Samit Basu’s Turbulence is a comic book with more words, a new way of looking at superheroes.
When I first received a copy of Samit Basu’s Turbulence, I wasn’t entirely sure what the book was about. The cover is deceptively simple and has just one quote that really tells me nothing about the story. However, as I usually don’t ask for review copies of books I don’t think I’ll enjoy, I trusted my initial instincts and started to read. I’m glad I did. This book is everything that I love about my geeky little world that includes comic books and superheroes (seriously, I’m working on a Wonder Woman costume for cosplay).
Turbulence begins with a man named Vir, who just happens to be flying over Pakistan. Some forces have convinced him that he needs to destroy a base there, in order to help India and its government. Fortunately, Vir realizes that what he’s been told is wrong and ends up meeting other superheroes, who all woke up after a flight from London to Delhi with superpowers.
I will admit that the first chapter of Turbulence didn’t grab me. For some reason, it felt odd reading a novel about something that felt very comic book-like. However, the other characters in the book, particularly Uzma and Aman, grabbed me with their stories and pulled me in. By the time I had finished the second chapter, I could not put this story down. What makes these superhumans so interesting is that their powers don’t really feel that super. They end up with whatever they had desired most while on that plane. For Vir, he wanted to be a super soldier. But for Aman, he just wanted to be a walking internet. Uzma? She just wanted to be liked enough to make it as an actress in Bollywood. These characters get exactly what they want, and although they are not traditional superheroes, they want to make the world a better place.
Of course, what’s a superhero story without a group of super villains? Turbulence has its share of those, too – from the immortal and unbeatable Jai, to the Sailor Moon wanna’ be Anima (I loved this character more than I care to admit) to the lion-headed (literally) Sher, the villains are just as entertaining as the good guys.
I would highly recommend this book for comic book fans, obviously. But if you also liked shows like Heroes (well, at least the first season) or Alphas, you’re going to love this book. Turbulence covers it all: action, romance, politics and moral dilemmas. And it will definitely leave you wanting more. Fortunately, a sequel is in the works and is scheduled for release in July, 2014.