Pakistan gets its first ever female superhero comic book

Though it’s getting better, traditionally female superheroes have been underutilized in popular comic books. They’re usually in the background behind big names like Captain America, Wolverine, Spider-Man and the Hulk. This is part of a culture where most of the best-written characters are created for males. Progress is being made, though, and movies like Wonder Woman are helping to pave the way for more female-driven works at the center of pop culture. What’s even more promising is that in Pakistan, a country where this problem is probably worse, PakistanGirl is set to be released which will be the country’s first ever female superhero comic book.

The story will follow a typical young Pakistani girl named Sarah who loves reading, playing with her cat and hanging out with friends. In the tradition of countless superhero stories, she discovers her hidden powers through a freak accident, becomes a superhero and defends people who can’t defend themselves. Her main goal becomes providing people with hope and inspiring young boys and girls with an emphasis on women empowerment. To be fair, it’s not a groundbreaking narrative, but the message and impact of such a project are what’s important here.

Hassan Siddiqui is responsible for the creation of the character and book. A graphic designer and art director from Islamabad, Siddiqui initially had success with PakistanMan which has been ordered by Harvard University, the Library of Congress and several schools in Islamabad and Karachi. Following this success, Siddiqui decided it was time for a female hero in a country which is all but devoid of female action heroes and role models.

“We wanted her to play a role in gender equality by having a cool female superhero on the front cover of a book,” said Siddiqui. “The message of the comic book is that women can also be strong superheroes doing the work that’s presumably done by men. This young girl is relatable to any and every Pakistani girl who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. She’s truly going to be a role model.”

The artwork for the comic will be provided by Ali Hyder who works with Mano animation studios in Karachi. The costumes and appearance for PakistanGirl are inspired by traditional shalwar kameez dress that women commonly wear in Pakistan.

The comic was launched on August 22 and will be available in all local book stores and cafes in Islamabad and Karachi.

Via: The Express Tribune

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