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Author Topic: Busiek's Sirocco  (Read 2846 times)
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Council of Wisdom
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« on: September 06, 2007, 01:13:20 PM »

It actually makes sense that Superman would give Sirocco his wonderfully evocative name, instead of him choosing it for himself. Most native people call the Sahara Desert wind (which can get up to a shocking 90 miles per hour) khamsin. Sirocco, or scirocco, is a term used only by Europeans.

There was an interview a while back where Busiek said that he originally intended his Arion, Lord of Atlantis/Khyber plot to be a part of his unceremonially ended run on JLA. Is it possible that Sirocco may have originally been intended to be the first Muslim/Middle Eastern member of the Justice League?

There is one forseeable hole about the connection between Sirocco and Khyber. If Sirocco really does feel such guilt for the Assassin Master's actions, and the two really are connected...why doesn't Sirocco kill himself? Wouldn't that kill Khyber too, and save the world from him?

Anyway, I like Sirocco. His powers (healed by sunlight, superspeed/agility, that sun-spear of his) are interesting, as is his strange, guilt-inducing connection to a major, malevolent villain that is a big plot point that is slowly revealed. He's a good addition to the Superman supporting cast and allies, along with Supergirl, Vartox, Valdemar, and Superwoman II.

I've always felt that Superman is better served less by the creation of a "Superman Family" in the style of the Marvel Family...and more by the creation of interesting allies that surround him, like Vartox and Sirocco. It's a crying shame Batman and the Outsiders were able to steal away the previously Metropolis-based Black Lightning from Superman's orbit. Jefferson Pierce would have made a great regular Superman ally.

An overused movie cliche is to give the hero a sidekick who is the same ethnicity as the villains, so you deflect charges of prejudice. There's no talking about Sirocco without mentioning the fact the guy's Middle Eastern. I for one, like his costume design, with its strong, unusual colors. It's superheroic and futuristic and hints at his desert-powers, instead of being some absurd "It's a Small World" or EPCOT stereotype outfit based on the hero's culture. If there was a Dutch hero, you KNOW he'd wear wooden shoes.

They don't ignore the fact the guy's Middle Eastern or an Arab, they make it a part of his identity...but at the same time he isn't a cartoon. He doesn't give supercampy dialogue like "By the Prophet! Behold, O Mighty Man of Steel, my swooping falcon grasping yon peasant youth!"

It's interesting they'd take all this time to give an Arab hero the LUKE CAGE, POWER MAN treatment. It's a funny thing about minorities: the squeaky wheel gets the grease. People say stuff about Arabs they'd never say about Jews or blacks. As relatively recently as 1986, in one really godawful episode of TRANSFORMERS, they had a country called "Carbombistan." Boy, was that unbelievably thick-headed. It's understandable Casey Kasem (who is of Lebanese descent) would quit the show over that. If they called a country El Spicagua or Kike-istan, the episode wouldn't air. Middle Easterners and Arab-Americans, up until the past five years or so, have been pretty invisible as a minority.

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