In 1944, Kismet was introduced to the comic book world — an Algerian superhero who fought Nazis in southern France and came to the aid of civilians in need. Kismet is said to be the first identified Muslim superhero character published in English. But after only four issues, Kismet disappeared from the news-stands.
Cut to today, Kismet is making a comeback with a new graphic novel entitled Kismet, Man of Fate. The story places Kismet in Boston, circa 2013, as the city heals from the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing. “He was basically abandoned to the public domain,” explains author A. David Lewis. “That saddened me because there was this strange nobility about his character that felt anachronistic.”
Lewis, who holds a doctorate in religion and literature, has spent years studying the connection between theology and comic books. In referencing the Quranic story of the prophet Yusuf, Lewis compares it to the Old Testament’s Joseph. When Joseph was trapped in the Pharaoh’s prison, he despaired, says Lewis. “But when Yusuf was trapped, he kept it together because he had faith in God’s will… That’s the sort of strength that I give to Kismet.”