Simon Baz was born in Dearborn, Michigan. When he was ten years old, he and the rest of his family watched their television in horror as airplanes flew into the World Trade Center. As he grew up he and his Muslim family found themselves falling under intense suspicion and ostracism in the days, months and years following the attacks. During those years, Simon had to physically defended his sister from bullies on several occasions.
Despite these hardships, Simon managed to graduate high school, and proceeded into higher education, gaining a degree in engineering, followed by a job in an automotive plant. However, when the financial crisis hit, Simon was fired from his job.
In desperation to make money, Simon took up illegal street-racing, something he proved good at. Eventually, though, disaster struck during one race, and his brother in-law was severely injured and placed into a coma. Simon just barely escaped being arrested and sent to prison for that. As a result of his guilt, Simon grew increasingly distant from his sister.
Some time later, still financially desperate, Simon began stealing cars, to re-sell them for parts. One night, while stealing a van, Simon accidentally stole a van filled with explosives. A high-speed chase ensued, ending with Simon's arrest. As a result of his heritage, Simon was immediately suspected to be a terrorist and deported to Guantanamo Bay for further questioning. Despite the efforts of the more reasonable Agent Fed, Simon's attempt to claim he was innocent was ignored, and he was nearly subject to torture.
At that moment, a Green Lantern Ring burst into the room, and despite being badly defective found Simon a suitable candidate, removing him from the holding facility. 
The ring transported Simon to Florida, and while he remained unconscious, mapped his neural pathways. When Simon awoke, the ring displayed a message from its previous owners, Hal Jordan and Sinestro, telling him not to go to Oa, and not to trust anyone. Ignoring their message, Simon made his way to Detroit and contacted his sister. Angered by his former distance, she told him to meet him at a safer location. As he waited, Simon altered his ring-generated outfit to hide his identity better. Unfortunately, the quiet wait was interrupted by the arrival of the Justice League. 
Knowing he would not be a match for the League (except perhaps Batman), Simon restated his innocence to them. He offered to let Wonder Woman use her Lasso of Truth on him, to determine his innocence. Unfortunately, since the ring had been programmed by Sinestro, it responded violently to contact. Panicked, Simon retreated. Despite having little operational knowledge of his ring, he was able to create multiple constructs, as he evaded Superman and the Flash, ignoring their entreaties to turn himself in.
Some time later, he met up with Sira, who had acquired the name and location of the van's owner. Simon declared his intention to find out what was going on by himself, refusing to let anyone else get hurt. 
Simon proceeded to the residence of the van's owner, one Edward Wale, and tried to talk to him about the van. Wale allowed Simon into his residence, only for Simon to quickly learn the man was no innocent, having been deliberately planning to blow up the van under the bridge Simon found it under. His attempt to kill Simon was foiled by the ring protecting him, but any attempt on Simon's part to pay Wale back for his actions were foiled by the ring's charge running out. Cornered, Simon was only saved by the intervention of Agent Fed, who'd been investigating his case. Before the stand-off could proceed any further, the Third Army arrived, transforming Wale into one of their own, before advancing on Simon. Grabbing Wale's gun to defend himself, Simon and Fed fled into the house's basement, finding a small stockpile of weapons. As the Third Army followed, Fed wired up some of the room's explosives to explode. The resulting explosion destroyed the creatures, Simon and Fed only being saved by the timely arrival of Green Lantern Bd'g