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Comic Book / Revolución De Mayo

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Revolución de Mayo is a comic book from Argentina, based on the events of the May Revolution, which kickstarted the Buenos Aires theater of the Spanish American Wars of Independence. It was written by historian Felipe Pigna.

Spain was conquered by Napoleonic forces during The Napoleonic Wars. Back in Buenos Aires, Santiago de Liniers, a French that became viceroy after the British Invasions, was resisted and accused of being allied to Napoleon. The Junta of Seville simply appointed a new viceroy, Cisneros. Cisneros allowed free trade, as ordered by the Junta, but this caused a conflict between merchants (who benefited from the contraband caused by the strict regulations) and ranchers (who could now export to the British). So he cancels free trade, to keep the support of the merchants, but a British admiral comes to protest about it.


Sevilla was conquered and the Junta was closed; Cisneros authority would be under question as a result. He tried to conceal the news, to no avail. Under military pressure, he called an "Open cabildo" where citizens would discuss what to do. It was decided to remove Cisneros and place a Junta instead, but he made a little trick: it would be a Junta led by Cisneros! This led to further protests and military uprisings until Cisneros resigned for good.

The Primera Junta took government, but it soon got infighting between Cornelio Saavedra and Mariano Moreno. Moreno resigns and goes on a diplomatic journey to Europe, but is poisoned on the way.



  • The Alcoholic: Joseph Bonaparte is always drawn with a bottle and in a visible alcoholic stupor.
  • Art Imitates Art: The cover is made resembling the "Cabildo abierto del 22 de mayo de 1810" portrait about said event.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: There were several concerns about the rule of viceroy Liniers, but Delio mutinied against him because he was French, just like Napoleon.
  • Artistic License – History: The speech of Juan José Paso is received with chantings like those modernly used by fans of soccer teams.
  • Benevolent Conspiracy: Manuel Belgrano, Mariano Moreno, Juan José Castelli, Mariano Balcarce, Hipólito Vieytes and Cornelio Saavedra held a secret meeting at Vieytes' soap factory to discuss their actions against the viceroy.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Cisneros represents the Spanish crown, but seemed like a good and reasonable man. But when people rioted in La Paz and Chuquisaca, and created new Juntas... heads are gonna roll.
  • Flat "What": Cisneros kept asking "What?" when the Junta of Seville appointed him viceroy. He was partially deaf since the battle of Trafalgar.
  • Manipulative Editing: There was indeed a conflict between the conservative Cornelio Saavedra and the reformist Mariano Moreno, but the comic book omits a key detail: the reason for Saavedra to oppose Moreno. The French Revolution was still fresh in the minds of the people of the time, and although it was an example of popular autonomy against the king, it was also an example of what came later: the Reign of Terror. Conservatives like Saavedra accepted the former but preferred to avoid falling into the later, and feared that Moreno's policies would eventually degenerate into a local reign of terror if left unchecked. As written, Moreno's views are idealized and Saavedra is treated as a Grumpy Old Man for opposing them.
  • Nepotism: Napoleon removed the king of Spain and installed his brother instead.
  • Obviously Evil: Cornelio Saavedra is always shown with a Slasher Smile.
  • Orwellian Editor: Cisneros confiscated all the newspapers from a ship that came from Spain, hoping to prevent people from knowing about the conquest of Seville and the fall of the Junta (remember that this was 1810, there was no radio or TV, much less internet). But the patriots got one of those newspapers, and he finally had to announce it.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Fernando VII, heir to the throne of Spain, was held in prison, and several riots resisted against the Napoleonic occupation and asked for his liberation. But he was quite well in his luxury "prison", so he gave permission to Napoleon to kill them all.
  • Unwanted Spouse: The soldiers of Napoleon order the king of Spain, Carlos IV, to hand the throne to Joseph Bonaparte. He instantly agrees without any resistance... but, if you take the throne, you should take the Queen as well!
  • We ARE Struggling Together: The revolutionaries had successfully removed the viceroy Cisneros, but there was a conflict later between the conservative Saavedra and the reformist Moreno.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: In-Universe. In the days before the revolution there was a theater play, "Roma Salvada", set in Ancient Rome (specifically, a conflict between Catalina and Ciceron) and written by Voltaire half a century before. It was still caught in the political conflict of the moment: the theater tried to reschedule it, the revolutionaries forced the actor to show up and make the play as intended, and the play was interrupted by people shouting "Viva Buenos Aires libre!"
  • Wingding Eyes: Someone explains Cisneros about all the money Buenos Aires gets from free trade, with "$" symbols on his eyes.