The roster of Muslim superheroes in the comic book medium has grown over the years, as has the complexity of their depictions. Muslim Superheroes tracks the initial absence, reluctant inclusion, tokenistic employment, and then nuanced scripting of Islamic protagonists in the American superhero comic book market and beyond.
This scholarly anthology investigates the ways in which Muslim superhero characters fulfill, counter, or complicate Western stereotypes and navigate popular audience expectations globally, under the looming threat of Islamophobia. The contributors consider assumptions buried in the very notion of a character who is both a superhero and a Muslim with an interdisciplinary and international focus characteristic of both Islamic studies and comics studies scholarship. Muslim Superheroes investigates both intranational American racial formation and international American geopolitics, juxtaposed with social developments outside U.S. borders.
Providing unprecedented depth to the study of Muslim superheroes, this collection analyzes, through a series of close readings and comparative studies, how Muslim and non-Muslim comics creators and critics have produced, reproduced, and represented different conceptions of Islam and Muslimness embodied in the genre characters.
About the Author
A. David Lewis is a Faculty Member at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Online.
Martin Lund is Swedish Research Council International Postdoc at Linnaeus University and Visiting Research Scholar at Gotham Center for New York City History at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York.
Table of Contents
Whence the Muslim Superhero? Martin Lund A. David Lewis 1
Niqab not Burqa: Reading the Veil in Marvel's Dust Nicholaus Pumphrey 20
"And, erm, religious stuff: Islam, Liberalism, and the Limits of Tolerance in Stories of Faiza Hussain Kevin Wanner 40
Kamala Khan's Superhero Burkini: Negotiating an Autonomous Position between Patriarchal Islamism, French Secularism, and Feminism Chris Reyns-Chikuma Désirée Lorenz 63
The Comics That Hate Produced: Representing the African-American Muslim Experience in DC Comics Dwain C. Pruitt 88
Marked by Foreign Policy: Muslim Superheroes and their Quest for Authenticity Mercedes Yanora 110
Superhero Comics from the Middle East: Tyranny of Genre? Fredrik Strömberg 134
Hero and/or Villain? The 99 and the Hybrid Nature of Popular Culture's Production of Islam Ken Chitwood 165
Qahera Here and There: Navigating Contexts in the Translation of a Muslim Egyptian Superheroine Aymon Kreil 187
Truth, Justice, and the Spiritual Way: Imam Ali as Muslim Super-hero Hussein Rashid 208
From Book to Tool: Editorial Remarks A. David Lewis Martin Lund 235