DC Comics introduces new Muslim superhero

(RNS) 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.

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