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News > Culture

First Latina Superhero to Fight Puerto Rico Crisis, Colonialism

  • Superheo

    Superheo "La Borinqueña," named after the island’s national anthem | Photo: Courtesy Edgardo-Miranda Rodriguez

Published 15 June 2016

"La Borinqueña" is a hero who represents the island but stands for universal values.

A Puerto Rican artist has created “La Borinqueña,” the first Latina superhero, to bring hope to the Latino community and spark a larger conversation on the future of developed countries.

Politics, Primaries and Crisis in Puerto Rico​​​​​​​

Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez unveiled the unconventional and original superhero during the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City on Sunday. Although the comic is written in English, it contains some phrases in Spanish.

The NY-based activist worked with artists in Marvel and DC Comics to create a character who would raise awareness on the economic and environmental situations affecting Puerto Rico.

“My activism was always a fire, but given everything that's going on in Puerto Rico it started to burn even brighter,“ Miranda-Rodriguez told teleSUR. “I felt there was something more important that needed to be done.”

Miranda-Rodriguez says has worked for years on issues including freeing political prisoners such as Oscar Lopez Rivera and opposing foreign interventions through the U.S. military base in Puerto Rican island of Vieques.

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By day, the superhero is Marisol Rios De La Luz, a Puerto Rican woman living in Brooklyn, New York, who goes back to the island and discovers her superpowers. She also has Afro-Puerto Rican heritage, according to the artist.

For Miranda-Rodriguez, who says she was inspired by powerful women activists in the United States, "La Boriqueña" has more than just powers—she embraces values, like selflessness, dedication to family, and patience.

“I think those values are what makes us separate from other cultures, and that those are our powers,“ Miranda-Rodriguez said. “And we do have a superpower, we can vote in this general election coming up, and we can vote people out just as well.”

One of the main issues Miranda-Rodriguez wants to bring into the spotlight is the voting power of the more than 5 million Puerto Ricans who live in the United States. Since those living on the island cannot vote, mainland Puerto Ricans can decide the future of the country.

“It’s like being invited to design a menu for a banquet, and you're at the table, finally at that banquet, and you're not allowed to actually eat anything,” Miranda-Rodriguez said.

Puerto Rico: Troubled Commonwealth or Debt Colony?

Miranda-Rodriguez believes the comic book will inspire young Puerto Ricans to know more about their history, and think for themselves about what is the best status for the island.

“When you understand what's going on from a real human perspective, then you begin to understand what is so important about social justice,” said Miranda-Rodriguez.

The artist says that "La Borinqueña" is a metaphor for everyone in Latin America—a hero who represents the island but stands for universal values.

“I’m not going to say that this superhero is going to resolve the debt crisis or save the world. But I am going to say that she can stand as a symbol for hope, for unity,“ said Miranda-Rodriguez.

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