DC Comics, or the company that is behind all Batman and Superman comics and movies, as well as all other characters in their universe took part in Washington’s Syrian propaganda narrative.
The twitter account “Stranf of the web of life,” published a crop of a page that shows the origin story of Sandstorm, a Syrian superhero, who was part of the Global Guardians.
Really love how comic books continue to be propaganda outlets for the US war machine pic.twitter.com/ELTJa2jvmY
— Strand of the web of life (@thatrollbert) December 5, 2018
In the comic issue, Nabil Azmah has power of the desert sands, which is quite dull and a very unsurprising generalization of all Arabic people and their orientalization and relation to the desert.
A twitter user by the name of Ahmet Altindal ironically pointed out that Douma is “in the desert,” which it isn’t. DC script writers probably do not know that Douma is a densely populated urban area in eastern Damascus.
Of course the superpower involves desert sands (Cos Douma is in a desert (!) clearly). Because you just can't stop orientalising Middle Easterners when you write about them. Whats next? Humus Man and his sidekick, Falafel Lad?
— AAltindal (@Ahmet_Altindal) December 5, 2018
Regardless, Nabil Azmah, or Sandstorm, was managed to escape from Syria. His sister was not so fortunate, because “the Russians’ puppet” Assad “gassed” her. It is interesting to see if there was any proof that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ordered chemical attacks on his own people in the comic book, but no such background is provided.
However, Sandstorm also became a child slave, together with thousands of others. He freed himself and many children thanks to his superpowers. It would be unsurprising if the mainstream media and Washington took up claims that Syria also had child slave camps, but it appears that it was so absurd that it could only be provided in an actual work of fiction, rather than presented as fact.
Also, in the issue Superman apparently teams up with Black Adam, a supervillain (occasional antihero) who has consistently been a major enemy of the Justice League, the super hero Shazzam (formerly called Captain Marvel) among others.
The canon version of Black Adam is an ancient Egyptian named Teth-Adam (Mighty Human). He received his powers from a wizard, however decided to use them for evil. Deciding that he should rule the world, Mighty Adam overthrows and kills the pharaoh and assumes the Egyptian throne.
Thus, a tyrant who enslaves an entire country is actually called in to help fight the greater evil, Assad himself. Nonetheless, even a superpowered oppositionist did not manage to defeat the “evil forces” of the Syrian government.
WOW, Sandstrom was killed later in the comic, the Syrian opposition can't win even in DC world LOL pic.twitter.com/DqRSCKAGpf
— Within Syria (@WithinSyriaBlog) December 5, 2018
It is important to note, , that Sandstorm whoweveras not killed by any ally of Assad (or possibly it wasn’t revealed as such). Prometheus is a villain who is American, from a “hippie family,” that also somehow resemble Bonnie and Clyde. He also can be hired to carry out missions, so a future issue might include information on the DC Comics version of Bashar al-Assad paying him for services rendered.
This is not the first time American comic publishers take part in US propaganda. Superman fought quite a few Japanese supervillains and normal villains since his initial appearance in 1938, the same goes for Batman and the Justice League itself. DC also changed numerous characters to fit with the social inclusion agenda.
Marvel doesn’t really fall behind, as can be seen with their recent Social Justice drive, with replacing long-standing characters with different versions, simply for social inclusion, instead of introducing new characters. There is also Captain America, who usually fights against Nazis, Russians and other pseudo-Soviet enemies.
The perpetuation of the narrative is not surprising, after all, comic books are also media, and they are quite mainstream, especially in recent years. While general American public remains mostly uninformed about the real sitaution in the Syrian conflict zone, it may appear soon that all info, which a majority of the US youth knows about the war, is received from this kind of comic books.