On August 2, 2017, newsarama.com reported that: “DC’s LEGENDS OF TOMORROW’s New Muslim Superhero A Response To TRUMP.” Further in the article, they stated that:
“DC Comics superhero Isis will be joining DC’s Legends of Tomorrow in its upcoming third season under her real name of Zari Adrianna Tomaz (played by Tala Ashe), and the fact that the character is a practicing Muslim is a choice show producer Marc Guggenheim said was made specifically in response to the election of U.S. President Donald Trump.”
One of the executive producers for Legends of Tomorrow, Marc Guggenheim, did indicate in an interview with Variety that the recent political climate had an influence on the decision to make a Muslim-American superhero:
“ ‘You might have heard there was this election,’ cracked executive producer Marc Guggenheim on Wednesday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills. ‘Not to get political, but something that we all gravitated toward in the writers room was making this character Muslim.’ ”
The article went on to note:
“Guggenheim also said that his personal experiences inspired the decision to create a Muslim character this season. Sharing a story about his sister-in-law, who happens to be Muslim, the producer said, ‘She was talking about how difficult it is to be a Muslim-American in the current political climate. Having a character who’s a computer hacker and is from the future but also happens to be Muslim, it’s a nice, important aspect of her character.’ ”
The new hero, however, is not named Isis, or after the terrorist organization ISIS. The new character, Zari Adrianna Tomaz, a hacker, is inspired by the 1970s character, Isis, from The Secrets of Isis television show (and appearances by the character in DC Comics).
In the 1970s incarnation, the original character, a science teacher, was named Andrea Thomas, and her alias was Isis, after the Egyptian goddess. In the recreation, the character is named, as noted above, Zari Adrianna Tomaz, and her chief moniker is Zari.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Guggenheim stated that, while Zari is inspired by the previous Isis character, the alias Isis is going to be avoided for this new rebranding:
“Zari is inspired by the DC Comics character Isis; Guggenheim pointed out the very clear reason why they didn’t use that moniker. ‘It’s pretty simple: You might’ve heard there’s this terrorist organization called ISIS,’ he said. ‘They’re kind of ruining things out there in the world. We just didn’t want the baggage quite frankly, especially given the fact that we are doing a Muslim superhero, it was just like opening up a can of worms. It’s just not worth it.’ ”