She is India’s first woman comic book superhero, eschewing tights for a sari or salwar-kameez and confidently sitting astride a large Bengal tiger. She also happens to be a gang-rape survivor, who turns her trauma into a superpower.
The character of Priya is path-breaking in many ways. She starts her journey as a simple Indian village girl and goes on to fight the demons of rape, acid attacks, and, most recently, teenage sex-trafficking across three critically acclaimed graphic novels. But if you’re expecting Kali-inspired beheadings and gory vengeance sequences, you might be disappointed.
The plots of the three books all possess one critical layer of nuance: they refuse to settle into the good vs. evil dichotomy of most other superhero stories. Priya’s modus operandi is different in that she not only strikes down the bad guys, but also acknowledges the sociocultural system that creates them.