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American and Arab Forces Unite… in a Comic Book

You could make a compelling case that the American comic book industry has never been more fascinating. Much of that has to do with Hollywood running out of original ideas and adapting every and any comic book for the big screen. But one fascinating diplomatic summit of sorts is taking place over at DC Comics.

The company that popularized indelible heroes like Superman, Batman, and the Flash is now readying a series of comics in which its popular Justice League comes together with one of the Arab world’s most famous superhero groups, the 99. First reported in the Guardian, the superhero icons will unite next year in a partnership that has many people within the comics industry very excited.

While little is known about the details of the comic collaboration, there’s no disputing its magnitude. Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are already internationally known, but the 99 have been hailed around the world for providing an alternate portrayal of the Arab world. Not only are they the world’s most-popular Arabic superheroes, but they also represent an interesting cross-section of the Arab world. There is the young and wealthy Noora the Light from Dubai, whose powers include the ability to “see the light of truth in others,” as well as the colossal Jabbar the Powerful from Saudi Arabia and Hadya the Guide from London.

While semi-political comic collaborations aren’t unprecedented, they usually involve real-world figures, like a special January Spiderman comic that featured President Barack Obama.  The 99-Justice League project is the first that brings together two worlds long considered at odds.


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