Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, the creator of The 99 comic book series, discusses his creation and its motivation in this article for Animation Express:
By the time Khalid was born in New York City, shortly after 9/11, I had already made a decision that I needed to find a way to take back Islam from its hostage takers, but I did not known how. The answer was staring me in the face. It was a simple, and as difficult, as the multiplication of 9 by 11 : 99.
So, at the age of 32, I uncapped my pen to create a concept that could be popular in the East and the West. I would go back to the very sources from which others took violent and hateful messages and offer messages of tolerance and peace in their place. I would give my heroes a Trojan horse in the form of THE 99. Islam was my Helen and I wanted her back.
THE 99 references the 99 attributes of Allah – generosity, mercy, wisdom and dozens of others not used to describe Islam in the media when you were growing up. But if I am successful, by the time my children read this, they will not believe that such an era could have ever existed. – read the rest of the article.