PUERTO RICO — A new heroine is flying alongside Wonder Woman and Superman to pull Puerto Rico through hurricane Maria’s aftermath.
Her name is La Borinqueña.
She soars through the air, performing feats of superhuman strength — clad in a costume modeled after Puerto Rico’s revolutionary flag.
Come May, she’ll team up with several DC comic superheroes in a special anthology to help the battered island. And you can help her on the mission.
“We are living in an era right now that is really celebrating superhero culture and storytelling but none of these characters are connected to real world issues,” said creator Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez.
The character was born in 2016 when Puerto Rico was in the midst of its catastrophic debt crisis.
“I created La Borinqueña because the debt crisis was not going to be paid,” Miranda-Rodriguez told CNN.
“I thought to myself, ‘If I create a superhero, maybe I can talk about what’s happening to Puerto Rico through this character.'”
Two weeks after Maria blew ashore, the artist sat at a Comic Con table in New York signing the first volume of his La Borinqueña comic book.
He looked up to see the co-publisher of DC Comics, Dan Didio, thumbing through his book, enjoying his work.
“He literally waited 20 minutes to get to me at my table. He was wearing his Puerto Rican baseball league hat.”
“At that moment, I felt compelled to ask him, ‘What are you going to do for Puerto Rico? Can we do something together to help Puerto Rico?’ He said, ‘Put together a proposal.'”
Miranda-Rodriquez knew this was a job for La Borinqueña.
The artist assembled dozens of Latino illustrators and writers.
With super-human speed, they created the comic anthology “Ricanstruction: Reminiscing and Rebuilding Puerto Rico.” It includes stories from celebrities such as Ruben Blades and Rosario Dawson.
At the center of the 200-page series is La Borinqueña. But she’s not alone.
DC Comics loaned Miranda-Rodriguez some of its famous characters to help bring attention to Puerto Rico’s plight.
Readers will see La Borinqueña rebuilding the island with help from Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman.
“It was an amazing act of generosity. I don’t expect everyone to know who La Borinqueña is… but when they see that book on Amazon or in a comic book shop, they are going to drawn to Wonder Woman,” Miranda-Rodriguez said.
“They are going to flip through the pages and it might be their first time they read anything about Puerto Rico, and it came to them via a comic book.”
It’s been six months since Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, and parts of the island still lack electricity and reliable food.
Miranda-Rodriguez hopes “Ricanstruction” not only helps the island financially, but also forces Americans to engage in issues that impact millions of Puerto Ricans every day.
“Ricanstruction: Reminiscing and Rebuilding Puerto Rico” is now available for pre-order. It comes out May 23. The proceeds will benefit various non-profits working to help Puerto Rico recover.