Malaak: Angel of Peace, written and illustrated by Joumana Medlej and published in Beirut, is Lebanon's first superhero comic. Though set in an alternate reality, it is heavily inspired from the author's own experiences growing up during a seemingly endless war, during which life carries on as best it can. The comic can also be read online on its official website http://www.malaakonline.com
, although the author herself encourages us to read it in print as well.
In an alternate reality, Lebanon is trapped in an unending, incomprehensible war. As chaos is reaching a peak, a mysterious child is found in a cedar forest. Not until she is grown does an otherworldly encounter unlock both the memory of what she is, and powers beyond her understanding - powers which she will need to discover the source of the war, and to end it once and for all...
Having joined forces with the Citizen Defense Brigade, Malaak earns a place in the hearts of the people, who call her the Guardian. The Jinn don't stand a chance against her growing powers until a more serious adversary arises, one against which she seems to have no power at all. As an enigmatic stranger enters the scene, it becomes clear that things aren't as simple as they seemed...
The series takes a darker turn as Nryz, a sinister red-haired woman, starts wreaking havoc and picking off characters, and once more Malaak finds herself unable to combat this new menace. Malaak is forced to enter a world of dreams to find help in fighting the new threat.
Through recurring flashbacks, we are told the story of a young Phoenician man who had a nasty encounter with the Jinn. Meanwhile, in the present, the Jinn are up to no good...
This series contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Malaak, obviously.
- The Call Knows Where You Live: The hippocampus.
- Deadpan Snarker: Adrian.
- Evil Redhead: Nryz.
- Evil Twin: Female sniper Nryz is practically the Jinn answer to Malaak.
- Fictional Document: All newspapers and book titles are subversions of the existing ones.
- Grand Theft Me: Some Jinns pull this off in order to get physical bodies and enter the denser plane, like they did to Barkshamash (turning him into Amer) and to whoever Nryz was.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: Lampshaded, as they were designed by Adrian.
Malaak: AARRRGHHH... MEN!!
I can't show myself in this!! Where'd he get my measurements, anyway?!
- Limited Wardrobe: Adrian is only seen wearing a long-sleeved white shirt and a blue scarf. Justified in that they serve to hide the scars from his first encounter with a Jinn.
- Only averted when he goes out to help Malaak with the Jinn: he decks himself out in typical urban guerrilla attire.
- Marked Change
- Mysterious Waif: Malaak starts as one, before she gradually discovers her purpose in this world.
- Photographic Background
- Puberty Superpower
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: In the Jinn.
- Sealed Evil in a Can
- Secret Identity: Though the title isn't necessarily an indicative of this. When she's in costume, Malaak dubs herself the Guardian.
- As of part V, it's possible her identity will go public, since she had to be unmasked to be given medical attention after her second battle with Nryz.
- Secret Keeper: Adrian, mainly because he's gone through something like this before.
- Later, Amer and Tareq too.
- Shown Their Work: And how! This ranges from Phoenician history to the origin of modern words.
- The Stoic: Adrian
- Weirdness Censor: Apparently, most people see the Jinn as humans.