11 Greatest Jewish Superheroes of All Time (Marvel & DC)

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Jewish representation in popular culture has been on the rise, and the world of comic books is no exception. From Superman’s creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, to Stan Lee, the Jewish community has significantly impacted the world of comic books. In this article, we’ll explore the 11 greatest Jewish superheroes of all time from Marvel and DC comics.

These characters represent the Jewish community and showcase the diversity and inclusivity that are much needed in the world of superhero storytelling. Join us as we dive into the world of Jewish superheroes and discover some of the most iconic and inspiring characters ever.

1. Atom Smasher

Albert Rothenstein, also known as Atom Smasher, is the grandson of the villainous Cyclotron. He can manipulate his molecular density, allowing him to grow to immense sizes or shrink down to a tiny size. He can also increase his strength and durability to incredible levels.
Atom Smasher has been a member of various superhero teams, including the Justice Society of America, the Justice League, and the JSA All-Stars.
Most people don’t realize, however, that Albert Rothenstein is Jewish. Atom Smasher actively practices religion, and at one point, he even broke up with another DC Superhero going by the name Fire because she was not Jewish.

2. Batwoman

Kate Kane originally wasn’t Jewish, but during the 52 rework, this aspect of her character was introduced. Kate Kane is depicted as a proud Jewish woman who is deeply committed to her faith and heritage. In the comics, Kate’s Jewish identity is often referenced and explored, which plays a significant role in her character development. For example, her experiences with anti-Semitic discrimination and her struggles to balance her faith and her duties as Batwoman have been explored in various storylines.

3. Dr. Fate

After Kent Nelson decided to retire from his duties as Doctor Fate, he chose not one but two worthy successors, Eric and Linda Strauss, both of them Jewish. Eric and Linda, a son and a stepmother, were chosen to serve as Doctor Fate and assume mystical powers. However, Eric had to be magically aged despite being only ten years of age. This resulted in him getting terminally ill, leaving only Linda to perform as Doctor Fate. Eric later died in captivity at Apokolips after Darkseid kidnapped him, and Linda followed soon after. However, Eric’s and Linda’s souls weren’t allowed to pass from this world and were placed in the bodies of recently deceased people.

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4. Doctor Manhattan

John Osterman, better known as Doctor Manhattan, is among the most powerful characters in the DC universe, but did you know that he is also Jewish? After a laboratory accident, Jon Osterman is a physicist who is transformed into a godlike being with incredible powers. As Doctor Manhattan, he can control matter and energy at a molecular level, teleport, and manipulate time. He is also virtually immortal and can simultaneously exist in multiple places and times. Throughout the storyline of “Watchmen,” Doctor Manhattan is a complex and conflicted character who struggles with his humanity and the moral implications of his powers.

5. Green Lantern

Green Lantern - Hal Jordan

When we’re talking about Green Lantern, let’s face it, everybody’s minds automatically wander to Hal Jordan, the greatest Green Lantern there is. Besides being a fan-favorite and incredibly powerful character, Hal Jordan is also Jewish. His religion is not on such display throughout his storylines as is the case with Kate Kane, for example. Still, his mother was Jewish, and by Jewish laws, this also makes him a part of that religion.

6. Magneto

Max Eisenhardt, aka Magneto, is probably among the greatest and most popular Jewish characters in comics in general. In the comics, Magneto’s Jewish heritage is essential to his backstory and character development. He is a Holocaust survivor who witnessed the horrors of Nazi persecution and was separated from his family during World War II. These experiences shaped Magneto’s worldview, and he became a militant activist who believed that mutants should not have to suffer the same persecution as Jews.

Over the years, Magneto’s Jewish identity has been explored in various storylines, and it has played a significant role in his motivations and actions. His experiences as a survivor of genocide have led him to become a passionate defender of mutant rights and a fierce opponent of oppression in all forms.

7. The Thing

Benjamin Jacob Grimm is a member of the legendary Fantastic Four. He was likewise born to a Jewish family. While The Thing’s Jewish identity is not always central to his character, it has been an essential part of his backstory and has been explored in various storylines. In the comics, Ben Grimm is depicted as a Jewish American from Yancy Street in New York City, and his Jewish heritage is often alluded to in his speech and mannerisms.
Additionally, The Thing has been shown to celebrate Jewish holidays such as Hanukkah, and he has expressed pride in his Jewish heritage on numerous occasions.

8. Moon Knight

Just like The Thing, Marc Spector’s Jewish background had a massive impact on his origin story. His father was a rabbi and survived Nazi Persecution. Even though his Jewish identity is not the focal point of storylines, Spector did wonders for representation in comics, especially when it comes to mental disorders due to his dissociative identity disorder, which manifested through a plethora of multiple personalities.

9. Seraph

Seraph’s real name is Chaim Levon, and he hails from Israel. What’s most important about Seraph is the fact that most of his magical powers were handed to him by various religious figures mentioned in the Torah. He has the ring of Solomon, the mantle of Elijah, and the Staff of Moses. Seraph is not the most popular superhero that DC ever created, but it’s one character that draws its inspiration directly from the Jewish religion.

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10. Legion

David Charles Haller is known as among the most powerful mutants in Marvel Universe. He is the son of Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller, and he was conceived while Charles was working in an Israeli psychiatric clinic. David’s mother was Jewish, and according to Jewish laws, that also makes him one. Like Moon Knight, Legion has dissociative identity disorder, which manifests due to his overwhelming powers.

11. Kitty Pryde

History of Marvel's Kitty Pryde

We’ve already extensively covered Kitty Pryde’s Jewish background, so she deserves a spot on this list. Kitty Pryde, an Ashkenazi Jewish-American, was born in Deerfield, Illinois, to Carmen and Theresa Pryde. Her mutant powers emerged at age thirteen, and she was approached by both the X-Men’s Charles Xavier and the Hellfire Club’s White Queen, Emma Frost. Kitty was more drawn to Xavier and became friends with Ororo Munroe, also known as Storm, who introduced her to the X-Men and Xavier’s school. And the rest is, as they say, history.

Kitty’s Jewish heritage is an important aspect of her character and has been explored in various storylines over the years. She was raised in a Jewish household, and her Jewish identity is important to her cultural background and personal history.

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