Marvel stole Israeli superhero idea from me, says cartoonist

Uri Fink, who created a character named Sabraman in 1978, predicts that Israeli superhero won’t be depicted in a positive light “in these ‘woke’ times.”

By World Israel News Staff

An Israeli cartoonist says that American comic book publisher Marvel Comics stole his idea for an Israeli superhero, on the heels of an announcement that the character in question will make her cinematic debut in an upcoming movie.

Marvel Comics announced on Saturday that its upcoming movie, “Captain America: New World Order,” will feature Israeli actress Shira Haas as an Israeli superhero, Sabra. The film is scheduled to hit the theaters on May 3, 2024.

“So I woke up to the morning of endless… messages following the news that [Israeli actress] Shira Haas will play the character ‘Sabra’ in the next ‘Captain America’ movie, and that it’s time [for me] to sue Marvel and make a lot of money,” wrote Israeli cartoonist Uri Fink in a Hebrew language Twitter post.

“Okay. So let’s make things clear,” Fink’s post continued. He explained that he created an Israeli superhero, named Sabraman, and that the character was published in a June 1978 comic book.

“Marvel’s ‘Sabra’ character appeared in August 1980, so it’s clear which one came first.”

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Fink said that at the time, he, his co-creator David Herman, and their publisher “seriously considered suing Marvel for copyright infringement,” but the three decided to drop the matter because they “figured we had no chance against a giant company like Marvel and its fleet of lawyers.”

He added that Sabraman had been featured in an issue of American People magazine in the late 1970s, and that had likely inspired the Marvel character of Sabra.

Fink noted that Marvel’s Sabra has “totally different powers” than the original Sabraman and is a woman instead of a man.

In the Marvel Comics version, Sabra is Ruth Bat-Seraph, a woman with superpowers who works for the Mossad.

Posting a photo of his original character next to its newest incarnation, as a female Marvel character, Fink wrote that he views Sabra’s debut as an opportunity “to bring attention back to my original superhero, via his ‘illegitimate daughter.’’

Although Fink said he won’t sue Marvel, he did issue a warning to Haas about the risks of playing an Israeli superhero.

“I don’t predict her portrayal in Marvel will be positive in these ‘woke’ times,” Fink told Ynet.

He later told Channel 12 that Marvel employees are largely “progressive,” so he believes that “we won’t get the most accurate depiction of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

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Fink urged Haas to “carefully review” the script, “so that the character won’t be portrayed in a way that is too problematic.”

Since 2008, Marvel Studios has raked in over $25 billion from its franchise of more than 30 films already released.

Sabra isn’t the only action film to creating legal friction between Israel and Hollywood.

In June, the family of the late Israeli journalist Ehud Yonay — whose work inspired the original 1986 “Top Gun” blockbuster — filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Paramount Pictures shortly after its long-awaited sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick,” skyrocketed at the box office.