Jun 23 2011
Superman’s planned team-up with a Muslim superhero, Sharif’ has been canceled at the last minute. Apparently, Sharif discovered that in light of today’s rampant Islamic terrorism around the world, people don’t want help from a Muslim ‘superhero,’ they just want him dead.
COMICS ALLIANCE – As part of the ‘Grounded’ storyline, the Man of Steel was originally intended to fight alongside the new character Sharif in Superman #712, which was released this week. Instead, the issue contained a story about Krypto the Superdog that was originally created by Kurt Busiek and Rick Leonardi during Busiek’s 2007 run, but never saw print.
[Sharif]was an immigrant from the fictional Arab country of Qurac — DC’s go-to stand-in for the Middle East — who came to America and discovered that he possessed super-powers. After meeting Superman, he was inspired to use those powers for good, to the point where even as a kid, he was one of the characters who stepped up to protect Metropolis in the aftermath of Superman’s (temporary) death.
“DC Comics determined that the previously solicited story did not work within the ‘Grounded’ storyline,” said the publisher in its newsletter to retailers on Tuesday night. “
Legendary artist George Perez, who had produced a variant cover for the issue in memory of a friend, apologized for the cancellation on his Facebook page and expressed “consternation and disappointment” about the last minute move by DC. The publisher angered right-wing bloggers last year with the introduction of a French-Muslim Batman in Batman Inc.
More likely, the reason for the cancellation was the uproar caused by the release of Action Comics #900, in which Superman renounced his American citizenship. After ComicsAlliance covered the story, it made headlines in the national media.
CA Editor-in-Chief Laura Hudson was interviewed about it on FOX News, and references to it are still cropping up in mainstream articles on comic books. I have to imagine that the attention to the panel above took DC by surprise; I can’t imagine that anyone was prepared for one line in a backup story to be picked up by national media outlets and blown up into something capital-R Relevant, especially in a conversation that had less to do with the actual context of the story than with the sexy soundbite of “SUPERMAN HATES AMERICA!”
But whether they were prepared or not, the outcome was the same: there was now attention focused at DC, rooted in a desire to catch the publisher in activities so un-American that Glenn Beck would have to wheel out another chalkboard. DC didn’t want the hassle of dealing with an anchor leading off the news with “Superman renounced his American citizenship — and you won’t believe his new terrorist sidekick!”