In July 2006, Naif al-Mutawa, a Kuwaiti clinical psychologist, launched the first Islamically themed superhero comics. Al-Mutawa began the series “The 99” to provide Muslim children with superheroes with whom they could identify. Perhaps surprisingly, half of the heroes are females. The name of the series stems from the 99 attributes of God outlined in the Qur’an, the holy text of Islam. Each of the 99 heroes embodies one of the attributes and represents some aspect of the core Islamic values. All the characters also come from different countries from around the world and thus represent the diversity of the worldwide Muslim community. Continue reading
Blogger Jehanzeb Dar’s critique of the depiction of Muslim women in comic books provides an insightful continuation to broader discussions of depictions of these women in other venues, such as the showcase of portraits of Muslim women I wrote about in November here on Inside Islam. His two-part essay entitled “Female, Muslim, and Mutant” has been featured on prominent Muslim and non-Muslim blogs alike. You can find his commentary on Racialicious and Muslimah Media Watch. The series also received the Best Post or Series Award in The 2007 Brass Crescent Awards last month.