The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
Davood Nassur had a minor career as the superhero known as "Sinbad" when his natural telekinetic talents were amplified by an alien power belt. He was featured in a 3-issue Superman story.
Davood Nassur ("Sinbad") was a Muslim. His family was originally from the Middle Eastern Muslim nation of Qurac. When Sinbad encountered Superman he was a Quraci teenager living in the "Little Qurac" section of Metropolis. In the DC Universe, Qurac is known as a terrorist-supporting nation. Lex Luthor attempted to frame Sinbad and make people believe that the youth was yet another Quraci Islamic terrorist. Sinbad was not actually a terrorist, however.
From: "Superman Comics Index (from 1986)" page on "Superman Homepage" website (http://www.supermanhomepage.com/comics/comics-index-lists/comics-slist-intro.php?topic=comics-slist-1990; viewed 10 June 2007):
The Sinbad Contract with art by Curt Swan
Superman #48 (Oct)
Bill Messner-Loebs, Curt Swan, Dennis Janke
Part One - First Sinbad (Davood Nassur); Davood helps his sister Soraya, a Lexcorp secretary, escape using a belt device that boosts his psionic powers, from armored men; fearing Superman won't trust them because they are Quraci-americans, Davood stuns a pursuing Superman; Luthor knows he'll die within a year, and vows to kill Superman first. In the Metropolis Mailbag, the first Baldy is awarded.
Adventures of Superman #471 (Oct)
Bill Messner-Loebs, Curt Swan, Dennis Janke
Part Two - after Davood and Soraya trick Luthor into revealing his real nature, and his wish for the power belt that boosts meta-human powers, Luthor calls Maggie to say he's been attacked by a Quraci terrorist named Sinbad; Luthor meets with the D.M.T. people who were going to sell him the stolen belt - left over from the Dominator Invasion.
Action Comics #658 (Oct)
Bill Messner-Loebs, Curt Swan, Dennis Janke
Part Three of three - Sinbad helps Superman save Metropolis from an alien ufo rigged to explode, supplied by D.M.T. to Luthor, which Luthor hopes will kill Superman; containing the ufo's explosion destroys Davood's belt.
From: "The Unofficial Sinbad Biography" page on "The Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe" website (http://www.dcuguide.com/who.php?name=sinbad; viewed 10 June 2007):
SINBAD (Davood Nassur)
Real Name: Davood Nassur
First Appearance: Superman Vol. 2 #48 (October 1990)
A young man of Quraci descent who gained super-powers (a mild form of telekinesis) in the wake of the alien Invasion, Davood Nassur had his powers boosted by an experimental belt and came into conflict with both Lex Luthor and Superman. The belt was destroyed when he and Superman were finally able to work together, and David's powers have matured slowly since then. He has, on occasion, acted as a hero in Metropolis, most notably during the period following Superman's 'death' at the hands of Doomsday.
From: "Sinbad" page on "Oracle Files" website (http://unstable.com/oraclewiki/index.php?title=Sinbad; viewed 10 June 2007):
Sinbad Alter Ego: Davood Nassur
Known Relatives: Munea (Mother), Jahir (Uncle), Soraya (Sister), Hassan (Brother), Hoda (Sister)
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Little Qurac, Metropolis
First Appearance:SUPERMAN (second series) #48 (October, 1990)
Weight: 94 lbs.
HISTORY Davood Nassur was among the people for-ever changed by the Invasion. When the gene-bomb was exploded, Davood, along with all those with latent meta-powers, sickened. Then a cure was discovered, and Davood realized he might be more than human.
At first, Davood's powers were very minor - floating an inch above the ground and making a spoon levitate - but fate again intervened. Davood's elder sister, Soraya, worked as a secretary at LexCorp, and late one night she and Davood were given a package by a dying courier. It contained a belt which Lex Luthor had ordered stolen from an international weapons cartel, The DMT. When Davood and Soraya were attacked by armored assassins who had followed the courier, Davood strapped on the belt and called himself "Sinbad." The belt was a secret prototype, used to boost whatever meta-human capabilities the wearer might have. Davood immediately possessed speed, strength, flying powers, and a telekinetic force field that made him one of the most powerful beings on the planet. After trashing the assassins, Davood met Superman, and stunned him with a single blow.
In order to regain the belt, Luthor waged a campaign of anti-Arab hate-mongering, sending in mobs of paramilitary thugs to trash the stores and homes in Little Qurac, including the grocery where Davood livedwith his mother, uncle, and siblings. Luthor also dispatched a small band of costumed thugs, each calling himself "Sinbad," to commit acts of terror. Davood did his best to stop these impostors.
Because his father and uncle had both been victims of the Shah's secret police, Davood and his family tended to support the current Qurac government - and they feared and hated Superman, because of the Man of Steel's earlier attack on Qurac. It took considerable effort by both Super-man and Clark Kent to win their trust. Finally, Superman and Sinbad combined forces to destroy the death machines that the DMT (and Luthor) sent against them. But, while containing a nuclear blast over Metropolis, Sinbad's belt burned out, returning him to much lower power levels. Sinbad then went back to civilian life, unable to predict what powers he may develop as he matures.
POWERS and WEAPONS Because his powers were all telekinetic, Sinbad originally possessed nearly unlimited abilities: He was easily able to with-stand the blast of grenade launcher or a ground-to-air missile. Moreover, he had a force field that could protect from such perils at least one other person standing beside him. He could smash through a twenty-floor skyscraper, top to bottom, or soar into the stratosphere. He could men-tally increase the temperature of most objects until they bumed or melted. He could also read a person's thoughts, which appeared to him as shimmering colored images around the subject's head.
Now that his powers are diminished, Sin-bad has the strength and speed of a normal, well-conditioned adolescent. He also has traces of all his other powers, but their limits remain to be tested.
credits text: WILLIAM MESSNER-LOEBS
art: CURT SWAN and DENNIS JANKE
colors: TOM McCRAW
From: "Islamic super heroes: Are there any?" forum discussion, started 23 August 2005 on "Comic Book Resources" website (http://forums.comicbookresources.com/archive/index.php/t-76010.html; viewed 28 May 2007):
08-23-2005, 10:06 PM
Well, anyways, I was thinking of an idea for a UN-sanctioned super hero team with represenatives from different countries, and one of them is a female telepath from Turkey... named Sultana. And I suddenly realized that for the life of me I can't think of a single Muslim super-hero from either Marvel or DC.
So, are there any? And please don't turn this into a political debate.
08-24-2005, 06:27 AM
...there was Sinbad.
Yes, they named an Arabic hero Sinbad.
What's next? A tredneck hero named Paul Bunyan?
02-03-2006, 06:50 PM
Hmmm... Real name Davood Nassur, Qurac-American teenager, has a bit of telekinetic power which is amplified a thousandfold by this ultra-tech belt he wears?
He was pretty neat.
Apparently an issue of Comic Book Marketplace inadvertently indicated that the Hulk had been revealed as Jewish when in fact the writer was trying to note that Ben Grimm ("The Thing") had been revealed as Jewish. This misprint prompted the following discussion. From: "What issue was the Hulk revealed as Jewish?" forum discussion, started 12 November 2004 on IMWAN website (http://www.imwan.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=999&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=44; viewed 31 July 2007):
Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 12:22 pm
...Now, as to the question somewhere up there about why someone like you or me might prefer to leave the religious leanings of comic characters unrevealed. Very simply, I would do this because it can instantaneously either marginalize the potential readership who might have a strong emotional and/or religious objection to said religion. To maintain as wide of an appeal for most mainstream super-heroes, it really is best to avoid such a polarizing topic as their personal religious belief. Another reason is that it way too often becomes just a plot device for a writer to either proselytize or criticize the religion in question. And I really just don't like reading or seeing that in my super-hero comics. Another thing that it does is that most people do not have a moderate position on religion and whatever their position on it, the presence -- all of a sudden -- of a specific religious faith in a super-hero, once again, piles a bunch of presumptive baggage onto the character that he or she can smother under and basically kill the effective potential of the character. One of the worst things that Marvel ever did was take the swashbuckling, happy-go-lucky, Nightcrawler and turn him into a self-loathing, guilt-ridden extreme Catholic.
There are exceptions, and I would put that Muslim hero introduced recently in SUPERMAN and THE THING as the exceptions that prove the rule.
Webpage created 10 June 2007. Last modified 31 July 2007.
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