Relatability plays a big role in determining who our favorite superheroes are. It doesn’t really matter if Flying Brick Man™ can bench press meteors if we don’t connect with him on a human level. Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Iron Man have fans all across the world despite the fact that we can’t see any of their faces 90% of the time. Conversely, there are tons of people from various nations who absolutely adore Superman and Captain America.
Case in point, we can connect with superheroes who come from different backgrounds and cultures than ourselves — and that’s precisely why it’d be nice to see more Hispanic superheroes in the limelight. I’m talking about characters of Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Spanish, South American, and Central American heritage.
Here’s hoping that these incredibly underrated Hispanic superheroes get some love throughout Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15).
Jaime Reyes/Blue Beetle III
If there’s one word that distinguishes DC Comics from Marvel in my eyes, it’s “legacy”. Batman and Superman debuted in the late 1930s, making them some of the oldest heroes around. Moreover, some of DC’s most popular stars are “legacy characters” — people who took up the mantle of another hero after their predecessor hung up their cape.
Jaime Reyes is the third bearer of the Blue Beetle mantle, after Dan Garrett and Ted Kord. Jaime debuted in Infinite Crisis #3 back in February 2006 — though he received a major popularity boost via Young Justice (2010 – 2022). The (quite literally) out of this world Blue Beetle Scarab grants Jaime his powers, which include flight, super strength, and energy manipulation just to name a few.
Are there any Arrowvwerse fans in the house? Considering how popular the CW is, I’m willing to bet that’s a yes. I’m also willing to bet that folks have watched The Flash (2014 – present) and recognize the name Francisco Ramon. Carlos Valdes does an excellent job portraying Cisco in the show, albeit as a supporting cast member.
In the comics, Vibe is a full-fledged hero who’s been around for decades. 1984’s Justice League of America Annual #2 marks Vibe’s first appearance. His name was Paco Ramon back then, and he spent years fighting criminals alone in Detroit before finally joining Justice League Detroit.
Jessica Cruz/Green Lantern
I’ve always been a fan of the Green Lantern Corps. These intergalactic space police fill their ranks with beings who possess tremendous willpower. Members of the Corps wield Power Rings, an amazing little accessory that lets its user conjure up “hard light” versions of anything or anyone they can imagine.
Jessica Cruz is one of the newer members of the Green Lantern Corps, first appearing in Justice League Vol 2 #30 in July 2014. Similar to Batman, Jessica starts her career after witnessing the deaths of her loved ones. She initially used the Ring of Volthoom, which granted her phenomenal power at the cost of her life. Now, she wields a traditional Power Ring and is considered the greatest Green Lantern of Earth-3.
Agustin Guerrero/El Gato Negro
Ribbing on the “Dark Age of Comics” (which ran from the late 1980s to the late 1990s) gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside, but it’s all in good fun. The Dark Age gave us now iconic characters like Hellboy and Deadpool. It also gave us a slew of independent comic characters.
Enter Agustin Guerrero, aka El Gato Negro (the Black Cat). Richard Dominguez created El Gato Negro to be the flagship character for his company Azteca Productions. Personally, I’m blown away by Dominguez’s passion and the trail he blazed for Hispanic creators in America. But back to El Gato. He lacks superpowers of any kind, relying instead on his fighting skills and abilities as a detective.
Hey, I was just as blown away by this revelation as you probably are. Selina Kyle stepped into the spotlight all the way back in Batman #1 in 1940. She went by “The Cat” back then, and her origins were shrouded in mystery for years. Fast forward to Catwoman Vol 2 #81 in June 2000 and we finally learn that Selina came from a broken home; her father abused Selina, her sister Maggie, and her mother Maria Kyle — who was a Cuban refugee.
Catwoman’s Hispanic heritage was briefly mentioned in Catwoman: Lonely City, which was released in October 2021. I’m hoping that DC Comics will continue to acknowledge Catwoman’s heritage across all of her future appearances.
Kyle Rayner/Green Lantern
Earth has many different Green Lanterns, but Kyle Rayner stands out amongst his peers. And that’s really saying something when your peers consist of Hal Jordan, John Stewart, and Guy Gardner. This Mexican American hero debuted during the legendary Emerald Twilight storyline, where Hal Jordan (possed by Parallax) wipes out the entire Green Lantern Corps.
Kyle, originally a destitute freelance comic artist, uses his immense creativity and willpower to become one of the greatest Green Lanterns to ever live. Most of his constructs are awesome shout-outs to anime, manga, and American comics. Kyle’s also one of the only people to master every color of the Emotional Spectrum and become a White Lantern on his own.
I might legitimately lose my mind trying to make sense of Hawkman and Hawkgirl’s complicated history. It involves reincarnation, alternate timelines, an abundance of retcons, and several metatextual storylines. All of that might sound par for the course for DC Comics, but the Hawks take it to another level.
I’ll say this much; Kendra Saunders has identified as a Latina on at least two different occasions; the DC Super Hero Girls show from 2015, and in JSA: Secret Files #1. Naturally, Hawkgirl usually accompanies Hawkman but she’s more than a formidable force on her own. Maybe she’ll appear in the DCEU now that Hawkman is in Black Adam (2022).
Gabriella “Gabby” Gomez/Gum Girl
Who says superheroes have to be all dark and gritty all the time? I mean, we tried that in the 90s, and look how well that turned out. Nah, we need Howard the Duck just as much as we need The Punisher. We need Spider-Man’s quips just like we need Batman’s monologues. We need characters like Gum Girl.
Gabriella Gomez, aka the Gumazing Gum Girl, was created by Rhode Montijo and Luke Reynolds. This family-friendly hero can transform into a being made entirely out of gum. Then, she can stretch like Mr. Fantastic and really “stick it” to the bad guys… I tried with all my might not to make that pun, believe me. Please.
Anya Sofia Corazon/Araña
You have to wonder if Stan Lee and Steve Ditko had any idea that Spider-Man would become so popular when he premiered in 1962. People all over the world love the Web-Head, as well as many of the characters associated with him. Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy hardly need introductions, though Anya Corazon could use a lot more love.
Anya debuted in 2004’s Amazing Fantasy (Vol. 2) #1, where a wizard gave her spider powers after she saved him from a gaggle of witches. Anya took on the name Araña (which is Spanish for spider), and eventually befriended Peter Parker, the Friendly Neighborhood Phenomenon we all know and love.
Gabriel Vargas/Captain Universe
Captain Universe, aka the “Uni-Power”, embodies the statement “there’s a hero in all of us.” This cosmic force can bond with people and grant them phenomenal powers in their darkest hours. Once a crisis has been averted, Captain Universe typically parts ways with its host and searches for others in need.
Everyone from Daredevil, the Hulk, Spider-Man, X-23, the Silver Surfer, and a dog named Casey have become Captain Universe over the years. However, Gabriel Vargas (a paraplegic soldier) shared a special connection with the Uni-Power. Gabriel regained the ability to walk and played a major role in the Annihilation: Conquest storyline.
Marvel’s mutants possess amazing abilities that range from telepathy to teleportation to being really, really, really hard to kill. Guys like Wolverine and Colossus are notorious for their durability, but Darwin doesn’t get enough love in my opinion.
This X-Man has the ridiculous ability to adapt to virtually anything! Stop by the Marvel wiki, and you’ll see that this dude’s stats are essentially maxed out across the board. Edi Gathegi played Darwin in X-Men: First Class — before he unceremoniously died partway through the film. In the comics, Darwin is much more prominent. He’s also of Latin and African-American descent.
Roberto “Robbie” Reyes/Ghost Rider
Introducing new superheroes can be a big gamble, especially if they’re meant to replace a beloved character. Believe it or not, there was quite a bit of controversy when Miles Morales first hit the scene. History briefly repeated itself when Robbie Reyes premiered as the “All-New Ghost Rider” in March, 2014 — until everyone saw him in action.
Robbie stands out from the other Riders like Johnny Blaze or Danny Ketch. He hails from East La, drives a 1969 Dodge Charger, and looks like he walked straight out of Tite Kubo’s Bleach. In terms of feats, Robbie once turned a dead Celestial into a “ride” of sorts — wowing the likes of Captain Marvel.
America Chavez/Miss America
This next entry is a bit of a coin toss; anyone who’s watched Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness (my deepest condolences) might be familiar with America Chavez. Conversely, her characterization in that film wasn’t the strongest — so you’d be forgiven if you don’t remember her.
In the comics, Miss America is a brash, strongwilled firebrand who punches out aliens on the daily. She’s also one of the most prominent LGBTQ+ heroes in Marvel’s roster despite debuting in 2011’s Vengeance #1. Here’s hoping that this portal-hopping hero will get to shine in future MCU projects.
If somebody told you that Marvel Comics and DC Comics were bitter rivals, somebody lied. Both publications have *ahem* taken inspiration from each other since the get go. Darkseid debuted in 1971, then Thanos showed up in ‘73. The Atom premiered in 1940, only for Ant-Man arrive 20+ years later.
Marvel’s Nova Corps takes a lot of inspiration from DC’s Green Lanterns, but Sam Alexander is anything but a cheap knockoff. Even though he’s the second hero to bear the name Nova (after Richard Rider), Sam’s made a name for himself as an Avenger, a Champion, and a friend of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Legendary comic scribe Jeph Loeb dedicated Sam to his late son who succumbed to bone cancer at 17 years old.
Miguel O’Hara/Spider-Man 2099
Spider-Men come in all shapes and sizes; everyone knows Peter Parker and Miles Morales, but you’ve also got Spider-Gwen, Spider-Ham, Kaine, Spider-Ma’am, Silk, Ghost-Spider, and Spiders-Man. Miguel O’Hara is Spider-Man 2099, aka “the Spider-Man of tomorrow”. He first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #365, during the infamous fever dream of a decade that was the 1990s.
Speed is one of Spider-Man 2099’s greatest abilities; Miguel can move fast enough to leave a doppleganger behind, and his reflexes are completely off the chain. Spider-Man 2099 has appeared in innumerable video games and movies in some form or another, and he’s slated for a major role in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023). He’s also of Irish and Mexican ancestry.
Angela del Toro/White Tiger
The 1970s was a monumental decade for comics in terms of representation; characters like Luke Cage, John Stewart, Spider-Woman, and the first White Tiger debuted amidst the Blaxploitation boom and counterculture sentiments of the time. Angela del Toro, the second White Tiger, debuted in 2004’s Daredevil (Vol. 2) #58.
Angela’s close relationship with The Man Without Fear ensured that she appeared in plenty of stories. Over the years, she’s straddled the line between hero and villain — making for a morally complex character who stars in plenty of interesting stories. There’s a decent chance she, or her uncle Hector, will appear in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022).
Ultron is one of the meanest machines in the entire Marvel Universe. He’s got a penchant for cold-blooded murder, and he’s one of the few villains to successfully slay the Avengers and conquer Earth. It’s hard to imagine anything, or anyone, good coming from him — but that’s one of the reasons why Victor Mancha is so awesome.
Vic is the cyborg offspring of Ultron and Marianella Mancha, a criminal who worshipped the maniacal machine. Unlike either of his parents, Victor uses his powers for good; powers which include hacking, rapid self-repair, and all sorts of other freaky robot stuff. He’s a member of the Runaways and Avengers A.I., and admires Miguel de Cervantes, the creator of Don Quixote.
Manny Rivera/El Tigre
I’m well aware that this is an unconventional pick, but hear me out. This article is about underrated Hispanic superheroes, right? Who better to make this list than the star of a show that only ran for one season? El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera is the brainchild of Jorge R. Gutierrez, the man behind The Book of Life (2014) and Maya and the Three (2020) and his wife Sandra Equihua.
Manny Rivera is a surprisingly compelling character; his grandfather, Puma Loco, is the greatest supervillain in the world while his father, White Pantera, is a paragon of justice. Manny constantly sways from following in his grandfather’s footsteps or taking after his dad. This show is genuinely hilarious and stands as one of Mexopolis’ best productions.