DC Comics introduces new Muslim superhero

Green was the favorite color of Islam’s founder Prophet Muhammad, so it seems fitting that the world’s latest Muslim superhero … Continued

Green was the favorite color of Islam’s founder Prophet Muhammad, so it seems fitting that the world’s latest Muslim superhero has joined the small but diverse circle of superheroes who’ve worn the Green Lantern ring.

American comics giant DC Comics introduced Simon Baz to readers Wednesday (Sep. 5) in a special issue explaining the character’s origins. Baz is a Lebanese American from Dearborn, Mich., like his maker, DC creative director Geoff Johns, who weaves stories that Muslims, Arabs, and other Americans can relate to into the heroic plot.

For example, a young Baz and his family, the mother in an Islamic headscarf, watch in horror as the terrorist attacks of 9/11 unfold on their television. The next panels show men wiping “Go home” and other graffiti from the wall of an “Islamic Center of America,” bullies ripping a headscarf off Baz’s sister Sira, and Baz going through a security check.

Baz is a laid-off auto engineer who turns to auto theft but gets caught after stealing a van that, unbeknownst to him, is packed with explosives. The husky, olive-skinned Baz soon finds himself being interrogated by two dark-suited agents in a sequence of panels that hits on Islamophobia, illegal detentions, torture, and the war on terror.

“I’m a car thief, not a terrorist,” Baz, wearing an orange jumpsuit that evokes those worn by inmates at Guantanamo Bay, tells his interrogators in one scene. In another, a policeman tells Baz, “Relax Muhammad,” as he tries to strap him onto a torture table.

“This is pretty cool because he’s a little bit more mainstream,” said Sadia Ashraf, a 37-year-old communications specialist in Los Angeles whose two kids, 9 and 11, are comics fans like her. “I think there aren’t enough mainstream Muslim role models out there for people to see, so this is really good to have.”

Johns also created Kahina the Seer, an Iranian character in DC’s Aquaman series, but who was killed by a villain. DC Comics is also behind Nightrunner, a French-Algerian crime fighter recruited by Batman alter ego Bruce Wayne. Marvel Comics has created Dust, a young female mutant from Afghanistan in the X-Men series. In 2006, an American-educated Kuwaiti psychiatrist started “The 99,” a group of superheroes whose powers each represent one of Islam’s 99 attributes of God.

Like other Muslim superheroes, Baz has been criticized by anti-Muslim websites. Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch accused DC Comics of abetting jihad by promoting a false notion of Muslim victimhood, writing that “the goal of the victimhood game is to deflect attention away from jihad and Islamic supremacism.”

Johns was unavailable for comment.

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Religion News Service LLC.

  • Joemanager

    This is a form of propaganda and I don’t like it weather its for the good or the bad its a comic book how is the religion of the charter even matter. and in the case that it is important to the story line, I do not see how it is news worthy at all

  • Publius

    Since Muslims have now been mainstreamed in DC comics, why don’t we start mainstreaming them further by giving especially violent hurricanes Muslim names?

    thepubliuspapers.com

  • ted22

    I must have missed the Christian, Jewish and atheist superheroes.

Read More Articles

colbert
Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

noplaceonearth
An Untold Story of Bondage to Freedom: Passover 1943

How a foxhole that led to a 77-mile cave system saved the lives of 38 Ukrainian Jews during the Holocaust.

shutterstock_148333673
Friend or Foe? Learning from Judas About Friendship with Jesus

We call Judas a betrayer. Jesus called him “friend.”

shutterstock_53190298
Fundamentalist Arguments Against Fundamentalism

The all-or-nothing approach to the Bible used by skeptics and fundamentalists alike is flawed.

shutterstock_178468880
Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

shutterstock_185995553
How to Debate Christians: Five Ways to Behave and Ten Questions to Answer

Advice for atheists taking on Christian critics.

HIFR
Heaven Hits the Big Screen

How “Heaven is for Real” went from being an unsellable idea to a bestselling book and the inspiration for a Hollywood movie.

shutterstock_186364295
This God’s For You: Jesus and the Good News of Beer

How Jesus partied with a purpose.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

SONY DSC
Dear Evangelicals, Please Reconsider Your Fight Against Gay Rights

A journalist and longtime observer of American religious culture offers some advice to his evangelical friends.