Monday, March 07, 2011

Batman's Muslim Sidekick

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Batman's Muslim Sidekick
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Nightrunner is a well trained athlete in parkour (free running) from the Clichy-sous-Bois of Paris. He was recruited by Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson to be France's representative of Batman Incorporated.


Bilal and Aarif
Bilal and Aarif

Bilal Asselah, a French-Algerian was raised by his single mother on the outskirts of Paris, France. Though peaceful, on Bilal's 16th birthday, he and his friend Aarif were caught in the middle of a French-Muslim protest, and beaten mercilessly by the police force. After they both healed, Aarif gave Bilal a gift including the music of Leni Urbana, an urban representative of the Muslim people in France, urging Bilal to listen to her words. That night Aarif was killed by police after he set fire to their station. After hearing of his friend's death, Bilal would forever be changed. He stated sympathizing with the protestors, and would find solace in becoming a talented parkour athlete. In order to help his people's cause, Bilal decided to adopt a masked identity and would become the vigilante, Nightrunner.


Nightrunner was created by writer David Hine in order to create a French representative of Grant Morrison's Batman Incorporated. Nightrunner would first appear in the 2010 annuals of Detective Comics and Batman, drawn by artist Agustin Padilla. Writer Kyle Higgins and artist Trevor McCarthy would expand on Nightrunner's origins in the back up feature of these issues.

Character Evolution

Nightrunner was originally an untrained amateur vigilante running across the rooftops of Paris France. During a chance encounter with both Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson as Batman, it is decided that he should be the French representative of Batman Incorporated after extensive training under Dick Grayson.

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