With Stan Lee’s upcoming Annihilator for Chinese fans, we got a small taste of international superheroes that we might not normally be aware of.
Pakistan just recently launched an animated series with the countries first-ever female superhero, the Burka Avenger. The Daily Beast says the show is “exciting” and has “caught the world’s attention,” but it hasn’t come without some controversy as well.
The series star, and undercover avenger, is a school teacher named Jiya who used school supplies and martial arts to keep her foes at bay. As you might have guessed, this is a children’s series. After a “Taliban-like villain with a flowing beard and a corrupt politician based on Pakistani feudal lords” shuts down the local all-girls school, Jiya takes it upon herself to bring peace back to her village. Now it’s not even her taking on the Taliban that had local media and Taliban affiliates up in arms, it was the fact that she wore a burka.
The show has “taken a beating at the hands of the Western, and more recently the Indian, media, along with a handful of privileged Pakistanis. For while she teaches in a shalwar kameez with her head bare, the disguise she wears at night to pulverize those people threatening girls’ education is indeed a burka. So what the show’s really doing, it’s argued, is glorifying an instrument of oppression.”
The show creator has made statements saying that since the burka covers your face, it only made sense that it would be used as part of her disguise and is not intended to glorify anything oppressive.
Check out an episode of the show that is both being hailed and hissed. What do you think of the burka-clad heroine?