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Sabra is an Israeli Marvel Comics Superhero who first made her appearance in The Incredible Hulk issue #250 in 1980. She is a mutant superhero created by comic book writers Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema, and named after a slang term for an Israel-born Jewish person, as well as the name for a cactus plant. In mid-September 2022, the character, played by Israeli actress Shira Haas, was announced to be making an appearance in the 2024 MCU movie Captain America: New World Order.
Born Ruth Bat-Seraph, Sabra made her debut in the form of a cameo in the August 1980 edition of the Incredible Hulk (issue #250). She is the first superhuman agent to serve with Mossad, the Israeli secret service. Her first appearance was in a panel featuring the Silver Surfer (seen below, left). Sabra then made her debut in the Incredible Hulk #256, where she mistakenly attacked the Incredible Hulk, believing him to be working with terrorists and being responsible for the death of an Arab child (seen below, right).
Marvel Cinematic Universe / Captain America: New World Order
On September 10th, 2022, during the D23 Expo for Disney, Marvel announced the casting of Israeli actress Shira Haas for the role of Sabra in the 2024 Marvel movie, Captain America: New World Order. That same day, the official Captain America Twitter account tweeted the announcement post, receiving over 8,400 likes and 1,100 retweets in 48 hours (seen below).
— Captain America (@CaptainAmerica) September 11, 2022
Following the D23 MCU reveal of Sabra on September 10th, 2022, the character began trending among discussions and other posts on social media as users reacted to the news. For example, that same day, the Twitter account @DiscussingFilm posted a tweet about Shira Haas being cast for the role of Sabra in the 2024 Captain America film. The post gathered 12,000 likes and over 9,000 quote tweets in nearly 48 hours (seen below).
The character Sabra, as well as Marvel's decision to introduce her to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was met with mixed reception, particularly from people who denounced the character's association with Mossad (the national intelligence agency of Israel), as well as fans who disliked the association of a Jewish superhero with a movie named "New World Order," also the name of a long-standing conspiracy theory.
On September 10th, 2022, Twitter user @BAKKOOONN posted a panel from The Incredible Hulk #256, where Hulk delivers a speech regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict using Hulk syntax (seen below). The tweet gathered 3,400 likes in nearly three days.
Also on September 10th, Twitter user @belet_seri commented on how it might be in bad taste to debut a Jewish superhero in a film with the tagline "New World Order," a term that has also been associated with antisemitism (seen below).
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