Culture

Chispa Comics and Mucho Mas Media to Launch First-of-its-Kind Latinx Universe of Superheroes

'The Thirteen' to launch in 2023 with Latinx universe by Latinx creatives including Tejano singer Veronique Medrano.

Credit: Twitter / @ChispaComics

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Chispa Comics and Mucho Mas Media with partner Scout Comics is preparing to embark on a groundbreaking project: launching a shared universe similar to those of DC or Marvel, yet featuring solely heroes of Latin-American heritage, in comics written and illustrated by Latinx creatives.

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The brainchild of Mucho Mas Media, in partnership with Scout Comics, which will distribute, Chispa plans to unveil this ambitious fictional universe with The Thirteen, described as “an elite league of super-powered humans with Mesoamerican roots.” The Thirteen will debut in 2023 through a series of one-shot origin stories: the first six set to premiere at San Diego Comic-Con, the last seven to drop at NYC Comic-Con. The one-shots will be followed by an ongoing series in 2024 featuring the entire line-up, as well as three other spin-off series featuring smaller teams of heroes.

Super-powered humans in this universe are referred to as “chispas” (sparks), a term that reflects a Latinx perspective on heroism. They arise from inside, not outside the community. They don’t fight evil just as vigilantes or powerful police but as defenders of their people against the systems that foment crime, evil, and injustice. Doing so, they inspire others, sparking a fire in the hearts of common people to work together in solidarity to effect real change in the world.

The origin stories of The Thirteen are being crafted by a group of talented writers, some of whom are represented by Mucho Mas subsidiary Inclusion Management: Zopilote by Hector Rodriguez IIIThe Wake by Jasminne and Lupe MéndezPyroclast by Frederick Luis AldamaCloudbreak by Leticia UrietaFlorescent by Héctor GonzálezDragonthrall by Veronique MedranoVendaval by Ire’ne Lara SilvaShaper by Angelo BowlesGila Girl by Henry BarajasMolt by Laura Galán-WellsRevive by Oscar Garza and Rolando EsquivelBlue Deer by David Bowles, and Coneja by Kevin García. Negotiations with illustrators and writers are underway.

“What makes these heroes unique is not just their ethnicity, but the fact that their powers emerge from their Mesoamerican day signs. In other words, there’s a cultural and spiritual element to these mutations that is specific to their Indigenous heritage,” explains co-publisher David Bowles, an award-winning Chicano author, translator, and college literature professor.

“With 62 million Latinx consumers in the US, comprising 25% of the U.S. Gen Z and Millennial population and growing, our community is a huge consumer of entertainment. We want Chispa’s new superhero universe to reflect the full diversity under that umbrella, with the ability to organically expand into every niche,” said Chispa Comics co-publisher Hector Rodriguez III, an award-winning Chicano comic book creator and co-founder of Texas Latino Comic Con.

Chispa’s first published title, Attack at Acapulco: A Black Demon Tale, debuted at the 2021 New York Comic-Con. The comic from writer Sebastian Martinez-Kadlecik and artist Bruno Oliveira is centered on an ancient megashark from Mexican mythology guarding the waters near the Baja peninsula. The Black Demon, an independent feature film thriller adaptation starring Josh Lucas, directed by Adrian Grunberg (Rambo: Last Blood) and produced by Javier Chapa and Jon Silk, will be released next year by The Avenue Entertainment and Amazon.

While planning the release of an anthology series to tie in with The Black Demon film, Chispa is shepherding other projects toward the second quarter of 2023, including the horror anthology Catrina’s Caravan, edited by David Bowles and Hector Rodriguez III; Thanks! from Romina, from writer Giulie Speziani; a graphic novel follow-up to the first issue of Oscar Garza and Pablo Esquivel’s Mashbone & Grifty, which dropped at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con; and the graphic novel series The Dusk, from Alex Segura. Among projects in development is the Richard Ortiz-drawn series The Fantastic Flame, written by Alex Segura and Chantel Acevedo.

With the mission to tell ethnically vibrant stories from established and emerging talents, Chispa is the first direct-to-market Latinx comic label with full national distribution. Established in 2021 as a partnership between Los Angeles-based production company Mucho Mas Media and Scout Comics & Entertainment, headquartered in Fort Myers, Florida, the imprint is overseen by co-publishers David Bowles and Hector Rodriguez III, alongside Mucho Mas Media founder and co-CEO Javier Chapa and company creative director Phillip Braun.

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