What if Mahatma Gandhi was a pacifist because he knew that he if he got angry, he could turn into a big destructive giant like The Hulk?
In Gandhi: The Beast Within, a new graphic novel written by Jason Michalski and illustrated by Antonio Rojo, Gandhi gets exposed to a mysterious alien power source during his time in South Africa. Now, whenever he is consumed by uncontrollable fury, he turns into a raging monster. Even though he wants to stay committed to ahimsa, the Allied forces deploy him against Adolf Hitler. On the way to ending World War II, he faces off against monsters, Nazi dinosaurs, flying saucers, and killer robots.
Clearly, the creators of this eccentric storyline also unleashed a mad creativity within.
“They looked at me like I was crazy and laughed,” said Michalski, a New Yorker, about the time he told his friends about the concept. “But when they saw the book, they realised that Antonio and I have created something special.”
The concept for Gandhi: The Beast Within was inspired from Marvel Comics’ What If series, which explores the lives of Marvel characters if things unfolded differently from the way they do in the mainstream canon. Michalski wrote a one-page summary and sent it to Rojo. A response agreeing to the collaboration came almost instantly. “He asked me to draw it, ink it, and letter it too,” said Rojo, “It was a huge responsibility but I thought, ‘What the hell. All the money will be for me’, and I said yes.”
Gandhi: The Beast Within starts with Gandhi tied to a bomb in a plane flying over Germany. Also on board are Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and Josef Stalin. The trio plan to drop Gandhi over Hitler’s secret base. Bapu pleads with them to desist.
“I have held up my end of the bargain by living a life of peace and harmony…