DC Comics has created its first Muslim Arab-American superhero who will join the Green Lantern corps in Wednesday’s “Green Lantern #0” issue.
Simon Baz of Dearborn, Mich., grew up dealing with prejudice after 9/11, but now he may become a role model for Muslim and Arab-Americans.
The laid-off auto worker becomes the newest Green Lantern, while the current Green Lantern is stuck in limbo with the evil villian Sinestro.
Green Lantern writer Geoff Johns told the NY Daily News: “It’s an amalgam of a bunch of different things. I’m from Michigan. My dad is also Lebanese [like Baz], and there’s a very big Arab-American community there. I think he’s going to be a really great character.”
Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Brooklyn-based Arab American Association of New York, told the NY Daily News: “In general, when you think about Arabs and Muslims in main roles in pop culture, they're always the villains. We're always the hijackers."
"We're always the bad people that the good American soldiers or CIA is trying to fight. To finally have the opportunity where the Arab-American can be the super hero, to be the one who saves people, is a lot more powerful an image.”
This is not the first big change in DC Comics this year. The original Green Lantern, Alan Scott, came out earlier this year as a homosexual.