U.S. super comic-heroes such as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman will appear together with the Muslim superheros known as The 99 in a new comic series to be released within a year. The initiative is a collaborative effort of DC Comics and Kuwait-based Teshkeel comics.
The 99 series was started in 2006 by Naif Al-Mutawa, who wanted to portray Islam in a more tolerant light. It features 99 different superheros based on Muslim figures and values, but they are not overtly religious so that the comics can be read by people of all faiths.
Mutawa says he’s not sure how the new storyline between the Western and Muslim superheroes will develop. “Are we going to have them working together from day one?” he asks. “Or will they think the other is the enemy? There are plenty of possibilities.”
DC Comics president Paul Levitz looked forward to the new venture. “It is a long-standing tradition for characters to meet other in the fictional world,” he said. “This is a nice step forward.”
The 99, created by writers who have worked previously at DC or Marvel Comics, sells around one million copies a year. It has also spawned an animation series and an amusement park.