Follow TV Tropes


Comic Book / Infidel

Go To

Infidel is a creator-owned Image Comics 5-issue horror series written by former Vertigo Comics editor Pornsak Pichetshote and illustrated by artist Aaron Campbell (Green Hornet: Year One, James Bond: Felix Leiter, The Shadow); colorist Jose Villarrubia (Ghost Rider, Desolation Jones) and letterer/designer Jeff Powell (Miracleman, Atomic Robo, Sonic The Hedgehog) round out the creative team.

The main character is Aisha, a Pakistani-American woman from New Jersey. Recently she, her fiancee Tom, and Tom's daughter Kris moved in with his mother Leslie in the wake of an explosion in her building, which is rumored to have been the work of a possible Islamic fundamentalist terrorist. Needless to say, this causes some difficulty with the neighbors for Aisha, who is recognizably Muslim (she wears hijab in public most of the time), and there's also some underlying strife between her and Leslie, whose husband was killed in the 9/11 attacks. Tom's not too happy about it either, thinking that moving in was a mistake, though because of the constant repairwork, they pay a low rent.


On a more troubling note, Aisha's begun having terrible nightmares during which she lashes out at her surroundings. She suspects her anxiety medication may be responsible and her doctor changes it, but Aisha's dreams don't get better, they get worse...and there is increasing evidence that they might not be dreams at all.

Infidel contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Mildly verbally abusive grandmother. A flashback shows Leslie yelling at Kris for trying on one of Aisha's hijabs, which, after having gotten to know Aisha better, she now seems to genuinely regret.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Aisha, but she's still easily identifiable as Muslim because she usually wears hijab. Her best friend Medina is African-American and has stopped wearing it.
  • Anachronic Order: Issue #5 begins with a flashback to just before the explosion, then returns to the present, jumps back to Medina and Aisha talking, comes forward to the story again, and finally ends several months later.
  • Advertisement:
  • An Arm and a Leg: The ghost in issue #4 dismembers Sendhil after killing him.
  • Ankle Drag: How Aisha is pulled back into the apartment at the end of issue #2.
  • Berserk Button: Tom gets pissed when Leslie offers to teach Aisha how to make a baked ham dish he likes, not believing that she just "forgot" ham is haram and Aisha isn't supposed to eat or even touch it. Aisha takes Leslie's side and tells Tom he's overreacting.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Bitter: the possessed Tom is killed by Fields (who is attempting to protect Medina), Medina is forced to commit suicide by gas explosion in an effort to destroy the ghosts and save Aisha's life, and her name gets dragged through the mud as a murderer when she is posthumously blamed for Sendhil, Ethan & Tom's deaths. Sweet: Aisha is found not guilty of killing Leslie and Tom's will named her Kris's guardian, but even that has some bitter; the only lawyer ruthless enough to take her case was so expensive that Aisha's mother had to remortgage her house to pay his fees, and Aisha & Kris have moved in with her while the issue of Kris's guardianship makes it way through the court (though Aisha and her mother do seem to be trying to get along now.) And the last panel of the book shows that Fisher and the other ghosts are still occupying the building, just waiting for another opportunity to manifest.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Averted; all the ghosts have human eyes, which just makes them creepier.
  • Book Ends: In the first issue, Tom isn't happy about moving back in with his mother, but decides to try and work things out. In the last issue, Aisha isn't happy about moving back in with her mother, but decides to try and work things out.
  • Catapult Nightmare: How the series begins, with Aisha dreaming about a monster crawling over her in bed.
  • Ceiling Corpse: A ghost Aisha sees in issue #2 pulls this on her. One of its eyes even falls out of its socket and lands on her cheek.
  • Child of Two Worlds: Kris. She's a white girl with blonde hair, but her stepmother-to-be is a Muslim of Pakistani ethnicity. It's not stated what Tom's religious beliefs (if any) are, but Kris tells Leslie at one point that Tom and Aisha said she'll have to be older before she makes up her mind about religion.
  • Children Are Innocent: Kris. She didn't understand why Leslie was so upset about her trying on a hijab, and was too young to comprehend Leslie's reasons for berating her.
  • Converting for Love: Averted; though Aisha has become more secular in the years since she left home for college (she used to wear a burqa and veil, and now dresses contemporarily but with a hijab), there's no indication that she's asked Tom to convert, nor is she pressuring Kris to do so.
  • Creepy Basement: Which is where Ethan and Reynolds find a book filled with demonic sigils.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The ghost that kills Ethan in issue #4 does so by eating into his chest.
  • Dehumanizing Insult: "Towelhead", a slur about Muslims who wear keffiyeh (headscarves) makes an appearance several times.
  • The Fundamentalist: Aisha's mother is this, flatly telling Aisha that as long as she's engaged to Tom, she's no longer really Muslim.
  • Haunted Apartment Building: By issue #3 it's starting to seem less like Aisha's going crazy, and more like the spirits of the bombing victims have decided to take their anger out on her. This turns out to be exactly what's happening.
  • Heel Realization: Tom's mother Leslie is a 9/11 widow who wasn't all that happy about him dating (much less getting engaged to) a Muslim woman. In issue #2, however, she seems to be softening in her attitudes toward Aisha, admitting that her behavior was partly caused by fear. She dies later in the same issue.
  • Hiding Behind the Language Barrier: Abe in issue #5 mentions that he heard his Korean next-door neighbor complaining about losing out on a job to a black man; apparently he forgot Abe could speak Korean.
  • Humanoid Abomination: What most of the things that Aisha (and several others) see.
  • Improvised Weapon: Medina, defending herself from Tom, hits him in the face with a 2x4. She realizes too late it had a nail in the end, causing a painful facial injury which angers Tom enough that Fisher's ghost is able to sink the hooks in deeper.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Medina pulls this in issue #5 once she realizes the ghost causing the disturbances is Mitchell Fisher. She tries appealing to anything that remains of his humanity and it almost works, but in the end his anger is too strong and she fails.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Fields, the neighbor who slams the door in Aisha's face in issue #1, ends up saving Medina from Tom/Fisher's assault in issue #5.
  • Killed Off for Real: Issue #2 ends just after Leslie's death.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Averted in issue #4 when Medina and Ethan head back to the building looking for Aisha's medical records; they decide they'll be "joined at the hip". Of course, the moment they do get seperated, Ethan is killed.
  • Madness Mantra: The things Aisha sees in her visions repeat anti-Muslim and anti-woman slurs non-stop. note 
  • Mind Rape: Seems to have happened to Aisha in issue #2. Whatever happened after she was dragged back into the apartment ends with her being found lying on the street outside in an unresponsive coma.
  • Mind Screw: Aisha initially thinks her anxiety medication is causing her to see things. Unfortunately, she's wrong. Very wrong.
  • Mirror Monster: Several times, people glimpse images of the ghosts in reflective surfaces. Perhaps most notably, when Ethan and Grace stop by Reynolds apartment to pick him up for a coffee date, Ethan sees something in the mirror. Grace and Reynolds don't.
  • Missing Mom: Kris's mother Laura, who died when Kris was a baby, and Medina's mother, who left when Medina was a teenager.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Again, the ghost in issue #4.
  • Ominous Fog: Medina and Ethan think they see this in issue #4. Turns out the ghosts turned on all the hot water taps in the apartment and it's just steam.
  • Over-the-Shoulder Murder Shot: Happens at the end of issue #4, when Tom shows up at the apartment building only to find Medina crouching next to Sendhil and Ethan's bodies.
  • Proud to Be a Geek: Aisha is a fan of Star Wars (given her age and the references she makes, she probably grew up with the prequel trilogy), and one way she's bonded with Kris is through this mutual fandom (with Kris being a fan of the sequel trilogy in general, and characters like Captain Phasma in particular).
  • Racist Grandma: Leslie, with the caveat that her husband was killed in the 9/11 attacks, so there's some explanation there. She does seem to be getting better in the time since she's known Aisha, but nothing comes of it.
  • Scary Minority Suspect: The bomber from the backstory seems to have become this, with several characters remarking about how he seemed normal, but was (unknown to them) frequenting anarchist websites and stockpiling explosives.
  • Sensory Abuse: What the spirits are doing to Aisha and Medina certainly seems to qualify. Horrifying monsters only they can see, one of which is indirectly responsible for Leslie's death.
  • Summoning Artifact: A former resident of the building supposedly was so fearful of the occult that he drew protective sigils into all his residences. Medina's roommate Ethan looks for them in the basement, but doesn't find any. What he does find, however, is an entire book full of the symbols.
  • Survivor Guilt: Tom made Medina promise to look after Aisha and Kris while he was out of town. Even though there probably isn't anything she could have done, it doesn't keep Medina from blaming herself for Leslie's death, Kris's injury, and Aisha's coma.
  • Tears of Blood: Happens when Aisha wakes up from her coma, screaming, at the end of issue #3.
  • Trapped-with-Monster Plot: The ghosts are seemingly trapped in the apartment building, but as of issue #3 their manifestations are becoming stronger and they're being seen by more residents.
  • Where Did We Go Wrong?: Aisha's mother feels this way; she tried to prevent her from attending college, then later practically disowned her after Aisha (without her approval) fell in love with and got engaged (strike one) to a white (strike two) non-Muslim (strike three).