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Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez Creates A World For Representation With "La Borinqueña"

La Borinqueña created by philanthropist and graphic novelist Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, takes us inside his inspiration of the main character.

La Borinqueña, aka Marisol Rios De La Luz, is a 19-year-old undergrad student living in Brooklyn with her family.

Comic illustration of character named Marisol Rios De La Luz, who is a Puerto Rican superhero, among protesters, on the cover of the comic book.
Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez / la-borinquena.com

After deciding to study abroad in Puerto Rico, she finds herself exploring the caves and stumbles upon five crystals and the Taino mother goddess named Atabex, who gives her superhuman powers of flight, controlling storms and strength. In all the powers she has developed, she is representing the youth of Puerto Rico.

BuzzFeed spoke to Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, creator of the comic, who said he has a "great responsibility with the power La Borinqueña has in our world today."

Portrait of comic book creator Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez.
Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez / la-borinquena.com

He says, "La Borinqueña's presence in mainstream media shines a light on Puerto Rico, an island nation that is the world's oldest colony at 122 years. Puerto Rico is a colony with 3 million second class U.S. citizens that cannot vote for President this November. "

Edgardo makes it a priority to show how diverse the Latinx culture is by celebrating AfroLatinx heritage as well.

Comic illustration of character named Marisol Rios De La Luz, flying away with gratitude.
Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez / la-borinquena.com

He adds that, "La Borinqueña shows us the power of representation when she stands alongside mainstream icons to remind the world que estamos presented."

"As Latinx storytellers we have to use our platform to stand up for social justice and our resources to give back. Via our philanthropy, La Borinqueña truly represents the power of heroism."

Comic illustration of character named Marisol Rios De La Luz, helping turtles next their eggs in the sand.
Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez / la-borinquena.com

When asked where his inspiration came from to create Marisol — otherwise known as La Borinqueña — Edgardo explained, "I wanted to create a character that stood for environmental justice, social justice, and was connected to the feminine power in Puerto Rico."

Comic illustration of character named Marisol Rios De La Luz dancing with her community in Puerto Rico.
Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez / la-borinquena.com

"She is a college student, around the age of 19 and of voting age. Marisol is also a STEAM student because not only does science, technology, engineering, and math intrigue her but the arts as well, as they are part of her heritage and identity. She is an avid Bomba dancer and this influence shows in her stories. Bomba affirms her as an AfroBoricua, an underrepresented group when discussing the Latinx community."

Edgardo feels that a lot of Puerto Rico's history has been "Overlooked or omitted. When this blatant omission occurs, it specifically disconnects the feminist energy that is intrinsic in our heritage."

Comic illustration of character named Marisol Rios De La Luz helping coqui (small animal, frog like) to their home on a tree.
Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez / la-borinquena.com

"The Taínos of the Caribbean referred to Puerto Rico as the land of the noble creator, and that creator was the mother goddess Atabex. These days we are all witness to a global racial justice reckoning. It is always the youth that lead these protests and it is the youth that lend their voice to the movement. Women especially have taken the lead in these current movements, but they are clearly a reflection of history."

Edgardo continues: "It was women in 2019 in Puerto Rico from such groups as La Colectiva Feminista en Construcción and Puerto Rico’s Centro de Periodismo that sparked the revolution that lead to the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rossello."

Comic illustration of character named Marisol Rios De La Luz on the cover of her comic smiling with her community in Puerto Rico.
Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, La Borinqueña №3 / Via la-borinquena.com

"This is in the tradition of women like Mariana Bracety, who was a pivotal figure in El Grito de Lares in 1868. It is therefore with this history and close eye on the world now that I draw inspiration for La Borinqueña."

When asked about how his work has personally impacted him, Edgardo says the family is involved with self publishing La Borinqueña and personally invested.

Comic illustration of character named Marisol Rios De La Luz eating at the diner table with someone else. She appears to look happy and content with her meal with her super hero cape on.
Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez / la-borinquena.com

"My partner Kyung Jeon-Miranda runs our La Borinqueña Grants Program, which already has awarded $165,000 in grants to non-profit organizations in Puerto Rico. My older son runs sales for our tables at comic book conventions."

Because of Edgardo's graphic novel, it has allowed him to create a project that directly connects his family with Puerto Rico.

Comic illustration of character named Marisol Rios De La Luz introducing herself.
Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez / la-borinquena.com

"The research I do for my writing connects me to scientists, scholars, and artists in Puerto Rico and the diaspora." Edgardo said. "Our charity work introduces our family to groups in Puerto Rico committed to sustainable work."

"When we wave our Puerto Rican flag, we know that it's the 125th anniversary this year that connects us to our people."

Comic illustration of character named Marisol Rios De La Luz discovering her superhero powers in Puerto Rico.
Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez / la-borinquena.com

"Our commitment is to continuing the Ricanstruction, and to establish a Ricannection of all 9 million Puertorriqueños in the diaspora via our work with La Borinqueña."

To view more of Edgardo's work or to purchase his comic book, check out his website here.

Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, La Borinqueña №3 / Via la-borinquena.com

And click here to see the list of winners for grants awarded by La Borinqueña Grants Program" for their work in sustainability in Puerto Rico.

To check out “La Borinqueña” Voter Turnout Campaign with Rosario Dawson and Poder Latinx, click here

Comic illustration of character named Marisol Rios De La Luz flying in the galaxy.
Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, La Borinqueña №3 / Via la-borinquena.com

To stay updated, check out La Borinqueña on Instagram

Join BuzzFeed as we celebrate Latinx Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, and explore more content celebrating la cultura.

Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

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