May 19, 2024

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Comic Review: Ricanstruction: Reminiscing & Rebuilding Puerto Rico

An anthology with a purpose.

Puerto Rico has not yet fully recovered from the duel devastation of Hurricane Maria and the island’s economic woes.

To help out, there’s the comic anthology Ricanstruction: Reminiscing & Rebuilding Puerto Rico.

Here’s the thing:  this is an anthology, and normally that would mean the book is as good as its best story and weakest as its worst story.  But this one is for charity, so I am wary of really reviewing this thing.  Puerto Rico has problems, and proceeds for this book are supposed to go towards helping the island and the people who live there.  The stories and art were contributed by a number of comics professional and Latinx celebrities.  There’s no through line, a few stories were in Spanish that I can’t personally read, and many feature the new character from creator Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez named La Borinqueña.  She is described as an Afro-Latina heroine with environmentally-based powers, and though her usual adventures are apparently more independent, she does team up with a number of DC Comics characters in various stories.

And actually, I will say this much: there is a lot of variety in the DC characters seen in the book.  Sure, Superman (who doesn’t appear until the last story) and the various recognizable members of the Justice League are there, but there are a fair number of lesser characters–many of them black or Latinx themselves–like Crimson Avenger, Chronos, Icon, and Static, that also appear in various stories.  The only repeat characters are Swamp Thing and Amanda Waller.  And while La Borinquena doesn’t appear in every story, she likewise does appear on her own, inspiring DC heroes, the occasional villain, and ordinary people both in and out of Puerto Rico.  She may be worth tracking down at some point.

Given the book is for charity, I am going to decline on giving it a rating.  If you think this is a worthy cause, give it a try.  About the only complaint I had was Frank Miller’s pin-up, but that was because he stuck La Borinquena in grouping with characters from his crappy Dark Knight sequels.  Anyway, give this a shot if you want to help out.