Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Islamic Superheroes

Don’t go off the deep end with this headline, folks, This isn’t some sort of jihad against the US or even US superheroes, but rather a truly internationally-driven legitimate enterprise. If you haven’t heard of it as of yet, perhaps you should. The Teshkeel Media Group, headed up by a Kuwaiti-born businessman named, Naif Al-Mutawa brings a Western sensibility to the house of Superheroes, (or perhaps, brings Islamic values to the nature of the superhero community.

According to Mutawa (and as far as I can see) there are no religious overtones to the comic, Think of it as a secular comic written with the values of a respectful religious authority. (Like I said, no militant, fundamental jihads here.) Mutawa told me that he is staying away from a strict religious interpretation of Islamic law as that is not his intent here. He wants to tell “standard” superhero stories, but infuse them with Muslim culture. From where I sit, he is doing quite well.

The book reads like a Mideast X-Men — which doesn’t come as a surprise as it is written by Marvel Alum and former X-Men Scribe Fabian Nicieza. Another Marvel staffer Sven Larsen is also on the Teshkeel staff.

The comics are quite good and, well, they are garnering some good press (and I don’t mean in the fan press, but in the real press, like Time, and Newsweek. So if you happen to come across The 99 in your comic Shop, I strongly suggest that you give it a read. You’ll be glad that you did.


Tommy said...

Sounds pretty cool. As a religious guy myself (not a hardcore freak though), I can extra-appreciate things like this.

Even if we all believe something different, the core concepts of doing what is right is the main thing, and it sounds like this book understands that.

Robert J. Sodaro said...

As a follow up to this post, I want to add this video link where Naif Al-Mutawa talks about his comic in a Frontline documentary which was filmed in Indonesia during the Islamic holiday of Ramadan .

Tommy said...

Wow. The ramifications of this book could be much bigger than just giving positive exposure to Islam, but it's possible it could give people something to think about when it comes to what practices truly define you.

Robert J. Sodaro said...

We can only hope so, Tom. By-the-by, in case I didn’t mention it, the book is a most excellent read.

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