Goddesses to the Rescue! a Critical Analysis of Priya’s Shakti, an Anti-Rape Comic Book
However, as we argue, the comic does not actually center the protagonist Priya’s experience. Instead, drawing upon paternalist themes and imagery in Hindu mythology and in the action-driven comic book genre (Chandra 2008; Scott 2010) the narrative undermines Priya’s agency by representing her ‘superpowers’ as mediated by the gods. This raises questions about what model of social change the comic’s creators envision, and about the underlying message of the comic as a whole to its readers. Reading Priya’s Shakti through an analysis of the transnational discourses about religion, popular culture, and sexual violence that surround it, we discuss the ways in which this comic actually reiterates rather than opposes tropes about the passivity of Indian women and the dangers of brown men, and plays into nationalist claims about Hinduism’s dominance in India.