Ramayan 3392 A.D.
● Genre : Comics
● 2008-01-21

Ramayan 3392 A.D. (formerly called Ramayan Reborn) is a comic book series based upon the Indian epic called Ramayan. It is written by Shamik Dasgupta and the art is by Abhishek Singh, and a brainchild of Deepak Chopra and Shekhar Kapur. It features a re-imagining of the historical classic in a post-apocalyptic future. The story primarily deals with the last kingdom of humans who are fighting demons (Asuras) to survive. The series' prime protagonist is the human prince Rama who, alongside his brothers, aims to bring down the demon-lord Ravan.


Plot Summary
Ramayan 3392 A.D.

In the third age of mankind, the world, after a nuclear third world war, is divided into two continents, Nark and Aryavarta. In Aryavarta the last kingdom of humans exists inside a city called Armagarh.

The city is ruled by a council, the leader of which is a man by the name of Dashrath. His four sons, Rama, Lakshman, Shatrughan and Bharat are sent by the council to outposts of the kingdom to provide assistance. Rama and Lakshman go to the docile region of Fort Janasthan while Bharat and Shatrughan are dispatched to war-torn Khundgiri.

Rama and Lakshman go to Fort Janasthan and are surprised to find a heavy regiment of Asuras attacking the fort. After sustaning heavy losses and injury to Lakshman, Rama barters with the enemy and surrenders so as to allow the Janasthanians safe passage while the Asuras destroy the Fort. This act angers the council who then plead with the gods that then subsequently punish Rama by banishing him into exile.

After Rama is exiled, the kingdom of Armagarh falls into disarray. Dashrath succumbs to his death while Lakshman finds himself having to deal with assassination attempts from rogue elements within the council that are aiming to cause an insurrection within the kingdom. In order to obtain support, he goes to Khundgiri to try and meet his fellow brothers but on the way, he meets an old seer by the name of Vishwamitra who instead takes him to Rama. The seer, one of a group of an exalted group of seven, convinces Rama (after showing him the vision of a devastated future) to follow him on a quest to a mythical city called Mithila.

Upon reaching the forests of Dandakarnya (a place near Janasthan), they are then told by an owl that the horde of Asuras that had destroyed Fort Janasthan had been busy fighting and slaughtering all the beasts of the region in the past few months. The Asuras, however, had also suffered equal losses and only a handful amongst them had survived. Rama and his fellow travelers then sprint towards Mithila in order to prevent further destruction.

At Mithila, they subdue the last remnants of the dispatched Asura force thus saving the princess of the region, a woman by the name of Seeta who is gifted with magical powers of nature. Vishwamitra states that it is to be Rama's role to act as a protector to this woman, a role that he refuses to take up. They are then attacked by three Asura warriors (who are actually three of Ravan's children). In the battle, the three warriors are killed thus earning the humans the ire of Ravan himself who then arrives to destroy Mithila. Rama, Lakshman and Seeta flee through a secret route while the king of the region, Janak, prepares to fight Ravan.

On the other hand a small faction of Armagarhian rebels led by the former prime minister Sumantra, aims to bring down the conspiracy revolving around the House of Suryavansha (Rama's clan). The sons of Dashrath are being eliminated one by one, systematically. Rama is exiled, Lakshman on the run, and Bharat lost in the battles of Khundgiri. They find out the prime culprit Kalnemi, an Asura who is disguised as a councilor in Armagarh. Bharat is held in captivity deep below in the mines of Khundgiri. Sumantra, his daughter and Shatrughan releases Bharat from his prison and they reach Armagarh to bring down Kalnemi and his cohorts. Kalnemi is killed by Bharat and the valiant prince assumes the role of the first King of Armagarh, dissolving the corrupt council. Bharat vows that he will bring back Rama and coronate him as the true king of Armagarh, until then he will rule over the great country.

Ramayan 3392 A.D. reloaded

The series is being rehashed after the first arc consisting of eight issues. Now a new beginning starts with writer Shamik Dasgupta and artist Jeevan Kang with the guidance of celebrated writer/editor Ron Marz. The story continues after Rama, Lakshman and Seeta escapes from Mithila and are teleported to the wastelands of far north. Rama suffers from severe wounds and at death's door. This new chapter will soon be collected in a trade paperback called 'Ramayan 3392 AD Reloaded: Tome of the Wastelands'.



Characters
Dashrath - Chief Councilor of the land of Amragarh, Dashrath is the father of Rama, Lakshman, Bharat and Shatrughan, and is current ruler.

Rama - Dashrath's eldest son and protagonist of the series. He is blue-skinned and the colour of his skin is said, by Vishwamitra, to be related to the teleportation mechanism that the Asuras operate to travel swiftly.

Ravan - The leader of the continent of Nark, a cyborg created during the old times in order to obtain an edge during the world war that consumed the planet, Ravan gained sentience.

Lakshman - Rama's younger brother and traveling companion. Lakshman is strong willed and warrior-minded and he is angry at Rama for having surrendered rather than fighting to the death at Janasthan.

Bharat - Another of Dashrath's sons, Bharat was sent to the region of Khundgiri where he was manipulated by an Asura agent called Shivani. He was captured and kept until his brother Shatrughan, alongside their uncle Sumatra and his daughter, rescued him. He has since returned to Amragarh and toppled Kalmeni, the Asura-in-disguise, and declared himself king.

Shatrughan - The youngest of Dashrath's sons, Shatrughan is the weakest physically. Yet, he searched the mines of Khundgiri for seven months in order to locate and help rescue his brother, Bharat.

Seeta - The daughter of the Janak, the king of Mithila. She is endowed with magical properties that enable her to control and manipulate nature. Ravan is looking to obtain these powers of her and thus Rama has been charged with protecting Seeta.



Themes
This adaptation of the ancient epic significantly changes the roles of many pivotal characters, which has been a tradition through ancient Indian literature, (for instance within the ancient Kambha Ramayana, in which Ravana is a protagonist). The spiritual themes of the ancient epic are in this case replaced by technological ones, often culminating in the same situations. This may reflect the classical Indian belief that the history of the universe repeats in cycles, eventually leading history to repeat itself in similar yet alien ways.


[ Above information derived from Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia. ]