This year, the period of September 15th to October 15th marks our nation’s 30th annual National Hispanic Heritage Month. Latin American heroes have been shaping America’s history and culture since before our country was even founded, so it’s no wonder then that so many of DC’s heroes draw from a Hispanic background as well. We believe that the value of growing up and being able to recognize one’s self in the heroes among them is immeasurable, inspiring those who resonate with them to be heroes in their own right in the real world. If you’d like to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month the DC Universe way, here are 20 of our greatest Hispanic heroes you can get to know.
First Appearance: ‘Detective Comics’ #215, 1955
Recommended Reading: ‘Batman Incorporated’
Introduced in the Silver Age as part of an international group of Batman’s allies called the Batmen of All Nations. In the ‘00s, he returned as part of Grant Morrison’s epic ‘Batman’ run as a legacy member of Batman’s new international efforts, Batman Incorporated.
First Appearance: ‘Super Friends in: The Alien Mummy,’ 1981
Recommended Viewing: ‘Young Justice’
El Dorado was first introduced as an original member of the ‘Super Friends,’ with the powers to teleport and cast illusions. Today, Eduardo Dorado helps metahuman teens at risk find their place in the world in ‘Young Justice: Outsiders.’
First Appearance: ‘Justice League of America Annual’ #2, 1984
Nationality: Colombian-Puerto Rican
Recommended Reading: ‘Justice League of America’s Vibe’
In the “Justice League Detroit” era of the ‘80s, the breakdancing Cisco Paco Ramone became the first Hispanic member of the Justice League with his unique powers of sonic vibration. These days, he’s better known as a S.T.A.R. Labs technician, part-time Super Hero, and irreplaceable member of Team Flash
WILDCAT (YOLANDA MONTEZ)
First Appearance: ‘Infinity Inc.’ #12, 1985
Recommended Reading: ‘Earth 2’
Yolanda Montez was the goddaughter of the original Wildcat, and was born with catlike agility and sharp retractable fingernails due to experiments performed on her mother by a mad doctor. As the new Wildcat, Yolanda fought alongside other legacy members of the JSA in ‘Infinity Inc.’ And in The New 52, ‘Earth 2’ reintroduced Yolanda as her world’s counterpart to Animal Man and Avatar of The Red.
First Appearance: ‘The Adventures of Superman’ #428, 1987
Recommended Reading: ‘Trinity’
Not every problem in Metropolis can be solved by Superman. Growing up in the city’s Suicide Slum, Jose Delgado does his best to combat gang violence and provide a positive example for the city’s troubled youth as Gangbuster. Though he lost the use of his legs saving Lois Lane’s life, he continued to operate as Gangbuster thanks to a cybernetic implant. He returned in the 2008 ‘Trinity’ series as one of the world’s unlikely heroes when Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are erased from reality.
First Appearance: ‘The New Titans’ #73
Recommended Reading: ‘The New Titans’ #73-114
As a very young child, Rosabelle Mendez was genetically enhanced by the Wildebeest Society with super strength and agility, enhanced senses, and deadly claws. With no past of her own, Rosabelle finds a new life as a member of the Teen Titans until tragically killed by Superboy-Prime during ‘Infinite Crisis.’ In ‘Blackest Night,’ she returns as one of many Black Lanterns to prey on the Teen Titans, but is granted rest once more thanks to the light of Dawn Granger.
First Appearance: ‘Batman: The Animated Series,’ “Pretty Poison,” 1992
Recommended Reading: ‘Gotham Central’
Debuting in ‘Batman: The Animated Series,’ Renee Montoya was always one of the most dedicated cops in Gotham, drawing contrast to her frequent disheveled partner Harvey Bullock. Montoya became a fan favorite as the lead character of ‘Gotham Central,’ and today fights crime in a pseudoderm mask as heir to the legacy of The Question. She can also frequently be found smooching her girlfriend, Batwoman.
First Appearance: ‘Green Lantern’ #48, 1994
Recommended Reading: ‘Green Lantern: New Guardians’
Kyle Rayner has a complicated relationship with his heritage, as his father abandoned his mother while she was pregnant. But as he grew into one of the most powerful Lantern Corps members of all time between his tenures as Ion and the White Lantern, Kyle learned to embrace his past, and even forge new connections with his estranged father.
First Appearance: ‘Aztek: The Ultimate Man’ #1, 1996
Recommended Reading: ‘Aztek: The Ultimate Man’
This so-called “Ultimate Man” was raised by an ancient organization to be an agent in the millennia-long holy war for the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, against the dark adversary Tezcatlipoca. With a magical suit of armor capable of manipulating reality itself, the true scope of Aztek’s power was immeasurable. Aztek became a reserve member of the JLA through the ‘90s, but ultimately gave his life in the final battle against Tezcatlipoca.
HAWKGIRL (KENDRA SAUNDERS)
First Appearance: ‘JSA: Secret Files’ #1
Recommended Reading: ‘Justice League,’ 2018
As the endlessly reincarnating Hawkgirl, Shiera Hol has lived many lives — the life of young Hispanic-American woman Kendra Saunders is only the latest. Unlike most incarnations of Hawkgirl, however, Hawkgirl’s spirit only entered Kendra after she killed herself at a young age, and was reborn as the timeless heroine. Now as an entity somewhere between her own conflicted self and a time and space spanning heroic legacy, the new Hawkgirl found a new balance with her partner Hawkman, and today serves as one of the primary members of the Justice League.
AQUAGIRL (LORENA MARQUEZ)
First Appearance: ‘Aquaman’ #16, 2004
Recommended Reading: ‘Aquaman’ #16-57
One of the greatest disasters in the DC Universe of the ‘00s was the sinking of San Diego, killing thousands as it fell into the murky depths of the Pacific. One survivor, Lorena Marquez, found her latent metahuman abilities triggered by the disaster, allowing her to breathe underwater and resist the pressure of the ocean depths. For a time, San Diego found new life as the underwater colony of Sub Diego — and under the guidance of Aquaman, Lorena Marquez took on the role of its protector.
MÁS Y MENOS
First Appearance: ‘Teen Titans,’ “Titans East,” 2004
Recommended Viewing: ‘Teen Titans’
These rambunctious young twins of the ‘Teen Titans’ animated series possess the power to move at incredible speed. But like two halves of a Speed Force equation, this is only possible while maintaining unbroken physical contact with one another. Más y Menos use these gifts as members of the satellite organization Titans East, and against the Brotherhood of Evil. ¡Más y Menos, sí podemos!
BLUE BEETLE (JAIME REYES)
First Appearance: ‘Infinite Crisis’ #3, 2005
Recommended Reading: ‘Blue Beetle,’ 2006
After the death of Ted Kord in ‘Countdown to Infinite Crisis,’ El Paso teenager Jaime Reyes found himself bonded to the Blue Beetle’s signature scarab. But unlike most teen heroes, Jaime almost immediately comes clean about his secret identity with his family, fighting metahuman cartels and alien invasions alike with their guidance and support. Like many who celebrate their Hispanic heritage, Jaime knows that family always comes first.
First Appearance: ‘Flashpoint’ #1, 2011
Recommended Reading: ‘Shazam!’, 2019
Relatively new to the Shazam Family, Billy Batson’s foster brother Pedro Peña is a withdrawn, gentle giant still struggling with his own self confidence. But in his Shazam! Form, Pedro embodies the Strength of Hercules, outstripping even Billy’s abilities in terms of raw physical power.
First Appearance: ‘Teen Titans’ #1, 2011
Recommended Reading: ‘Teen Titans,’ 2014
Miguel Barragan is one of the more colorful characters to emerge from The New 52, joining the ranks of the Teen Titans in their battle against the young metahuman abducting organization N.O.W.H.E.R.E. Bunker’s larger than life personality provided a lot of the life in the Teen Titans series during the New 52 era, but also draws from a bottomless inner well of compassion. Bunker is now in semi-retirement with his boyfriend Gabe, but pitches in whenever all hands on deck are required.
BLACK ORCHID (ALBA GARCIA)
First Appearance: ‘Justice League Dark’ #9, 2012
Recommended Reading: ‘Justice League Dark,’ 2011
The latest in a long line of Black Orchids, A.R.G.U.S. agent Alba Garcia underwent the secretive “Project Asencion” to restore the limbs she lost on a combat mission. This experimental procedure established a unique connection to both the morphogenic fields of The Red and The Green, making her an ideal candidate for Justice League Dark at the behest of her superior Steve Trevor.
First Appearance: ‘Justice League’ #30
Recommended Reading: ‘Green Lanterns’
As one of Earth’s newest Green Lanterns, the often neurotic Jessica Cruz teaches us that courage doesn’t mean the absence of fear at all: true courage is the strength to overcome fear. As a sufferer of acute agoraphobia and severe PTSD, it takes all the courage in the world simply for Jessica to get out of bed in the morning. But with the support of her sister, and her partner Simon Baz, Jessica has proven herself capable of amazing things — even standing up to Darkseid himself.
ROBINA (ISABELLE ORTIZ)
First Appearance: ‘We Are Robin’ #1
Recommended Reading: ‘Robin War’
As Robina, Isabella Ortiz was one of many Gotham youths who joined the unauthorized team of “Robins” during Batman’s absence in the wake of ‘Endgame.’ Today, she continues to fight crime as part of Gotham’s day shift alongside her boyfriend, Duke Thomas.
AZTEK (NAYELI CONSTANT)
First Appearance: ‘Justice League of America’ #20
Recommended Reading: ‘Justice League of America,’ 2017
After the death of the original Aztek, software engineer Nayeli Constant discovered and re-engineered the surviving helmet of her predecessor’s magical armor. After a rivalry with The Ray, the new Aztek has dedicated herself to battling the continuing threat of Tezcatlipoca and, like her predecessor, pitches in whenever the Justice League of America is in need of her.
First appearance: ‘Sideways’ #1, 2018
Nationality: Puerto Rican
Recommended Reading: ‘Sideways’
One of the most dynamic characters to come out of 2018’s ‘New Age of Heroes,’ Derek James used his powers to step through dimensions in order to fight evil throughout the Multiverse. For now, his own series has come to a close, but as a favorite creation of DC head honcho Dan DiDio one can never be sure where he’ll pop up next.