6 Middle Eastern Comic Book Superheroes Yet to Appear in Movies
Arabian Knight art by Pyroow
Comic book superheroes are all the rage at the cinema right now, spanning many genres from space operas to westerns to fantasy epics. But with so many of these films crowding the market, there doesn’t seem to be many Middle Eastern caped crusaders taking to the big screen. Here are a handful of Middle Eastern superheroes that may someday be seen in the next big summer blockbuster.
Green Lantern Simon Baz
The Green Lantern Corps has always been an expansive collective of universe protectors, from the black Jon Stewart to the redheaded Guy Gardner. In 2012, Simon Baz became the first Lebanese-American member of the corps, inducted for being a criminal that wanted to reform his ways with heroic intentions. Not only did he play a major role in the arcs of Rise of the Third Army and Wrath of the First Lantern, but he would later become a member of the Justice League of America and a regular of the Green Lantern comic book series alongside the first female member, Jessica Cruz.
The most recent iterations of the helmeted hero with magical powers have been the Egyptian characters of Khalid Ben-Hassin and Khalid Nassour. True, both of these versions were from opposite universes separate from the main cannon; Ben-Hassin being from Earth-2 and Nassour from Earth-0. But these characters still made for some great origin stories of the sorcerer dressed in gold and blue.
Based on the hero from the television series The Secrets of Isis, Andrea Thomas is a science teacher with the ability to call on the ancient goddess Isis to become a superhero with the powers of magic and nature. Though Isis started off as a live-action tagalong show for the Captain Marvel show, she eventually become integrated into the DC Comics universe, playing a fairly big role in the event series 52, where she was paired up with Black Adam. There is a big chance she’ll appear on the screen soon with the prospect of a Captain Marvel movie with Black Adam being played by Dwayne Johnson.
Recruited by Batman for his global team of Batman Incorporated, Bilal Asselah is an Algerian Sunni Muslim that dons a costume to become the parkour hero Nightrunner. Working within the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, he aids Batman in taking down a child slavery ring. He didn’t appear in the comics for very long, spanning a small run of Detective Comics and Batman Annual issues, but he’s worth coming back to if there should ever be a Batman Incorporated movie.
A long-time member of Marvel’s Eternals, the Gilgamesh is one of the strongest in the group of near-immortals of Mesopotamian origins. Sometimes known as Hercules or Forgotten One over the years, he possesses many superpowers including super strength, flight, optic blasts and, of course, the ability to live on through the centuries. He’s been a member of the Avengers and done battle against the likes of Growing Man and Supernova. With his anti-aging longevity, a host of superpowers and an expert level of hand-to-hand combat skills, he’d be an invaluable addition for the Avengers in future films.
When demons escape from their tombs, Abdul Qamar, the descendant of a Muslim hero, is forced to pick up the magical scimitar, carpet, and armor to do battle as Arabian Knight. Though never an official member of the Avengers, he has worked alongside Iron Man, Hulk and Ghost Rider. And while there have been three different versions of the hero since his first appearance in 1981, all of them were Muslim and fittingly so.