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"Primos" by Al Madrigal and Carlo Barberi. AWA Studios
'Primos' by Al Madrigal and Carlo Barberi. Graphic: AWA Studios

‘Primos’: Al Madrigal debuts new Latinx superhero comic series

Written by the renowned actor and comedian of Mexican origin, the series takes place in the Mayan empire but readers can draw parallels to current affairs.

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Centuries ago, two Mayan brothers constructed a spacecraft that sent them hurtling into outer space. They returned to Earth only to find their culture and civilization destroyed, and one of the brothers vows revenge and seeks to decimate the planet with intergalactic technology gathered on his travels. To prevent this, his sibling creates a contingency plan that activates the world’s protectors – descendants of their own Pacal family. Now, the fate of the planet lies in the hands of three cousins scattered throughout Central and North America who have never met.

This is the plot of Primos the new comic book series created by the well-known Mexican actor and comedian Al Madrigal, famous for his time on The Daily Show.

Released on Feb. 2 in English and Spanish, Primos was written by Al Madrigal alongside artist Carlo Barberi and the creative platform AWA (Artists, Writers & Artisans). 

The idea of writing Primos came about after a meeting between Al Marvel and Axel Alonso, then editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics. Both discovered they shared Mexican roots, were married to Korean women and the same love for the Warriors and the 49ers, and wanted to create a comic starring Latin superheroes in Los Angeles.

When Alonso moved to AWA, he proposed to make the idea real and publish a bilingual comic book that mixed Maya empire with science fiction, and most importantly, would make readers find connections with recent history, politics and discrimination against Latinos. 

“With Latinos being villainized the way they are currently, and the fact that all of this land that we’re on in Texas, Arizona and California was stolen, and even with what the Biden, Obama and Trump administrations have done with immigration, we’re in such a bad place from the people that controlled everything,” Madrigal told NBC News.

The release date of Primos coincided with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on Feb. 2, 1848, which ended the Mexican American War. Mexico lost more than half its territory to the United States, including parts of present-day Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah, the places where the comic is set. 

And why bilingual? 

"You’re just looking at this completely underserved Mexican-American and Mexican national community. I want a teenager to be able to go to a comic book store and see a character that looks just like them on the rack. On TV it’s the same thing: Every show I write and produce has a practically 100 percent Latino cast. It’s the same reason I wrote the comic book and it’s in Spanish. You want as many of those people to see that," he told The Hollywood Reporter.

"Yes, I’m doing this because somebody needed to, and I know there’s other people trying to do the same thing because we’re so underserved, but if this sparks someone to pick this up and write whatever their creative endeavor is and gives them the inkling to write their own thing, then that’s fantastic," he continued.

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