucking Mind

Among the V.I.P.'S. ames we find Car case is As in the film. dlo vou x- Bond with a beautiful young film stan not true to peet. Kidnaps normallv. lifc

In the 1980s, Indian comic publisher Everest Publications released a series of European James Bond comics poorly translated into English. These comics are as legendary as they are incomprehensible. Why? 007 metamorphoses from a debonair secret agent into an unfrozen neanderthal who delights in screaming what he sees. Let's ease you in with Bond's duel with a Communist cephalopod:

from him! Octopus of the Russian is trying to kill me! He had brought his own Octopus! I have to fight Octopus' ten- -tacles! Where is the pellet to s

Now that you've survived that amuse-bouche, behold this collection of magnificent panels arranged in no particular order (trust me, they wouldn't make sense anyway). Did Goldfinger detonate an Anti-Grammar Bomb?

Guards Aghast Helicopter has come. I like that punctuality. Welcome aboard. comman der The Bond! intruder parachutes down Old rickery junk, to belong

Fine! The place> Thanks! Deserve still exists. It is time pan a drink! to a sky jack James! It was difficult to keep track of you Are not you Kidn app

The comics were further saddled with a layout artist who may have been huffing rubber cement. Here's the final page of a 007 adventure titled "Super Duper!" Notice the plaintive THE END being edged off the page, buckling in its attempts to stanch the waterfall of text so that this nonsense story does not continue forever.

Russian sir'? Hope you don Bad crash: Bond returns to Looking girls recognise me! I am car at What about you? his Greek Island again James! not pretty

Fun fact: These comics were filled with boobs, but marketed to kids.

Let's conclude today's column with James Bond fucking the laws of syntax. Play us out, Nagraj.

OODBYE, FRIENDS! SEE you AGAIN IN SOME DELIGHT- FUL MOMENTS-
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You can find Cyriaque Lamar on Twitter.

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