Unimpressed with the lack of Puerto Rican representation in mainstream comic books, a writer at Marvel Comics named Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez decided to create his own comic starring a Puerto Rican hero. Miranda-Rodriguez was inspired to make the character when he was approached organizers of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City. They wanted to honor him for his previous work. Miranda-Rodriguez created a comic book to be introduced at the 2016 Puerto Rican Day Parade in NYC.
Thus La Borinqueña was born.
La Borinqueña stars Marisol Rios De La Luz, a young woman of Puerto Rican descendance living in Brooklyn. Marisol is an environmental studies student at Columbia University who goes to Puerto Rico to study. Gifted with powers by ancient Puerto Rican gods, Marisol decides to use her powers to fight social justice and environmental issues.
Named after the national anthem of Puerto Rico, La Borinqueña mainly deals with political issues such as voter rights and climate change and police accountability. Her creator has described her more as a "symbol of hope" than a "crime fighter".
In 2018, La Borinqueña crossed over with The DCU in Ricanstruction: Reminiscing & Rebuilding Puerto Rico. In the comic, Marisol has commissioned the help of DC's superheroes aid rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico, in the wake of the real life hurricane Hurricane Maria of 2017. Proceeds of the comic went to recovery efforts for Puerto Rico.
Tropes in La Borinqueña series:
- Bilingual Dialogue: The comic seamlessly shifts between English and Spanish spoken dialogue without translation.
- Captain Patriotic: La Borinqueña is a Nuyorican who wears a Puerto flag-themed costume and has a Puerto Rican superhero alias.
- Green Aesop: Marisol helps fight against environmental issues, from aiding sea turtles to find their nest beaches to battling crooks trying to secretly dump radioactive waste on the island.
- Latino Is Brown: Averted:
- Marisol has medium brown skin but she is an afro-Puerto Rican.
- Marisol's best friend is Chinese-Dominican.
- Meaningful Name: Marisol means Sun and Sea, and the gods refer to her as such- appropriate for her ability to command the elements.
- Reality Ensues: In the Action Prologue, Marisol attempts to imitate the Supergirl show by catching and lifting a plane. However, focusing all the plane's weight on the comparatively tiny place where she is holding it by causes the plane to start cracking apart.
Tropes in Ricanstruction:
- Animal-Themed Superbeing: Emphasized more than usual with Batman, who comes to Puerto Rico to sabotage the theft of a lab containing Puerto Rico bats.
- Celebrity Paradox: Curiously, Marisol teams with Supergirl at one point, despite the former's comic treating the Supergirl TV show as fictional.
- Enemy Mine: It's not just heroes who come to Puerto Rico's aid, as Marisol is also able to recruit the help of Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman, although some are less eager about it than others.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- Harley Quinn, arrested after a failed bank robbery, is genuinely saddened by hearing about the devastation caused by Maria, and convinces the cops to let her serve her sentence their in volunteer service.
- Poison Ivy isn't thrilled about helping humans, but she is aghast at seeing how Puerto Rico's rainforests have been flattened or drowned by the storm, and eventually reneges to providing food for people with her plants.
- Silence Is Golden: Harley Quinn's comic I Forgot Not To Care is told entirely with no dialogue, in the style of a comedy serial.
- Worf Had the Flu: As it turns out in the final story, Superman was unable to prevent Hurricane Maria from making landfall in the DC universe because he had just been stabbed by a piece of kryptonite by Metallo.