Introduced as an Egyptian friend of Joseph Joestar, he joins the group on their journey to defeat DIO, providing knowledge and guidance about enemy Stand Users and local cultures along the way. Avdol is a Stand User and wields the fire manipulating Stand, Magician's Red.
Avdol is also a main character and narrator of the 2022 spin-off light novel Iggy the Stray Dog.
Avdol is an Egyptian man of above-average height and medium to heavy build.
His main attire consists of a long overcoat or robe with wrist-length sleeves (he later switches to a robe with elbow-length sleeves) and a scarf around his neck. He has two identical scars that run down his cheeks. He wears a headband or headscarf wrapped around his forehead and keeps his hair in a style resembling Bantu knots, as well as wearing a long ponytail. He wears earrings comprised of a single, long chain of medallions, resembling a necklace. The largest of these medallions is engraved with the Egyptian ankh symbol; a large tassel hangs from this medallion, resting atop his chest. The smaller medallions are engraved with various other symbols. He wears a varying number of thick metallic bracelets on both of his wrists.
Prior to the fight with Cameo, he wears a traditional Egyptian garment known as a jellabiya under his outer robe, but from the Cameo fight onward, he wears a shirt and pants. In addition, Avdol's appearance from this point forward includes a scar in the middle of his forehead (covered by his headband) as well as a scar on his upper back (covered by his clothing).
Avdol generally presents himself as a serious, responsible and overall righteous individual. Accordingly, he is very concerned with maintaining his "image" (as he states repeatedly in the fight against Mariah) as a mature and responsible person.
Avdol possesses a "strong sense of duty and loyalty". He is highly dedicated to stopping DIO as one of the two first members of the party; remarkably so since he is the only one not to fight him for personal reasons. When Tower of Gray gratuitously killed unrelated bystanders, Avdol was furious. Besides, Avdol is willing to die for his comrades. On two occasions he placed himself in mortal danger to save Jean Pierre Polnareff and Iggy. During their duel, Avdol commended Polnareff's own chivalry and returned the Frenchman's gestures of honor, such as explaining his Stand's power to him. His loyalty is such that when Polnareff accused him to have fled DIO like a coward, Avdol almost lost his cool and hit Polnareff.
A strategic thinker and experienced Stand user, Avdol often tries to act as the voice of reason to the rest of the team, although his self-described "emotional" temperament does not always make him suitable for this role (such as during the D'Arby the Gambler arc, when Avdol states that his strong emotions make him unsuited for playing poker). Avdol is regularly seen reflecting on the group's next move. Acting as Joseph's second in command, and being the second oldest man of the Joestar Group, Avdol is aware of the danger they are facing, and he frequently advocates caution during their journey.
In contrast to his usual highly-controlled persona, Avdol can be prone to panicking in unexpected situations, such as nearly using his flames in an airplane against Tower of Gray before Noriaki Kakyoin stops him, and exclaiming that the group needs to quickly learn SCUBA diving in the High Priestess arc, prompting Joseph to ask him to stop panicking.
However, besides his desire to present himself as a serious person, Avdol can be a jovial individual. He appreciates the tumultuous atmosphere of India for instance, and when in a particularly good mood will laugh boisterously and engage in childish antics (when he behaves in this manner upon reappearing before Polnareff, the latter notes that it looks like Avdol's personality made a U-turn).
Avdol knows his strengths and displays great confidence in them. The fortune-teller isn't above boasting about Magician's Red's power, retorting to the enemy's own boasts, and shows a self-satisfied smile whenever he performs a successful move plus his trademark gesture mimicking a fire starter, which is done with a rotating thumbs-up while saying "Yes, I am! Tch! Tch! Tch!".
- Main article: Magician's Red
Avdol's humanoid Stand is Magician's Red; able to generate exceedingly powerful yet finely controlled flames.
Different from the fire in nature that only goes up or follows where the wind blows, its flames obey Avdol's own will.
Avdol's Stand represents the first Tarot Card "The Magician," symbolizing the beginning of something. Polnareff notes that this is suitable, as when the world began it was surrounded by flames, implying Avdol's Stand represented the beginning of the world. Keeping up with the idea of beginnings, Avdol is shown to be the first character to act on many things: He's the first character to properly use a Stand and get into a fight, the first to encounter DIO and the first to throw himself into danger to save someone.
Since Avdol was born with Magician's Red, he has had ample time to master its fire ability. Avdol demonstrates the versatility of his pyromancy by controlling Magician's Red's flame extremely well, being able to give them exact shapes, such as creating number shaped flames and controlling the intensity of the fire. He also divined other unexpected properties and used his flames as a way to bind people and even created a radar from the fire.
As a professional fortune-teller, Avdol is knowledgeable about the symbolism of the tarot cards which he uses.
Moreover, he seems to know about a great deal about Stands, acting as the expert during his journey and knows about a noticeable number of the Stand users (namely Gray Fly, Devo the Cursed and Midler) sent after him and his companions. However, his knowledge is limited, as he erroneously thought that the number of Stand users was limited by the Tarot, and didn't know about the Egypt 9 Glory Gods.
- Jotaro Kujo: His first initial meeting with Jotaro was not very friendly, but after Jotaro begins to truly understand Star Platinum and Stands, they quickly become allies. During the journey Avdol takes the role of the mentor, providing the rest of the group information on enemies such as Gray Fly, Devo the Cursed, and Midler. Jotaro would later mourn his death with Polnareff and Joseph.
- Joseph Joestar: Out of the group, Joseph and Avdol knew each other the longest, having met in Egypt prior to the events of Part 3. Since then, Joseph has formed a good friendship with the Egyptian and had even trusted him to help Jotaro unlock the full potential of his Stand through force. During their later journey to Egypt, the two fought alongside each other on several occasions, one of the more memorable instances being their battle against Mariah. At the end of the series, Joseph mourns his death.
- Jean Pierre Polnareff: Possibly his closest companion throughout the journey, Polnareff initially met the fortune teller under DIO's control (as he had a flesh bud in his head) and challenged him to a battle. Avdol recognized his chivalrous soul and Polnareff was subsequently saved. Initially, Polnareff also thought less of Avdol when he learned that he ran from DIO rather than confront him, but Avdol's "sacrifice" considerably improved his view of him. After Avdol revealed he was alive, the two became great friends despite their opposite temperament. In fact, a recurring theme for Avdol was that he often had to save Polnareff from danger such as with J. Geil and Hol Horse, Cameo with his stand Judgement, and Cream. During both of Avdol's deaths, Polnareff deeply mourned the loss of his companion and tried to wish for Avdol's return to life from Judgement.
- Iggy: Avdol first encountered Iggy when he was causing trouble in New York and captured him. Avdol would later recruit Iggy into the Joestar Group and used coffee gum to calm him down. After Avdol sacrificed himself in the battle against Vanilla Ice, Iggy became determined to avenge him. In the end, Iggy failed to avenge Avdol but inspired Polnareff to do so instead.
- Noriaki Kakyoin: As with the rest of the Joestar group, Avdol treated Kakyoin as a valuable ally. Likewise, after "dying" in his arms from Emperor's bullet, Kakyoin swore to avenge Avdol, though this turned out to be a front to fool Polnareff alone. During Jotaro's game of poker with Daniel J. D'Arby, Avdol heavily discouraged Jotaro from betting Kakyoin's soul. At the end of the group's journey, Avdol, Iggy, and Kakyoin were seen together in the clouds as the remaining protagonists mourned for them.
- DIO: Unlike Kakyoin and Polnareff, Avdol recognized who DIO was upon meeting him, due to having heard about DIO from Joseph. As such, Avdol knew the man was an enemy immediately and managed to escape from him before he could be put under his control. With DIO threatening Holy's life due to him activating all the Stands in the Joestar bloodline, Avdol, along with Jotaro, Joseph, and Kakyoin decided to journey to Egypt to defeat Dio.
- Vanilla Ice: While never formally meeting him, Avdol was shocked to learn that his Stand could be hidden from both his Stand and Iggy's sense of smell. Ice devoured Avdol instantly. Ice blamed Avdol for his injuries since he saved Iggy and Polnareff.
Chapters / Episodes
- “Mr. Joestar, I may have to get a little rough. Sometimes suffering is the only way to make a fool see reason.”
- “Care to come out now, JoJo? Was is not Aesop who said 'cold wind adds clothes but heat makes you scream"?”
- “Mr. Polnareff, I hope you don't think the flames of Magician's Red only burn upward or with the wind. I am not bound by the laws of nature. I can control fire as I wish.”
- “You'd challenge a fortune-teller to a battle of prediction? Who do you think you are?”
- “Yes I am!”
- “Cameo of the Judgement card, is it? I'll finish you off and give you hell!! Hell 2 U!”
- “You see? This is more in character for Muhammad Avdol.”
- “Polnareff! Iggy! Look out! (ポルナレフ！イギー！危ない！Porunarefu! Igī! Abunai!)”
Creation and Development
Araki designed Avdol as the "subleader" of the Joestar Party, a member who everyone could rely on. Avdol's ethnicity was chosen because Araki wanted Avdol to be a navigator of sorts with a connection to Egypt. He was put out of commission during the Emperor and Hanged Man story arc as a means of injecting "reality" into the story and keeping the readers from getting bored. However, Araki had planned for Avdol to return from the get-go, but didn't want to do it immediately and without good reason.
In hindsight, Araki feels as if he could have given Avdol more of a primary role in the story, but doubts that Avdol would have been too popular with Weekly Shonen Jump's readership at that time. He also found it difficult to draw battles involving Magician's Red. If he were to write a story based on Avdol, Araki wants it to be an origin story focused on his family, particularly his relationship with his father.
In the novel, Genesis of Universe, he is described as having knowledge of astrology whereas, in the manga and anime, his fortune telling seems limited to tarot cards.