Real Name: Sayf ad-Din Abu Bakr al-Malik al-Adil

Identity/Class: Human conventional weapon user; Kurdish citizen (born in Syria) @ 12th-13th Century

Occupation: Sultan of Egypt & Syria
formerly: Governor of Saladin's northern provinces
formerly: Emir of Aleppo
formerly: Administrator of Egypt for Saladin
formerly: Officer in Nur ad-Din's army

Group Membership: Ayyubids Dynasty, Nur ad-Din's army, leader of his own army

Affiliations: Al-Aziz, Al-Kamil, Black Knight (Eobar Garrington, possessed by Dane Whitman), Nur ad-Din, Saladin,
Saracen (Muslim warriors), Shirkuh

Enemies: Al-Afdal, Crusade leaders (Conrad of Montferrat, Leopold of Austria, Phillip II of France, King Richard Plantagenet),
Hashishin (Hassan Ibn Sabbah, Karna, many others), Izz Al-Din Masud, Moloch, People of the Hill

Known Relatives: Al-Afdal (nephew), Al-Aziz (nephew), Al-Kamil (son), Ayyub (uncle), Az-Zahir (nephew), Saladin (brother),
Shirkuh (father)

Aliases: Saphadin

Base of Operations: Cairo, Egypt
formerly: Damascus, Syria
formerly: Aleppo, Syria

First Appearance: Marvel Fanfare I#52 (August, 1990)

Powers/Abilities: He was a fierce warrior, who was trained in swords and hand-to-hand combat. He was also a capable leader and strategist. He was very religious and believed in Allah's will.


History: (Historical) - Al-Adil was born in 1145 and became an officer in Nur ad-Din's army in his uncle Shirkuh's third campaign in Egypt (1168-1169). After Nur ad-Din's death in 1174 he governed Egypt for his brother Saladin and helped him against the Crusaders. From 1183-1186 he became Emir of Aleppo, but he returned to Egypt during the Third Crusades.

(Marvel Fanfare I#52 (fb) - BTS) - Al-Adil got a sword as a gift from his brother Saladin.

(Marvel Fanfare I#52) <July 12, 1191> - Al-Adil laid among his fallen warriors, but he wasn't dead and when an English soldier tried to steal his sword he stood up and hit him hard because the sword was a present from Saladin. Al-Adil escaped the other English soldiers by jumping over a cliff, but Black Knight ordered to follow Al-Adil, the brother of Saladin, who could be held for ransom. Meanwhile Al-Adil stole a horse from another English soldier and rode with it to an oasis, but the Black Knight was able to follow him there. Al-Adil didn't accept his capture and fought the Black Knight with dirty tricks until they were both weaponless. Suddenly the People of the Hills appeared and caught the two defenceless warriors. Al-Adil and Black Knight watched the People of the Hills murder innocents on their way to their secret cave. Inside the cave Al-Adil saw the Moloch's shrine and knew that death awaited them. They witnessed the sacrifice of a woman; Al-Adil was next and, like the woman, he laid on the altar surrounded by smoke created by a "priest" and when the smoke was gone, Al-Adil was gone as well. The Black Knight, who had broken his chains, jumped into the cave beneath the altar and saw Al-Adil in the tentacles of Moloch. Black Knight freed Al-Adil from the clutches of Moloch and stabbed the monster's throat while Al-Adil climbed up on the Moloch's back to the cave above. After Al-Adil helped Black Knight to get out as well, they fled from the crumbling cave. Outside they drew their swords again, but they agreed not to fight and both returned to their armies.

(Marvel Fanfare I#53) - Not too long after their last encounter, Al-Adil and four warriors met the Black Knight in the desert. Al-Adil remembered their last fight and wanted to know who the better warrior was, but Black Knight defeated Al-Adil with the sword. He showed mercy because he was on his way to bring Saladin a diplomatic message from King Richard. Al-Adil stopped his men from attacking Black Knight and led the warrior to Saladin's camp. There they were attacked by Karna, the servant of Hassan Ibn Sabbah, who knocked Al-Adil to the ground and took Black Knight with her. When Al-Adil realized that they couldn't stop her, he sent a man to bring the Black Knight's message to Saladin and another one to the Christian camp. For the Black Knight Al-Adil saw no more hope because he was in the hands of Hassan Ibn Sabbah.

(Historical) - He became governor of Saladin's Northern provinces and suppressed a revolt by Izz Al-Din Masud after Saladin's death. After that he played a big role in the succession dispute between Saladin's sons Al-Aziz and Al-Afdal (1193-1196). He became Sultan of Damascus from where he started an attack on the faction of Al-Afdal, who he defeated in January, 1200 to become Sultan of Egypt and Syria. He ruled for nearly two decades and for the most of this time he lived and traded peacefully with the Crusader states until he returned to the field against them in 1217 when he organized the defences in Egypt and Palestine against their invading forces. In August, 1218 Al-Adil died of an illness.

Comments: Adapted by Steven Grant, Scott Hampton & Ernie Chan

It is unclear when Al-Adil got the sword from his brother Saladin. The placing of this even after the historical info is without further reason.

There is no reason why the historical events shouldn't have taken place on Earth-616 like they did in real world's history. Read on for more historical trivia about people mentioned in this profile.

The Ayyubids were a dynasty named after the Kurdish military leader Ayyub from Armenia. Al-Adil was his nephew.

Nur ad-Din was ruler of Syria from 1146-1174. Al-Adil was part of his army when Nur ad-Din and Shirkuh gained full control of Egypt in 1169. After Shirkuh's death, Al-Adil's brother Saladin became leader of Egypt and Nur ad-Din his sworn enemy, but Nur ad-Din died before a war could break out.

Al-Afdal, Al-Aziz and Az-Zahir were three of Saladin's seventeen sons. Al-Aziz was Sultan in Egypt, Al-Afdal was Sultan in Damascus and Az-Zahir, Saladin's favorite son, was Emir of Aleppo.

Al-Kamil naturally succeeded his father Al-Adil as Sultan, but only in Egypt. In 1237 he became Sultan of Syria as well. One year later he died.

Izz Al-Din Masud was the ruler of the Iraqi city Mosul and an old foe of Saladin. After being defeated in 1186 he was allowed to continue his reign of the city after accepting Saladin as his overlord.

Most of the historical info was taken from Wikipedia.

Profile by Markus Raymond

Al-Adil should not be confused with:

Marvel Fanfare I#52, p4, pan4 (Al-Adil body shot)
Marvel Fanfare I#52, p20, pan3 (Al-Adil head shot)

Marvel Fanfare I#52 (August, 1990) - Steven Grant (writer), Scott Hampton (pencils), Ernie Chan (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Marvel Fanfare I#53 (October, 1990) - Steven Grant (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Jose Marzan (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)

Last updated: 10/03/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™  and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:

Back to Characters