Is DC Comics’ Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration Actually Tone-Deaf?

Is DC Comics’ Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration Actually Tone-Deaf? belatina latine
Credit: Twitter @DCComics

With National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) around the corner, it’s no surprise that all types of companies are trying to capitalize on Latino culture – as per usual. As Latinos, we experience this Latino boom every year – similar to what goes on with Pride month – pero that’s another conversation for later. 

The latest questionable notion? This year’s DC Comics’ Hispanic Heritage Month covers. 

DC Comics’ Hispanic Heritage Month efforts are questionable

In their recent installment, the comic books feature popular foods from Latin America. Superheroes are featured alongside prominent foods such as tamales, platanos fritos, and flan. Once again, the Latino community was reduced to its culinary contributions to the world. Sounds unbelievable, right?

 

“This must be satire, right? This is pretty tone-deaf. You thought these images personified Hispanic heritage? Tamales and some tacos? That was your best idea?”  Twitter user @iamsmudgegirl wrote. “Why not have Batman eating an elote while Robin hits a piñata with a stick?” Preach!

Fans aren’t the only ones expressing their opinions, though. “I feel that it is incredibly tone-deaf — almost like a parody of our culture when we’re reduced down to food, you know? And that, street food,” “La Borinqueña” comic book series creator Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez told NPR. “It’s very, very codified for me. But it also speaks to how unaware they are that this is coded, that this is offensive, that it is tasteless. And it feels very exhausting.”

Miranda-Rodriguez took Twitter to also express his concerns. On Twitter, he wrote: “So, @DCComics thinks these Hispanic Heritage Month covers of their Latin superheroes eating ethnic food is a good idea. I’ve never seen Batman eating filet mignon, Wonder Woman a gyro, or Superman tuna casserole, but this is what happens when we aren’t on the editorial team.”

A different version of Green Lantern’s illustration was allegedly released

It’s not just about the street food though, Green Lantern’s portrayal is significantly more stereotypical. In his image, he’s holding a flag that reads: “Viva Mexico!!” And guess what? This creation was actually changed from the original, according to the illustrator himself.

“I did this cover for DC for the #hispanicheritagemonth Kyle Reyner having a Mexican background and being Mexican myself, it was a great honor to have the opportunity to pay tribute to my country and roots, that’s why I decided to pay homage to Jorge Gonzales Camerena, a Mexican muralist I admire,” the illustrator Jorge Molina explained on a Twitter thread.

“‘La Patria is probably his most recognizable work. Due to some legal issues, this cover was not supposed to see the light of day (it’s unfinished, you’ll notice both the Mexican flag in incomplete and GL chest logo is missing).”

He continued: “How this image got promoted by DC is a mystery to me, don’t know if it was a mistake or in the end, they decided to go for it. There is a variation of this cover but I’m so glad this one is out there for the world to see since this was my original idea, pay homage to Camarena.”

So, what sparked the change? What made DC Comics use their stereotypical version instead? We hope to have an official answer soon.