Captain Planet, He's Our Hero!

"The Power Is YOURS!"

Actually Captain Planet was far from my hero and not just because of his over use of hair gel or misuse of blue spandex but, because I couldn't relate. Sure, he sent a great message to the kids, recycool, stay in school, use trash cans, all of which are fine and dandy. But, after realizing this weekend that TMNT (the teenage mutant ninja turtles) were raised by a rat named splinter in a sewer in NY, I also realized all of my childhood superheros were rip offs! And it got me to thinking, growing up I didn't really have a hero. Sure, I loved the greats: Spider man, Batman, Superman, Soulja Boy, ya know ...the greats. But who did I really want to become? Because growing up as an American Muslim, smothered by the suburbs of Texas, my parents had me successfully brainwashed by 3 into thinking Salaam (from Salams journey), Sinbad, Big Bird, and Adam were superheros. I thought hijabs were capes and scholars like Imam Zaid and Shaykh Hamza were just acting in disguise to avoid exposing the greater scheme of enjoining in good and forbidding evil. I just knew they were the original superman, going fully thawbed status in phone booths across the USA. At some point I did ask myself where the sheros were --because there are tons of female villains-- Coincidence? I think not-- but where were the good girls?

By 8 I was sure I'd marry the Red Power ranger; and together we'd start our own brand of superharam fighting heros. He'd love me and cherish my contributions as I taught him new techniques, like the wudhu wash of doom, which would cleanse all haram and drain the enemy of dirty intentions-- because everyone knows we're only based on intentions. There would be potions and spells ala Hogwarts, like the Hummus Hypnosis which has the ability to stun enemies with just a single bite of pita bread. But, alas this was my A.D.D. overactive imagination and I'm left with a kufi-topped, Elmo knock off, puppet named Adam to thank for that. Or perhaps it was the magical bird named Hud-Hud (which btw literally translates back to bird, in English). Still I'm left wondering where were the Muslim Superheros!? In fact, where are the Muslim super heros?

Then my Google reader gave me the answer, granted it gave me the answer 2 weeks ago when the brother updated his blog but, those are minor details. Meet the 99, 'who personify the 99 attributes of Allah, according to Islamic tradition.

"The 99"

What will unfold on the pages of the collaboration between DC Comics in the US and Teshkeel Comics in Kuwait is yet to be seen, but the appearance of The 99 – who already appear in comics in the Muslim world – alongside archetypal American heroes would have been unlikely during the Bush years. DC Comics’ president and publisher, Paul Levitz, believes the cross-cultural project is unprecedented. A few accuse DC Comics of betraying the US: “Muslim-pandering, anyone? Thank you, Time Warner, for showing us whose side you’re on. I guess we can add you to the list of traitorous companies who have forgotten 9/11.”

Unlike their western counterparts The 99 do not wear disguises, unless you count the burka-wearing Batina The Hidden, nor are they outsiders with secret identities. They are ordinary people who develop extraordinary abilities...although characters pray or read the Qur’an, they are meant to appeal to children of all faiths." Sounds promising and exciting to say the least. It's not the hummus hypnosis I prayed for as a child but, it's a worthy start none the less.

Shout outs to: Saad @ Chill Yo Islam, Yo for the inspiration!


Sarah Alaoui said...

LOVE it! also love that there's a non-hijabi Muslim superhero as well. and dressed modestly.

controlled chaos said...

YO! Is this for real? Is this an actual comic?!! Omg i want one!!!

I hope I'm not making an idiot out of myself. THIS IS AWESOME
oh and btw. I loved Captain Planet and the TMNT. On the other hand, i couldn't stand the Power Rangers.

Jossie Posie said...

I used to love Captain Planet but I never understood the kid with the heart ring. It seemed so unpowerful compared to the rest.

Candice said...

I loooooved Captain planet! Jossie: The heart ring was my favourite! I had a huge huge crush on Mattee, the boy with that ring! lol

The Islamic-inspired comic sounds really cool, btw!

Anonymous said...

What an awesome update, laughed alot of the way through. Does your mother know about the ahmar ranger ;) When's the Zaffa?

Constructive Attitude said...

I love how you write.

please teach me.

and i wonder where one could purchase one of these comics.

z-dizzle said...

i love captain planet i used to watch it all the time (still do) but i love the idea of the Muslim superheroes thats so awesome

Mina said...

Hey even if he was a rip off i loved captain planet, weirdly enough me and husband were discussing the show the other day lol:P

PT - "The power is yours."

Anonymous said...

I think that's a great idea for kids. The only comic book I can ever remember having as a kid was an Incredible Hulk vs. some pink alien mush thing that mostly consisted of the hulk speaking bad English and breaking crap.

The 99 sounds more inspirational.

PerplxinTexan♥ said...

@ Sarah A- Good point, I'm just glad the hijabi has an actual power

@ CC- It's too legit too quit. I was equally as stunned. Wonder if it's gonna be worth anything here in the states though. I'm sure you can order them offline though

@ JP- Lol, agreed. I think he had the power of emotion, lame. Who wants to control PMS?

On 2nd though he had the most ring after all.

@ Candice- What exactly was his power though?

@ Ano- Hahah, the Zaffa. Cute. Not. I wish though it would make like so much easier if we could marry cartoons. Screw inter-racial babies I want 1/2 cartoon kids.

@ CA- Are you kidding me? People are forever asking when I'll professionally write. I used to say when we got a black president...but then we got one.


Sara said...

Salam aailakum sister thanx for following my blog. Jazak ALlah khair.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I'm sorry you were ripped off and unable to marry the Red Power Ranger. I hope you are able to move on in life still feeling fulfilled.

Anonymous said...

Lol, cute story Perplxn. I think you should write more!

Yasemin said...


That was so funny!

I personally really love Archie despite the fact he picked bad girl Veronica :)

And He-Man was the very best though I did go through a few years of Thor because of Adventures in Babysitting :) Awe....this is great to see Muslim heroes. I've always lamented the lack of Muslim heroes in books for kids in the Arab world. Mashallah for this. Love you so very much!

LiLu said...

I'm going to have that Captain Planet song in my head all night...

"GONNA take pollution DOWN to ZERO!!!"

Mina said...

You've been awarded http://humblemuslimah.blogspot.com/2009/08/adorable-blog.html

David Kames said...

I think SuperTed FTW
(although the villain is Texan - I know it's a stereotype, but the 1980's were a different time...)

Isn't 99 rather a lot for a superhero posse?
Still it's good to see fresh developments in Superhero comics, must look out for them at my local stall.

and I think the link you wanted was this one:

auty said...

ninja turtle?

washi said...

Hey PT, thanks for this post...can't wait to get my hands on The 99 :-D

Constructive Attitude said...

We've given you FOUR awards, CHECK IT OUT!!!!!

Anonymous said...

feel free to come back to life.


Kate said...

I think I need a copy of this comic, sounds great!

Anonymous said...

I never got into comics that much, my mom didn't allow alot of things and comics was one of them while we were growing up; and that was also due to her religious beliefs and such. But, I really enjoyed the post anyway! Hope you are doing well my friend,
take care,
Julian :)