Meet the new Green Lantern: A Muslim Arab American ETHAN SACKS Today, 7:46 AM DC COMICS Arab American Simon Baz, DC Comics’ newest hero and a milestone in comics as a Muslim headlining his own comic, puts a ring on it in ‘Green Lantern #0’ Meet the new Green Lantern, a Muslim-American who wears an Arabic tattoo on the same arm as his power ring. DC Comics is introducing its newest superhero in “Green Lantern #0” Wednesday — and Simon Baz is likely to be turning comic book fans’ heads faster than a speeding bullet. “In general, when you think about Arabs and Muslims in main roles in pop culture, they’re always the villains,” said Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York. “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.” Longtime readers don’t have to panic, however: Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern usually headlining the series, wasn’t bumped off. He’s just stuck in a sort of limbo with his old frenemy, Sinestro, in an ongoing plotline. That paved the way for writer Geoff Johns to make his addition to the Green Lantern Corps, an intergalactic police force. DC COMICS The newest member of the Corps, Baz, is a downsized auto worker from Dearborn, Mich., who gets the call to be Jordan’s replacement in the galactic sector that includes Earth. “It’s an amalgam of a bunch of different things,” Johns told The News. “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.” Baz’s real secret origin, though, may have come from a chance encounter Johns had with two Arab-American comic fans a few years ago. That got him thinking that the four-color world of comic books could use a few more hues. “It continued to reinforce that our readership is extremely diverse, so we want to continue to diversify the characters in our universe,” Johns said. The storyline in Wednesday’s issue is part the publisher’s reboot of its fictional universe last year, which wiped out more than seven decades of continuity. The original Green Lantern, Alan Scott, a character first introduced in the 1940, was reimagined earlier this year as a homosexual hero in another series. “At this point, after making Alan Scott gay — that was sort of the big one. Other than a few idiots who somehow felt it was a betrayal, there doesn’t seem to be many people offended,” says Harry Knowles, founder of Ain’t It Cool News, a geek culture news website. “The thing about these characters, they get redefined by the times they are in," Knowles said. "That's how they attract new readers.” I'm not a comic book guy, but this is pandering in the worst way. How long until Batman and Robin are buttfucking in the next issue?