View Full Version : The 99: Islamic Superheroes

October 22, 2007, 07:52 PM

Members of The 99 are ordinary teenagers and adults from across the globe, who come into possession of one of the 99 mystical Noor Stones (Ahjar Al Noor, Stones of Light) and find themselves empowered in a specific manner. All dilemmas faced by The 99 will be overcome through the combined powers of three or more members. Through this, The 99 series aims to promote values such as cooperation and unity throughout the Islamic world. Although the series is not religious, it aims to communicate Islamic virtues which are, as viewed by Dr. Al-Mutawa, universal in nature.

The concept of The 99 is based on the 99 attributes of God. Many of these names refer to characteristics that can be possessed by human individuals. For example – generosity, strength, faithfulness, wisdom are all virtues encouraged by a number of faiths.

In compliance with islamic tradition, the Arabic version of the aliases of each of the 99 is written without the definite article "Al-", because use of this precise form is exclusive to God. This serves to remind that The 99 are only mortals, and sets them as human role models, with their qualities and weaknesses.

Those of the 99 who have been revealed thus far are:

Jabbar, The Powerful;
Noora, The Light;
Darr, The Afflicter;
Jami, The Assembler;
Widad, The Loving;
Fatah, The Opener;
Mumita, The Destroyer;
Raqib, The Watcher;
Bari, The Healer;
Sami, The Hearer;
Soora, The Organiser;
Hadya, The Guide;
Rafie,The Lifter;
Fatah, The Opener;
Baqi, The Everlasting.

A character known as Batina the Hidden has also been mentioned in interviews as an example of the variety of depictions of female characters in the comic - she will be the only one wearing a burqua out of the 40 female characters in the main cast.

Given that villain Rughal has one of the Noor Stones, and based on what was revealed so far about his story (mysteriously resurrected and ageless), he is likely to be Hei, The Ever Living.


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Dr. Ramzi Razem

As the leader and mentor of The 99, Dr. Ramzi Razem directs the quest to find the lost Noor Stones of Baghdad, which is the comic book’s main plot line.

As legend has it, when the Mongols sacked Baghdad in 1258, they razed the largest library in the city, Dar al-Hikma. To erase any record of the civilization, they threw the books into the Tigris River, which ran black with ink. But the caliphate guardians, in a desperate attempt to save the vast knowledge of the library before it was destroyed, concocted an alchemical solution that would absorb the contents of the books. The solution solidified into the 99 Noor Stones, which supposedly contain the lost knowledge of the Library of Baghdad.

Ramzi believes the legend, including the idea that the stones activate superpowers within certain people. He conducts his search through the nonprofit 99 Steps Foundation, and although possessing no superpowers of his own, he helps other characters to use theirs.


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Dr. Ramzi’s nemesis in the strip is the 500-year-old Rughal. After the fall of Baghdad, when the Noor Stones were created, they were kept safe in a domed fortress. In the 1400s, Rughal was one of the guardians of the fortress and began to understand the power of the stones. Trying to harness that power for himself, Rughal blew up the fortress, and the Noor Stones were released. Although Rughal’s physical body was destroyed, he survived as an energy force. Like Ramzi, Rughal searches for the gemstones, but rather than using them for knowledge and unity, he wants their power to control the world.


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Noora the Light

The 18-year-old daughter of a wealthy businessman from the United Arab Emirates, Noora realizes her power after she is kidnapped. As she tries to dig her way out of imprisonment, she discovers a gemstone. The stone allows her to manipulate light and create holograms, and she uses her new powers to escape. She can also now see the “Light of Truth” within others but also their dark side. With her ability to see the ugly side of human nature, she adopts a more nihilistic view of the world and struggles with depression.


Synopsis and Video (http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/kuwait605/video_index.html)

October 22, 2007, 08:02 PM
Comics to Battle for Truth, Justice and the Islamic Way
Published: January 22, 2006

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 21 - For comic book readers in Arab countries, the world often looks like this: superheroes save American cities, battle beasts in Tokyo and even on occasion solve crimes in the French countryside. But few care about saving the Arab world.

If Naif al-Mutawa has his way, that is about to change. Young Arabs will soon be poring over a new group - and new genre - of superheroes like Jabbar, Mumita and Ramzi Razem, all aimed specifically at young Muslim readers and focusing on Muslim virtues.

Mr. Mutawa's Teshkeel Media, based in Kuwait, says that in September it will begin publishing "The 99," a series of comic books based on superhero characters who battle injustice and fight evil, with each character personifying one of the 99 qualities that Muslims believe God embodies.

A burly, fast-talking Kuwaiti with a dry wit, Mr. Mutawa, 34, said existing superheroes fell into two main genres: the Judeo-Christian archetype of individuals with enormous power who are often disguised or outcasts, like Superman, and the Japanese archetype of small characters who rely on each other to become powerful, like Pokémon.

His superhero characters will be based on an Islamic archetype: by combining individual Muslim virtues - everything from wisdom to generosity - they build collective power that is ultimately an expression of the divine.

"Muslims believe that power is ultimately God, and God has 99 key attributes," Mr. Mutawa said. "Those attributes, if they all come together in one place, essentially become the unity of God." He stresses that only God has them all, however, and 30 of the traits deemed uniquely divine will not be embodied by his characters.

Still, this is tricky territory. Muslim religious authorities reject attempts to personify the powers of God or combine the word of God in the Koran with new myths or imaginative renderings more typical of the West.

But Mr. Mutawa is seeking to reach youngsters who are straddling the cultural divide between East and West. They like comics and Western entertainment, and yet are attached to their roots and intend to hold on to their customs. He, too, faced that divide, going to summer camp in New Hampshire in the 1980's - he says his parents wanted him to lose weight - while grappling with Arab culture and pressures.

In his flowing white robe and traditional Arab headdress, Mr. Mutawa looks every bit the Kuwaiti; when he opens his mouth, however, he is every bit the New Yorker who spent his formative years reading comics and much of his adult life in the United States, training as a psychologist at Bellevue Hospital Center and writing a series of children's books on assimilation, race and prejudice.

"I was the kid that was thrown out of class for not being willing to accept what the teacher was teaching us about Jews," he said. "I had Jewish friends at camp, and I knew that they were not the stereotype." With three boys and a fourth child due soon, Mr. Mutawa says he wants his children to be able to find a balance between East and West.

Others, too, have seized on the opportunity for comics in the Middle East but not graphic representations of the principles of the Koran. In Cairo, AK Comics has published Middle East Heroes, four larger-than-life Arab characters who face the challenges of most Arabs by day and fight for them by night.

Mr. Mutawa, an avid reader of "Archie" and other comics, who has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and an M.B.A. from Columbia University, dreamed up his Muslim superheroes during a taxi ride in 2003 with his sister, Samar, in London.

The plot of the series, drawing on stories and history familiar to most Muslim youths, involves the great wisdom and learning that characterized the Muslim world at its apogee, when it reached from northern Pakistan to southern Spain in the late Middle Ages.

The story concerns 99 gems encoded with the wisdom of Baghdad just as the Mongols are invading the city in the 13th century - in his version, to destroy the city's knowledge. The gems are the source of not only wisdom but power, and they have been scattered across the world, sending some 20 superheroes (at least in the first year, leaving another 49 potential heroes for future editions) on a quest to find them before an evil villain does.

"To create the new, you have to tap into the old," Mr. Mutawa says of the deep historic connections in the comic. "The real goal is to teach kids that there's more than one way to solve a problem."

The characters in "The 99" are not all Arabs, but Muslims from all over the world. Jabbar, the enforcer, is a hulking figure from Saudi Arabia with the power to grow immense at a sneer; Mumita is a bombshell from Portugal with unparalleled agility and a degree of bloodlust; and Noora, from the United Arab Emirates, can read the truth in what people say and help them to see the truth in themselves. There is even a character who wears a burka, aptly called Batina, derived from the word meaning hidden.

But that is where religion stops and mythology begins, Mr. Mutawa says. "I don't expect Islamists to like my idea, and I don't want the ultraliberals to like it either," he says. So far, he has managed to get Kuwait's censors to approve the early mock-ups, he says. But to keep the orthodox at ease, he has included women in headscarves and plays it by the book as far as religion goes.

But what may give him the biggest edge is a seasoned team, including writers like Fabian Nicieza, who wrote for X-Men and Power Rangers comics, and a group of managers and advisers who are old hands in the industry.

In addition, "The 99" will piggyback on a distribution network Mr. Mutawa is setting up for a parallel project, publishing all manner of other comics in the region. Teshkeel has signed on with Marvel Comics to translate and distribute their comics in the Middle East, and will soon begin publishing Arabic versions of Marvel's Spider-Man, Incredible Hulk, X-Men and others. He said he is in talks with Archie and DC Comics for similar deals. He says that Teshkeel has attracted $7 million from investors, based on the promise that he will turn his company into the largest comics publisher in the Middle East.

Last year, Teshkeel also bought Cracked, a defunct competitor of Mad magazine, which he plans to resume publishing in February pitched to a more mature audience in the United States. He hopes those publications will encourage other media companies to take him more seriously and back his Muslim superheroes concept.

"We got a sense that he was serious about this, and that it wasn't something he was pursuing on a whim," says Bruno Maglione, president of Marvel International, which signed a licensing agreement with Teshkeel last October.

English-language comics, though, are a tough sell in the Middle East; they are typically sold in specialty bookshops, and their distribution is spotty. So almost all of Teshkeel's will be in Arabic, with the expectation that they will be carried in supermarkets and newspaper stands.

Teshkeel will also have to compete against magazines like Space Toon Town, a monthly children's comic, as well as AK Comics.

The religious dimension is the biggest risk for a product whose main market, like all new products in the region, is oil-rich Saudi Arabia, where religion and entertainment rarely mix. Mr. Mutawa has already witnessed the frustration of having a book banned. "Get Your Ties Out of Your Eyes," a children's book featuring Bouncy, a ball who wears a tie - but differently than others - was banned in Kuwait because it seemed to be commenting on the Koran.

"When you're in a place where Bouncy Book 3 doesn't pass the censors, you have to be very creative," he said.

AK Comics' titles include figures like Aya, a Princess of Darkness; Zein, a time-traveling pharaoh; Jalila, an ancient Arabian swordsman who protects the City of All Faiths, and Rakan, a lone warrior entrusted with fighting evil. The characters must help bring order after 55 years of war between two unnamed superpowers, with political undertones running throughout. Unlike Teshkeel, AK's comic books have no mention of religion, based on a company policy that "no religion or faith be perceived as better than another."

Mr. Mutawa says he is taking a riskier path because he wants Muslim youngsters to have role models that fit both their Arab and Western sides. Last summer, his eldest son attended the same summer camp in New Hampshire - Robin Hood - and returned with a new discovery: Archie.

"I want my kids not to have to face the dichotomy all the time," Mr. Mutawa said. "I see this as a way to compete with hate."


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The animated series is coming soon ... :up:

al Furqaan
October 22, 2007, 11:50 PM

October 23, 2007, 09:31 AM
There may be a Bangladeshi superhero in the works ... :)

Contact Teshkeel Comics here (http://www.teshkeelcomics.com/) with your rationale.

Mine: We're the most densely populated nation with over 110 million traditionally tolerant, pluralist and "Sufi"-influenced non-sectarian yet devout, mostly Sunni Muslims who continue to reject Islamo-Fascism at the polls. NO islamic party has managed to get even 20 seats out of 300 here ... :)

October 23, 2007, 10:49 AM
Thanks for the Link S_B... how can i subscribe to this?

October 23, 2007, 10:51 AM
found the pdf version but i want the printed one delivered to me...

October 23, 2007, 10:52 AM
Thanks for the Link S_B... how can i subscribe to this?

Try the TC link above your post ... :)

October 23, 2007, 10:53 AM
found the pdf version but i want the printed one delivered to me...

Contact them bro ... I get mine sent from Dubai, NYC and Berkeley ... very fortunate.

October 23, 2007, 11:14 AM
looks like NBC's Stole this concept and made HERO! do you agree?

October 23, 2007, 11:21 AM
i have just emailed them about the subscription on the printed copy from USA. lets see what they reply with...

October 23, 2007, 11:30 AM
looks like NBC's Stole this concept and made HERO! do you agree?


October 23, 2007, 11:48 AM
looks cool. just the right way to send message to this new generation.

October 23, 2007, 12:57 PM
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ex oriente lux

In Saudi Arabia, a massive, hulking creature has escaped from a government holding facility, and no force on earth can stop him.

In Paris, A UNESCO official, psychiatrist and historian, dreams of world peace and chases ancient legends about mystical gemstones.

In the UAE, the kidnapped daughter of a tycoon escapes, bringing with her a gift and a curse - an enduring and ugly vision of a dying world.

And sitting in his dark tower, an ancient and powerful evil, spoken of only in legend, watches and waits for the signs that his true reign is near.

This is only the beginning. For soon, destiny will seek out the chosen from among those once forsaken. 99 gems containing the light of ancient wisdom lie scattered across the world waiting to be discovered. Those who possess the gems will wield untold power never before seen by mortal man. The salvation of the universe set in motion from the beginning of time lies now in the hands of those who dare to strive for it. Led by one man, a man dedicated to discovering the knowledge that was lost, these unlikely heroes and heroines must overcome great odds in their battle against the darkness, both in the outside world, and within their own souls.

They are The 99 and the fate of the known universe depends on them.

The 99 are the world's first superheroes conceived from Islamic culture. The comic book features the talents of writer Fabian Nicieza and artists Dan Panosian, John McCrea and James Hodgkins.


Check out the TRAILER HERE (http://www.the99.org/) … :)

October 23, 2007, 01:05 PM
Awesome. :cool:

Downloading a copy as we speak.

October 23, 2007, 01:06 PM
Wow should be really kool..trailer look good, i no for sure my bro n sisters will like it too!

October 23, 2007, 01:07 PM
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Real Name: Nawaf Al Bilali
Height: 224 cm (powered up), 193 cm (powered down)
Weight: 193 kg (powered up), 95 kg (powered down)
Eye Colour: Brown
Hair Colour: Dark Brown
Base of Operation: Razem Institute, Paris
Occupation: Adventurer

Nawaf Al-Bilali was a typical Saudi Arabian teenager with a normal family and a normal life.

One day, tragedy struck. Nawaf stepped on a landmine. The explosion shattered a hidden gem and embedded shards of the stone in Nawaf's skin. The explosion didn't kill Nawaf but the slivers of gemstone lodged in his body triggered a startling transformation.

Suddenly, the gawky teenager was transformed into a man mountain, a giant standing over two meters tall and weighing almost 200 kilograms. But the transformation didn't stop there! Nawaf grew bigger and bigger until he was a threat to himself and his family and friends. His slightest touch could shatter a brick wall. If he sneezed, he would level a house. The Saudi government tried to use its army to help contain him and control the damage, but no one could stop the teen powerhouse. Desperate for help, they turned to the one man that might be able to explain Nawaf's metamorphosis and possibly control the rapidly growing giant. An expert on the strange stones named Ramzi Razem.

How Ramzi first meets Nawaf and how the Saudi teen becomes Jabbar The Powerful � the first of The 99 � is a story that will be told in THE 99: ORIGINS SPECIAL coming this May from Teshkeel Comics.

The gemstone shards embedded in Jabbar's body allow him to increase his mass exponentially. This allows him to become superhumanly strong. The transformation also renders him highly resistant to physical damage. Like all of the 99, the full limits of Jabbar's powers have yet to be explored. What is known is that if he loses control, Jabbar's powers could easily make him a danger to himself and all around him.


October 23, 2007, 01:11 PM
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Real Name: Catarina Barbarosa
Height: 168 cm
Weight: 64 kg
Eye Colour: Black
Hair Colour: Black
Home Country: Portugal
Base of Operation: Razem Institute, Paris
Occupation: Adventurer

Catarina Barbarosa is a runaway teen who is no stranger to living on the streets or fighting for what is rightfully hers. Living the hard life has equipped her with some serious fighting skills. She travels from country to country � often as a stowaway � living on the streets wherever she is. When she got to the U.A.E., she entered the Abu Dhabi Grappling Championship by pretending to be a boy! She won several matches before her ruse was discovered. Booted out, Catarina was approached by operators of an illegal Fight Championship. Eventually, Catarina became a low-level bone-breaker for the organization. Hating it and disgusted by the lack of a true physical challenge, Catarina was at the lowest point of her young, already very low life.

Catarina encounters The 99 on a mission, and Dr Ramzi gives her the chance to use her physical skills for something worthwhile � but it also amplifies her aggressive tendencies.

Catrina is Mumita the Destroyer. She has excellent speed, strength, agility, reflexes and ferocity, but once Dr. Ramzi gives her the gem, her natural capabilities are enhanced. Plus, her body develops invulnerability through a unique subconscious process that inhibits pain. She's a runaway Portuguese Moor who claims she is an orphan � but does even Mumita know the truth about her mysterious past?


October 23, 2007, 01:16 PM
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Real Name: Nizar Babikr
Height: 165 cm
Weight: 70 kg
Eye Colour: Brown
Hair Colour: Brown
Home Country: France
Base of Operation: Razem Institute, Paris
Occupation: Adventurer

Nizar Babikr lived in Sudan until he was ten. Then his mother died and his father decided to move the family to Paris. Nizar had not spoken since birth and his father wanted to find a way to help his mute son. Nizar had always responded well to music and so his father enrolled him in an arts school for the sensory-impaired.

While on a camping trip with the arts school, Nizar's gem-abilities first manifested themselves. A boating accident occurred and Nizar was able to hear the cries of his classmates even though he was miles away. Nizar rushed to the scene of the accident but he was unable to call for help. Instinctively, Nizar was able to pick up on the voices of his schoolmates and manipulate the ambient sonic energy so that others heard their cries for help.

No one could explain this strange incident. Not even Nizar. All he knew was he felt a strange tingling during the accident. A tingling coming from a bracelet his mother had given him. A bracelet with a very special stone ....

Nizar will eventually become �Sami the Hearer. Discover the rest of his story in the pages of The 99 ongoing series starting this September.

Sami's gemstone enhances his hearing to superhuman levels. He can hear sounds at great distances and can even hear sounds that are beyond normal levels of human hearing (in to the ultrasonic range). During the accident when he first discovered his powers, Sami also displayed sound manipulation powers. He has not displayed those powers since but the potential for their use may still lie within the young gem-bearer.


October 23, 2007, 01:19 PM
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Real Name: Haroun Ahrens
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 79 kg
Eye Colour: Green
Hair Colour: Brown
Home Country: South Africa
Base of Operation: Razem Institute, Paris
Occupation: Adventurer

Haroun Ahrens grew up on a farm in South Africa, looking after his mother and brothers and sisters after his father passed away. He tried to protect and help his family but he didn't always succeed. His youngest sister became ill and Haroun ran to the doctor for help. By the time they got back, it was too late. His sister had died.

While digging his sister's grave, Haroun discovered a small piece of coloured rock. Touching it made him feel somehow better and he buried it in a small box just below his sister's gravestone, hoping her soul would feel some of the same comfort and peace that he felt when he touched the stone.

Life continued to be hard for Haroun's family. A couple of years later his mother got sick. Frantically searching for anything that could help Haroun remembered the stone. He dug it up and this time the stone seemed even more powerful, as if it were talking to him. He took the stone to his mother's bedside and miraculously she was cured. Word of the miracle soon spread and people came from all around to be healed by Haroun. Eventually, the demands of the people became too much for him and he fled to live a life of seclusion.

Until one day a doctor came, seeking his aid to cure a global plague. A doctor named Razem who seemed to know a lot about the mysterious stone in Haroun's hand.

The story of Haroun's transformation into -Bari the Healer - is part of The 99 ongoing series coming this September from Teshkeel Comics.

Bari's touch allows him to tap into a person's own energy. Bari channels that energy to where it is needed, healing wounds and mending broken bones. He can also instinctively tell which part of a person's body is sick or damaged, allowing him to use his own powers and the medical knowledge he acquired growing up to create a cure.


October 23, 2007, 01:23 PM
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Real Name: Toro Ridwan
Gender: Male
Age: 22
Location: Indonesia
Height: 168 cm
Weight: 64 kg
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Black

Toro Ridwan has worked in local restaurants most of his life. He thinks his existence is pretty dull, until one day Toro stops in a secondhand store on his way home from work. Rummaging through piles of used and donated goods, he chances upon a tacky-looking belt with a jeweled belt buckle. Instantly in love with it, Toro purchases the belt. Unbeknownst to the store owner, this is no faux stone embedded in the belt buckle.

The next afternoon, Toro ends his dishwashing shift and leaves the restaurant, thinking how desperately he wants a vacation. He opens the exit door and steps out, to suddenly find himself on a snow-covered mountain! Stunned, Toro stumbles backwards and back through the portal he had unwittingly created to find himself standing in front of the exit he had walked through a moment ago!

Over the coming weeks, Toro realises that he has full access to the entire globe through this new power, so he practices opening portals to different parts of the world. When he learns of Ramzi's endeavors, Toro decides to open a portal straight to The 99 headquarters in Paris. The rest, as they say, is history.

- Creates and manipulates rifts in space, which allow him to open and close instant gateways to any location.
- Only he can travel through the portals.
- With experience, perhaps Fatah can use his powers to traverse time as well as space.

SUMMARY- 22-year-old Indonesian with a bad case of wanderlust.
- Buys a belt at a secondhand store which has a jeweled belt buckle.
- Able to open portals to anywhere by creating rifts in the fabric of space.


October 23, 2007, 01:26 PM
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Real Name: Dana Ibrahim
Gender: Female
Age: 18
Location: UAE
Height: 167.5 cm
Weight: 66 kg
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Brown

Dana Ibrahim is spoiled rotten by her father, yet she is not snobby�just very lonely. One day, while attending university in Sharjah, Dana is kidnapped. Imprisoned by her captors in a deep hole in the earth, she tries to tunnel her way out using her hands.

As Dana burrows through the dirt, she finds a box with a gemstone in it. It glows brightly and she uses it as a light to guide her escape attempt. She's recaptured but makes a second attempt. Dana manages to free herself, but not before her kidnappers see her and chase after her. A struggle ensues followed by a flash of blinding light. When the authorities arrive, they find the kidnappers lying in catatonic states around a terrified and quietly sobbing Dana.

Months after her ordeal is over, Dr. Ramzi is contacted to help Dana get over her mounting depression and trauma. He expects her problems to stem from her ordeal, but is shocked to find something very different�a young girl who has been traumatized by her inability to stop seeing the ugly truth of the world around her. Dana has become Noora�a light to overcome the darkness.

� Ability to see the �light of truth� in others and allowing them�or forcing them�to see it in themselves.

� 18 years old, extremely wealthy female from Dubai.
� Sweet, na�ve, lonely, buys friends with gifts.
� Sees the �true light� in people.
� Will eventually develop ability to emit light blasts and manipulate coherent light forms.


October 23, 2007, 01:29 PM
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Real Name: Amira Khan
Gender: Female
Age: 17
Location: London, UK
Height: 173 cm
Weight: 64 kg
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Black

Amira Khan is a pretty Pakistani-British girl. She lives in a three-story house with her mother, uncle and her family. She could be one of the best students at school, except that she doesn�t exert much energy in her studies and homework, preferring to spend most of her time exploring as much of London as she can. Growing up in a traditional Pakistani household�even in London�she was expected to be a dutiful daughter, and eventually marry a good Pakistani boy in a pre-arranged wedding. Amira rarely paid any attention to what was expected of her, as her mind was usually wandering� everywhere it could.

Having always been fascinated by maps as a young child, and incredibly adept at reading them, Amira would occasionally draw maps from her own imagination. No one realized that she was mapping out actual locations. Although she could tell people how to get to places within London that she'd never been to himself, Amira's family dismissed these feats as the tall tales of an over-imaginative child.

She would claim her maps were of the state of Texas, or Greece, only to later realize they actually were, and that the little details she mentioned did actually exist. As she grew older, Amira began mapping out entire solar systems and her diagrams became more and more detailed and intricate.

Everyone always assumed that she knew all this information because she had been reading the appropriate books or maps while studying in the library, yet all this information came to her as if it was innate to her very being. Instinctively, Amira knew she should take the #10 bus to get to Marble Arch just as casually as she knew a certain path in the Himalayas would lead to a beautiful green oasis in the middle of the snow-covered peaks.

Amira, after all, had one of the 99 stones encrusted in small medallion that she took with her everywhere. It is said that a holy man had once blessed it.
Amira meets Dr. Razem after she volunteers to help find the missing grandson of a United States Senator, whose story had become international news. At first nervous to reveal her abilities, then dismissed as a quack, it is Ramzi who convinces the Senator to let Amira help after she meets with the young lady.

Amira finds the missing boy in a matter of hours, leading searchers along back trails of a Colorado mountain and through egresses no one would ever have found. It is at this point that they discover the boy was not lost, but was kidnapped, and the adventure turns into something darker and far more dangerous. Only Amira's guiding skills allow them to survive, when she leads the kidnappers directly into the arms of the law.
It is after this adventure that Ramzi realizes how important Amira will become to their cause. She can show them the right path to take and always guide them in the right direction.

But what happens if Ramzi's path and destination turns out to be different than the one Amira sees for herself? Will she guide The 99 into a wall� or over a cliff�?

� Her brain works like a GPRS system and powerful telephoto satellite. She is able to map out any location, figure out how to get there, and even visualize the area.
� Slowly developing �life-guiding abilities,� with philosophical divinations that create interpretation problems for her.

� 17-year-old Pakistani-British girl who lives a double life, torn between two opposing-yet-similar cultures.
� Intensely interested in anything to do with geography.
� Her gem is encrusted in a medallion, a gift from a mysterious stranger.
� Unnatural ability of knowing where everything is and how to get there in the fastest, safest, and easiest manner.
� Becomes a guide to the group in more ways than one.


October 23, 2007, 01:33 PM
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Real Name: John Wheeler
Gender: Male
Age: 22
Location: USA
Height: 200 cm
Weight: 91 kg
Eye Color: Green
Hair Color: Blond

John Wheeler was a promising young man with a bright future ahead of him, who belonged to a supportive family. He lost it all in a second when a drunk driver collided with his car a few years ago, killing his family and paralysing John from the waist down. After spending months rehabilitating at the hospital, John became disillusioned and bitter. Although the drunk driver's family paid for everything John needed, his anger continued to fester�anger towards himself and the kind of irresponsibility that led to his tragedy.

John visited a 'holistic' healer who gave him a special stone, suggesting that the pretty gem would help John heal his scarred psyche. John was skeptical, but after the visit, he found himself inexplicably empowered with the ability to cause physical harm just by focusing his hatred on living target, human or animal. He discovered this when he attended the trial of the drunk driver who had hit him. The driver's family was powerful, and his sentence was light. From the wheelchair where John was doomed to spend his days, he seethed with anger at the injustice. As the driver left the courtroom, he clutched his head and released a tremendous scream, collapsing from a seizure that left him catatonic.

John reveled in his new power �using it to punish anyone who was involved in a vehicular homicide, whether they had done their time or not, and regardless of their intent. John was located by Dr. Ramzi and his team after news of the St Louis "painwave" hit the newspapers.

� Able to stimulate an organism's nociceptors, the nerves associated with feeling pain.
� His level of rage controls the extent of his strength.

� 22-year-old male paralyzed from the chest down in an accident.
� Manifests power after receiving a healing stone.
� Found by Dr. Ramzi after manifests powers.


October 23, 2007, 01:36 PM
http://img3.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/4cadf11bf1.jpg (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/)

Real Name: Liza Jamila Adams
Gender: Female
Age: 24
Location: USA
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 79 kg
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Black

Liza Jamila Adams is an African American woman with an obsessive personality that compels her to organize her surroundings to maddening degrees of order. Liza has a hard time walking through any given day. When she was in school, she'd constantly complain about any inefficiencies she'd see in teacher's programs or even in the school cafeteria's serving method.

Liza left the school system and had difficulty with her career because her condition left her unable to compromise. Liza is tormented day and night by her mind. She goes to work as a junior assistant for a local private investigator so she can at least play a role in cleaning up her neighborhood. Liza begins to see patterns in a long line of drugs and arms busts that point her to a larger operation and a big mind behind it. Her supervisor passes Liza's observations onto the police. At first, there is department-wide skepticism, but then the police make a series of extra seizures of larger value thanks to Liza abilities. Nevertheless, the mastermind behind everything continues to elude them.

The extra seizures make Liza feel so much better as she is finally able to put her maddening condition to a powerful use. The police begin to rely on her skills. In a meeting with the police chief, Liza admires a pretty stone on his desk. He gives it to her�he'd found it on the beach in the Caribbean a few years ago. The gem's powers relieve her mental anguish and still her mind. They allow her to exert control over her obsessions but also multiply her powers of intuition a hundredfold. So now when she needs to bring order to chaos she goes into a painful maddening state from overusing her powers. Soon her powers of organisation extend to code-breaking and anything else that relies on patterns.

The 99 offer Liza a chance to fight against this mastermind villain who the series will eventually identify as Rughal.

- Ability to intuitively organize anything, creating�forcing�order out of chaos in a wide variety of ways.

- Liza Adams is a 24-year-old African American.
- An obsessive-compulsive with severe life patterns.
- Assists police force and her abilities lead to several drugs and arms busts.
- A gemstone gifted to her by the police chief gives her longed-for peace of mind and control�but amplifies her powers as well.


October 23, 2007, 01:40 PM
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Real Name: Miklos Szekelyhidi
Gender: Male
Age: 13
Location: Hungary
Height: 175 cm
Weight: 71 kg
Eye Color: Green-blue
Hair Color: Dark brown

MIKLOS SZEKELYHIDI was born to overachieving parents who gave him little attention and love, but imparted Miklos with two incredible gifts: a superior genius-level intelligence and a family heirloom locket that, unbeknownst to them, would allow that intelligence to expand at exponential levels, as well as granting him electromagnetic energy.

The Szekelyhidis are both scientists in the employ of the Hungarian government. They demanded that their child explore the infinite boundaries of his intellect, but gave him very little emotional support or social structure. When Nahomtech Industries heard of the child prodigy, they made a very substantial offer to provide Miklos with an environment that would allow him to become the Einstein of a new generation. Assuring the facility where Miklos would live and study would be in Hungary, and honestly having very little interest in actually parenting their child, the Szekelyhidis agreed.

Since the age of seven years old, Miklos has lived, studied at the Nahomtech Robotics Research facility in a classified location within Hungary. Miklos is a socially underdeveloped child, very poor at interacting with people and as a result, much more comfortable among the robotic gadgets he calls friends.

Through the use of his gemstone, Miklos is able to intuitively �see� the derivations, blueprints and foundations of any existing or potential machine. He creates �mental schematics,� that appear as complex holographic blueprints around him. He is also able to use his electromagnetic energy to assemble them.

Miklos thinks he is happy, until age 13, when he becomes exposed to a world of other possibilities through Dr. Ramzi and The 99. Suspecting that Miklos is a gembearer, Ramzi encourages a meeting through his contacts at Nahomtech, offering Miklos an opportunity to help redesign the Bunker Training facilities that he plans to use for the growing 99 assemblage. The exciting creative challenge soon becomes a moral dilemma for Miklos, who has to decide between the chance to become a part of The 99 or staying in the safe, isolated world of his own devices. Complicating matters even more is the discovery that there are secrets within Nahomtech � secrets that extend to the very highest levels of the conglomerate�that could be turning Miklos from a tool to a weapon. Is that what he wants to be? And if not, does he have the courage to make the right choice� especially if it�s the harder choice?

� Intuitive engineering and electronics genius who can understand the fundamental building blocks of technological development.
� Is able to make hundreds of different types of armor or firepower that attach to him instantly�so is often seen looking bearing varying weapons and wearing various armor in The 99's many battles.

� Born to overachieving parents who had very little time for him, Miklos became a child science prodigy to win his parents approval.
� Given a research grant and private facilities by Nahomtech, where Miklos studied robotics. Surrounded by pet robots, little talking gadgets etc. Miklos doesn�t have human friends and prefers machines to man.
� Introduced to Dr. Ramzi and The 99 in THE 99 #3, when The 99 Steps Foundation commissions Nahomtech to upgrade the designs on their Paris training facility.


October 23, 2007, 01:43 PM
http://img3.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/6a1ca9900d.jpg (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/)

Real Name: Hope Buenaventura
Gender: Female
Age: 21
Location: Philippines
Height: 157 cm
Weight: 62 kg
Eye Color: Hazel
Hair Color: Brown

Hope Buenaventura works for Bounty International, a relief organization that is headquartered in the Philippines. She has gone into some of the most dangerous areas of the world, to deliver supplies to those in need.

She has for a long time been in possession of a family heirloom�a lucky stone which has been passed down from generation to generation. It is this stone that has enabled Hope to pass through these areas�and she is fully aware of it. Sometimes she can't help but use her powers of persuasion to get her way for other things. Like getting funding, for instance.

During a United Nations funding survey, Hope meets Dr. Ramzi and manipulates him�under her spell she hears about The 99 and how they can change the world. She hears about the gems, the powers and some of the back story. Her conscience starts to bother her�perhaps she should join their cause�but she's only there to convince Ramzi to fund her. She leaves, then Ramzi realises what has happened�but he knows she will return. There is light in her, after all. Hope is torn. She wants to do what is best to help the world�but would she be more effective as a member of The 99 or as a relief worker for Bounty International? Finally, she returns, confessing that she is one of the people Ramzi is looking for.

� Chemical control of the brain, which enables Hope to induce love, compassion and happiness in others. This results in susceptibility to her persuasion.

� A Filipina concerned with social justice, she works with a humanitarian organization.
� Ability to make others feel �happy� thus making them susceptible to her arguments.
� Meets Ramzi and uses her powers on him to obtain the supplies and attention she wants for her cause.


October 23, 2007, 01:45 PM
http://img3.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/5b6f6ed20e.jpg (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/)

Real name: Blair Davis
Gender: Male
Age: 33
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: Blonde

Blair Davis is a native of Vancouver, Canada, although he works out of Ottawa for a government-sponsored think-tank. Blair is a field agent often assigned to work with investigatory branches of international governments, such as the FBI, CSIS, MI-6 or Interpol.

Blair?s ability to understand the interconnectivity that leads to violence is heightened when the think-tank?s paranormal research division uncovers a gem within the contents of a subversive cell (working for Rughal). When Blair comes into contact with the gem, he becomes The Watcher, with the superhuman ability of heightened awareness, from a sensory standpoint, but also with an intuitive awareness of non-organic matter around him. He can tell if a person is lying from a block away by the sound of their heartbeat or the incremental increase of their perspiration, but he can also tell when an old rusted-through underground water pipe is about to burst.

Blair has become something of an urban legend in Canada ? a hidden ?superhero? who has solved or prevented crimes that most people don?t even know about.

Blair is also gaining a greater awareness of a conspiracy that is growing at an alarming rate on an international level. He has yet to put the pieces together, and he can?t inform his co-workers, because he fears they may be part of the problem. There is someone out there who has subtly, slowly and painstakingly planned to conquer the world through a combination of finance, psychology and strength.

When he meets Dr. Ramzi, he understands they will be the force that will oppose this growing conspiracy? but does he trust The 99 enough to join their cause?

Super-heightened awareness of all events and emotions around him.


October 23, 2007, 01:47 PM
http://img3.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/6a1ca9900d.jpg (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/)

Real Name: Hope Buenaventura
Gender: Female
Age: 21
Location: Philippines
Height: 157 cm
Weight: 62 kg
Eye Color: Hazel
Hair Color: Brown

Islamic Hero and no Veil? How than can be possible?

October 23, 2007, 01:47 PM
http://img3.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/680c2b5622.jpg (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/)

Dr. Ramzi Razem is a psychologist, historian, UNESCO official and lecturer on a wide range of topics, ranging from ancient civilizations to alternative medicine.

As a direct descendant of one of the Huras Al-Hikma (Guardians of Wisdom), Ramzi grew up hearing the legends and stories of the gems. He was captivated by the pain and potential that forged the Fortress of Knowledge, fascinated by the hope gem-wielders could bring to today?s fractured society. But they were just stories, weren?t they?

One day, when Ramzi was a graduate student, he was sent on a UNESCO mission to Granada. The mission was funded by the multinational MAMLUK, and Ramzi was consulting on the meaning of an ancient Arabic scroll that had recently been discovered in the archives of The Escorial, Madrid.
He eagerly translated the scroll, which showed a blueprint for an ancient building fitting the description of the Fortress! Finally, some measure of confirmation that the stories had been based on some kind of truth.
And if the Fortress really had existed, then perhaps the Noor Stones had as well? Or still did exist.

Ramzi completed his education, while learning still more about the potential of the gemstones and uncovering further legends of the Fortress. Over time, he developed strong international ties to political organizations and corporations alike.

Now a doctor, Ramzi spent years filling in the information cracks on the Huras Al-Hikma and Noor Stones. He put together a blueprint for securing the gemstones. Scraps of historical information, piecemeal urban legends, and stories hidden in religious strongholds across the world all spoke to unexplained paranormal phenomena; especially stories of men who seemed to possess powers that mortals could not possibly attain.
He analyzed these worldwide accounts of unexplained powers. Then, he tried to link these occurrences to specific people, specific regions of the world or specific family lines, trying to narrow down the possibility of who might have a gemstone.

Now, he needs to find out if his suspicions ? his theories? are true. Finding a person who could serve as a Guardian ? as one of The 99 ? had proven difficult enough, but to actually find a gemstone and put that together with the right candidate? The odds seemed insurmountable at best, and all Dr. Razem could do was to keep searching and to pray for a miracle.

Then, after a lifetime of searching in secret?a miracle happened. A gem was found! And it was found with a gem-wielder at the same time!

Then Ramzi learns that finding is only the first step ? now he has to recruit ? convince the gem-wielder that he (or she) can?and should?help to change the course of human civilization. Convince them that others will benefit from their powers and that Ramzi can protect the wielder from others who might look to benefit from the powers of a Guardian. After a lifetime of waiting, wondering and working ? Ramzi's work has just begun?


October 23, 2007, 01:49 PM
http://img3.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/c2e607d996.jpg (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/)

Centuries ago, Rughal was a member of the Huras Al-Hikma. A brilliant scientist, Rughal was still unable to convince the Huras to be more proactive and aggressive in their use of the gems. The Huras had planned to dismantle the Fortress to avoid losing it to King Ferdinand?s armies.

On the day of a lunar eclipse, Rughal secretly entered the fortress. He lay at the exact spot where the rays from every gem would pass through his body, and waited for the precise moment. He thought he was prepared ? but the eclipse caused the gems to act in a way he had not imagined.

The resulting power surge ripped Rughal's body apart, incinerating him and transforming him into pure etheric energy. Everyone thought he was dead, but in truth, he had been changed ? elevated ? into something? different.

Rughal became one with the gems, a part of everything the universe had to offer, his disembodied mind?barely able to recall the flesh and blood he had once been?sailed past moons and suns, through galaxies and across time, past and future, crossing through? becoming a part of?the very fabric of time and space. He saw things no human mind should ever see or comprehend. Then, slowly, his mind began to piece itself together; to become an energy consciousness that realized it once again wanted form.

In the late 1800s, at the turn of the century that would rip mankind from its agrarian past into an industrial future of steaming steel and greed, Rughal reappeared in human form.

This transportation through time and space affected Rughal greatly. He had seen snippets of tomorrow in fractured forms, knew secrets but still needed to understand what he saw as it unfolded. He aged slowly, and managed to integrate himself into society in such a way that eventually, over the decades, Rughal became his own son, then his own grandson, bequeathing to himself the enormous multinational business consortium he had built like a web across the world.

But Rughal was not mindlessly searching for wealth and power. His original vision ? his personal mandate ? was to harness the knowledge of the Huras Al-Hikma and the power of the Noor Stones to change the world. That plan still held true, except now it could be backed by his international stranglehold on business, commerce, technological research and development as well as by control over political interests across the world.

All Rughal needs to actuate his vision are the missing gems and 99 people to wield them. He has spent decades searching, and has spared no expense in his clandestine hunt. He has not even withheld the opportunity for success from those whose beliefs run contrary to his own, believing himself to be a master manipulator of even men with opposing interests.

Rughal?s unwitting ally in the hunt for the Ahjar Al-Noor is a man whose mission he has secretly been funding for nearly a decade ? a man whose interest in the gems is far more philanthropic. A man named? Dr. Ramzi Razem.


October 23, 2007, 02:06 PM
Islamic Hero and no Veil? How than can be possible?


The NYT article in post #2 explains the concept rather well I think ... :)

On the general question of the Hijab, here's a view. (http://www.free-minds.org/women/scarf.htm)

October 23, 2007, 02:22 PM
Where's Aladdin, Sindbad, AliBaba, Genie ?

October 23, 2007, 02:24 PM
...yes where is AliBaba and 40 Chor?

October 23, 2007, 02:30 PM
Probably in here somewhere ... :)

Try Part 3/4 for a quick fix. The whole series for the better experience.

On Orientalism-Edward Said ... Part 1/4
<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/xwCOSkXR_Cw"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/xwCOSkXR_Cw" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>

On Orientalism-Edward Said ... Part 2/4
<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/n0HYX9JVH8o"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/n0HYX9JVH8o" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>

On Orientalism-Edward Said ... Part 3/4
<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/tlF5ED-gE5Y"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/tlF5ED-gE5Y" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>

On Orientalism-Edward Said ... Part 4/4
<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/tZLA-mwOdSs"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/tZLA-mwOdSs" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>

February 20, 2008, 11:59 AM
hey the 99 comics people just started their subscription in USA and Canada. I subscribed for the 1st 12 issues. its 29.99 with shipping which is pretty cheap...

February 21, 2008, 03:14 AM
hey the 99 comics people just started their subscription in USA and Canada. I subscribed for the 1st 12 issues. its 29.99 with shipping which is pretty cheap...

Good for you bro! I'm waiting for the animated series to come out ... :)

February 21, 2008, 12:42 PM
Actually they r sending out from issue 6. but they gave me this site from Chicago which had the 1st five which i also got for 20 bucks...

February 21, 2008, 02:07 PM
Islamic Superheroes are the Sahabah/Companions of Prophet Mohammed SAW.

The belief of "Tawhid" and "Wahdaniyat" of Allah teaches us, that ALONE Allah is doer of everything. This cartoon teaches hidden "shirk", that things can happen from "creation" or a super powered "stone" can give you super power. In the name of Islam, this cartoon spreads utter un-Islamic beliefs.

99 names of Allah is there for us to recognize Him by contemplating on His attributes.
Here, it is a mockery, to make cartoon characters which claim to have God like attributes.

Anything goes in the name of Islam now a days: Halal Wine, Islamic Dance party, Islamic Dating network and so on. Whatever is halam, add “Halal” or “Islamic” in front of it. Like Al-Qaedah, they made it “Halal” and “Islamic” to kill any one they desire and whenever they feel like.

February 21, 2008, 03:29 PM
the way i see it.
My kids will read comics. they will read archies and stuff which has no connection with us. Wears short dress. But at list this one i don't have to worry what she is reading.

And if you believe people will start believing that one day he will be able to shoot stuff from hand or man can fly or people can have super power like Allah then you have bigger problem then this.

February 21, 2008, 04:24 PM
the way i see it.
My kids will read comics. they will read archies and stuff which has no connection with us. Wears short dress. But at list this one i don't have to worry what she is reading.

Your intention is good, you want to save your daughter from reading dirty stuff. But, this type of cartoon is also not the solution, it corrupts our "Aqeedah", the pure belief system in Allah SW. After reading this type of cartoons, she will think, it is ok to believe that anything other than Allah can do something, since "Islamic books" also say that. The damage of this type of though hits the very essence of Iman. When she reads the books of non-Muslims, she knows, that type of belief and actions are not condoned in Islam. So, the element of guilt and hence correction is still there.

There are many better things to do for the Islamic up brining of our children. If Islam is not in their hearts, they will wear short skirts, sexy dress when they will grow up. Only fear of Akherat and rewards of Jannah would stop them. Please get hold of this outstanding book, on how to be an Islamic ideal father. It is written for parents in the west. I promise you, you will thank yourself for reading it. This book teaches us techniques that we could us in proper up brining of our children.

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For Mothers:


And if you believe people will start believing that one day he will be able to shoot stuff from hand or man can fly or people can have super power like Allah then you have bigger problem then this.I am just trying to help.

February 21, 2008, 04:52 PM
Hmm you got a point there too.