Simon Baz was an automotive engineer from Dearborn, Michigan. After losing his job in Detroit’s fluctuating automotive industry, he began stealing cars to help assist with finances. One night, after stealing a vehicle, he discovered that there was an explosive planted in the back of it. Due to his ethnic and religious background, he was prosecuted for terrorism after narrowly escaping the car explosion. Elsewhere, Hal Jordan and Thaal Sinestro’s malfunctioning power rings presumed them both dead during an altercation with Black Hand. Their two defected power rings fused together and immediately sought out Earth's replacement Lantern, Simon Baz!
Simon Baz was created by Green Lantern writer Geoff Johns and artist Doug Mahnke . He is the first Arab American member of the Green Lantern Corps. Simon's heritage and home town are both influenced by Geoff Johns', who is half Lebanese, and a native of Detroit, Michigan.
Major Story Arcs
The New Normal
In the aftermath of the bombing of the Twin Towers, many Muslim and Arabs living in the United States became victims of Islamphobic and xenophobic harassment. Simon Baz and his sister were often the targets of those attacks while growing up. However, as the years progressed and the harassment digressed, Simon and his sister were able to adjust and eventually live normal lives. He acquired a degree in automotive engineering, becoming an engineer in Detroit’s automotive industry and his sister would eventually marry and have a child.
Simon’s affection for automotives led him to illegal street racing, a pastime that nearly caused his best friend to lose his life. Simon was involved in a car crash during a race with his sister’s husband, Nazir Armar. Although he recovered from the incident, Nazir did not, as he was hospitalized and left in a coma. Sometime later, Simon was laid off from the automotive factory that he was employed at. Shouldering the guilt of being involved in the incident that placed Nazir in a coma and the loss of his job at the auto factory, which made things tougher on him financially, Simon became a car thief.
One night, after stealing a supposed already stolen vehicle, he discovered that the vehicle had an explosive planted in the back of it. After narrowly escaping the explosion he was arrested and persecuted as a domestic terrorist. After days of pleading his lack of involvement with terrorists, the federal agents that detained him decided to amplify their interrogation methods. FBI agent Franklin Fed was brought in as a new interrogator. Simon, sticking to the story of being nothing more than a car thief, was black bagged and guided into a new room, where he was to be bonded to a table for Agent Fed to subject stricter interrogation tactics.
Simon began ferociously fighting off the men holding, knocking out two of them. Agent Fed pulled out his firearm, and while fearlessly staring down the barrel of the gun, the malfunctioning fused power ring of Hal Jordan and Thaal Sinestro crashed through the building and placed itself upon Simon’s finger.
Rise of the Third Army: Justice League Altercation
The Guardians of the Universe were the leaders of the intergalactic “peace keeping” organization, the Green Lantern Corps. After coming to the conclusion that Lanterns were ineffective due to free will, they began an initiative to eradicate every single Green Lantern in the universe and replace them with the Third Army.
On Earth, shortly after the Green Lantern ring placed itself upon the finger of Simon Baz, it quickly removed him from all immediate danger by transporting him away from the facility where he had been interrogated. Once away, Simon willed the ring to transport him again, this time it flew him to Dearborn, Michigan. After landing in Dearborn, Simon sought assistance from his sister, Sira Baz. Moments prior to Simon’s arrival, she had been laid off from the driver's licences facility she worked at for being related to the suspected terrorist. When Simon approached her, she recommended him to get away. She asked him to meet her later, at a location where they used to hide as children when being harassed. Elsewhere, the Guardian’s Third Army landed on Earth and began mutating humans into members of their rankings.
Back at the facility that Simon escaped from, Agent Fed contacted Amanda Waller. Waller in turn, contacted the president of the United States. Feeling apprehensive about a terrorist wielding a Green Lantern power ring, the president contacted the Justice League. However, the League had already been somewhat alerted of the situation after Cyborg intercepted the transmission from Agent Fed to Amanda Waller. Later that day, when Simon arrived at the location Sira asked him to meet her at; he was confronted by the Justice League.
The Justice League, who were briefed on Simon Baz’s charges, were more concerned with how Simon got a hold of the Green Lantern ring that he wielded. Earth’s first Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, had quit the League and prior to his resign, he informed the League how the Green Lantern Corps chose new members. Batman explained to Simon that, if he was the new Lantern of Earth then that meant that Hal Jordan had been killed. Simon refuted that he did not kill Hal Jordan, and to prove his innocence, he suggested Wonder Woman to use her Lasso of Truth on him. However, when instructed to remove the power ring first, the malfunctioning ring lit up and attacked the League. Understanding what he had just involuntarily done, Simon fled the scene in a car light-construct created by his power ring. Flash and Superman pursed after him, but were unable to catch him due to the number of decoy car constructs created by Simon. Elsewhere, the Third Army continued to increase their numbers by mutating humans they encounter while hunting for Lantern energy.
Confronting Edward Wale
After escaping the Justice League, Simon later met up with his sister. She gave him the identity and location of the person that owned the vehicle with the bomb planted in the back of it, Edward Wale. Simon arrived at the location with the intentions of making peace with Wale for stealing his van. He also had hoped that Wale could have given him clues as to who might have stolen the van prior to him taking it. However, after allowing Simon to step inside his home, Wale removed a firearm from his waist and pointed it at him. He explained to Simon that the van was not previously stolen and that he himself had planted the explosives! His intents were to kill a bunch of pedestrians riding a train for unspecified reasons.
With the intent to kill, Wale fired a shot at Simon. However, the attack was deferred by the aura created by Simon's Green Lantern power ring. The ring then alerted Simon that its energy levels had been depleted to zero, which rendered Simon defenseless. After being cornered in the back of Wale’s home by gunfire, Agent Fed arrived at the scene. Simon then explained to Fed what Wale had explained to him. Fed informed Wale that he was a FBI agent and instructed him to put down his firearm. After Wale refused to comply, the Third Army (whom had been tracking Simon’s Lantern energy) crashed through the back of the home. Wale was immediately attacked and mutated by the Army. Simon picked up the gun that Wale had dropped and he, as well as Agent Fed, fled into the basement.
Once in the basement of the home, the two discovered Wale’s armory. In the mass array of firearms, Fed discovered a number of explosive devices constructed by Wale. After arming one of the bombs, he and Simon fled the basement through the cellar doors. The explosives detonated, killing the swarm of Third Army minions that attacked them. Simon decided to hold on to Wale’s gun and would eventually use it during later adventures.
Once cleared of the explosion, Simon and Agent Fed were approached by B’dg. The space squirrel Lantern of the Green Lantern Corps had tracked Simon by tracing Hal Jordan’s Lantern energy, infused inside Simon’s power ring. He explained to them that they must retrieve the Lantern Battery, designated to the power ring that Simon possessed, in order to recharge the ring’s energy and play the distress messages left on it by Hal Jordan and Sinestro. B’dg then went on to explain the concept of the Green Lantern Corps and informed Simon of the danger that the Guardians of The Universe posed. After the events with Edward Wale, Agent Fed was convinced of Simon’s innocence. However, he explained that it would be difficult to prove his innocence to his superiors without any evidence, which was destroyed in the explosion. Simon and B’dg fled the scene in search of the Lantern Battery while Agent Fed contacted Amanda Waller and attempted to explain Simon’s situation.
After Simon and B’dg located the Lantern Battery, Simon recharged his power ring and played the distress messages. The recorded message left by Hal Jordan explained that he and Sinestro had been “killed” by being sucked into the Black Power ring of Black Hand. The recorded message left by Thaal Sinestro ordered Simon to locate Arkillo. After explaining to Simon that Sinestro was not to be trusted, B’dg stumbled upon the Book of the Black, which he and Simon later used to locate Black Hand.
Prior to using the Book of The Black to travel to Black Hand’s location, Simon asked Sira to meet him at the hospital where her husband laid in a coma. While there, he did what no Green Lantern has ever done. Using solely his will power, Simon awoke his sister husband, Nazir Armar, from a coma that he had been in ever since an incident during an illegal street race with Simon awhile back. Shortly after those events, B’dg and Simon went on to help, the then de-powered, Guy Gardner fend off a Third Army swarm. Once done, the three rendezvoused on the moon. After swapping intel, Guy headed to Oa, to warn the Lanterns of the Guardians betrayal and B’dg and Simon traveled to Black Hand’s location, using the Book of the Black, in search of Hal Jordan.
Wrath of the First Lantern: Sinestro Altercation
In the epilogue of Rise of the Third Army, Lanterns of the various Emotional Spectrums lead an assault against the Guardians of The Universe for trying to eradicate and replace them. During the attack the First Lantern, Volthoom, escaped with the intent on changing reality to his will. Once released, Volthoom absorbed the spectrum energy that the Guardians had drained from him to power their Third Army. Without the energy to power them, the Army disintegrated.
Elsewhere, after using the Book of The Black to locate Black Hand, Simon Baz and B’dg were transported to the inescapable prison, The Chamber of Shadows. During the events of Rise of the Third Army, the Guardians imprisoned Black Hand in the Chamber of Shadows after amplifying the power of his Black Lantern ring to suck Hal Jordan and Thaal Sinestro into the Dead Zone.
Once inside the chambers common grounds, Simon found himself at the mercy of Black Hand and after gathering his bearings, he attacked him. During Rise of the Third Army, not all of the Guardians of The Universe agreed with the Third Army proposal. The Templar Guardians, who had decided to rebel against the eradication of the Lanterns, were imprisoned within the chambers by the other Guardians. The imprisoned Guardians were able to hear the battle between Simon and Black Hand, which ensued directly outside of their chamber, and began pleading for their immediate release.
After Black Hand got the best of him, Simon decided to free the Guardians from their chamber after initially disagreeing to do so. Everything that he had heard about The Guardians from B’dg and Guy Gardner, led him to believe that none of them could be trusted. Simon began to question the Templar Guardians and while awaiting an explanation, Black Hand sucked him into the Dead Zone, where he met Hal Jordan and Sinestro.
Sinestro informed Simon that he had been killed, just as they were, by being sucked into Black Hand's power ring. However, Hal Jordan was not convinced that Simon had died. Jordan explained that if he were dead, the power ring that Simon wielded, would have removed itself and chose a new replacement Lantern, just as it did when Hal died. Sinestro realized that Jordan’s assessment was correct and in an effort to retrieve the power ring, he attacked Simon. The power ring that Simon possesses was originally forged by Sinestro for Jordan and contained both Jordan and Sinestro’s Lantern energy. When Simon attempted to defend himself by attacking Sinestro with the power ring, the ring recognized Sinestro and failed to do so. Instead, Simon removed the handgun he had acquired during the events of Rise of the Third Army and shot Sinestro. Being within the Dead Zone, Sinestro rejuvenated shortly after.
B’dg and the newly freed Templar Guardians were able to confine Black Hand and began attempting to pull Simon from the Dead Zone. Not wanting to leave Hal Jordan behind, Simon willed the power ring to split into two. The ring released Jordan’s infused energy, which formed into a new ring, and designated Hal Jordan as its bearer. However, Sinestro attacked Jordan, which resulted in him becoming the bearer of the ring. When B’dg and the Templar Guardians pulled Simon from the Dead Zone, Sinestro appeared with him!
Sinestro would eventually go on to track down and attack White Lantern Kyle Rayner with hopes of bringing back Korugar, his home planet. B’dg and Simon later arrived at the scene and after Sinestro attempted to steal Kyle’s White Power ring, it deemed him “unsuitable” and chose Simon Baz instead. However, Simon only wielded the ring for a short period of time after it deemed him to also be “unsuitable” when he attempted to use it to bring back Korugar. Simon, B’dg, Sinestro, Kyle and many other Lanterns would later go on to battle the First Lantern.
Justice League of America
Sometime after his altercation with Edward Wale and following the events of Wrath of The First Lantern, Simon Baz was offered the opportunity to join Amanda Waller and Steve Trevor's "Justice League of America" under the pretense that, his criminal charges would be dropped and his innocence publicly declared after FBI Agent Franklin Fed vouched for him.
During the events of Trinity war, Baz was seen chasing Batman, who was in possession of Pandora's Box, until Superman attacked him. After Cyborg's (Victor) body was mangled by Crime Syndicate member "The Grid", Baz's ring was the only thing preventing Victor from death.
Ambassador to Earth, and guardian of Hal Jordan's family
In need of the Red Lanterns help during the fight with Relic, Hal Jordan promised the current leader of the Red Lanterns (and former Green Lantern himself), Guy Gardner, his own sector of space. Guy Gardner chose sector 2814 which contains the Red Lantern's homeworld of Ysmault, as well as Earth. As a condition of the sanctity of the Red Lantern's policing of sector 2814, Guy Gardner declared that no Green Lantern can enter their sector, including Earth. As an added term, Hal Jordan requested permission to keep Simon Baz down on Earth to keep an eye on things and be the Green Lantern Corps' own ambassador.
Later, Hal Jordan stops by his brother's home in Coast City to say his goodbyes, because he is preparing for war and must leave for an undetermined amount of time (and he isn't allowed on Earth anyways). Before he leaves, he calls Simon Baz to his brother's home to introduce him to his brother and his family, and to task him with guarding their lives. Hal tells Simon that anything that happens to them is on him. Hal also tells Simon that he is not to leave Earth, or he will be breaking the promise made to the Red Lanterns. Jim Jordan tells Simon that he and his kids have seen Simon and B'dg on TV, and that it makes his children miss seeing their Uncle Hal.
Training Jessica Cruz
Simon Baz will go on to train the first female ringbearer of Earth, Jessica Cruz. Cruz came into possesion of the Power Ring's (Harold Jordan of Earth-3) ring following his demise at the hands of Thaal Sinestro.
Powers and Abilities
Simon Baz is a bearer of a Green Lantern Ring, a powerful device that allows him to construct anything he can imagine, based on his will. Similar to the other Earth Lanterns, he has a unique theme to his constructs. Being an automotive engineer, Simon's light constructs are often automobiles and/or auto tools.
Simon has also been shown to have a unique ability to Green Lanterns, the power to heal. He is able to wake his brother-in-law from a coma through sheer willpower, and very nearly revived Thaal Sinestro's homeworld of Korugar and all of it's citizens when in possession of the White Lantern ring.
More recently, Simon achieved a new feat with his healing abilities. He was able to cure aRed Lantern of the effects of the Red Lantern Ring, an ability normally only held by Blue Lanterns. Not only does he cleanse all the rage in their heart, but keeps them from dying, which is the standard effect of being separated from a red ring. However, two drawbacks have been seen. The effort necessary for curing a Red Lantern is taxing and leaves Simon fatigued and in pain for a short period. Secondly, if the target Lantern becomes enraged again, the effects of the ring quickly return, turning the back into Red Lanterns.
Simon has also displayed another new ability known as Emerald Sight. While little is known about this ability, it apparently allows him to receive visions of the future.
Simon Baz is a bearer of the Green Lantern Ring. The abilities the ring grants him are:
- Animating: A Green Lantern can will things to move how he wants.
- Artificial Intelligence: Every ring has a connection to the Main Battery on Oa, which taps into an artificial intelligence. It acts as an "on-board computer," telling the wearer what they need to know. It can either respond out loud, or silently directly to the wearer's mind. The AI contains a large database of information that may be crucial to a Lantern's success. The ring also translates nearly every language to and from the wearer (though they have difficulty translating profanity), which is why the Corps can communicate with each other. When the bearer of a Green Lantern ring dies, the ring will seek out a suitable replacement for their sector. The AI can be used to play a holographic playback sequence complete with colors across the spectrum based on information in memory banks. The ring can dictate when to pause or stop the playback should an interruption arise where the Lanterns undivided attention is needed. The AI can also alert the wielder of incoming threats or of attempts to manipulate the wielders construct by an outside party.
- Burglar Alarm: A Green Lantern can coat anything with the ring's beam and thus, if anyone other than himself touches it, his ring will glow, alerting him to the possible theft.
- Communicator: The ring can act as a personal communicator between Green Lanterns. They have also been seen connected to telephones.
- Costumes: The wearer of the ring may create any costume they choose, based on their personal preferences, whenever they choose. The ring projects the costume over any clothes already worn at the time. The only rules that the Guardians of the Universe implement on the creation of a individual costumed is that the ring bearer display the insignia of the Green Lantern Corps.
- Energy Projection: The rings can also project beams, form protective bubbles and force fields, and fire destructive blasts. Sometimes, depending on the wearer, the beams and blasts make sounds. Kilowog's ring is one such example of blasts making sounds.
- Energy Constructs: The rings can construct anything the wearer can imagine from hard-light energy, as long as they are willing to make it. The more determined the wearer is, the more complex and intricate these things can be. The constructs can even be so complex as to form working machines, computers, and even people. However, Hal is known for his relatively simple, straightforward constructs like his ever faithful boxing glove.
- Flight: The ring allows the wearer to fly in atmosphere or in space, and can achieve incredible speeds, moving from planet to planet in a matter of hours.
- Invisibility: The ring can make the wearer or anything else invisible.
- Matter Manipulation: A Green Lantern can use their ring to manipulate nearby matter, such as water, for various purposes such as a construct that acts like an energy construct but can block something yellow and may serve a purpose that an energy construct couldn't perform.
- Mind Control: The wearer of the Ring can use it to plant post hypnotic commands or control a person.
- Mirages: The Ring can create mirages/illusions.
- Phasing: The ring allows the user to go through walls. This ability however required great concentration on the bearer of the ring
- Power Absorbing: In the JLA's first fight with Amazo, it was GL who defeated him by drawing out all of Amazo's powers. In Green Lantern/ Silver Surfer: Unholy Alliances, Kyle defeated Parallax with SS' power and Thanos with Oa's energy by drawing out all that extra energy from them which made them unconscious. However he couldn't hold all that power nor could his Ring like Hal did with Amazo's powers, so that move isn't often used with so much power.
- Probing: The ring can probe the Lantern's or another person's mind, allowing him to uncover memories or the person's thoughts. (An ability which has not been seen for some time)
- Recharging: The rings need to be recharged by means of aPower Battery. Other large sources of power may be used to recharge a power ring, however effectiveness may vary. The internal power source of a Manhunter Android is, in effect, the same as a power battery, and can be used to recharge a power ring. During the JLA / Avengers crossover, a Cosmic Cube was used to recharge a depleted ring, although this is not an ideal solution and is available if there are no other options.
- Ring Duplication: Each ring can duplicate itself, creating a second ring which may be given to another as a backup, for protection, or to help the lantern in times of great need. This duplicate ring is exactly like a normal ring.
- Temperature Control: The Ring can increase or decrease the temperature of anything, even something as large as stars, or even create bubbles of intense heat or cold, even down to Absolute Zero. This could be seen in the recent Sinestro Corps War when Sallak used his ring to incase an enemy in a force bubble an incinerate him.
- Transforming (former): The ring can transform anyone or anything, be it into an animal, altering their state of appearance, or their size. Once Hal and Alan turned the two Flashes (Barry and Jay) to light protons in order to free them from prisons.
- Electro-magnetic scanning: The ring can allow(through the use of x rays) the user to see through walls, without the people on the other side knowing. it can also scan along the Electromagnetic spectrum.
- Wormhole/Warps: The ring can open wormholes to cut down on distance.
- Healing: A wielder can command a ring to heal him/her/itself of any injures incurred. It can also heal others. This ability however cannot regenerate lost limbs.
- Energy twin: The ring can create an energy copy of the wielder which is connected to the ring wielder, any information the twin gathers is transferred to the wielder upon touch while others cannot see this twin apart from fellow Green Lanterns.(An ability which has not been seen for some time)
- Pocket dimension: Within the ring is a pocket dimension which can altered to the wielders specification. It can be used to contain opponents.
- Sub-routines: The power rings have inner programmings or mechanisms which can executed without the users permission. One such sub-routine is the autoshield. This shield automatically protects a wielder from external harm and has been proven to be capable of protecting the wielder from planetary level attacks.
Besides his Green Lantern ring, Simon utilizes the use of a handgun. Since his ring was unpredictable and unreliable, Simon kept his handgun on him to use for emergencies. It has come in handy on more than one occasion.