13 June 2008

Comic: The 99

This is an interesting concept for a comic.

Washington Post has a feature article about Naif al-Mutawah, the brains behind an innovative comic called The 99.

Apparently the name is derived from the concept of God (in Islam) having 99 traits. Thus came about the notion of heroes with 99 different characteristics.

Mutawa's superheroes are modern, secular and spiritual, moving seamlessly between East and West. They come from 99 countries and are split between males and females.

The heroes include Darr the Afflicter, an American paraplegic named John Wheeler, who manipulates nerve endings to transmit or prevent pain. Noora the Light -- Dana Ibrahim, a university student from the United Arab Emirates -- shows people the light and dark inside themselves. Mumita the Destroyer, a ferocious fighter, is Catarina Barbarosa, a Portuguese bombshell in tight clothes.

Read the full article here.

This venture is fascinating on many levels.

First, let's face it, it's awesome to see comic books from various cultures and countries. Or with topics depicting different cultures.

As it is, I miss Bleach since I moved to NL. Will get around to it yet.

Secondly, how strange is it to see artistic work in the form of comics from a conservative group like Islamic groups?

Not strange bad but strange fantastic.

You get to see something more than the stereotypes touted in major media outlets. Saving people, women as heroes, world peace?

And how about the fact that it is secular?

Diplomatic grounds making it easy for all to read it, I suppose.

The comic creator's views are worth noting as well.

"We should not allow a very limited number of people to tell us how to practice our religion. An Islam where I can be an active participant is the only Islam I can belong to. I believe in Islam and I also believe in evolution."