The New Islamic Superheroes

Posted on: August 6, 2008

You may not know this but young Muslims now have their own superheroes. These superheros are called the 99. The 99 is a comic-book series created by a man from Kuwait, Naif Al-Mutawa. Each character represents one of God’s 99 attributes.

Mutawa explains although the 99 represents Allah’s attributes there is no mention of Islam, Allah, or the Koran. The 99 tries to teach virtues valued by Islam just like Western superheroes like Superman, Batman, or Spiderman who teach moral messages valued by the Bible.

The 99 is a hit in the Middle East where more than 500,000 copies have been sold in the past two years. Mutawa is now planning to expand his comic to the world and he has been able to sell licenses to India, France, Spain, the U.K., the United States, and Canada.

There are 10 main characters. And we Indonesians should be proud that one character named Fatah is told to be coming from Indonesia. But unlike other characters who have cool outfits, Fatah wears a kopiah! Or maybe that’s a good thing since kopiah is one of our cultural trademarks. But one thing for sure he has a pretty cool power: To Open and close gateways to any location.

One more thing, Fatah’s real name is Kyai Batak. How cool is that?


18 Responses to "The New Islamic Superheroes"


Nice, yes I’ve heard about Kyai Batak before. Is it Batak, as in Bataknese?

Err, btw. Comic superheroes are classified by religions now?
Did Superman and Batman ever say that they’re heroes for young Christians — only?

Anyways, OOT. Check out this blog. I reckon you’d love it in first read. 😀

[…] membaca berita menarik ini dari sebuah blog, saya segera meluncur menuju halaman web komik tersebut. Dan ternyata ada satu komik yang bisa […]

Showed this post to a friend of mine, he happened to be an expert in comics and action figures. He said that DC Marvel comic characters has nothing to do with Christianity or the Bible, just as how Doraemon has nothing to do with Shinto or Buddhism. Actually he was a bit pissed off that you classify these characters in such way. To him, this review isn’t based on the love for comics, it’s more about religions.


I don’t mind comics on Islam or Islamic superheroes though. Hell, I don’t even mind some peoples *trying* to destroy Pancasila and revolutionize whatever in this country. I’ve also been reading comments in your blog. I can see now that people here have been mentioning Christianity a lot, and not exactly in a good sense.

It’s just that, there are Christians in Indonesia that have died ..

Oh well, I shouldn’t continue the sentence. There are times people just don’t realize how much they’ve been hurting others feelings. Or do they? That’s exactly the point, isn’t it? To hurt?

Hope you have read that blog, Desert Peace. It’s about Palestine — religious superheroes are better off saving the world there. As for me, I only need God.

Not cool at all, eh?

Marisa: Well, I guess you have taken this issue into a very serious matter. My intention was just to share same fun.

If you think that there have been some people giving negative comments on Christianity I suggest you to read more and I’m sure you’ll find many have mocked Islam too. But, of course you’ll be smart enough to understand that this blog wasn’t actually made to be a media of religious hatred.

And for the comic, well, it’s a pity that you don’t really understand what I meant. Western superheroes like Batman and Superman teach kids about good things, the same things that the holy Bible also teaches. In doing so, Batman and Superman never mention the Bible or Christianity. And The 99 does the same thing. It basically teaches kids to be good people without mentioning Islam or the Koran. The creator basically wants to give kids, especially in the Middle East, a new kind of superheroes that are closer to their culture. Superheroes that have names just like their friends’ names.

You should check out its storyline: The story starts in Baghdad during the golden age of Islamic civilization, then takes a mythical turn that takes us to the modern world, where the action is played out by a group of Arab and non-Arab super heros across Arabia and the globe.

So basically the creator wants kids in the Middle East to love their culture more by loving their new superheroes instead of Western superheroes. Because like we all know Western superheroes always fight the bad guys in America not in Saudi or Baghdad. And that doesn’t mean that the creator of The 99 says the Western superheroes are bad and shouldn’t be watched by kids at all.

Btw, I’m not the one who clasiffies the comic on religious perspective. I guess the creator does it. But one thing you should understand, the comic is not really based on Islam merely as a religion but more importantly as a culture.

So, Christian kids in the Middle East will find this comic appealing too because it’s just part of their daily culture. And just like the creator says, there’s no mention of Islam or the Koran, it just basically teaches the universal values (by adding Middle Eastern/Islamic culture) that Western superheroes do too in their own way.

Yah keduluan Icha, gagal pertamax….

iya yah gue juga menangkap sinyal keagamaan di sini meski tasa gak berniat demikian.

gak cuma Batman, Superman, Doraemon, The 99, bahkan Tom & Jerry, Scooby Doo, Mickey Mouse dll punya misi tersendiri dalam menyampaikan values of life, baik didasari ajaran dan nilai2 agama, budaya tertentu atau hanya dari nilai2 universal. gue rasa misi2 tersebut pasti ada baik mewakili agama, suku, budaya organisasi, perkumpulan tertentu atau tidak…..dan itu wajar aja 🙂

itung2 ada wajah baru dalam dunia komik kali ya, biasanya cuma orang bule, jepang (manga, anime, dll) mulu, nah sekarang giliran komik ciri khas tim-teng yang kebetulan Islam, biar gak monoton.

Kyai Batak … hmmm …

Bagus , tapi sayangnya ngga terlalu ngikutin dunia tokoh kartun lagi sekarang-sekarang, jadi lebih tepatnya “ngga tau”, hihi :mrgreen:

Ternyata umat muslim ngga ketinggalan zaman dong …
kan udah ada yang bikin tokoh kartun muslim, 😉

its very good for all moslem around the world. not only because its usefull for teenager but also for islamic jihad..i hope its sold in indonesia too.. so that we can proud with mosleem comics…in the trend “western superheroes” mosleem still exist..ganbate..monggo sowan daleme kulo..


@ yonna

Next post is yours! 😀

@ Tasa

Yes well. I shouldn’t have comment on it in the first place. The reason I comment on it, is because you mention the Bible.

I mention Islam too in my posts or comments but only if it concerns pluralism and the nation’s ideology — which I have the right to voice an opinion as a citizen. I even resist myself from mentioning it when it concerns Christianity.

I have great respect for my Muslim friends, that’s why I have great respect for your religion. Some of them have been like heroes too in life, great people with great hearts. But in reality, not everyone in this world — whether Christians or Muslims — truly understands what it takes to be a “hero” for others. Just ones that choose for peace and a better change who do. Just ones who protect and not harm.

Are you one, Tasa? I do hope that you are, or perhaps someday you’d be.
Sorry for the misunderstandings and I better avoid topics on religions for now. 😐


huahaha, you or me or else are deserve for pertamax position :mrgreen:

i think tasa is quite busy at the moment, so maybe we have to wait his comment for a long time (ya kan?! hehe). i don’t think you was making a mistake by asking the meaning behind this post, i was thinking the same too, but hey it’s Tasa’s, we already who he is (*sok akrab, sok tau, sok deket :mrgreen: )

yes, religion is a bit sensitive to talk about, but to be or not to be sensitive is depend on how we bring it to the front. for example, i have a christian friend who is object to talk about religion topic, but i have my other christian friend who is okay with that, the same when i have my muslim friend who refuse to talk about it and my other muslim friend who is okay to talk about it. i think this is resemble to when we want to cross the road, first we have to see our right and left side then cross the road safely. as well as i believe when i meet someone for the first time or want to talk about anything sensitive 🙂

interfaith topic does sensitive and relatively true. for example, Harry Truman was a hero for a Jews (Israelis), but he was a villain for Muslims (Palestinians) and so on. i think this is better than a person who is considered loser everywhere and no one accept him as a hero :mrgreen:

aduh geblek….

i don’t think you was making a mistake by asking the meaning behind this post….

shall be

i don’t think you were making a mistake by asking the meaning behind this post

wow.. dari komik bisa jadi menyerempet ke agama juga ya.. tapi ada yg pengen gua komentarin nih.. dari komentarnya Tasa:

“If you think that there have been some people giving negative comments on Christianity I suggest you to read more and I’m sure you’ll find many have mocked Islam too.”


Sejujurnya gua agak kurang sreg dengan pembelaan seperi itu. Hehe.. Kok seperti mencari keseimbangan (keadilan) dengan cara yang agak aneh ya? Menurut saya, siapapun yang memberikan komentar negatif, baik mengenai agama Kristen dan agama Islam, ya keduanya tidak memiliki toleransi yang baik dalam hal kehidupan beragama. Hal itu merupakan suatu hal yang kurang terpuji dan saya cenderung untuk memandang kedua belah pihak sama-sama bersalah apabila hal seperti demikian terjadi di blog saya. (untungnya tidak).

Mungkin masalah “komentar negatif” ini hanyalah hal yang sederhana, tapi coba bayangkan apabila prinsip tersebut diterapkan dalam kehidupan kita sehari-hari sebagai masyarakat yang majemuk. Kalau kita selalu mencari-cari keseimbangan (keadlian) dengan cara seperti itu, kapan dunia ini bisa damai?

A: Why are we doing this to them?
B: Well, this is not the right thing but we got no choice because they also did this to us, TOO.

Semoga hal sederhana itu gak berkembang jadi hal kompleks yang ujung-ujungnya terjadi di kehidupan nyata.

Yang salah sih memang sang pemberi komentar-komentar negatif, tapi agak disayangkan aja kenapa Tasa gak benar-benar berada di tengah-tengah. Hehehe..


Izmi: Yeah, maybe you should buy it when it’s available in Indonesia 🙂

bakulsapi: Let’s hope so, I’m sure it’ll be a good alternative for our kids.

Marisa: Mmmh, I’m not quite sure if I understand your whole explanation. But, I guess it’s fine, as you pointed out, for people to mention the “Bible” or “Koran” in good ways. And I believe I did it in a proper way. The creator of The 99 also mentioned the “Bible” in an article on, you can check it out here. And in my point of view, we shouldn’t take any wrong interpretation about it as he just wanted to show how there’s a connection between the two religions of sharing the same positive values.

Yonna: Who says I’m busy? Hehe.

michael: Well, I’m really surprised that you see it that way. I don’t think it’s aneh at all. You should’ve read my comment deeper and how I came up with it. And you should’ve pasted my full paragraph:

If you think that there have been some people giving negative comments on Christianity I suggest you to read more and I’m sure you’ll find many have mocked Islam too. But, of course you’ll be smart enough to understand that this blog wasn’t actually made to be a media of religious hatred.

All I’m saying is that not only Christianity that’s being mocked but also Islam. Then I wrote: But, of course you’ll be smart enough to understand that this blog wasn’t actually made to be a media of religious hatred (Which essentially means that I don’t tolerate those two kinds of negative comments since my blog wasn’t made as a media of religious hatred).

Well, yes I have read the whole comments again and again. And I know you have stated that you do NOT tolerate those all negative comments. But all I was saying is why you should compare one thing with another and seakan-akan you’re trying to find some kind of “justification”. Ahh, forget it. Gua tau pada dasarnya lu berhati baik. Hehehe.. Lagian WTF, let’s just share love.



Anyway, just forget it OK. Yes, in that context I was against you. There’s too much heat here. Bible, Koran, Christian, Islam, superhero, blablabla.. Damn. Dah yang masalah komentar ga usah dibahas lagi.. Ntar panjang. Maap-maap. Hehehe..

Michael: It wasn’t a justification for me, it was just an explanation. But, yeah, who gives a damn. Hehe. udah buka websitenya komik ini..tampak menarik..bisa di-download siy, tapi cuma seprintil aja..
tampaknya bole tu nitip2 komik ini..hahaha

Ohyah? Gue malah gak tau tuh. Lemme see….

WoW! I love comics (^_^) I’ld really love to read it. Someone should inform about this book to publishers in Indonesia.

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guebukanmonyet is Tasa Nugraza Barley. He's a free man with unique thoughts and dreams. He sees his life and this world differently from anyone else. That's because he knows what he wants; and for that reason he doesn't want to be the same. Read why he blogs, here.

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