Wednesday, June 12, 2024

La La Lui, a Latina- Asian and LGBTQ superhero named Lúz

Meet La La Liu, a Dominican Chinese college student who identifies as LGBTQ+ and transforms into a superhero to help her friend and fellow Latina superhero, La Borinqueña. La La Liu is a character who uses her superpowers for good in the new-released comic book series “La Borinqueña,” written and published by Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez and artists Will Rosado and Christopher Sotomayor.

The comic book, “La Borinqueña”, tells the story of the environmentally conscious woman superhero whose extraordinary powers, derived from the Indigenous Taíno Gods of her Puerto Rican ancestors, include flying, superhuman strength, and teleportation. La La, who transforms into superhero Lúz, has powers that light up her eyes and hands.

Miranda-Rodríguez said, “Latinos of Asian heritage are part of our people,” a message he wanted to convey when he created Lúz, saying he saw it as a chance to spotlight underrepresented Latino communities. He referenced the Chinese community in the Dominican Republic, which has become one of the largest in Latin America.

The artists also said they were conscious about the character’s powers, especially as an LGBTQ Latina. “Oftentimes, when you’re a member of the LGBTQ community, you live in darkness, in your own family, in your own mind, in your own heart, before you have the comfortable space to come out,” said the graphic novelist referring to crimes against the LGBTQ community particularly in Latin America. “What I wanted to do with La La is literally make her a bright light, a representation of luminous love. She is a reflection of her best friend but she’s also going to become her own hero in her own way,” he said.

In the new released comic, the author continues to focus on social change, specifically student activism. His second edition, which ended with a large student-led protest against school budget cuts, was released in June 2018, a year before the island would change three governors in just one week after historic protests led to then-Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s resignation. The third edition continues those student-led protests, this time against a biotech company holding students hostage.

Miranda-Rodríguez said he would be interested in a television show or film based on “La Borinqueña,” so long as the right studio values the importance of his superhero’s role. The graphic novelist has used his art to raise funds for Puerto Rico after the devastation of Hurricane Maria; he published the best-selling anthology “Ricanstruction: Reminiscing & Rebuilding Puerto Rico,” which featured La Borinqueña and other DC Comics superheroes.