LEGACY OF THE 99
How Muslim superheroes are answering a call from the West
Did The 99 inspire Marvel and DC to create their own Muslim superheroes? In 2012, DC introduced Simon Baz, a Lebanese-American from Detroit who is chosen as the next Green Lantern. His origin issue opens with him as a boy, watching the events of 9/11 unfold on the TV, which clearly has an impact on his upbringing and how he is viewed by the world. He becomes resilient, developing the ‘no fear’ quality that makes him suitable to wear a Green Lantern ring.
Then in 2013, Marvel introduced Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American teenager from New Jersey with shape-shifting abilities, who is the latest character to adopt the Ms Marvel name. It is worth noting that, for DC, the Green Lantern comics are among the its best-selling, and with Ms Marvel there is a now Muslim bearing the publisher’s name – in either case, it’s a bold statement about the importance of these characters and their place in comics.