Middle East gets first superheroes

ourchair

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From BBC News:

Middle East gets first superheroes

A Princess of Darkness, a time-travelling pharaoh and an ancient Arabian swordsman are among the superheroes of a new comic book - one of the first to be designed specifically for the Middle East.

Aya, Zein, Jalila and Rakan are the heroes of Egypt-based AK Comics' Middle East Heroes. The comic, published in both Arabic and English, sees them entrusted with keeping the region out of the hands of evil following 55 years of war between two unnamed superpowers.

"I believe that having superheroes, or superhuman beings, is an essential need - just like God," the AK Comics' managing editor Marwan Nashar told BBC World Service's Outlook programme. "We need to believe in a higher being that will be there for help, and can affect change on his own. There is a global and human need for that."

For more on said story, here's the link:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4312547.stm
 

compound

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It's funny because I half-suspect it to be a series of re-hashes of classic Lee/Kirby plots, recontextualized to fit a contemporary setting, perhaps with a post-Image iconic art style, with the faintest hints of hero manga, if the preview images are any indication.

Obviously, the idea of locally-produced superheroes in *any* part of the developing world seems inherently interesting, as an expression of nationhood, and whatnot. And it's probably vital for a country (or region) to produce *any* kind of pop media (comics and otherwise) that depicts its own variety of everyday culture as a 'counter-truth' to the 'default standards' of watered-down Americana that dominates global media.

Having said that, I must confess that I'd probably more interested in reading about Thrid World heroes from a geopolitical context, and what the existence of posthumans would imply in terms of shifting the balance of power (i.e a so-called "CNN perspective", or the "Watchmen/Supreme Power/Ultimates approach") rather than stories about the peculiarities of daily life in the Middle East, as viewed through the eyes of superheroes (i.e. a kind of Justice League of the Middle East).

But I guess that's the point -- Middle East Heroes wasn't created primarily *for* me, or anybody else living outside the titular region, for that matter.

It's probably best to keep that in mind, when eventually assessing its craptitude factor.

Incidentally, will Middle East Heroes be available from the Diamond/direct market? Or will we have to look for a downloadable version? :twisted:
 

Guijllons

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This is very interesting. Comics have, since the golden age, been associated predominantly with social issues. For such a medium that deals with this topic in the way that it does, it certainly suggests a new liberalism (though it's safe to say that the US' intrusion into the area played no part in this). Though I think it would be some time before real "superheroes" would grace the pages, these characters are little more than boys own adventurers that go on exciting ... adventures. To have a an explainable ability may knock the sensibilities of the region a little too much at this point.
 

E

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I have several inappropriate opinions on this that if I shared would only put a fatwa on me.
 

compound

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TheManWithoutFear said:
Who's putting these comics out?

As mentioned in the first paragraph of the excerpt, it's being released by an Egypt-based company named AK Comics. Read the post again, in case you missed anything else.


TheManWithoutFear said:
Are their enemies going to be the United States?

Near the end of the article (linked from ourchair's post), it says:
  • The heroes' enemies include the United Liberation Force and the Zios Army, who are "still clinging to their extreme views". Both enemies want complete control the City of All Faiths.

Interpret that as you please.
 

E

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compound said:
Near the end of the article (linked from ourchair's post), it says:
  • The heroes' enemies include the United Liberation Force and the Zios Army, who are "still clinging to their extreme views". Both enemies want complete control the City of All Faiths.

Interpret that as you please.

:lol: Hysterical.
 

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