At a time when the Arab world, and the wider Muslim world, are under attack on many fronts – from the plague that is ISIS and Islamic extremism, to constant accusations and attacks from the West on its very identity – people could use a super hero.
The United States has long had American heroes to inspire kids, with Superman, Batman and Captain America being the very archetype of superheroes. But through the decades of comic books, Arabs and Muslims have found themselves represented more often by villains than superheroes.
Fortunately, that is increasingly changing, as publishers, both regional and international, introduce mighty superhereos to inspire a generation of Arab and Muslim youth.
Here is a round up our favorites:
From the DC universe
1. Doctor Fate
2. Ibis the Invincible
First appered in Fawcett comics in 1940’s and then DC in the 1970s, an Egyptian prince named Amentep and then an Egyptian-American named Danny Khalifa.
3. Ibn Al Xu’ffasch
“Son of the Bat” son of batman and Talia al Ghul (Ras al Ghul’s daughter), named Damian Wayne. First appearing in 1987.
Powers: Highly intelligent, acrobat, swordsman, martial artist and weapons expert.
Egyptian with a suit of golden armour, named Amon Tomaz.
Powers: Smart, physically strong, magician with the ability to fly.
5. The 99
Produced by Teshkeel comics in 2006, a team of various superheros from the Middle East who teamed up with DC’s Justice League in 2010.
Powers: Based on the 99 attributes of God.
6. The Green Lantern
Lebanese-American Simon Baz took over the role of Green Lantern in 2012.
Powers: Energy-based constructs, flight and others
Algerian Muslim French citizen, named Bilal Asselah. First appeared in Detective Comics annual #12 in 2011.
Powers: Parkour expert.
A Turkish doctor who works for the Red Cresent named Selma Tolon. First appeared in JLA annual #4 in 2000.
From the MARVEL universe
Part of the Iraqi mercenary team Desert Sword, first appeared in New Mutants Annual #7,
Powers: Can become air and is extremely fast.
10. The Arabian knight
Three Arabian Knights, from Saudi Arabia. Abdul Qamar, Muslim Warrior and Navid Hashim. First appearing between 1981 to 2006.
Powers: A range from having a magic carpet, flight, swordsmanship and invincible armour.
11. Ms. Marvel
Muslim-American named Kamala Khan. First appearing in Captain Marvel #14 in 2013
Powers: Shape shifter and healer
Afghan, named Soraya Qadir. First appeared in New X-Men #133 in 2002
Powers: Can transform into a sandstorm
13. Iron Butterfly
Palestinian, named Kahina Eskandari. First appeared in Hardware # 11 in 1993
Powers: Ferrokinetic (the ability to control metal)