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Notable Muslim Comicbook Characters in Mainstream Comics



In celebration of the End of Ramadan, commonly known as Eid al-Fitr, The Geekery listed down some of the Muslim characters in mainstream comics.



MS. MARVEL

Abilities: Shapeshifting, and healing factor

Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel) is created by editors Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker, writer G. Willow Wilson and artist Adrian Alphona.

Khan is Marvel's first Muslim character to headline her own comic book. She made her first appearance in Captain Marvel #14 (August 2013) before going on to star in the solo series Ms. Marvel, which debuted in February 2014.

Within the Marvel Universe, Khan is a teenage Pakistani American from Jersey City, New Jersey with shapeshifting abilities, who discovers that she has Inhuman genes in the aftermath of the "Inhumanity" storyline and assumes the mantle of Ms. Marvel from her idol Carol Danvers after Danvers becomes Captain Marvel.

Although Kamala has the same superhero alias as previously Danvers did, her powers are not similar to the blonde bombshell. Kamala is a polymorph after being exposed to the Terrigen Mist. This gives her the ability to stretch her body in almost anyway imaginable. Kamala can also increase and decrease her size to both gigantic and tiny sizes. The limits of this ability has yet to be revealed but she has grown large enough to handle a car and shrunk to the size of a cockroach. She can also selectively increase and decrease the size of any part of her body, although she prefers to increase the size of her fists. But she also uses the ability to increase the length of her legs so that she can travel great distances in a short amount of time. Kamala also has the ability to shape-shift. In theory she can look like anyone she wants, but so far she has only changed into Carol Danvers and her own mother. Kamala also has healing abilities since she has been shot in the stomach but was able to heal over the wound when she transformed back to her original form. She cannot transform again until the healing process is complete.

The power of an electromagnetic pulse can cause her powers to be temporarily disabled. She discovered this while fighting The Inventor.



DUST

Abilities: Able to transform into and control a malleable sand form

Sooraya Qadir (Dust) is a mutant with the ability to transform her body into a malleable cloud of dust. The X-Men travel to Afghanistan to rescue Sooraya, whose abilities have made her the target of slavers.

Dust was created by author Grant Morrison and artist Ethan Van Sciver in New X-Men #133 (December 2002), although her character was not fully developed until the New X-Men: Academy X series written by Christina Weir and Nunzio DeFilippis.

Born in Afghanistan, Sooraya is attacked by a slave trader attempting to remove her traditional niqāb; almost instinctively, she lashes out with her powers and flays him alive with her sand-like dust. The X-Men, hearing of the situation, travel to Afghanistan and rescue her, where she is brought to the USA and becomes a student of the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. After the actions of the Scarlet Witch (in which millions of mutants lost their powers), Sooraya remains one of the few mutants to keep their powers. She is currently a member of the Young X-Men team.

Dust can transform herself into an explosive cloud of sand-like silicon particles and maintain control of her sand form. She can reform her normal body at will or maintain an aerial based sand form in the shape of her human body. Her sandstorm form is resistant to most forms of injury. The form makes her hard to detect telepathically, according to Jean Grey and Professor X, and according to New X-Men vol. 2 #42, resistant to magic. She can use the form to attack, for instance, scouring the flesh from her enemies' bones like a sandstorm as well as enter people's lungs and scouring them from the inside.

Telekinetic beings can take control of her sand particles. Dust has also demonstrated a major weakness to water. Her sand form has been stopped by being doused with water several times in combat. She can also be defeated if the air she travels through is manipulated (such as during her fight with Wind Dancer). Her sand form is also vulnerable to extremes of heat, causing it to crystallise into glass, paralysing her. Like many transmorphs, she reverts to her human form if exhausted or knocked unconscious.

In line with Sooraya's character as a traditional Muslim, she chooses to observe Islamic hijab by donning traditional dress. Sooraya explains to her mother that she always observes hijab because of the modesty it affords her from men, and never did it because of the Taliban's enforcement of hijab on women. Her mother is happy that she lives somewhere where she is able to make those choices, unlike in Afghanistan. Characters in the comics often refer to Dust's traditional Muslim outfit as a burqa. However, the outfit Dust wears is an abaya with a niqāb for her face, an ensemble originating in and worn mostly by Muslim women in the Persian Gulf states of the Middle East. In New X-Men vol. 2 #42, Gentle is the first to get it right while correcting fellow student Pixie.

Some artists depict Sooraya's abaya incorrectly, having it tightly cinched around her body, which disregards the purpose of wearing an abaya.



M

Abilities: Superhuman strength, speed, agility, dexterity, reflexes, coordination, balance, vision, hearing, and endurance. Genius level intellect, accelerated healing factor, supersonic flight, telekinesis, telepathy, and the ability to perceive mutant auras

Monet Yvette Clarisse Maria Therese St. Croix (M / Monet) is created by writer Scott Lobdell and artist Chris Bachalo, she originally was a member of the teenage mutant group Generation X (1994), and later X-Factor and X-Men. She is now seen in Uncanny X-Men.

Additionally, Monet represents a rare example of a Muslim superhero in American superhero comic books; in 2011 X-Factor with Mika comics by Peter David, for example, this has been used to explore issues of anti-Muslim hate in the American culture of the Marvel Universe. Monet's faith adds Muslims to the list of minority groups that X-Men stories and characters are interpreted to allegorize.

X-Man Bishop noted that M possesses a "superior excellent rating" in all human physical categories. She is virtually invulnerable, at least enough to withstand common firearms at long range and direct blows of the vastly more powerful Hulk and even has a healing factor, allowing her to heal and recover from wounds much faster. Her healing factor also makes her more resistant to toxins and disease, and possibly also the aging process. However it seems that her invulnerability is (at least partially) psionic to some extent, as she is sometimes seen to be injured by lesser forces. Monet also possesses telescopic and night vision as well as superhuman acute hearing and it is possible her other senses are also enhanced. She has perfect memory and superhuman intuitive skills, for example she has been shown being able to reroute one of Arcade's robots to track the signal back to the source without knowing the exact specifications of this robot. She is able to psionically levitate and move herself in the air by force of will, allowing her to fly at supersonic speeds approaching Mach 3 and she manifested minor (or at least rather crude) telekinetic capabilities in the past, deflecting bullets or projecting thought waves as concussive force. M is also a telepath with the ability to read minds, project her thoughts into the minds of others, and defensively mask her mind against telepathic intrusion. She has limited offensive capabilities, such as mind control and the ability to manipulate the memory of others. The range of her telepathy is generally limited to within a few feet of Monet. Furthermore, Monet also has the ability to view mutant auras.

Monet and all her siblings are able to merge into different combinations with different powers, although merging seems easiest for the twins Nicole and Claudette.

M is formidable in hand-to-hand combat and is of genius level intellect. It is unknown whether or not her mutations adhere to her intelligence.



GREEN LANTERN

Abilities: Use of power ring grants him superhuman strength, speed, and durability. Generation of hard-light constructs and flight

Simon Baz is created by writer Geoff Johns and artist Doug Mahnke. Baz is the first Middle-Eastern and Muslim member of the Green Lantern Corps. The character made his debut in 2012 following DC's 2011 company-wide relaunch as part of its Green Lantern story arc "Rise of the Third Army", in which he replaces Silver Age hero Hal Jordan as the Green Lantern of Earth's sector.
Prior to his debut, the character made an unnamed cameo in The New 52 Free Comic Book Day Special Edition #1. At the time, Simon Baz debuted to a positive critical reaction and over time gained a sizable fanbase. DC later added Baz to its flagship team-up title Justice League of America in 2013.

Simon Baz was a Lebanese-American child living in Dearborn, Michigan during the events of the September 11 attacks in 2001. Growing up, Simon and his sister Sira were both persecuted due to their ethnicity. As a young adult, Simon got involved in street racing, and eventually car theft; the former put his brother-in-law in a coma in the hospital. Simon is fired from his job and, in a moment of desperation, he steals a car. While trying to evade the police in the stolen vehicle, Simon finds out that there is a bomb in it. Simon drives the van into the abandoned car factory he was laid off from, knowing that no one would be hurt in the explosion. The resulting explosion is seen as an act of terrorism by the authorities, and Simon is brought in for questioning. As Simon is being interrogated, Hal Jordan and Sinestro's fused and malfunctioning Green Lantern Power Ring finds Simon, and selects him as the new wielder, flying him away from captivity. With their suspect gone, the federal agents interrogating Simon contact Amanda Waller about the situation, a transmission Cyborg of the Justice League picks up. Cyborg relays the transmission to Batman and asks if anyone has spoken to Hal Jordan since he quit the League. Meanwhile, Simon lays on the ground, knocked out, while elsewhere, the Third Army begins to spread

In other versions in the distant future, the Book of Oa says that Simon will be responsible for training the first female Earth Green Lantern, Jessica Cruz. It is also said that he will proceed to unlock potential everywhere he goes and show what the Green Lantern power ring is truly capable of. He is described as "the miracle worker".



NIGHTRUNNER

Abilities: Parkour

Bilal Asselah (Nightrunner) is created by David Hine and Kyle Higgins for publisher DC Comics. Nightrunner first appeared in Detective Comics Annual #12 (February 2011). He is a 22-year-old Algerian Sunni Muslim French citizen that lives in Clichy-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs of Paris, France. He was recruited by Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson for Batman Incorporated as the Batman of Paris, Le Batman Of France.

Though peaceful, on Bilal's 16th birthday, he and his friend Aarif were caught in the middle of a French-Muslim protest, and beaten mercilessly by the police force. After they both healed, Aarif gave Bilal a gift including the music of Leni Urbana, an urban representative of the Muslim people in France, urging Bilal to listen to her words. That night Aarif was killed by police after he set fire to their station. After hearing of his friend's death, Bilal would forever be changed. Though he sympathized with the protesters, he found faults on both sides and decided to take a cue from Batman's origins: becoming a symbol, without racial or religious bias that could make a difference for what's right and just. Already a superior parkour and freerun athlete, he donned the mask of Nightrunner in order to help the people's cause and bring justice to Clichy-sous-Bois.

He assists Batman in taking down a child-slavery ring.



EXCALIBUR

Abilities: Control over living organisms to an unknown extent and wielder of the Excalibur Sword

Dr. Faiza Hussain (Excalibur) was created by writer Paul Cornell, first penciled by Leonard Kirk. First appearing in Captain Britain and MI: 13 #1 (May 2008), Hussain is used as the title's "point of view character".

Faiza Hussain, originally written in early scripts as "Faisa", is named after the former England cricket Captain Nasser Hussain and although she is a British Muslim character, creator Paul Cornell has stated he does not want Faiza to be a pillar for the entire British Muslim community.

In the Age of Ultron crossover, Faiza Hussain briefly adopts the mantle of Captain Britain from Brian Braddock in case he would die battling Ultron.

This version of the character returns in the two-part Secret Wars tie-in, Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders. While she refers to herseelf as Captain Britain, she has no memory of what, where, or who "Britain" is due to the recent destruction of the Multiverse.

Faiza possesses the ability to disassemble anything, including living beings, into its component parts, to manipulate various portions on an atomic level, and then restore it to its original condition. This is possible due to the fact that she innately knows the composition of anything she affects with her powers. Faiza is also capable of focusing on certain areas in particular.

When she takes people apart, those affected remain conscious and are able to talk. When she uses her power, a blue glow appears around her hands. A blue glow also appears around those affected by her power.

She can affect multiple targets simultaneously, but the more objects she attempts to manipulate, the greater the concentration is required from her. When using her powers on living beings, the target is rendered immobile until she allows them to move. Faiza finds it easier to affect shape-shifters, such as Skrulls, but more difficult to affect magic-based beings.

She also has the ability to immobilize multiple people at once, without disassembling them. This effect lasts until Faiza wills otherwise.

Hussain has recently acquired the legendary sword Excalibur, which she wields in combat.

Faiza is also a skilled medical doctor, and has received some training in Kung-Fu.



MONICA CHANG - FURY

Abilities: Agility, escape artist, gadgets use, intellect, invisibility, power suit, stealth, unarmed combat and weapon master

Monica Chang - Fury was created by Carlos Pacheco and Mark Millar. She debuted in Ultimate Avengers #3, a comic book from an alternate line of Marvel comics (separate from their main continuity), known as the Ultimates.

During Marvel NOW!, Monica Chang was revealed to exist in Marvel's main line of comics. Her main continuity debut was in Avengers A.I. #1, by writer Sam Humphries and artist André Araújo.

Monica Chang is the chief of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Artificial Intelligence Division. She was tasked with interrogating Hank Pym after a virus he created to destroyed Ultron, evolved into a highly volatile artificial intelligence known as Dimitrios. Along with Pym, she gathered a team to hunt down Dimitrios after he committed several cyber-attacks across the world.

Chang was an American soldier, who at one point was saved from enemy forces by Nick Fury at Bosnia. She fell in love with him and married him. Their marriage lasted six months, two weeks and five days, as Monica realized Fury had slept with all of her female friends and relatives including her own mother, so they divorced.


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