HTML tutorial

Comic Review: Kahlil #1 - Not In Kansas Anymore

We all know the classic Superman story. A baby is rocketed from the dying planet of Krypton. He's found by the Kents and raised in Kansas. There have been countless retellings with various twist. Superman is found in Russia. Superman  is found in Germany and fights the Nazi party. Superman is a Nazi. The stories continue over and over again. Sometimes an Asian Superman will appear or a black Superman and it's made clear that they are not "THE" Superman. "THE" Superman is always a white guy. He's always the first Superman. That is something that has never changed, until now. Recently Kumail Rizvi released the first chapter in a 13 part series called Kahlil. Kahlil is a retelling of the classic Superman story. However, instead of Kansas the spaceship lands in Southern Pakistan. Instead of being an only child, he has an older sister. Instead of being a Christian, he's a Muslim. Kahlil as a man is the opposite of Clark Kent in every way.

The first issue tells a linear story and sets the tone. The President of The United States is holding a meeting to understand why surveillance of Pakistan has been stopped repeatedly by drones being destroyed. The only evidence they have is a single issue of a flying man ripping a drone to pieces.

The story then goes back to the origins of this mysterious man. A man named Javed is on his way home when he sees something large shoot through the sky and land in an explosion. He takes a child from the small ship and goes home. His wife Maryam assumes he has cheated on her until he tells the story. She happily accepts Kahlil. This comes at a time when they learned they could not have a second child. Javed and Maryam's daughter Kara enters the room awakened by the commotion and is introduced to the baby Kahlil by Maryam.

The art style of the comic is really cool. It takes on a simple yet appealing water color style with less vibrant colors. It's a nice change from the constant barrage of heavy lines in overly dark blacks and super bright reds. Kahlil is the telling of a Superman origin which is at it's base one of the simplest stories to tell. There doesn't need to be any extra frills and eccentricities. I'm not sure if it was a conscious decision by Rizvi but it's a great one. The art fits the story perfectly.

The one place I'm really interested to see the story is go is the development of other characters. It's the first issue so you don't get a chance to know many of the charters. Kahlil himself is just an infant in all but one of his appearances so we don't know much about him. However this was the first issue and it's completely understandable. What it does do is create an interest in the characters.

Admittedly I don't know much about Pakistan and I don't expect Kahlil to be the encyclopedia on Pakistani culture. However the story does enough to pique my interests and could be a great jumping off point. Not just Pakistani culture but the actual characters as well. We've never seen Superman who is the youngest child. Superman has never had to be compared to a sibling or have someone's shadow to walk into.

Kahlil does a lot of things well and leaves a lot of questions. That's a great thing for the first issue. The foundation has been laid for a great story. Not just about Supermen and international surveillance but about Kahlil as well. I digest a lot of media but I don't recall seeing many stories, films or anything really about Pakistan so this will be a welcome addition to that list.

You can read Kahlil for free at

To keep up with the creator Kumail Rizvi: Twitter Instagram Tumblr and Medium

You can hear Darrell on the CP Time and Powerbomb Jutsu podcasts. He also plays classic arcade games on The Cabinet

Darrell S.

Hey, I write stuff, a lot of different stuff, that's all.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post
Ultra Black History