It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s … Supermensch!

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Move over, Elijah — a new Jewish superhero is coming to the rescue.

Magen the “Shield of Israel,” a fictional 20-something crime-fighter with a passing resemblance to Captain America, rescues a kidnapped soldier from terrorists in the premiere issue of “Israeli Defense Comics,” a new comic created by Bedford-Stuyvesant artist Joshua Stulman that hits bookstores this month.

The Pratt Institute grad said his muscle-bound, blue-and-white spandex-clad character was inspired by Shaloman, the Jewish star of a long-running comic by Al Wiesner that he discovered in a synagogue gift shop outside of Philadelphia in the late 1980s.

“Magen is a superhero that’s proud to be Jewish,” said Stulman, who’s showcasing the book alongside Wiesner’s work in “Super Jew Comics,” an upcoming show at Hadas Gallery, the art space he runs on Myrtle Avenue near Emerson Place in Clinton Hill.

The exhibit chronicles the influence of Jewish artists and comic book writers such as Superman creators Jerry Siegal and Joe Shuster, as well as Martin Nodell, the cartoonist who launched the original Green Lantern series.

But unlike those high-flying do-gooders, Magen — whose name means shield in Hebrew — doesn’t posses any superpowers.

He’s just a regular guy living on a kibbutz who works for a scientist developing protective armor. After witnessing a suicide bombing, Magen borrows one of his boss’s prototype bulletproof suits and travels the Holy Land stopping acts of terrorism.

Stulman insists the explosive plot of his new comic — which he hopes to release quarterly — steers clear of editorializing too much about the minefield of politics in the Middle East.

“I don’t really have an answer,” said Stulman. “I just want to present the issues in a comic book format.”

Super Jew Comics at Hadas Gallery [541 Myrtle Ave. between Steuben Street and Emerson Place, in Clinton Hill (215) 704-2205]. April 15–June 24. Free. Visit

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at
Updated 8:00 am, April 11, 2012
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