I have discovered Grant Morrison's 18 Days, with art by Mukesh Singh, and am blown away by the beauty of it all. This is the Mahabharata for the 20th century!
Here's an interview with Grant Morrison.
And an excerpt, proving just how contemporary the Mahabharata is:
Firstly it’s unbeatable on a level of sheer spectacle alone, involving 10 million combatants with super powers, flying machines, fantastic weaponry and immense battle-formations moving in the form of birds, lightning or flowers. The cast of characters – from the troubled Yudhish and mighty Bheema to tragic Karna and young, doomed Abimanyhu – is incomparable. The whole idea that the cataclysmic ending of an Age is brought about because Krishna is moved by the smallest of things - the tears on Draupadi’s cheeks – shows us how everything in the universe is intimately connected by the action of karma.
I like it because it’s less about Good vs. Evil in the traditional Western sense and more about dealing with compromise, anger, greed and fear. The very things which make its heroes great are the things which bring about their greatest defeats. It’s an immensely human story that acknowledges the weaknesses and failures of its heroes as often as it promotes their strengths and victories. Unlike the snarling, cackling irredeemable villains of Western melodrama, even the monstrous Duryodhana is a complex, ultimately sympathetic figure, while a character like Karna is quite simply heart-breaking in his inability to achieve the greatness of which he knows he’s capable.
|Karna vx Ghatotkacha|
|Krishna and Arjuna|