This Man Created the ‘Aztec of the City’ Comic to Give Mexican Americans the Superhero They Deserve

*This comic book artist is trying to raise money to take the characters he created in 1993 to the next level and a larger audience. VL


By Yara Simón, Remezcla (3 minute read)  

Back in 1993, Fernando Balderas Rodríguez created the kind of comic book character he could have used in his youth: a Mexican-American superhero. And he didn’t just stop at one, he actually created a pair of crime-fighting cousins – Tony Torres and Tony Avalos – who for the past 24 years have come alive inside the pages of Aztec of the City. The black-and-white comic book fuses bits of history with fictional events, with the purpose of representing Latino readers in a positive light and teaching them about their own background. Balderas Rodríguez has maintained these lofty goals for the last two decades by self-publishing three volumes of the comic book, and now he’s turned to Indiegogo to make Vol. 4 a reality.

Aztec of the City exists because of Balderas’ sheer determination. As a lifelong comic book reader, he understood the makeup of a comic book, but nothing beyond that. “Publishing the first Aztec of the City was very raw in that I didn’t really know what we were doing technically,” he told me in a message. “We didn’t use the proper professional art pages as I just went full steam ahead with putting together a Mexican-American hero in an industry where they were lacking – a genre and medium I know so much about and have always been passionate about.”

The comic book follows cousins Torres (Super Chicano) and Avalos (Aztec of the City). Though the two have a deep bond, neither knows that the other is a superhero. Using his extensive knowledge of comics, Balderas Rodríguez – who describes Aztec of the City as the first Mexican-American superhero –includes reverent references to the Avengers and X-Men. But the comics have changed throughout the years. For example, Avalos goes from being a construction worker in the first two volumes to being a college freshman in the third volume. Avalos also no longer flies, because as Balderas Rodríguez’s college professor told him, “if he were a true Aztec, he wouldn’t fly around like Superman.”


Art by Alan López for Remezcla

Subscribe today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Must Read

Coronavirus: Mexican wrestlers sew Lucha Libre face masks

Victor Landa April 23, 2020

Unable to compete due to coronavirus, Mexico’s Lucha Libre wrestlers have taken up sewing face masks. Social distancing means the iconic sport is on hold for now, so fighters need […]

Latinos: COVID-19 Disrupts Finances, Daily Life, Mental Health

Victor Landa April 6, 2020

COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate. But U.S. Latinos are more likely than all Americans to say the coronavirus pandemic changed their daily lives, and disrupts their mental health, finances, and jobs, according to new Pew Research […]

A Profile of Coronavirus and the Latino Workforce

Victor Landa April 13, 2020

*This article was originally published in the NALCAB Blog. Over the last month, the Coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the lives and well-being of all Americans. It has disproportionately impacted the most […]

Hispanics more likely than Americans overall to see COVID-19 as a major threat to health and finances

Victor Landa April 14, 2020

Hispanics are more concerned than Americans overall about the threat the COVID-19 outbreak poses to the health of the U.S. population, their own financial situation and the day-to-day life of their local […]

Coronavirus could ‘decimate’ Latino wealth, which was hammered by the Great Recession

Victor Landa April 16, 2020

Octavia Nieto worked for over 10 years as a pastry chef at a bakery in Princeton, New Jersey. Now with the business closed indefinitely, she relies on a part-time job […]

Latino Teens: Distance Learning Is a Giant Stressor amid Coronavirus

Victor Landa April 22, 2020

Latino teens are more worried than their peers that they won’t be able to keep up with school work or extracurricular activities amid coronavirus, says a new survey by Common Sense and […]


Victor Landa

Despite these uncertain times, the 2020 NFL Draft will proceed as planned. But because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the 2020 NFL draft will be held virtually for the first time […]

Government Relief Less Likely To Reach Latino Businesses

Victor Landa April 23, 2020

Latino communities may face a generational setback in growing wealth, as the pandemic-driven downturn exacerbates an already present gap in funding for their small businesses. Juan Rios sits among the […]