'Sabra won't fly': London protest posters ask Marvel to drop Israel agent character

'Sabra won't fly': London protest posters ask Marvel to drop Israel agent character
A guerilla art group has plastered posters across parts of London calling on Marvel Studios to drop Israeli 'superhero' character Sabra, who is set to feature in a future Captain America film.
3 min read
27 October, 2022
Protest Stencil put up posters in west and central London calling on Marvel to drop the Sabra character [Photo courtesy of Protest Stencil]

A guerilla art group has plastered posters across parts of London to call on Marvel Studios to drop an Israeli 'superhero' character set to feature in one of its upcoming films.

Marvel announced last month that it would be reviving Sabra, an Israeli character first introduced in one of its comics in 1980, for its next Captain America film. This was greeted with condemnation by pro-Palestine groups.

Protest Stencil - a "subvertiser" that frequently replaces advertisement spaces in London with political posters, said Wednesday that the Disney-owned studio's decision to revive the Israeli intelligence agency character "goes well beyond normalising Israel's colonial oppression and apartheid - it glorifies it".

Protest Stencil member Ben told The New Arab that the group had followed the lead set by campaigners against Sabra's revival internationally, including the use of subvertising posters in California.

"We chatted with Palestinian friends, and decided to bring the campaign to London’s streets too," they said.

The posters feature Marvel's depiction of the character dressed in a superhero outfit fashioned from the Israeli flag, with the message 'Apartheid ain't no superpower' in red, upper-case lettering.

Below the image is the phrase End Israeli Apartheid, and the hashtag #SabraWontFly.

The posters were placed around Marvel-Disney's UK offices in Hammersmith, west London as well as in other locations in central London.

Protest Stencil told The New Arab that there had been a "huge reaction" to the posters online.

"We hope that Marvel will see the worldwide campaign, and realise they should have no part in glorifying Israel’s settler colonialism and apartheid. Marvel must drop the character. Sabra won’t fly."

The group have conducted similar pro-Palestine campaigns in recent years.

In August, as Israel conducted a ruthless bombing campaign against the besieged Gaza Strip that killed 49 people, they put up posters that read: "Israel is attacking Gaza again. How many more times is this OK?".

Last October, they put up posters at London bus stops that read 'Normal People Boycott Israel' - a nod to author Sally Rooney.

The Irish novelist had turned down a Hebrew translation of her latest novel 'Beautiful World, Where Are You', saying that the use of an Israeli-based publishing house would not comply with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement's guidelines. 

The posters were taken down by Transport for London, the city's transport authority, who described them as an "act of vandalism".