Inspired by Puerto Rico's economic woes, comic book writer creates La Borinqueña superhero

  • Courtesy of Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez
©2016, Somos Arte, LLC. All Rights Reserved

     (Courtesy of Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez ©2016, Somos Arte, LLC. All Rights Reserved)

  • Courtesy of Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez
©2016, Somos Arte, LLC. All Rights Reserved

    Courtesy of Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez ©2016, Somos Arte, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Edgardo Miranda-Rodriquez says the very essence of his art lies in his Puerto Rican roots. 

He was a nerdy child who collected recycled bottles to make money to buy comic books.

Fast forward to the 59th annual Puerto Rican Day Parade -- its organizers are reaching out to Miranda-Rodriguez to create something in honor of Puerto Rican contributions to the comic book industry.

“Initially, Parade organizers wanted me to set up a booth at the festival in Bronx. I told them, I’m an artist not a vendor; let me give you a formal presentation,” Miranda-Rodriguez told Fox News Latino.

“I designed a character and wrote a back story," he said. "I felt like now more than ever with the economic issues in Puerto Rico, we needed a symbol of hope. A character to inspire Puerto Ricans."

On June 12, Miranda-Rodriguez will debut a unique Puerto Rican superhero in honor of the parade.

The superwoman is called La Borinqueña. She has the powers of nature and protects Puerto Rico from natural disasters.

Miranda-Rodriguez, who lives in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, is the editor-in-chief of McDaniels’ DMC comic-book imprint. McDaniel is the iconic hip-hop artist Daryl “DMC” McDaniels, of Run-DMC.

The two began pitching Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso of Marvel Comics, resulting in a short story, published in Marvel, titled “Guardians of Infinity No.3.” The story features a treelike creature Groot of the Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as the Thing, formerly of Fantastic Four.

But of all of Miranda-Rodriguez’s characters, it turns out the most beloved is Grandma Estela, a character the artist created who believes that Groot is deeply connected to the Ceiba trees -- large trees found in tropical regions, and venerated by the Taino peoples.

La Borinqueña is inspired by the Puerto Rican national anthem of the same name and by a fictional character called Marisol Rios De La Luz, who wears a costume that resembles the Puerto Rican flag. Marisol is in honor of the artist's younger sister, who is a paraplegic. 

In the fall, she will be the featured character in a comic book called “La Borinqueña,” debuting during at an event titled Café Con Comics, organized by Miranda-Rodriguez with CUNY East Harlem campus; and in Puerto Rico on December 17 and 18 at the Aguada Comic Con Fest.

Proceeds from the book sales will raise money for the Puerto Rican Day Parade scholarship fund

“La Borinqueña is the first character I created and own, although she’s licensed by the Puerto Rican Day Parade, she’s owned by me, and that’s the first time a character was created without corporate backing. More than anything, she’s a symbol of hope,” Miranda-Rodriguez said.

Rebekah Sager is a writer and editor for She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @rebekah_sager.