In honor of the recent Hispanic Heritage month, this week’s column will be dedicated to Hispanic characters in comic books. Hispanic Heritage Month began on September 15, the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico declared its independence on September 16, and Chile on September 18.
When I set out to write this column I thought it would be an easy task to rattle off a few Hispanic superheroes and comic books, but the more I thought about it the more difficult it became. Off the top of my head I could only name a handful of Hispanic superheroes: Vibe (from the Detroit JLA) and his brother Reverb/Hardline, Tarantula (the new Tarantula that recently debuted in Nightwing), White Tiger (who showed up in a few issues of Spider Man and Daredevil), Anya Corazon (from Amazing Fantasy) and . . . well, that’s about it. I know there were a few in the Global Guardians – like Gaucho and Fire (she’s from Brazil, does that count?), but I really started drawing a blank on any other Hispanic superheroes or comic books.
The fact that I couldn’t name more than a handful from memory kind of disturbed me. Is there really that few Hispanic characters represented in comics? Determined to find more I fired up the ‘ol computer and got to searching the internet for more information.
The first thing I came across was www.AmericoSuperHero.com. Americo is the “first superhero that is created specifically for Hispanic and Latin born people throughout the Americas.” I kind of dig the fact that this character’s power changes from day to night. Americo was created by Eli Hernandez and the first issue should be out sometime this month.
Next I came across Mercy Man. Willy Diaz, aka Mercy Man, is an undercover cop for the NYPD who chooses to use his wits and intelligence rather than his fists to solve crime. Apparently Mercy Man is being developed into a movie, so be on the look-out for it.
Have I mentioned that I’m a sucker for Luchadors? I love Mexican wrestling and the masked wrestlers known as Luchadors, which would explain why I really liked Sonambulo and El Gato, Crime Mangler. For Instance: If you are down with the world’s greatest masked wrestler, recite the following Crime Mangler oath:
I will fight all creatures that laugh at me!
I will destroy all monsters that attack me!
I will laugh in the face of evil before I conquer it!
I will never eat bananas – even if my life depended on it!
I will never choose evil over da other!
I will do all dis just fer Mudda!
Did I also mention that I like zombies? Well, I do. The fact that there is a Hispanic zombie comic really made my day. Check out El Muerto, the Aztec Zombie, by Javier Hernandez.
Next there’s El Gato Negro, Nocturnal Warrior (not to be confused with aforementioned El Gato, Crime Mangler) which you can read about right here. This should be hitting you local comic store in November, so pre-order it now!
Pablo’s Inferno is the story of a little boy who accidentally goes to hell and meets up with Quetzal, an ancient Aztec God.
Meet Amigo Man, the Latin Avenger. Antonio Alvarado is forced to become Amigo Man in order to track down his grandfather’s killers and bring them to justice.
Finally, there is the loveable Burrito, who has been around since 1990. This loveable ‘lil burro is known for his smart adventures through time.
I know there’s more Hispanic comics and characters out there, so hit the message boards and let me know about them.
Next time: Rosh Hashana & Yom Kippur – Jewish Superheroes & Comics!