DC has announced a Muslim, Arab American Green Lantern. Green Lantern is a franchise that usually focuses on one Lantern from Earth (although there are many and there is also a separate title that focuses on the Lantern Corps) The Green Lanterns use the power of their rings to will their thoughts into real weapons and tackle crime across the galaxy.
Even after a company wide reboot to make things more accessible to a new audience, Earth still has a dozen Green Lanterns even though normally only one is assigned per sector. In fact this reboot, left both Green Lantern and Batman in a strange middle ground between all past stories being canon, and a new status-qou, in an attempt to please both sides that was sure to fail both. That is off course a debate for another time. The focus today is what is the impact of this new Lantern?
Having been made clear this more than one green lantern, it’s important to note the franchise and role itself has often been shuffled around for the sake of diversity. The Most famous Green Lanterns are Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner, but when it came to the 90’s-00’s DC’s animated universe they ditched the two white guys in the name of racial diversity and had a past lantern John Stewart fill the role. Honestly It turned out really well, Stewart was well written and thanks to the cartoon the version of the character and admittedly added more diversity to the team as they wanted. The problem there is that DC has other African American superheroes that are more original to choose from. Static Shock comes to mind, and so does Cyborg. I’ve always felt creating minority versions of characters instead of telling an original story that happens to star a minority only further segregates and downplays minorities, (I’m looking at you Steel, the black superman, Justice the black Muslim Captain America, and same goes for all the female copy cats of male super heroes too.) It feels insulting for minorities to have be alternate versions, or b characters to the white originals.
DC also released a homosexual Green Lantern as part of their Earth 2 series (an alternate earth is also somehow an attempt to make things less confusing for readers?) More baffling is that this Green Lantern is an alternate version of the very first golden age Alan Scott Green Lantern who was married and had kids? Btw, and I wish I was making this up, he was different than the Green Lanterns that came after him in many ways, one of them was his weakness… wood. I really am not kidding his weakness was wood. DC hyped the fool out of his coming out, but very quickly after the reveal I’ve heard nothing else about him.
Now the latest attempt is a Muslim Arab American Green Lantern. This Green Lantern has some obvious design and logic problems right off the bat. If this is a Green Lantern who can make anything with simple that he can imagine by the power of his ring, why does he need a gun? He is the first ever Lantern to carry a gun, what is DC trying to say there? Why have a full mask? Is he not good enough to look like the other Lanterns? Beyond that where are DC’s Christian super heroes? For Marvel I can name NightCrawler and Daredevil right off the bat. DC’s Superman does not even say, “Truth, Justice, and the American way!” anymore so I can see how some are calling this another publicity stunt, and possibly betraying more about DC’s philosophies than they intend. Buzzfeed released an interview with Geof Johnsit seem s their intent is adding diversity, and exploring how Arab American Muslims view the world differently especially in light of the suspicion post 911. It seems unfair to show “the other side” with such little spotlight on Christianity in DC. It also feels unnatural, Does New York even exist in the land of Metropolis and Gotham? If they felt the need to tell this story, why use another new Lantern?
Exploring the Faith of a Superhero can be a really neat opportunity. Most Christian folks would not take vengeance into their own hands; it is after against the bible’s command to do so. But they could blur the line between Justice and vengeance. They could simply be incorrect in the application of scripture to their lives etc. The Green Lantern provides a neat possibility because each hero is chosen and tasked, this new GL or any of the Lantern Corp did not become heroes solely by choice. Any religious person having to suddenly grapple with the existence of aliens, and powers that contradict his faith could face serious inner doubt. How would reconcile his command to witness, or deal in his case with infidels while wearing tights? DC is giving this character more push than their gay lantern he already has a figure from DC Direct on the way, and I’ve already seen one person posting a G.I.Joe scale custom.
To make matters more frustrating, most comic message boards eliminate the ability to talk about religion or politics creating a wall of silence on the matter. So DC may be drawing some attention by announcing him as a Muslim character, but there is a lot places that no one can discuss this aspect of the character.
DC has done some less politically or religiously controversial things with their Green lantern franchise, such as turning good guys into homicidal city destroying maniacs, making them different superheros all together and giving them redeeming actions and occasionally ret-conning things to dull the villainy. It often is a fan favorite book, but it’s never been one I’m interested in as a kid or as an adult, and I think it will stay that way in part thinks to this and the other publicity stunts. Ultimately I highly doubt much will come of it beyond a publicity stunt. After all there has already been a Muslim Captain America-like hero from Marvel. He didn’t revolutionize anything, didn’t get near the attention, or controversy.
I always try to put effort into the links I include into an article, and this article in particular has some great reads and things to look at it. Give them a click.
After my initial post on the subject, I’ve read a review which gives us more info about the lantern and a reason to be upset in my opinion.
The review i spoke of, as well as additional discussion is located at ToynewsInternational.
Shaz (the name of the GL) is actually taken in for suspected terrorism and waterboarded. Gee that doesn’t seem like playing up politics or anything does it? when is the last time you heard about water boarding? And is he innocent? of terrorism yes, but of stealing? no, because he has fallen on hard times and based on the comments made Johns interview I posted in the previous post it’s all our fault as Americans because we are racist and drove him too it.
I really plan on skipping this book, but I thought I’d attach a couple Qoutes from the Koran that this new Superhero should be following. I understand writing characters would make different choices than myself, but with a publicity stunt like this, they couldn’t have planned it at a worse time. I do not believe Islam is a religion of peace and wonder if that is what we will be presented with by DC? The idea we should be more understanding and accepting.
Below please find the commands this Green Lantern would have to uphold, all Qoutes from the Koran.
Mohammed said, “I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, none has the right to be worshipped but Allah” (Al Bukhari vol. 4:196)
How about this one for unbelievers, Sura 4:89 “seize them and slay them wherever you find them: and in any case take no friends or helpers from their ranks.”
Sura, 2:190-292 “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits, for Allah does not love transgressors. And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out: For tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; But fight them not at the sacred Mosque unless they first fight you there; But if they fight you, Slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith.”
The Quran in Sura 4:34 says: ” If you fear highhandedness from your wives, remind them [of the teaching of God], then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit them. If they obey you, you have no right to act against them. God is most high and great ” Sounds a lot different than being Sacrificial like Christ was for the church to your wives doesn’t it?
Please remember though, Jesus would have all saved, and we should remember to Hate the sin and Love the sinner!
Luke 6:27 says, ” “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,” NASB.
I point this out because I do not feel most Americans, and even Christians are educated on the teachings of the Koran.
Just in case anyone brings ups the crusades or Death in the Old Testament, I want to make it clear in advance that’s a moot point. The Nation of Israel acted like a NATION most of the time, But Christianity was never meant to function as a nation. Mark 12:17 records “And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him” (NASB) Not to mention a new covenant came into play here, one much more focused on teaching it’s disciples to be selfless and giving, and more inward focused than outward. Those witch hunts and crusades etc. are actions of a “Christian” government and often for political gain. Some of the Muslims are indeed manipulated (sadly) into terrorism but it goes much further than terrorism or political acts. I truly hope they find Christ and I am heartbroken over the violence in their land. I think DC has opened up a can of worms and feel i have rambled a little. Forgive me.