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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Salvadorian representation in comic books is heavily lacking

Salvadorian representation in comic books is heavily lacking erik mclean/unsplash
Salvadorian representation in comic books is heavily lacking
erik mclean/unsplash

JOSÉ ROMERO
editor-in-chief
collegian.editor@tccd.edu

DC has over 10,000 characters, and Marvel has over 70,000, yet Marvel only has 149 Hispanic characters and DC 64. 

Even worse, there is no Salvadorian character in either major publisher’s stories. 

When researching, I couldn’t find a single Salvadorian character in comics whatsoever. The comic industry has wholly ignored an entire ethnicity. It hurts to see a medium I treasure so dearly not acknowledge that my people exist. 

It’s not like El Salvador isn’t a thing in comics. It has a database entry in Marvel and DC, but it’s just a playing field for characters to fight in. 

Recently, Sony has made some pretty great strides toward Hispanic representation in its films. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” introduced Miles Morales, an Afro-Latino, to wider audiences, and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” will do the same for America Chavez, a Latin-American LGBTQ hero.

The influx of Hispanic representation in big-budget movies is inspiring. It demonstrates that companies are willing to allow people of color some time in the spotlight. But it certainly feels drip-fed. 

The Marvel Cinematic Universe began in 2008, and there are still currently no plans for a Hispanic-led solo film. Fortunately, next year DC is releasing “Blue Beetle,” which will star Xolo Maridueña as Jaime Reyes. Originally, DC was going to release the movie solely on HBO Max, demonstrating a major lack of self-awareness. 

“Blue Beetle” is a pretty big deal to the Hispanic community. Just like “Black Panther” did for the Black community, it’s going to give Hispanic kids and adults a hero to look up to. It would’ve been a disservice to strip that of a theatrical release.

I’m beyond thrilled for these communities to have such strong characters representing them, but, as selfish as it sounds, as a Salvadorian, I feel left out.

 As a kid, I would see that characters didn’t have a similar background as me, and I hoped that would change as time went on. It, unfortunately, hasn’t. That feeling isn’t just isolated to comics either. It’s something I feel daily when watching a show, reading the news or playing a video game. Makes me feel unwanted in the public eye. 

Whenever I do see Salvadorians represented, it’s usually as violent gang members, reducing a whole culture into one disgusting stereotype. We’re never doctors, journalists or superheroes. 

I guess there’s nothing super about being Salvadorian. 

I want my little brother to grow up in a world that represents him. I want him to know that he can be a hero if he wants to, even if he can’t fly. 

That’s what comics do. They show people that what makes a hero isn’t the ability to stop a bus with their bare hands, but the motivation to help someone in need, putting yourself aside. 

I can already envision the impact a Salvadorian mainstream superhero could have on the community. Hell, we get excited when we see our flag in a show or movie. We’d lose our minds at the sight of a Salvadorian actor in a big-budget Marvel movie. 

But, with the pace these companies have maintained, it’s going to be a long while before anything like that happens.

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