5 Latino Superheroes Leading Up To Blue Beetle

BY: 
Efrain
 | August 17, 2023

Blue Beetle – described as “… a superhero, whether he likes it or not” – is the latest comic book hero to make it to the big screen. Providing a big sense of pride for the Latino community, actually.

You see, as a recent article in The Los Angeles Times explains, the movie Blue Beetle is the first DC Comics film to feature a Latino superhero.

But, contrary to popular belief, the Blue Beetle is not the first Latino superhero ever. Dozens of others were created and loved in the Latino-American world first.

Here we bring you our list of “5 Latino Heroes who Paved the Way for Blue Beetle”:

1. Quetzalcóatl: Although he is not technically a superhero by definition Quetzalcóatl has been the inspiration for many comic book writers.

Based on Mesoamerican Mythology, he was the original badass, as his name translates to “the feathered Serpent” from the Nahtuatl language.

Depending on which time in ancient history or civilization you look into, you may find that Quetzalcóatl was revered as the god of light, justice, mercy, and wind.

2. El Santo: El Enmascarado de Plata, one of the most iconic symbols of truth and justice that originated from the lucha libre world, got his first comic book series in 1952, almost immediately turning him into a “must-read” in Mexican literature.

He didn’t have any superpowers at all, except for his own deductive skills, his tech gadgets, and his lucha libre moves! Other masked luchadores like Blue Demon and Huracan Ramirez would become part of his team, and make their jump into the silver screen as well. He was “El Mero Mero” until the next hero on this list made his debut.

3. Kalimán: This comic book hero was the brainchild of Mexican writers Rafael Cutberto Navarro and Modesto Vázquez González in 1963.

His popularity as one of the first Spanish-produced comic books took the Latino world by storm, including Latino-populated areas in the United States. His superpowers came from his own self-discipline, which only resonates with his phrase “he who conquers the mind, conquers everything” with powers like levitation, telepathy, remote viewing, telekinesis, hypnosis, ESP, and self-healing, among others (like many others) an intense background in martial arts and an astute arsenal of weapons.

4. Chapulín Colorado: El Chapulin Colorado was Roberto Gomez Bolaños’ (Chespirito) answer to the comic book heroes from the U.S. appearing in the Spanish-speaking world.

He wanted to have a Latino superhero whose most notable superpower didn’t come from money like Batman, or from having special Abilities like Superman, but from overcoming fear and helping others.

He also brought humanity to El Chapulin by giving it a comedic twist that has made the character memorable throughout time.

5. El Zorro: Don Diego de la Vega, a man from a wealthy background who saw the oppression of his fellow men from the tyrannical Spanish government, decided to take justice into his own hands to protect his people.

With nothing more than a sword, a mask, and his trusty horse “Tornado,” he was the first Latino-inspired character to make it to the American mainstream.

El Zorro was so much of an influence, that some say that thanks to him, we have Batman today.

Blue Beetle, starring Actor Xolo Maridueña, is in theatres now. Check out the movie’s official trailer.

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Featured image: Mexican air force Capt. Radames Gaxiola Andrade stands in front of his P-47D with his maintenance team after he returned from a combat mission. Captain Andrade was assigned to the Mexican air force's Escuadron 201. Members of the Escuadron 201 fought alongside U.S. forces during World War II.
Featured image: “Homage a Chespiritu” by Freddy Agurto Parra.
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