Review by: Andrew Gaboury

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Avg Rating: 4.0
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Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy
Cover by Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy
Variant Cover by Doug Mahnke

Size: 32 pages
Price: 2.99

I have some serious problems with this issue. The new 52 was launched with a commitment to diversity in its characters. What better way than to make one of the Green Lanterns an Arab Muslim? However, rather than create a positive symbol, Simon Baz is a criminal. And on the cover he has a gun. Not the way to defuse stereotypes. That’s not to say that all Muslims should be written as virtuous individuals but this is the only prominent one in DC’s lineup and this is how he’s portrayed? This is really bad characterization. He’s treated poorly by authorities and that part was written well. But you could have made the guy a successful heart surgeon and gotten the same emotional resonance rather than lazily make him a criminal. Very disappointed in what is a huge missed opportunity.

Story: 1 - Poor
Art: 4 - Very Good


  1. How is a criminal who redeems himself not a positive figure? I know plenty of those people. Why does EVERY minority character have to a paragon in order to be a superhero? The only former non-white criminal who became a superhero of any note that I can think of is Luke Cage — when we force people of color to live up to ridiculous standards in order to get to places that white people can get to JUST CAUSE that’s an even bigger and more pernicious form of racism. Hawkeye is a former criminal and everyone’s cool with that; this dude just so happened be a car thief (hey you know who else was a car thief before becoming a superhero? Jason Todd!) and it’s know its somehow a slap in the face to anyone with brown skin?

    • I never said every minority has to be portrayed as a positive character. I simply feel like this was lazy. There aren’t any Muslim characters as high profile as this Green Lantern. DC has no obligation to make Muslims likeable, they have to make engaging characters. I’m not engaged seeing Muslims wave a gun around and being a criminal. I just expected a more nuanced storyline.

    • Except this is a story we really AREN’T seeing. We’ve got a ton of “They’re harassing me because I’m (A MINORITY) but I’m really an upstanding citizen!” stories in various mediums. What about the people that are getting harassed and mistreated that just so happen to NOT be 100% on the up and up. That IS nuance because its harder for those people when you don’t fulfill the idea of a model minority and its a story we don’t really address.

      And you’re not seeing MUSLIMS waving guns around and being criminals; you’re seeing a criminal who just happens to be a Muslim – with 1.6 billion practicing members of the faith those people are going to exist and in the DCU one of them might just get superpowers.

    • Those are good points and you seem like you’re far more aware of the actual situation of Muslims in America than many. But with the highlighting of a Muslim character I think it would be preferable to show one that goes against the stereotype of the angry, violent young man. For many people (comic readers included) this will be their first encounter with a main character of Islamic or Arab background. I like your perspective and I’ll be back because I want to give Geoff Johns the benefit of the doubt. Maybe this characterization will come in the future but as an introduction, I wasn’t a fan.

    • Here’s a little comment that will end any and all speculation
      The reason Johns made Baz Arab-American was NOT diversity (let’s be honest the GL Corps are the most diverse group of heroes in existence.) it was to portray a part of himself in this run.
      As in this is Geoff Johns’ baby
      As in he put a part of himself I this book
      As in Geoff Johns is Arab-American.
      When a writer is on his way out they tend to leave something behind for people to remember them by.
      Chick Dixon-Bane
      Grant Morrison- Damian and half of the post final crisis bat-rogues
      Dan slot- Alpha
      Ron Marz- KYLE RAYNER!!
      Geoff Johns- Simon Baz

      Do you see the pattern?!?!!!
      Geoffs run on GL is about to end in a couple of years.
      This is his baby, a part of him to be remembered until the end of time.
      I DARE YA!!

    • Regardless of his perceived value as a character, I think Geoff Johns run on Green Lantern will be remembered far after he leaves the title without needing to intro Simon Baz.

  2. They are probably going the route of “This guy’s a jerkface I hate him”…several issues later…”oh…THAT EXPLAINS EVERYTHING! He’s ok now”

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