STORY – 7/10
Most of us know or at least have heard about Karna from Mahabharata, but through this graphic novel, we get to know, about the life and struggles of this mighty warrior in vivid details, a hero who had been robbed of what he deserved, time and again; For whom, a turn of fate meant more bad than good, who didn’t bow down to anyone but yet been a humble and generous giver, but amidst all the noble qualities, how come, Karna is not regarded as a true hero? Well, you get your answer in this graphic novel, because the writer himself had aptly said – “the characters in the Mahabharata are nuanced in such a way that the ‘good’ characters often commit unthinkable atrocities, while the ‘evil’ characters frequently behave with honor and kindness. The most conflicted of these characters is Karna.
The question of whether Karna fate would have been different had be not become friends with Duryodhana, or had realized that he was being manipulated, has been debated by scholars again and again. What Karna’s story shows us is that every decision leads us down a certain path of fate, and even a good man, perhaps- can be led astray.” – Rik Hoskin
The story was delivered pretty nicely, but I believe, an Indian writer with a better grip on our mythologies and legends could have done a finer job. And as this is a part of Mahabharata, and not an absolute original creation of the writer, thus some points have been deducted because it’s based more on research than creativity.
In depth analysis about the life and events of one of the greatest warriors of Mahabharata, Karna, a lone warrior, with whom, life has been unfair, from the moment he was born. The story of a hero, guided by misfortune, a born warrior who fell prey to mere manipulation and got robbed of the glory he deserved.
The storytelling was medium paced with an almost linear way of plot progression. The simplicity, proper pacing and chronological narration of the events made this an enjoyable read.
It was not very gripping to be frank, because many of us already knows the story of Karna more or less. Yet it manages to keep us hooked to the book, so that accounts for something. Although, some important events felt like they needed a bit more context to make more sense but otherwise, there’s nothing much to complain about.
This graphic novel leaves a long-lasting impact. It really leaves you thinking about how, some choices can be so impactful. How, some apparently friendly behaviour can hide malicious intent. How concealing truth can ruin everything. What makes a man, a hero and what makes him evil? That goodness is subjective. You will have a whole new outlook towards this character of utmost importance from Mahabharata, and will be left with some questions of you own.
DIALOGUES – 7.5/10
Lucidity is maintained in language, which makes it easy to understand. There is not much exaggeration of dialogues and the usage of text, both in terms of dialogues and narration, is kept at a bare minimum to allow us to enjoy the artwork to the fullest, while making sure, that the reader is also able to understand the story as well. The area for dialogues and space for art is well balanced because the amount of texts used, were done so, with brevity. The only monotonous thing was the constant reminder that Karna was a Sutaputra (low-born), because, it has been way too repeatative, and I feel, this Sutaputra card should be used a bit less because it was over-emphasizing the fact that fate has been too cruel for Karna and you will start feeling pity for him. Well, Karna, most definitely is one fine warrior, sometimes, too great for his own good, so we need not sympathize for his misfortunes too much, and focus more on, how he made the best out of the worst of situations and obstacles that came at him.
ART & COLORING – 8.5/10
Both artwork and coloring has been done by Sachin Nagar. And he has done a fantastic job, yet again. There’s hardly any room for flaws in Sachin’s art. It’s beautiful in general, and some panels are exceptionally well executed and will keep you gazing at it for as long as possible.
GRAPHIC DESIGN & LETTERS – 9.5/10
In general, the overall design looks very solemn. The speech bubble placements, size, and schemes are just perfect. The narration boxes are also well placed.
Karna Victory in Death – Team Members
- Writer – Rik Hoskin
- Artist – Sachin Nagar
- Editor – Shabari Choudhury
- Lettering by – Bhavnath Chaudhary
- Design – Vijay Sharma
- Number of pages – 160
- Page type – glossy
- Cover type – paper back
- MRP – 350
- Language – English.
Where to Buy Karna – Victory in Death
Karna Victory in Death Review
Summary - Karna Victory in Death
Unwanted by his mother, snubbed by his blood-brothers and ridiculed by all, this is the story of the unsung hero of the Mahabharata. The graphic novel traces the life-journey of this brave and noble man who became victim to the twists of fate. Loyal to a fault, Karna’s blind devotion to the wicked prince Duryodhana, the one man who accepts him as a friend, leads him to side with the Kauravas and fight against his own brothers in the Battle of Kurukshetra.