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Nagraj (comics)

Nagraj ("Snake-King")(नागराज in Devanagari script) is an Indian comic book character from Raj Comics who arguably can be termed as the longest living Indian action comic Superhero. Created in the late 1980s by Indian artist Late Pratap Mullick,Nagraj has changed a lot in his life of more than 20 years both in terms of looks as well as stories. Despite the fact comic culture had once almost vanished in India, his fan base still increased & is expected to increase tremendously after his first animated movie is released.

The debutant issue of Nagraj was written by renowned writer Parshuram Sharma. Ever since 1995 the illustration work of Nagraj has been taken over by ace artist & writer Anupam Sinha. Today whatever Nagraj is, is because of these legends of Indian comic industry Pratap Mullick & Anupam Sinha.

The character of Nagraj is believed to be inspired by mythological Ichchhadhaari Naags (shape shifting snakes),historical Vishmanushya (venomous human) and arguably Marvel superhero Spiderman. His stories serve a rich blend of mythology, fantasy, magic & science fiction. Many Nagraj's fan believe that over time Nagraj's comics have developed a Snake Mythology of its own which is unique to the popular Indian beliefs about snakes prevalent among the masses.

Nagraj was originally conceived as an enemy of international terrorism. Interestingly, in his debut, Nagraj was unleashed as an international terror weapon by the evil scientist Professor Nagmani. Nagraj in this first mission was tasked to steal golden statue of a Goddess from a temple protected by tribal devotes, snakes & by a mysterious more than 300 years old Sadhu named Baba Gorakhnath.Nagraj succeeded in his task but upon confrontation with Gorakhnath & his mystic Black Mongoose Shikangi was defeated. Gorakhnath read his mind & found out that Professor Nagmani had implanted a mind controlling device in form of a capsule in Nagraj's head to keep him under his control. Gorakhnath operated & removed the capsule from Nagraj's head setting Nagraj free who became his disciple & vowed to eliminate crime & terror from the Earth. Since then Nagraj has thrice toured the World & defeated many villains & terrorists.

Presently Nagraj lives as Raj in a fictional Metropolitan City Mahanagar as an empolyee in a TV Channel secretly owned by himself.

Fictional Charactor Biography

In ancient times when Gods still visited earth without any restrictions,there existed a Kingdom known as Takshaknagar ruled by King Takshakraj & his Queen Lalita.The ruling couple had no worries except for one;They had no child.The absence of a prince or princess made Nagpasha the only potential heir to the throne.Nagpasha was the younger identical brother of the King,knowing that he was the only potential heir to the throne Nagpasha started living a lavish worryfree life.

As time passed the Queen started getting depressed over the absence of her own child.The King realizing the cause of Queen's depression got upset too.The couple used to pray to their family deity Deva Kaljayi for his blessings.Deva Kaljayi too knew of their grievences,so one day he blessed them to have a good great child.His blessings came true as the Queen became pregnant soon & the whole Kingdom rejoiced except for Nagpasha.The birth of this child meant loss of the throne to him,so he decided to kill the child before he was born.

One day when the Queen was going to pray Deva Kaljayi, Nagpasha replaced the curtained plate of her offerings for the god, with one containing a dead mongoose. The Snake God got angry & knocked her unconscious by his venomous breath.The King sought forgiveness from the Devta & pleaded with him to cure his wife which the devta refused, following which the desperate King tried to kill himself. Realizing the King's love for his Queen, Deva Kaljayi showed him a way to save the Queen's life. He gave a crystal to the King & told him to treat it with the Queen's medicine. The crystal would divert all the poison from the Queen's body to the child's body, however due to the ill effects of the poison the Queen would lose her capability to conceive.

The Kingdom was highly grieved & so was the King. Nagpasha was happy that now he alone was left as the heir. When the child was born everyone believed him dead cause his whole body was blue & showed no signs of life.As per Hindu rituals the new born baby was thrown into the river. (Don't get confused why he wasn't cremated. In India it is believed that Yogi of high caliber can leave their body in form of soul & as a soul can perform tasks like switching between bodies or travel between different worlds.So it is a Hindu ritual that when a child is born dead or dies in his infancy his body is flown into the river so that if some soul wishes to use the body it can take over it. For the same reason when adults die their body are destroyed by fire cause adults do have a social life and their body is likely to be misused.)

Nagpasha rejoiced & straight away went to Deva Kaljayi (the deity also protected the royal treasures in form of a giant two headed snake) in drunk state & asked him to hand over the royal treasures to him,telling him that now he was the sole successor to the throne so the treasure belonged to him.The God refused & told him that the "real successor" to the throne was alive & when the time comes the treasure will be handed over to him.Enraged Nagpasha raised his sword against the deity only to be thrown away by the tail attack of the giant snake.Nagpasha fell upon two bowls,one contained the highly toxic venom halahala which destroyed his face & got mixed with his blood,other contained the Amrita which made him immortal.Simultaneous effect of both made Nagpasha an immortal venomous man.At that time Nagpasha couldn't tolerate the changes in his body & fainted.

When the King was informed of the happenings by Deva Kaljayi he realized that his son was not dead,he also realized the potential dangers to his life.So he ordered his faithful astrologer Vedacharya who had great knowledge of Tilism to ensafe the treasure in a Tilism which could be only broken by his son.Vedacharya made the tilism with the cooperation of Deva Kaljayi to ensure that none but the King's son is able to break the tilism not even immortal Nagpasha.When Nagpasha came to his senses he realized that he had lost the treasure.Enraged,he murdered the King & the Queen.

The child flowing away on the river in his state of suspended animation got struck some where in bushes.There he lied for a long time.

Meanwhile the snake deity Deva Kaljayi appeared in the dreams of King Maniraj & his wife Queen Manika,rulers of ageless Ichchhadhaari naags living secretly on an invisible to human eye island in Indian Ocean,called Nagdweep.He told them the location of the baby & asked them to cure him.They did so & found out the baby,they also discovered that he was far more venomious than even the greatest snake on the island which was Mahatma Kaaldoot indicating that he had divine venom of the God. Initially the rajvaid was unsure that whether he will be able to cure the child, but since Deva Kaaljayi himself asked the king for his treatment he was assured that treatment will work.According to the rules no one was permitted to bring an outsider on the island so the King decided to keep his presence secret.

Many years passed & the treatment started showing results,though still in the same state of suspended animation,the colour of the baby had gradually changed to green. The King gave the news to the Queen & they decided to adopt the child cause till then they had no child.Their decision was heard by Naagaandhar an evil Tantrik who wanted to become the ruler of the Island but was afraid of Mahatma Kaaldoot.He attacked the secret area where the baby was kept & escaped with him,fearing the wrath of the God he decided not to kill the baby & so he kept him back into the same bushes in the river from where the baby was discovered.His plan flopped cause the Queen soon became pregnant gave birth to a daughter who was named Visarpi.

Naagaandhar never knew that the baby whom he left astray was cured enough to regain his senses,first his face then whole body became normal humanlike & he started crying. A priest of the nearby temple located him & gifted him to Professor Nagmani who was wandering in nearby forest searching for snakes. For unknown reasons the priest narrated a fake story that the child belonged to a raped woman who was a devotee of the snake god & the child was blessed by an ichchhadhari naag, he asked Nagmani to bring up the child in such a way that he becomes capable of avenging his mother.

Nagmani realized that the priest was lying but he took the child with him. The blood tests of the child showed that the child had minute microscopic snakes in his blood filling in for White blood cells. The child had extraordinary healing powers & was extremely venomous. He raised the baby who went on to become Nagraj.

Plot Summary

Nagraj was presented to the world as a creation of Professor Nagmani. He was meant to be the Ultimate Killing Machine, and his original plan was to hire out Nagraj, to the highest bidder amongst villains and terrorist groups worldwide.

Professor Nagmani used him for his other experimental projects and leasing him for international terrorism. Nagmani always claimed that Nagraj's powers were evolved by feeding him bits of snake poison till his blood became poison itself. He claimed that his venom was a result of snake bitings of 1000 different species of snakes (This echoes the Indian legends of Poison-Men or Women, specifically raised to kill by their kiss.) & his other powers evolved when he was treated with ashes of a dead ichchhadhaari snake. In reality the fact was that Nagraj was much more poisonous than any species of snakes cause his venom was celestial.

Based largely on the Hindu myth of the shape shifting snake, Nagraj derives most of his powers from microscopic snakes that live in his bloodstream (in lieu of white blood cells) and has a number of powers like superhuman strength, poisonous breath vish-foonkaar and bite, instant healing powers and of course, snakes who come out of his wrists separately or make interesting shapes like ropes, parachutes and many other depending on his imagination. His venom is believed to be far more stronger than Potassium Cyanide resulting in melting of any living being's body if he happens to bite them or vice-versa.

For his first mission, he was sold for a sum of $1 million, and the object was to recover an ancient statue. Nagraj succeeds but then is foiled by the Sage "Baba Gorakhnath", who frees him from the Mind Control of "Professor Nagamani". Waking up to a newer world amid the calmness of Gorakhnath, Nagraj takes a vow to quell terrorism from the world and moves towards achieving this goal.

In his initial issues Nagraj's powers were too limited, at times he was even knocked out by powerful human opponents falling unconscious temporarily,his strength too looked quite humanly as he used to marvel at his opponent's strength like when someone picked up a car.Over the years Nagraj became powerful enough not only to pick up falling cars singlehandedly but also achieved feats like throwing things in outer space quite effortlessly.

It is notable, and perhaps ironic, that Nagraj has now been transformed into a mythical-magical creature facing fantastical creatures as his enemies, with elements of sorcery/magic and even time and space travel. Many cite this as a reason for the continuous , meteoritic rise in popularity of Nagraj Comics. However, purists still claim that they prefer the more realistic, more practical stories that Nagraj began with.

Vital statistics

Age : Ageless (65 years approximately)
Height : 6 ft 2 in
Weight : 89 kg
Eyes : Blue
Hairs : Black

Powers & abilities

Nagraj has the power to vaporize himself into minute particles and become invisible but he can remain in an invisible state only for three seconds. Nagraj is able to transform into snake form at will. He can also take the shape of many other creatures using his Ichchhadhaari powers but this ability of his has been severely curtailed after he willingly used up this power to save the Gods from annihilation in Kalyug.

His body is a container of millions of "micro-snakes"(sukshma-sarpa) which he can release at will from his wrists to grow and carry out a variety of tasks. Later on he was given a special category of snakes as a boon from Deva Kaljayi - the Nagfani sarp(literally, Cactus Snakes). It can cut through anything; spew explosive snakes; etc.

He also has other special snakes in his body like Saudangi, Sheetnag kumar, Nagu and the Vilakshan snakes who willingly made him their host. They can leave his body on their own and are not necessarily under Nagraj's command. They have powers like - snakes that can repel evil souls; a snake which can shoot icicles etc.

He can form ropes out of groups of snakes, for use for swinging on or lassoing objects. He can hypnotise with his eyes, and has a searing poisonous breath and lethal bite. He has a rapid healing factor as micro-snakes will swiftly seal most of his wounds, thus healing him. His bizarre ability to contain snakes means he is home to a number of allies, whom he can release to carry out independent actions using their own abilities.

His only vulnerability is the situation when someone is successful in cutting off his body part completely, after which he cannot regain that part and also looses blood which in turn means the loss of snakes and his powers. His snakes protect his entire body from mortal wounds while from his neck upwards he is protected by his Ichchhadhaari - Shakti .

Alter Ego

Early Alter Ego

Nagraj in his initial issues was a wanderer, who like a avalanche used to bring havoc to the villains of the mankind. Since, an alter ego wasn't needed Nagraj didnt had one, but Nagraj used to conceal his identity under an overcoat & often a hat too. The attire he used to hide his real identity has been hailed by some of his fans as his alter ego cause often no one knew that the person standing in front of them is Nagraj. Nagraj has adopted the same alter ego in his latest World Terrorism Series. Not having any fear of being identified in case of an emergency Nagraj instantly gives up his hat and overcoat, very often publicly.

Current Alter Ego

His current alter ego is Raj, who is the fumbling - bumbling Public relations officer of Bharti Communications, a fictional company in the storyline. In his secret identity of Raj, he pretends to be terrified of snakes. He wears spectacles, a typical business suit and is very timid and simple. This is very similar to the character of Superman/Clark Kent alter ego, even his outfit, straightening of hair and use of glasses to conceal himself. While this was the original idea, the introduction of alter ego is believed to have harmed the originality.

Enemies

Innumerable enemies of Nagraj have appeared in Nagraj's comics, many died but some lived on to appear again. Here is the list of Nagraj's major alive enemies who can be expected to make a comeback in his future issues :



  • Professor Nagmani : Nagraj's so called creater who brought up Nagraj.
  • Thodanga : A strange African human beast,characteristics match Rhino, Elephant & Turtle.
  • Nagdant : A jealous, comparatively weaker copy of Nagraj made by Professor Nagmani.
  • Tutan Khamen : Ancient Egyptian mummy whose main power-source, his mask, was snatched away by Nagraj.
  • Miss Killer : Beautiful young evil scientist from Japan.
  • Nagina : A female tantrik & shape-shifting snake.
  • Vishandhar : A male tantrik & shape-shifting snake.
  • Jaadugar Shakura : An evil sorcerer from an alien planet of immortal wizard dwarfs.
  • Nagpasha : Nagraj's immortal venomous uncle who murdered his parents.
  • Gurudev : Nagpasha's guru, a man good with science but evil on intentions who wishes to rule the world though Nagpasha.
  • Kentuki : A student of Nagpasha's Gurudeva, is a physically powerful snake.
  • Polka : A terrorist+scientist who works for Nagpasha.
  • Zulu : An African exorcist+scientist.
  • Sapera : A man whose power is Nagraj's weakness, ie. snake charming music.
  • Karanvashi : A magician who uses hypnotism to enslave people.
  • See-Through : An invisible soul which thieved a big share of Nagraj's shape-shifting power & still wants more.
  • Vish-Amrit : Duo of Paranatural powers troubling innocents on earth while playing hide N seek.
  • Khalnayak Nagraj : Evil part of Nagraj's brain which still exists in his unconscious mind.
  • Tantra : Bharti's nanaji(maternal grandfather) who took over Bharti's brother Agraj's body & wants to rule the world.

Known relatives and close friends

Nagraj with his deeds has earned a big list of friends, many appeared just once, few appeared more than once & very few became permanent characters securing a place in his stories & appearing every now & then. Here is a list of some very well known characters in his issues :

  • King Takshakraj : father, deceased
  • Queen Lalita : mother, deceased
  • Baba Gorakhnath : Mentor
  • Mahatma Kaaldoot : Mentor
  • Dada Vedacharya : Mentor
  • Deva Kaaljayi : Family Deity
  • Nagpasha : Uncle(enemy)
  • Bharti : Wife - Married in the latest Nagayana series
  • Visarpi : Wife - Married in the latest Nagayana series
  • Nagrani : Nagraj's son's mother in a parallel dimension
  • Super Commando Dhruva : Best Friend & an ally superhero
  • Saudangi : Friend-lives in his body
  • Sheetnag kumar : Friend-lives in his body
  • Naagu : Friend-lives in his body
  • Vishaank : Visarpi's brother and Nagraj's ally in form of Chhota(kid) Nagraj
  • Mahavyaal : Ruler of the ichchhadhaari naags living in water.

New media

Nagraj was adapted into a Live action TV show in India, however the show never made it to the TV screen. Reason was pretty clear,due to poor quality of special effects raj comics itself was not satisfied with the quality of the episodes. The production of more episodes was indefinitely put on hold. The 3 episodes are available on CDs which were distributed freely as an attachment to digest sized comic editions. (Khalnayak Nagraj, Saudangi)

Nagraj has also been converted into an animated TV series. Work was going on for producing an episodic series based on Nagraj and his arch enemy Jadugar Shakoora,even a teaser was out for display on website. But for the past one year there is no news on it.It is assumed that production has stopped cause the production company Rtoonz's website has disappeared.

Recently, An agreement was signed between Motion Picture Corporation and Raj Comics for the production of Nagraj's Animated Movie. They have decided to produce a high quality 2D Movie.

Nagraj's Solo Comic Issues

Nagraj being the flagship character of Raj Comics has been presented in many crossover issues, sometimes to benefit new characters other times to create refreshingly new stories. Raj Comics has published the following titles as Nagraj's solo issues:

Comic Titles
01-Nagraj
02-Nagraj ki Kabra
03-Nagraj ka Badla
04-Hongkong Yatra
05-Nagraj aur Shango
06-Khooni Khoj
07-Khooni Yatra
08-Nagraj ka Insaf
09-Khooni Jung
10-Pralayankari Nagraj
11-Khooni Kabeela
12-Cobraghati
13-Bachhon ke Dushman
14-Pralayankari Mani
15-Nagraj aur Shankar Shehanshah
16-Nagraj ke Dushman
17-Ichchhadhaari Nagraj
18-Kaaldoot
19-Jadugar Shakoora
20-Bauna Shaitan
21-Tajmahal ki Chori
22-Laal Maut
23-Kabooki ka Khajana
24-Thodanga
25-Toofan Ju
26-Jadu ka Shehanshah
27-Ajgar ka Toofan
Special-Nagraj ka Safar
28-Bakora ka Jaadu
29-Piramidon ki Rani
30-Mr 420
31-Thodanga ki Maut
32-Bem Bem Bigelo
33-Nagina ka Jaal
34-Nagina
35-Phir aaya Nagdant
36-Miss Killer
37-Tutenatu
38-Adrishya Hatyara
39-Kanja
40-Paapraj
41-Vijeta Nagraj
42-Visarpi ki Shaadi
43-Shakura ka Chakravyuha
44-Nagraj ka Ant
45-Jehar
46-Nagpasha
47-Khajana
48-Crime King
49-Vishkanya
50-Snake Park
51-Naagin
52-Ichchhadhaari
53-Kenchuli
54-Jehreeley
55-Bambi
56-Sapera
57-Fann
58-Vish-Amrit
59-Sammohan
60-Raj ka Raj
61-Mrityudand
62-Nagdweep
63-Trifana
64-Mahayudhh
65-Agraj
66-Nagraj ka Kahar
67-Tandav
68-Aatank
69-Dushman Nagraj
70-Shaktiheen Nagraj
71-Nahi Bachega Nagraj
72-Kaalchakra
73-Kundli
74-Elan-e-jung
75-Kaali Maut
76-Nagraj America Mein
77-Atankwadi Nagraj
78-Nagraj aur Dracula
79-Vish-heen Nagraj
80-Ichchhadhaari Chor
81-Khalnayak Nagraj
82-Rakshak Nagraj
83-Lava
84-Vinaash-leela
85-Pagal Nagraj
86-Maseeha
87-Chhota Nagraj
88-So ja Nagraj
89-Sheshnag
90-Bhanumati ka Pitara
91-Flemina
92-Funkar
93-Hari maut
94-Jahreela barood
95-Mamber
96-Numero Uno
97-Operation Surgery
98-Mission Critical
99-Teen Sikke
100-Jung Maut Tak
101-Under Arrest

Ongoing Series

Nagayana

Raj comics is publishing a landmark new series in Nagraj comics named Nagayana.It was first proposed to be a four part super series of Nagraj comics but later more parts were added to it. Raj comics has also decided to publish it world wide.Its a story based on a hypothetical future of world casting Nagraj & Super Commando Dhruva after 25 years.Largely based on Hindu epic Ramayana the story narrowly follows the same storyline as of the epic with Raj Comic characters filling in the places of original characters. Earlier a Four part series,this series has been re-cast in order to fit in various sub-plots;finally the series has been declared to be an eight part series. The last part will be Iti Kaand which will be an 128 page issue. The new series is as follows:

  • Varan Kaand
  • Grahan Kaand
  • Haran Kaand
  • Sharan Kaand
  • Dahan Kaand
  • Rann Kaand
  • Samar Kaand
  • Iti Kaand

World Terrorism Series

A new series named "Aatanqharta Nagraj" or "Nagraj-World Terrorism Series" is being published parallel to the nagayana series. In this series Nagraj is traveling around the whole globe to fight & eliminate terrorism. It is not yet decided that how many parts this series would have. The names of the till now published parts are:

  • Hari Maut
  • Zahreela Barood
  • Mamber
  • Numero Uno
  • Operation Surgery
  • Mission Critical
  • Teen Sikke
  • Jung Maut Tak
  • Under Arrest

Ongoing as a part of the same series is Italy Series which is basically a 5 part story. This is the first 5 part story under "Aatankharta Nagraj" or "Nagraj:World Terrorism Series". Starting with Title Named "Teen Sikke" (Three Coins) the series has begun.

Upcoming Series

The Origin of Nagraj Series

Raj Comics has announced a Series which will shed more light on Nagraj's initial life which he spent with Professor Naagmani. The Series is named The Origin of Nagraj & it will be replacing Nagayana Series after the latter ends.

Titles

Raj Comics has published a huge number of Titles on Nagraj. A list could be seen at

Discussion forum

Raj Comics hosts a discussion forum, with a section specially devoted to Nagraj.

External links

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