Mary-Jane Deeb; The 99: Superhero Comic Books from the Arab World. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 1 August 2012; 32 (2): 391–407. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/1089201X-1628998
The 99 superhero comics were first published in 2006 by Teshkeel Comics, a division of the Teshkeel media group, in Kuwait. Deeb’s essay covers this comics phenomenon within the context of contemporary Arab society. It analyzes the importance of the historical framework within which the story of the “99” superheroes unfolds, namely the burning of Dar al-Hikma and the great library of Baghdad by the Mongols in AD 1258. While looking at the character of the superheroes, their backgrounds, and the obstacles they face, this article studies the relevance of these fictional and historical protagonists to the problems faced by youth in the Arab world today.