cover image Mumbai Confidential, Book 1: Good Cop, Bad Cop

Mumbai Confidential, Book 1: Good Cop, Bad Cop

Saurav Mohapatra and Vivek Shinde. Archaia, $24.95 (156p) ISBN 978-1-936393-65-7

Down these mean streets a man must go, but the dark alleys and squalid corners in question are not in New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles—traditional settings for noir—but rather in Mumbai, India’s capital and its biggest city. This sumptuously illustrated and crisply written graphic novel focuses on Kadam, a cop on the Mumbai Encounter Squad, the (real-life) police unit authorized to bring down the city’s underworld through on-site executions. Battered by personal problems, physical attacks, and spiritual doubt, Kadam attempts to untangle the dark secrets of the Squad that have blurred the line between criminal and cop. Mohapatra’s dialogue is sharp and his script is innovative, putting a clever twist on the genre. Shinde (Snakewoman, Project: Kalki) draws the majority of the book, but other artists draw short interludes in distinctively different styles; the juxtaposition is additive rather than jarring, deftly representing Mumbai’s vast tapestry of peoples and cultures. Shinde’s lush and gorgeous cinematic art impresses the most, from strongly individual faces and photorealistic body language to a deep and rich range of shadows and light, water and blood. This is stylish, sophisticated, and metropolitan: a fresh entry in the noir genre with an Asian twist. (May)