Introducing #LaBorinqueña, officially endorsed by @prparadenyc and my newest project! Written, costume design and cover art directed by me, pencils/inks by Elliot Fernandez aka @jerkmonger from Tampa, FL and colors by Juan Fernandez from Aguadilla, PR aka @juan7fernandez! #HectorLavoe #SoniaSotomayor #JuanBoria #SylviaDelVillard #JesusColon #MarianaBracetti #FelicitaMendez #JuliaDeBurgos #ArturoSchomburg #PedroAlbizuCampos #RafaelHernandezMarin #AntoniaPantoja #OscarLopezRivera
Amid ongoing financial and humanitarian crises, Puerto Rico has just been introduced to its latest superhero who would use her extraordinary powers to fight both the villains and island’s ongoing predicament.
Marvel Comics writer and editor, Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, unveiled the new comic book hero, La Borinqueña, during a press conference in New York. She is the first officially endorsed superhero for the highly anticipated National Puerto Rican Day Parade.
“She is symbol of patriotism at a time when Puerto Ricans need to be reminded of their superpowers,” said Miranda-Rodriguez, adding that he pitched the idea to parade committee several months ago. “She is a patriotic symbol of hope for Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans. We don't need to look outside of us for the power — we have it inside. If we come together, we will win.”
La Borinqueña’s real name is Marisol Ríos de la Luz. She is a Brooklyn-born girl who only discovers her powers after she visits the island.
Her superpowers include the ability to fly as “fierce as the winds of a hurricane,” super human strength rivaling ocean waves and the power to teleport wherever a Puerto Rican needs her help. As for her costume, which looks a little like a cross between Wonder Woman and Superman, it is inspired by the Puerto Rican flag. The spandex-like suit also includes a glowing star and a cape.
“Puerto Rico activates her superpowers,” Miranda-Rodriguez explained. “And in the end, through art, I want all Puerto Ricans to know that being Puerto Rican is in and of itself a superpower.”
It is a beautiful sentiment. Especially at a time when the island and its residents are struggling with budget cuts and poverty, La Borinqueña is a narrative that could inspire social change.
“This comic book that I’m writing with my team is not going to solve the debt crisis in Puerto Rico, but it’s going to open the dialogue in a way that can be accepted and understood by a larger audience that will absorb it, learn from it, and also take action from it,” the creator told The Washington Post.
Puerto Rico’s economic crisis largely went unnoticed until the island, which is a U.S. territory but rarely treated as such, defaulted on its unpaid debts. The island not only faces a $70 billion debt it cannot pay off, but also a budding humanitarian crisis because it cannot afford maintaining basic services, such as healthcare and schools.
It is a dire situation, an as Miranda-Rodriguez said, his latest comic creation might not solve the issue, but it can certainly give people hope.
The comic book will debut at the Café con Comics, a Latino comic-con convention in New York, later this year. Meanwhile, the creator has released a picture to give fans a taste of what’s to come. The art depicts La Borinqueña flying over a number of famous Puerto Ricans, including Justice of the Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor, singer Hector Lavoe and imprisoned nationalist Oscar Lopez-Rivera.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters