Wayl Comics superhero series to launch at Comic Con
Time Out Dubai profiles the first ever Middle Eastern comic book series. Wayl Comics superhero series to launch at Comic Con in April. Find out more
Chanelle Tourish and Andre Neveling
Move over Superman, there’s a new superhero in town, and he’s taking the Middle East by storm. Wayl will be the first Arab superhero comic book in the MENA region, and will be debuted at the Middle East Film & Comic Con on Thursday April 7.
Created by Arab-Canadian writer and filmmaker Zaid Al Adham and Saudi illustrator Yasser Alireza, Wayl is the story of Sufyan El-Taher, who recently returned to Jordan with his wife Sophia to take over his family’s business empire, following his father’s death. With tensions rising in the region, Sufyan must face a city in ruins, with crime and corruption the societal norm.
The outside world, however, is just one of his problems – the other, in shades of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, being an interim CEO, Saleem Mahasneh, who isn’t too keen on the errant son returning and taking over the reins of his father’s company. The result is a conflict that leads directly to the creation of a super-being: the Arab World’s first real superhero.
The concept of Wayl bubbled up in Adham’s brain back in 2011, not long before comic art in the Middle East was given greater prominence with the launch of the Middle East Film & Comic Con in 2012 – the first of its kind in the region.
Inspired by personal experiences and his background as a filmmaker, Adham set out to create Wayl and set his story in a real city, choosing his own birth town of Amman, against the backdrop of fictional events and urban mythology.
“Some characterisations came from very close-to-heart topics,” explains Adham. “Wayl’s power, harnessing electric energy, was derived from observing the daily struggles of a close family member who has had epilepsy since their teens. Rather than use it as a source of weakness, I chose to turn the tables and portray it as a form of ability and strength to be used for a greater good.”
The first issue of Wayl develops the story of Sufyan’s return, his encounter with Mahasneh and the turn of events that leads to the creation of a superhero. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? We’ll find out very soon.
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