For comic book fans, it's the irony to end all ironies: Superman, created by two Jewish artists and rife with Jewish themes and imagery, is hooking up with a band of Muslim superheroes to pursue truth, justice, and the Muslim way – which would presumably include putting an end to the existence of Israel, a basic religious tenet of jihadi Islam. But as a member of the Justice League of America and the property of DC Comics, Superman apparently has little say in the matter, and he, along with Batman, Aquaman, and other JLA members, will be featured in the adventures of a group called “The 99.” Already a popular print product in the Gulf states, "The 99" is coming to the U.S., and has even been developed into a TV series for new U.S. kids' cable network, The Hub.He would be allowed in if he "reverted".
"The 99" is the brainchild of Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, founder and C.E.O. of Kuwait's Teshkeel Media Group. “The 99” consists of 99 teenagers from around the world, each of whom bears an Arabic name from the Koran that reflects one of the 99 attributes of Allah, as recorded in the Koran. The comic itself first appeared in 2006 in Arabic, and an English language version was produced for the U.S. a year later (nearly 30 issues have been released in the U.S. already). A movie has been rumored, and last year a theme park – one of several planned – based on the The 99's characters opened in Kuwait.
In a number of interviews, Al-Mutawa has said that in the group's adventures, he tries to avoid religious content exclusive to Islam, and instead concentrates on universal virtues, such as the fight against evil, cooperation, and friendship, which he sees as Islamic values as well. Al-Mutawa recruited several veterans of the comics industry – longtime artists who worked for DC and Marvel Comics – to work with him on The 99. In a recent interview, he said that he had a hard time convincing some of the artists to work with him, given the attitude of many Americans to Islam in the wake of 9/11. “To assuage fears that this wasn’t an Islamist project, I bought the satire magazine ‘Cracked,’” among the most irreverent humor comics in North America, Al-Mutawa said in the interview. “This was able to convince a lot of people that my motives were not religious, and that I was seriously committed to the project.”
However, the matter is not that simple, says one experienced comic book connoisseur who spoke with Israel National News. Reviewing the first copy of The 99's adventures, entitled “Origins,” Mark Ginsberg found it rife with Islamic religious imagery. “There are clear references to the Great Mosque in Mecca, Islamic symbols, and the birth of an Islamic savior who will redeem the lands Islam lost to the Christians in Europe, if not fight the final battle with evil.”
Most troubling for Superman, he says, are the scenes in the series that take place in Jeddah and Mecca. “With his Jewish roots, Superman wouldn't even be allowed into those cities altogether, as Jews are banned from the holy cities of Islam,” Ginsberg said....
As for the Kuwaiti's contention that this stuff isn't Islamic but reflects "universal" values--you mean the DC dhimmis really fell for that one?