Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The 99

I just came across this and had to share... There is a new cartoon out with some interesting Islamic cultural references. The background story is based on a Baghdad library destroyed by the Mongol Invasion, knowledge/power captured in stones, sent to Moorish Spain, and then scattered across the globe. The history alone caught my attention.

The superheros are based on the 99 aspects of Allah (like Compassionate, Powerful, Watcher, Wise, Merciful), and includes girls in both Western and traditional dress.

It's a really neat idea. Sadly, they sort of dropped the ball on the animation and dialogue. But, as a cartoon for children, I probably shouldn't have had my expectations so high.

There's a decent (longish) article about it here, with a preview:
99 Problems But a Cape Ain't One

Update: The TV show might be a little 90s, but the comic book is really cool.


  1. Also, I think it's neat that the women (even the ones in western dress) are not wildly disproportionate sexpot types in all latex.

  2. I don't see what the issue is or why people would be opposed to this. Though some may argue that it's simply propaganda, the U.S. has been notorious for using superheroes for propagandist purposes over the years. Superman is purely a symbol internationally for the United States. (And Superman wears his underwear on the outside of his pants!) Captain America himself embodies American patriotism. Superheroes naturally function as a bridge between literature and the culture of the time. It only makes sense that something like this would arise at some point.

    Besides, in being a story about superheroes, such a series seems to more so honor Western culture than cut against it. It would be like trying to create an "Arabic-style hot-dog"...there's something about it that will always remain Western no matter how Arabic it seems.