Comic strips have a history of activism, and Puerto Rico has added to that history with a superhero called La Borinqueña. Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, the creator of the series, received the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award at Comic-Con, a major conference for fans and professionals in the comic world. La Borinqueña’s costume was displayed at the Smithsonian Institution’s superhero exhibit, and the first installment of her story remains on permanent display at the National Museum of American History. Miranda-Rodriguez also served as the keynote speaker at the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’s Latinx Heritage Month event.
La Borinqueña is the superhero alto ego of a Brooklyn geology student, Marisol, who visits Puerto Rico to study the Island’s caves. In the course of her studies, she meets up with the spirits of ancient Taino deities and is granted super powers through the use of ancient crystals. In the original series, there is a lot of focus on educating readers on aspects of Puerto Rican culture.
La Borinqueña’s next adventure is to join other members of The Justice League in an anthology of stories and art from multiple authors and artists, Ricanstruction: Reminiscing & Rebuilding Puerto Rico. Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman join her in this anthology. Sales have raised about $250,000 for the rebuilding of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.
Miranda-Rodriguez is using the proceeds to fund grants to grass-roots organizations in Puerto Rico. “La Borinqueña is a reflection of Puerto Rican’s resilience and strength,” he said. “She is also a reminder to all of us here in the U.S. not to forget Puerto Rico and her U.S. citizens. Each and every one of us can show the world and ourselves that we have the power to help the island rebuild. We can, and we will be part of the Ricanstruction of Puerto Rico.”