We live in a strange, confusing time. The country is divided and the capabilities (and sanity) of our leaders are questionable at best. That is why a book like A Wave Blue World’s Kismet Man of Fate is important.
The first Muslim superhero actually debuted in March of 1944 in Bomber Comics #1. Created by Omar Tahan (a suspected penname for writer Ruth Roche), Kismet is an Algerian hero presumed lost by the Allies at the end of WW2. The agile, unarmed fighter with some precog powers from his mysterious cape first made a comeback in 2015 as part of the Broken Frontier Anthology. With the creative team of writer A. David Lewis and art by Noel Tuazon, Rob Croonenborghs, and Kel Nuttal, the tale gave more detail about the character’s backstory. Letterer Taylor Esposito was added to the team, and Kismet became a regular in a weekly online series in A Wave Blue World’s Under Current line.
This past November, the team brought the hero back to print in Kismet Man of Fate-Volume 1: Boston Strong. Featuring cover art by Natasha Alterici, Kismet has mysteriously returned after a long disappearance. No one knows how or why, but he is bonded to a young man named Qadar Hussein and is launched into present day Boston where upheaval and political divides are everywhere.
In this 160-page full-color graphic novel, Lewis’ take on the character is both human and heroic. As a man out of time, Kismet must deal with a world very different than WW2 Europe, but in some ways the political climates mirror each other. Lewis approaches his writing as a scholar, and his research into the past and present deftly crafts a tale of a relatable hero trying to make the world a better place. The parallels between Kismet’s WW2 experience and current turmoil are obvious and bold, but the message is clear: Nazis are terrible and must be stopped, and a hero as likable and human as Kismet is both refreshing and necessary.
The best part about Kismet is that he’s not a caricature. While his Muslim beliefs and Algerian culture are throughout, they are not stereotypes or ham-fisted. He’s not defined by these traits even though his experience and the experience of those close to him are vital to understanding how life can be in present-day USA. In end, we are all just people who need to work together to create a better tomorrow.
Kismet: Man of Fate can be purchased on the company’s site: http://www.awbw.com/