Puerto Rican comic book superhero La Borinqueña’s costume was added to the Superheroes exhibition at The Smithsonian in Washington D.C. this month.
Puerto Rican graphic novelist and Marvel writer Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez created the comic book character in 2016 and she made her first appearance at the National Puerto Rican Day Parade with a costume featuring the colors of the Puerto Rican flag.
“It’s overwhelming. It’s really surreal. When I walked up to the display, I was brought to tears of joy,”Miranda-Rodríguez told NBC Latino.
The Afro-Boricua born and raised in Williamsburg, Brooklyn starts off as Marisol Rios De La Luz, a Columbia University undergraduate student studying earth and environmental science.
During a semester studying abroad at the University of Puerto Rico, she gets a chance to explore local caves where she finds five crystals which she unites. Consequently, Taino mother goddess Atabex appears before Marisol and she summons her sons Yúcahu, the spirit of the seas and mountains and Juracan, the spirit of the hurricanes who give Marisol superhuman strength, the power of flight, and control of the storms.
La Borinqueña’s name comes from Borinquen, the name given to the island by the Taíno indians, the indigenous community that lived there prior to Spanish colonization. It’s also the name of their anthem which includes the lyrics “Es Borinquén la hija/la hija del mar y el sol” that hearken to the superhero’s own connection to nature.