January 22, 2006

99 superheroes to personify the 99 qualities of God.

Superhero comics for Arab Muslims:
[Naif al-Mutawa's] Teshkeel Media, based in Kuwait, says that in September it will begin publishing "The 99," a series of comic books based on superhero characters who battle injustice and fight evil, with each character personifying one of the 99 qualities that Muslims believe God embodies....

His superhero characters will be based on an Islamic archetype: by combining individual Muslim virtues - everything from wisdom to generosity - they build collective power that is ultimately an expression of the divine.

"Muslims believe that power is ultimately God, and God has 99 key attributes," Mr. Mutawa said. "Those attributes, if they all come together in one place, essentially become the unity of God." He stresses that only God has them all, however, and 30 of the traits deemed uniquely divine will not be embodied by his characters.
This isn't meant to appeal to Islamists, who, the article suggests, would find these depictions wrong. But Mutawa has Western leanings (a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and an M.B.A. from Columbia University) and is trying to appeal to kids who feel an attraction to Western culture. Interestingly, Teshkeel has acquired Cracked magazine and plans to bring it back. Not for Arab Muslims, however, for Americans.
He hopes those publications will encourage other media companies to take him more seriously and back his Muslim superheroes concept.
Funny! I love the idea of Cracked giving credibility. Mutawa's in an unusual position. Either he's not taken seriously or he is:
[Mutawa's book] "Get Your Ties Out of Your Eyes," a children's book featuring Bouncy, a ball who wears a tie - but differently than others - was banned in Kuwait because it seemed to be commenting on the Koran.

8 comments:

bearbee said...

Not quite the same issue but I wish him luck:

Denmark: Moderate Muslims Oppose Imams

PatCA said...

With his female superheroes dressed so attratively, he should expect a fatwa.

Robert R. said...

This is not a new concept, comic creators have been using similar ideas since the earliest days of superheroes. There's even been a comic book based on similar ideas, Vinamarama, published in the US in the least year.

What's new is the market for this type of book. And the reactions around it, particularly from the fundamentalists.

HaloJonesFan said...

Hey, the Fantastic Four were based on the Platonic elements...and, of course, you have Thor, who is a God.

Troy said...

I think Captain America should kick all their asses preemptively.

Perhaps he'd need the old Avengers to help him.

HaloJonesFan said...

Troy: Which set of Avengers? Practically everyone in the Marvel Universe (with the possible exception of Galactus) has been on the Avengers at some point or other.

mrsizer said...

Let the fatwa countdown begin...

Troy said...

HaloJOnes...

I'm not sure of the exact issue numbers, but back in the late '70s -- Hawkeye, Wasp, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Beast (I think Cap was off on a solo mission) and Iron Man (the red and yellow one). The Avengers are like the cast of SNL.

I have no informed opinion on which is the best collection.