For those who might be unaware, September 15 through October 15 constitutes National Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States. While there are many reasons to celebrate those of Hispanic and Latinx culture (check out this comic by Flame Con favorite Terry Blas to help explain the difference between the two terms), we at Geeks OUT tend to skew nerdy.
18. Feral & Thornn (Maria & Lucia Callasantos)
A byproduct of the late 80s trend of including a Wolverine-like character on every team, Feral lived up to her namesake. Her sister Thornn was introduced a few years later, but neither character took off, getting shuffled off to comic limbo with only the occasional cameo appearance.
Although the X-Men are currently in decline, the fact remains that there is no major adult Latinx character on any of the teams. Either of these sisters would make a good addition (and could easily be reintroduced as Inhuman due to their animalistic appearances).
17. Hummingbird (María Aracely Penalba)
First introduced as a sidekick to the Scarlet Spider, then adopted onto the short-lived New Warriors team, Hummingbird is a character that is filled with mystery. She has some connection to ancient Aztec deities, some connection to magic, some tragic link to human trafficking, and amnesia to complicate matters.
However, a character like Hummingbird would be the perfect addition to the hodge-podge teen team The Champions who currently lack a magical or a divine member to their roster.
16. Goldballs (Fabio Medina)
While Fabio Medina is currently seen around the X-Men, his character has always been a joke. He’s ridiculed because of his weight, because of his awkward personality, and his borderline useless powers.
One way that Marvel could redeem him is to give him an integral (and serious) role in the upcoming Death of X crossover. It would be wonderful to see this character mature into a seasoned X-Man and take more of a role in the franchise’s future.
15. Silverclaw (Maria de Guadalupe Santiago)
Although this young Latina had a brief tenure on the Avengers (and a weird connection to Jarvis?), she never really seemed to catch on with fans. Perhaps her ill-defined powers—where she can turn any part of her body into part of a South American animal which grants her extra abilities akin to the animal part….oh, and silver skin only when she changes?—might have something to do with this.
Honestly, it’s a wonder anyone took this character seriously. And, perhaps, the best way to bring her back into the fold is to place her into a comic that is more lighthearted like Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, The Great Lakes Avengers, or Patsy Walker aka Hellcat.
14. Skin (Angelo Espinosa)
As we saw on the DC list, comic publishers tend to embrace the harmful stereotype that Latinx characters have associations with gangs. And, unfortunately, Skin is no exception. However, one of the best part about this character was seeing him grow from an insecure gang-banger into a vibrant young hero….until he was literally crucified on the lawn of Xavier’s school.
Despite how often X-Men come back to life, Angelo has repeatedly missed that train; yet, it isn’t outside of the realm of possibility to bring him back.
13. Power Man (Victor Alvarez) & Echo (Maya Lopez)
These Latinx characters are tied for #13 because they have similar pasts: both are biracial (Power Man is black and Latino; Echo is Native American and Latina), both were introduced in another hero’s series (Daredevil), then got the chance to prove themselves on a short-lived team (The Mighty Avengers, different iterations).
They also both have potential to be brought into Marvel’s Netflix properties. After his introduction, Power Man became closely associated with Luke Cage and Iron Fist, while Echo was a love interest for Daredevil. With both series going strong, it would be a great way to expand Marvel’s diverse presence on TV by including these two.
12. Cecilia Reyes
Introduced during a crucial time for the X-Men, Cecilia Reyes—ever the reluctant hero—did what she could and then left. This became the pattern for her character, who is usually only sought out for her medical knowledge instead of her formidable powers (which closely resemble Invisible Woman’s).
With the mutant community experiencing mass sterility and death due to the Terrigen Mists, now is the perfect time to bring her back into the fold to try to find a cure for the mutants.
11. Living Lightning (Miguel Santos) & Firebird (Bonita Juarez)
These two Latinx characters also share similar stories: both were introduced in the late 80s-early 90s, have elemental powers, were part-time Avengers members, and were part of the Registered Heroes Initiative who joined Texas’ official team, the Rangers. However, as reserve members, neither has had time to develop as a character.
As the Marvel cinematic universe becomes more global, one possible avenue for inclusion would be to set a story in the southwest. Marvel could earn extra Bonus queer points!!! by writing Living Lightning into a script, as—retroactively—he is the first queer Avenger (even though he was never out during his tenure).
10. Victor Mancha
The “child” of Ultron and a Mexican woman (which, with my limited knowledge of straight sex, makes perfect sense), Victor is a fascinating character. Not only does Victor have to contend with being a teenager, but he has to struggle with the burden of who his father is (and the programming his father put inside of him). Additionally, in the criminally undervalued series Avengers: A.I., Victor gets to explore his humanity while on a team of androids.
With the Runaways coming to Hulu, Victor has the perfect opportunity of being introduced to a wider audience. And, given Ultron’s name recognition since Avengers: Age of Ultron, the show producers would be fools not to.
9. Spider-Girl/Arana (Anya Corazon)
While this fourth iteration of Spider-Girl would seem to be a bit of a second-stringer, her recent roles in the Spider-Verse crossover and cameos in various spider-titles have brought her to the forefront. She also bears the special distinction of having a Spanish codename for the majority of her existence.
With so many spider-titles that focus on the younger generation—Spider-Man, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows—it should be no trouble to allow Spider-Girl a time to shine.
8. Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Nova (Sam Alexander), Spider-Man 2099 (Miguel O’Hara)
While these three characters represent a lot of combined character recognition, they are only in the middle of the list for the same reason Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner) was in the middle of the DC list: these biracial characters seldom—if ever—have their Latino heritage explored.
Since all three of them are in on-going titles (some, like Spider-Man, in multiple titles), Marvel has plenty of opportunity to do so.
7. Reptil (Humberto Lopez)
First introduced on the children’s cartoon Marvel Super Hero Squad, Reptil was able to make such a splash with younger audiences that he was brought into the comic world. Unfortunately, a combination of questionable writing and odd powers—he can turn any part of his body into any part of a dinosaur which grants him extra abilities akin to the dinosaur part….oh, and orange skin only when he changes…gee this sounds familiar—left him without a velociraptor leg to stand on.
Honestly, it’s hard to get excited about dinosaurs once you’re older than a teenager. However, Reptil could take a similar path as Silverclaw and camp it up. If it worked for Squirrel Girl, it might work for him!
6. White Tiger (Hector Ayala, Angela Del Toro, & Aya Ayala)
Originating in Marvel’s kung-fu-obsessed 70s, Hector Ayala used a mystical amulet to become the superhero White Tiger. Over the years, this second-string character passed the amulet down to various relatives: first his niece, Angela, then his sister, Aya.
Aya has been the person to bring prestige to the character. She was introduced to a wider audience in the cartoon Ultimate Spider-Man, then had tenures on the Mighty Avengers and the New Avengers. Unfortunately, since that title is soon-to-be cancelled, Aya will need a new home.
Since her powers are similar in nature to Black Panther’s (both have a feline spirit as an avatar), it would be interesting to introduce her in the upcoming film.
5. Rictor (Julio Richter)
For starting his career off as a regular alternate for an X-Men spin-off team, Rictor has become a recognizable name in the queer community. After decades of giving fanboys blue balls, Rictor’s kiss with Shatterstar was not only a momentous release (bonus queer points!!!), but a confirmation that writers like Peter David were willing to tell stories that made sense.
Unfortunately, RicStar haven’t been seen much since X-Factor was cancelled, but with Fox announcing the creation of a New Mutants movie the possibility of seeing Rictor on the screen is closer than ever.
4. Sunspot (Roberto Da Costa)
Of all the younger mutants that came through the door of Xavier’s school, the young Brazilian Roberto Da Costa has probably gone the farthest. Not only did he graduate from the X-Men into the Avengers, he also went on to lead his own Avengers team (while running a multimillion dollar industry).
He also has made the transition to the silver screen as a minor character in X-Men: Days of Future Past (even though he met a painful end). Additionally, his character has been announced for the upcoming New Mutants film where he’ll play a starring role this time.
3. Slingshot (Yo-Yo Rodriguez)
Although Yo-Yo Rodriguez was a very minor comic character who only die-hard fans knew, her inclusion in last season’s of Agents of SHIELD has made her a household name. It’s important to note for this list that, unlike many of the other characters, she is allowed to speak Spanish (and does so regularly and logically since it is her native language). And, as a cute example of modern relationships, she and her crush Mac both spend a while on the show trying to learn each other’s languages.
2. Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes)
Due to his recent debuted on season 4 of AoS (and all the media hype beforehand), Robbie Reyes is probably the most high-profile Latino hero in Marvel’s roster. In addition to being the main focal point of this season, Robbie is also getting a relaunch of his solo comic book series in the coming months.
1. America Chavez
While America doesn’t have any solo series or film cameos, she is number one of this list for a very important reason: she, more than any of the other characters, is a symbol of our changing nation. Raised by lesbian moms, this dimension shattering kick-ass woman (who is also unabashedly queer) is the embodiment of confidence and strength.
As an adorable bonus queer points!!! side note, her relationship with her girlfriend is a focal point for the series The Ultimates…and all of these things are combined in a woman who wears the American flag on her costume.
Did we leave out your favorite Hispanic or Latinx character? Tell us in the comments below! And, as always, you can find me on Twitter @HeyMrTullyman