As if it wasn’t enough that DC Comics got politically correct and remade the comic character Green Lantern into a “Lavendar Lantern” homosexual earlier this year, now they have gone even further. DC’s chief creative officer and writer, Geoff Johns, came up with Simon Baz, an Arab-Muslim character who hails from Dearborn, Michigan, the capital of Arab America.
“I thought a lot about it – I thought back to what was familiar to me,” Johns, 39, told The Associated Press by phone last week from Los Angeles. “This is such a personal story.”
Johns said he took economic as well as ethnic cues for the character from his native Detroit area, with Baz resorting to stealing cars after being laid off from his automotive engineering job. He steals the wrong car, which inadvertently steers him into a terrorism probe and, eventually, an unexpected call to join the universe’s galactic police force.
The olive-skinned, burly Baz hails from Dearborn, the hometown of Henry Ford and the capital of Arab America. His story begins at 10 years old, when he and the rest of his Muslim family watch their television in horror as airplanes fly into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Events unfold from there as US Arabs and Muslims find themselves falling under intense suspicion and ostracism in the days, months and years following the attacks.
Baz is not the first Muslim comic hero. The AP writes,
“A broader mission to bring Islamic heroes and principles to the comic world comes from Naif Al-Mutawa, creator of “The 99.” The U.S. educated psychologist from Kuwait has been gaining followers across the globe since the 2006 debut of the comic book that spawned a TV series. “The 99” is named after the number of qualities the Quran attributes to God: strength, courage, wisdom and mercy among them.
The series gained a wide audience in 2010, when it worked with DC on a six-issue crossover that teamed the “The 99” with The Justice League of America.
The character displays a tattoo on his forearm that reads “courage” in Arabic and is considered “haram” or religiously forbidden.
“He’s not a perfect character. He’s obviously made some mistakes in his life, but that makes him more compelling and relatable,” Johns said. “Hopefully (it’s) a compelling character regardless of culture or ethnic background. … But I think it’s great to have an Arab American superhero. This was opportunity and a chance to really go for it.”
“It doesn’t completely define the character but it shapes the character,” Johns continued. “My biggest hope is that people embrace it and understand what we’re trying to do.”
I think it’s pretty clear what is happening. Attempts are being made both politically and in the entertainment industry, as well as, in education to normalize Islam in American society, just like homosexuality has been pushed in our culture. Now we see both coming together in the overhauled Green Lantern. What will be next?