Title: Caravan: Blood War (English/Hindi)
Author: Shamik Dasgupta
Artists: Bikash Satpathy , Tamal Saha, Gaurav Shrivastav
Hindi Translation and Calligraphy: Vibhav Pandey
Publisher: Yali Dream Creations
No. of Pages: 128
‘The Caravan’. Blood War takes place in the notorious badlands of Chambal in 1970’s. The entire region is plagued by the reign of terror of the ‘Darinday’, a band of unstoppable dacoits ruthlessly mowing down every village and forcing their will on them. The Darindey are led by a mysterious behemoth of a man called Bheriya Khan who has singlehandedly destroyed the other gangs all across Chambal and claimed almost the entire valley as his own. Devgarh is the last redoubt against the vicious robbers, Thakur Surya Pratap Singh, his daughter Madhurakshi and her fiancé’ forest officer Avinash Sharma stands as vanguard in front of the battle-ready villagers. But can they protect their beloved village when the wrath of Bheriya Khan falls upon them?
‘Blood War’ serves as a prequel to ‘The Caravan’ with the events set chronologically before ‘The Caravan’. It tells an elaborate origin of a key antagonist of the Gypsy Vampire gang ‘Madhu’, while explaining briefly the inception of all the supernatural beings and monsters like Vampires and Werewolves existing in the universe. This further infers that the Caravan universe is not just about vampires but also expanded by other supernatural beings. There is also the explanation for the need of all the hoopla of the Vampires’ circus, before they devour their prey. Hence serving as a pretty solid origins book, altogether.
The setting of story, gave me the vibe of different kind of things. The initial story especially reminded me of 70s-80s bollywood movies with the ambience resembling a lot like sholay movie in terms of how the backdrop is set up. I could also get the vibes of ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’. Unlike Caravan, there is hardly any quip or comic relief in Blood War. This is a serious tone, set up through characters who are emotionally driven for their cause. The story flow is more cohesive and integrated but at some places some things could have been better elaborated, such as when Avinash leaves the town for 2 years and returns back, I would have liked to see a better explanation to the whole leaving and returning and reaction to his character. It felt a bit abrupt there and a few more places. These are some places where the execution can be improved. But overall I found the book, an improvement in almost every aspect over ‘The Caravan’.
Art is pencilled by Bikash Satpathy, Tamal Saha and Gaurav Shrivastav in the book. And their style seems to be similar, more or less. So the art looks similar without much variation in the whole book. I have seen Gaurav Shrivastav’s pencils in some other books too but Blood War is probably the best i have seen of him. The colors are more vibrant here. Its all good and dandy, nothing much to say there.
‘Blood War’ serves as a prequel to ‘The Caravan’ with the events set chronologically before ‘The Caravan’. It tells an elaborated origin of a key antagonist of the Gypsy Vampire gang ‘Madhu’, while briefly explaining the inception of all the other supernatural beings. The tone of the book is serious and characters are emotionally driven for their cause. Aside from a few places, overall the book is an improvement in almost every aspect over ‘The Caravan’. And it serves as a solid origin book. If you liked ‘The Caravan’ then you will love the ‘Blood War’