habib ben hassan

Arabs in Comics - #4

#4. The Doctor (Habib Ben Hassan)

A would-be Palestinian suicide bomber (it seems there is no other kind), Habib is selected as the The Authority’s new Doctor after Jeroen Thornedike. After his attempt to create pace in the Middle East is thwarted (I really need to read that issue), the remainder of his story line sees Habib deal with suicide on a routine basis; his love interest Jenny Quarx sacrifices herself, while he himself commits suicide at world’s end.

Then he comes back as some sort of leaf monster and is defeated for good.

I have yet to actually read any of his appearances, but kudos to Wildstorm for inventing a Palestinian superhero, short lived as he was. 

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The Doctor, Jeroen Thornedike by Bryan Hitch colors by Laura Martin

The Doctor, Habib Ben Hassan by Dustin Nguyen

“The Shaman”

Origins: Jeroen (Yeh-roon) Thornedike was a man from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In one canon, Jeroen became The Doctor a moment before his life ended via suicide. In the other canon, he was a computer genius with his own company that went under who was given the title of the Earth’s shaman and refused to take it. Jenny Sparks coaxes him into his title by shooting herself in the head and forcing him to use part of the Earth’s lifespan to save her.

Habib (Ha-beeb) Ben Assan was a 16-year-old boy from Palestine. Tensions between his nation and Israel led to his becoming a suicide bomber. A moment before he triggers the bomb at a military checkpoint, Jeroen dies and the title of the Doctor passes onto Habib. Enlightened by the new power and perspective, the first miracle Habib performs is the creation of peace between Israel and Palestine.

The Doctors, especially Jeroen, are sometimes referred to as “the mad Shaman.”

Superhero abilities: The Doctor is a title has spanned for centuries across many men (with the implied inclusion of George Washington, Mahatma Ghandi, and Dr. Martin Luthor King, among others). The Doctor is meant to be the Earth’s shaman and his power is sourced in her energies–as such, it is very nature-based, but comes in the form of magic. The title also comes with its own realm, where the shaman can retreat for advice and wisdom from the spirits of the Doctors who have come before him. The Doctors have a strong empathetic connection to all of Earth and her creatures, which sometimes overwhelms them with emotion.

Best appearances (in your writer’s humble opinion): The original Authority run by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch. The Secret History of The Authority: Jenny Sparks by Mark Millar and John McCrea. The Authority: Revolution by Ed Brubaker and Dustin Nguyen.

Best quote: “All magic is, is change.”