Noodling around with superhero comic characters has been a part of the cultural fabric in India for quite some time. Be it buying flimsy plastic masks or fashioning a dupatta into a cape for fancy dress competitions have, in many ways, facilitated exposure to the labyrinthine world of Marvel and DC. But beyond mere adaptations, rip-offs, the one category which has always been at the top of the pecking order is spoofs. Spoofs with superhero links do stay in collective memory. You’d be lying if you say you don’t remember the video of Batman, Spider-Man, Captain America and Superman twerking to absolute synchronised perfection. My Kolkata looks at three such spoofed superhero elements from India that took social media by storm.
‘Eespiderman Eespiderman, Tu ne Churaya Mere Dil Ka Chaen’
It all rushed back when Indian ace wicketkeeper, Rishabh Pant, who was having a heroic run at the 2021 Border Gavaskar Series, decided to hum the recognisable spoofed song at the Gabba, making social media erupt in absolute amazement. The Bhojpuri spoof rendition of the Hindi intro theme to the 1967 animated series dropped in 2011.The video had something very close to Spider-Man and a woman dancing on a field. Catchy as it is, the lyrics were easy, and thus, people rode the high, crooning it everywhere. With Pavitr Prabhakar getting into action with Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse, we think it's about time we have this earworm picked up by Marvel.
Chiranjeevi as Mr. Batman
Chiranjeevi, the man who has always made his presence felt with everything that he has touched, has always been quite in tune with references dotting quite a few of his songs from his films, be it in a Michael Jackson (Donga) or a Tarzan avatar (Adavi Donga). However, following the release of Robert Pattinson's The Batman, people dug deep to go back to a spoof, where he donned the suit of the Dark Knight in his 1993 film, Mutamestri. The southern superstar's Caped Crusader avatar had him gliding through the air, and dancing to the song Vana Gadiyaramlo. The resurfaced video caught the attention of director James Gunn, who tweeted: “First we had Batman, now we have Mr. Batman.” The traction doubled and the video spread like wildfire, dubbing it as India's Answer to Batman. Chiranjeevi as the ‘Caped Crusader’ is not a sight that would easily exit our system.
RIZXTAR as The Joker
The year 2019 saw TikTok wield its way on the internet. The entire concept of ‘cringe content’, undeterred by an oft-reducing classist tag to it, bloomed with people from semi-urban and rural areas taking to the platform to produce content which did impress, making you laugh. The traction was certainly overwhelming and one such example happens to be RIZXTAR, who stormed into social media limelight, with transition reels of his transformation into The Joker, with his striking green or blue hair, a sinister smile and sharp protruding jaws. It would be unfair to say the videos weren't absolutely addictive with the face bearing striking resemblance to the face of the DC villain on the cover of Batman: The Killing Joke. A number of compilations were produced with people jumping on the bandwagon. RIZXTAR, now famous as the Indian Joker, roped in millions of likes and views, and currently has a whopping 1.7 million followers on Instagram.
With thousands of spoofy memes and videos posted on social media every day, everything seems to be the material for parody now. What do you think?