• Add to Collection
  • About

    About

    was just drawing african versions of the Justice league when we got to thinking about whether or not it is always a good idea to simply 'change' … Read More
    was just drawing african versions of the Justice league when we got to thinking about whether or not it is always a good idea to simply 'change' the skintone of a character to appeal to a new demographic Read Less
    Published:
SUPERHEROES NEED NOT APPLY?
 
With the current Batman Vs Superman craze happening, I’m also very excited by the way. I got to thinking how these heroes would be if they were from Africa… so I drew them and then the wondering began; Where would they be from? what would they be fighting against? what kind of people they would have to be? and so on. As I answered these questions in my mind the more I felt that the whitewashing (or is it blacktracking, hehe I just thought of that) of American characters might not suit an African narrative. I say this because I think all good stories talk about aspects of life, whether it is in a science fiction movie, a novel, a video game or a comic book
After creating the characters and thinking them through for a while I got to the question ‘Who would they be fighting against?’ This is where I began to have doubts about the idea of African Superheroes. In America, comic book heroes inspired the masses during difficult times in their history from fighting Hitler to Rascism, Gay prejudice etc. I like to believe that our projects at urbandesignkings will inspire someone somewhere and so they must have meaning to them therefore we must do them. When I think about the issues we face in Africa like famine, war dictators, corruption, neo-colonialism, poverty etc these are all issues that can only be dealt with by the action of the people. A people who have been struggling from below for many years all the while being taught to fear authority from an early age then get lost in to conformity. and those who stand up are intimidated, tortured and even killed… So I asked myself: Would African readers be inspired by a superhero or a masked vigilante, who in essence is not very relatable,  into action in our own lives? Or should we draw real people doing extraordinary things? jus thinking
 
Salim
The BATMAN
Batman is based on a man who had his family killed by guerillas when he was a boy, like Bruce Wayne, but unlike Bruce this batman was made to kill his own parents using a machete as is the case with a number of child soldiers, after which he is kidnaped and he trained in the forest until one day he and other kids (this allows for multiple batmen with different ideaologies) are rescued and deprogrammed by a former soldier who trains him properly and starts him off on the path to becoming the African Batman
SUPERMAN
As I was drawing the African Superman I came up with a backstory that had him come from Egypt and so his back story would be a metaphor of the Arab spring mixed with the destruction of Syria and maybe making him sort of the last Arab. His costume is based on the Egyptian Gods and pharaohs’ attire as superman is basically regarded as a god among men. His powers would be the usual ones; heat vision, super-strength etc.
the JOKER! 
a corruptor, a cannibal, a false prophet (A pastor kanyari type for those who know him) a con artist. someone who delights in the misery of others, I think this would be a template the African joker
WONDERWOMAN 
Wonderwoman was based on the hard working African woman whose strength and resilience are equal to the women of themyscira (the fictional home world of wonderwoman and her amazon sisters) she stands up for herself and others