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Pennsylvania College of Art & Design creates programming and exhibit on La Borinqueña, an Afro-Latina superhero

  • Aniya Faulcon
La Borinqueña Graphic

 Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez

La Borinqueña Graphic

Airdate: January 12, 2023

Many are familiar with popular Marvel and DC superheroes, like Iron Man, Captain America, Batman, Cat Woman and more but there’s a new superhero on the scene that is representing the Puerto Rican and Hispanic community, La Borinqueña.

This superhero is used to tell stories about Puerto Rico’s history, present-day social and environmental issues and celebrate the diversity and cultures within the Puerto Rican community.

On The Spark Thursday we discussed the new graphic novel superhero, its impact on the community, and the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design La Borinqueña programming and exhibit, which opens Tuesday, with Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, award-winning graphic novelist and creator of La Borinqueña and Alex Schaufele, director of exhibitions at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design.

La Borinqueña’s powers are drawn from Puerto Rico’s history and mysticism. The fictional character, is a Columbia University Earth and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate student, who lives with her parents in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. La Borinqueña takes a semester to study abroad, explores the caves of Puerto Rico and finds five similar sized crystals that are eventually united to give her superpowers to fly, manipulate wind, have superhuman strength, open portals and wormholes, etc.

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Post-Hurricane Maria, The La Borinqueña graphic novel superhero series raised almost $250,000 for nonprofit organizations throughout Puerto Rico, that represent the values La Borinqueña’s character embodies. The organizations celebrate and preserve Afro-Puerto Rican heritage, environmental justice, children’s education and literacy, women’s health and reproductive right and sustainable farming.

“This storytelling allows us the opportunity to introduce a hero into this mainstream superhero space that says that she, too, can be a hero for others,” Miranda-Rodriguez said. “Captain America is blond, blue-eyed and isn’t a character that simply represents those who are blond haired and blue-eyed. He’s considered the everyman. He’s considered a hero for everyone… And our hope with the storytelling through our graphic novels is La Borinqueña can be a symbol, a hero that can be seen for many others outside of the Puerto Rican and Latinx community, but more into the mainstream space of superhero storytelling.”

For more information on the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design La Borinqueña exhibit and programming visit

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

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