So how did the idea for this superhero story started?
Let’s rewind the clocks back to 2010.
The Beginning – 2010
‘Guardians of Darussalam’ is a Brunei Superhero Story. The center of this story is a superhero named “Kapten Brunei” or “Captain Brunei”
I’m not gonna pretend that I was the first one to toy with the concept of ‘Captain Brunei’. There are many fan artworks of ‘Captain Brunei’ out there if you bother to search them.
But what I can tell you that for me, I had the idea back in 2010. I saw ‘Black Panther’ in an ‘Avengers’ cartoon and thought, “Hmmm there’s a black superhero so how about an Asian superhero? No wait, how about a local superhero (from my country Brunei) ?!!”
So I took Captain America’s basic design and modified it with our flag colours. And I also made a Shield just like Cap America.
Originally, I used Yellow but then I thought it would look cooler if I used a more Orange-ish/Gold-ish colour. I don’t know about you but the costume and the shield have that classic Pelita Brunei feel to it
It was decided from very early on that his powers would be super strength ala local folklore hero (the Brunei Hercules) Awang Semaun.
Mashing up the backstories of my favourite superheroes Spiderman, Superman and Batman, I came up with a story:
He was an ordinary Bruneian living an ordinary life. One day, while he was fishing, he caught a mysterious Ikan Sumpit-Sumpit (Archer Fish) and ate it. Just like the legend of Awang Semaun, he gained super strength ability. He decided to become a superhero to fight crime and help the weak. However, his newfound fame got into his head which made him arrogant and snobbish (Ambung dan kebesaran). He may have found more fans but he lost sight of the ones that matters more; his family and close friends.
Now faced with a powerful and deadly cunning enemy that intends to use his arrogance against him, our Bruneian superhero must get back to his senses and listen to the wise words of his late father (who was a fisherman and taught him how to fish among other things) in order to truly become the great hero he was meant to be.
Web Comic – 2011
A year later, a friend of mine liked my concept of ‘Captain Brunei’. Back then, he was running a local Bruneian webcomic site called ‘Alpha Jaipan’. He asked me if he can adapt the concept into his webcomic character and I didn’t have a problem with that.
And so he made this:
Not long, my friend told me his intention to ‘reboot’ the Captain Brunei idea and asked me whether I have some ideas.
Fortunately, I was coming up with another storyline for Captain Brunei and ideas for various characters started springing up in my mind.
The deal seemed simple enough. I write the story, he draws the comic.
Constructing the story – 2011
I sent him my idea for the Captain Brunei character:
At a quiet part of Brunei lives ADAM, a Bruneian in his 20ish who lives with his Mom. His father passed away few years ago (Similar to Peter Parker/Spiderman) He’s not skinny nor big.
He’s not nerdy nor socially awkward. He’s a good and kind kid who’s not badly influenced by the ‘Bandar kids’.
One day, while he was fishing, he caught a mysterious Ikan Sumpit-Sumpit (Archer Fish) and ate it. Just like the legend of Awang Semaun, he gained super strength ability.
I also came up with the concept of the ‘Sidekick’ character which later became ‘Ali’:
He was reluctant to use his superpowers and wanted to hide it/keep it secret from others. One day he saved ‘SIDEKICK’ from a car accident. the SIDEKICK saw he has super strenght and believed that ADAM should start to become a superhero and save others.
SIDEKICK is a comic/movie geek. And he becomes ADAM’s advisor/partner/’manager’
SIDEKICK began to promote ADAM as a superhero. Had someone design his costume CAPTAIN BRUNEI/BRUNEI MAN
– costume intentional rip off of Captain America costume – lack of originality and SIDEKICK being a fan of comics
My friend suggested that Captain Brunei should have a love interest.
So I originally came up with a love triangle arc between Adam’s ‘kampung girl’ childhood friend (who later became the character ‘Aisyah’) and the more ‘Bandar girl’ character I nicknamed ‘Party Girl’ at that time – come from a wealthy family, feisty, independent, sporty and a journalist (or a fashion designer…I actually couldn’t decide back then). My friend managed to sketch her – “a little princess with many faces” was how he described her.
‘Party Girl’ does not appear in current story. Instead, her character is mainly divided into two characters: Ridzuan (Balau Man) and Liza ( Dayang Dynamite).
But as you know….’Life’ happens and we both went on to do our own thing and busy with other things going on our lives.
Actual Writing – 2012
I graduated with my Masters in 2012. Jobless and lots of free time, I went back thinking about the Captain Brunei idea and got more ambitious with the story by coming up with more superheroes. One day I said to myself, “why don’t I just go ahead and take a crack at actually writing them.” You’ll never know if it is truly a ‘cool idea’ until you go ahead and write them.
So write I did.
Between October 2012 to April 2013, I published 9 chapters online with an inconsistent schedule.
I got a job in May 2013 and I took a break from writing. I managed to publish 3 more chapters online a year later in July 2014 that acts as a ‘semi-ending’ to the story. I left it in a cliffhanger with a hope that I’ll return to it someday.
The Return – 2017
And return I did but I wasn’t going to straight up continue where I left off.
Instead, I went back to the beginning and plan on re-editing, re-tooling and re-publishing all the 12 chapters I wrote and hopefully it leads up to a NEW GRAND FINALE by the end of this year.
This time I’ll try to publish in a scheduled manner (or at least try harder to) and not shy away from sharing them to everyone. The ‘mistake’ I did last time was I shared it to a few and rely on them to share it with others and then put my hope on ‘word of mouth’. But that doesn’t happen HAHA (unless I’m a ‘somebody’ which I’m not).
So there you have it…the short history of Captain Brunei and Guardians of Darussalam.
In the meantime, go check out the Chapters released so far. I’ll try to publish them once every two weeks (so the next one will be on 19 February. Insya’allah)
Hope you enjoy it so far!