Entertainment

The Coolest Character in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Is Now Latino

In a world full of Captain Americas and Supergirls, it is refreshing that Latinos are finally showing up in Marvel and DC’s superhero universes. Miles Morales and Miss America (America Chavez) are just two of the new Latino superheroes taking over alternate universes and realities. Now, Latinos can add the huggable, adorable tree we all know as Groot.

Groot rose to untold popularity after the movie “Guardians of the Galaxy” became a huge hit.

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Credit: Marvel / Guardians of the Galaxy / @WindexBucky / Twitter

Mainly because he is such a cutie!

Like, seriously. The world found a place in their collective hearts for the emotional tree.

And his catchphrase, “I am Groot,” was brought to life by none other than Vin Diesel.

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Recently, Marvel created “Guardians of Infinity,” a spin-off of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” series.

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Credit: Marvel

In a story featured in issue #3, Ben Grimm and Groot pay a visit to New York’s Lower East Side and run into a little trouble. Wondering why Ben Grimm is dressed like a member of Run-DMC? That’s because the story was co-written by Run-DMC’s own Darryl McDaniels (aka DMC).

Issue #3 also brings us one incredible revelation. Groot is Puerto Rican!

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Credit: Marvel / Guardians of Infinity / Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez / Darryl DMC McDaniels

Well, sort of. His roots (ha!) are tied to a Puerto Rican legend. The Ceiba Tree is a legend that stretches from Puerto Rico and Guatemala all the way to West Africa. Mayans believed it to be a portal between worlds and Aztecs thought they held up the sky. Puerto Ricans and other modern civilizations believe the Ceiba tree is where the souls of loved ones live on long after death.

And yes, Groot says “I am Groot” in Español.

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Credit: Marvel / Guardians of Infinity / Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez / Darryl DMC McDaniels

So, who is behind Groot’s Puertorriqueño heritage? Boricua writer Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez.

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Credit: Danny Hastings / Courtesy of Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez

“As a storyteller, I feel a responsibility to try to tell a story that can resonate with a universal audience. I oftentimes draw from my own life as an activist and art director,” Miranda-Rodriguez told we are mitú about making Groot Puerto Rican. “In the Lower East Side, or Loisada of Nueva York, the community has a rich history from Puerto Ricans. Cultural institutions like the Nuyorican’s Poet’s Café, Loisaida, Inc and the Clemente Soto Veléz Cultural and Educational Center were founded by Puerto Ricans in the 1970s. Given that many Marvel characters are from New York City, it only felt right to celebrate the Puerto Rican community of Loisaida.”

Miranda-Rodriguez says he was inspired to make Groot a proud Latino after hearing the calls to add diverse characters and stories to comics.

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Credit: Marvel / Guardians of Infinity / Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez / Darryl DMC McDaniels

“Many Latinos here in the United States and internationally (just click on the hastag #YoSoyGroot) read and enjoy comic books,” Miranda-Rodriguez told we are mitú. “When I was writing the script for this story, I asked my editor Nick Lowe for permission to have Groot speak Spanish and say ‘Yo Soy Groot!’ Having those three words for me written into this comic book validated me as a Latino and every Latino that already picks up these books.”

His biggest inspiration for a Puerto Rican Groot came from Marta Moreno Vega, president of Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute.

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In the comic, Abuela Estela is the only person brave enough to soothe Groot after he falls under the control of the enemy.

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Credit: Marvel / Guardians of Infinity / Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez / Darryl DMC McDaniels

In this issue, Groot and Grimm enter into an epic battle with a villain named Plantman. Before you know it, Groot is under the villain’s control and begins fighting Grimm – and destroying the Lower East Side. Abuela Estela sees the fight and runs out to calm Groot, bringing him back to the good side.

“¡Sacúdete y levantate!” Three words was all it took was for Abuela Estela to remind Groot of his Latino background.

Are you excited to have another Latino superhero? Share this story with all your friends by tapping that share button below and show everyone that Latinos exist in all universes!

Wonder Woman Isn’t The Only Latina Superhero To Be On Display At The Smithsonian In Washington

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Wonder Woman Isn’t The Only Latina Superhero To Be On Display At The Smithsonian In Washington

laborinquenacomics / mredgardonyc / Instagram

Historical artifacts from the 1869 Transcontinental Railroad and posters of the women’s suffrage that date back to 1832 that are on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington. Among these historical and important artifacts is the costume of La Borinqueña, an Afro-Puerto Rican superhero.

The costume of La Borinqueña, created by comic book writer Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, is featured in the “Superheroes” exhibition at the Smithsonian.

Courtesy of Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez

This significant addition to the exhibit comes just three years since Miranda-Rodriguez debuted La Borinqueña in the first graphic novel.

“La Borinqueña debuted in 2016 at the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City,” Miranda-Rodriguez said in a statement. “Throughout the last three years, her overwhelmingly positive reception has provided me the platform to address the humanitarian crisis that grew out of the island of Puerto Rico’s economic crisis. For a year and a half, La Borinqueña became recognized and celebrated by mainstream media outlets and cultural institutions positioning me as a prominent voice for Puerto Ricans.”

Miranda-Rodriguez said that after Hurricane Maria, La Borinqueña became an example of pride and determination.

Courtesy of Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez

Miranda-Rodriguez adds that through the La Borinqueña brand, they’ve been able to raise a quarter of a million dollars from the sales of Ricanstruction and La Borinqueña Grants Program.

“Via this program, we have awarded grants to local grassroots organizations in Puerto Rico, further showing the world that our hero truly embodies a heroic ideal,” Miranda-Rodriguez said. “Fight for justice, work for justice. In a time where popular culture centers around superhero storylines that take characters to fight in intergalactic wars, La Borinqueña shines a light on the battles that we all need to fight here in our country.”

The costume of La Borinqueña is featured right next to Wonder Woman.

Courtesy of Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez

“The fact that both of these costumes were worn by Latinas (Wonder Woman’s Linda Carter is Mexican American) is fitting with the Smithsonian’s American Women’s History Initiative, #BecauseOfHerStory in which we are highlighting the many ways women play a role in our culture,” Melinda Machado, director of the Smithsonian’s Office of Communications and Marketing, told NBC News.

The exhibition can be seen now through Nov. 12, and people are praising the addition of La Borinqueña.

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“Having ‘La Borinqueña,’ a Puerto Rican superhero, at the Smithsonian is a source of pride,” Flavio Cumpiano said. “It’s a proven fact that children feel empowered to shoot for greatness when they see real-life people who look like themselves achieve greatness, whether it is a Barack Obama or a Sonia Sotomayor. The same is true for superheroes or action figures or characters.”

Click here for more information on the show.

READ: ‘La Borinqueña’ Is The Afro-Latina Superhero The Comic Book World Has Been Missing

A Lawsuit Filed Against Stan Lee Claims Sexual Misconduct Against A Massage Therapist Last Year

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A Lawsuit Filed Against Stan Lee Claims Sexual Misconduct Against A Massage Therapist Last Year

therealstanlee / Instagram

Comic book icon Stan Lee is not spending the last years of his life peacefully. The 95-year-old, who’s career as a comic-book writer, editor, film executive producer and publisher spans since the late 1930s, is facing a gamut of issues. Lee is dealing with fraud and financial issues, so much so that director Kevin Smith said Lee could come live with him. There’s family drama too. And matters are just getting worse.

A Latina masseuse who worked on Stan Lee during a comic con is suing him over claims of inappropriate sexual misconduct.

CREDIT: Twitter/@STARLORDSGF

Massage therapist Maria Carballo alleges that on the weekend of April 21-23, 2017, she performed two massage therapy sessions for Lee in his hotel room at a Hyatt Regency in Chicago.

According to court documents given to mitu: “During her first massage session, Lee began to fondle himself while lying face down; later, while Ms. Carballo was massaging his quadriceps, Lee began to moan and groan. Feeling uncomfortable, Ms. Carballo ended the massage early and left the hotel room.”

Carballo was then asked to return the following day to give Lee another massage. She alleges that he apologized to her, and she agreed to conduct the massage mostly out of fear of losing her job.

The suit alleges that one hour into the massage, “Lee, again, began moaning. In order to create distance from Lee, Ms. Carballo performed a Shiatsu massage, in which hands are replaced by feet. Within minutes, Lee took her foot and moved it against his genitals. Once Ms. Carballo freed herself from his grip, she promptly gathered her belongings and left.”

Carballo’s complaint contains five counts, including assault, battery, violation of the Illinois Gender Violence Act, emotional distress and civil conspiracy.

The suit also shows that records prove Lee was in Chicago that weekend as he was attending the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo at the McCormick Place convention center.

Carballo is also suing Lee’s assistant Mac Anderson, and is asking for more than $50,000.

“He is a high-profile public figure and I think it’s a shakedown,” Jonathan Freund, an attorney for Lee, told The Chicago Tribune, in response to the claim. “The guy is 95, I don’t think he would do that.”

Lee has been accused of similar actions before. Earlier this year, an unnamed source said that Lee had behaved sexually inappropriately.

“The report states a company that once provided Lee with professional nurses who gave him 24/7 home care terminated their business with Lee late last year, and that the parting of ways came after multiple nurses complained Lee allegedly propositioned them for sex, touched them inappropriately, and exposed himself to them,” Gizmodo reports.

Carballo says she didn’t come forward with her claims earlier because she was afraid.

“For a long time, I was afraid to ask anyone to help me hold Mr. Lee accountable for how he treated me,” Carbello said in a released statement. “He is rich and famous. I am not. After seeing other women fight to be treated with dignity and respect, I decided, me too. I am still nervous and afraid, but not as much as I was before because I have other people helping me.”

Carballo’s attorney, Alexandra Lopez of Cunningham Lopez LLP, also released the following statement: “Women all over the country, especially women in the hotel and service industry, have experienced the pain and embarrassment of being treated like chattel. Whether the men are powerful and influential like Stan Lee, Donald Trump or Bill Cosby, or just everyday businessmen, women deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Maria knows that she is in for the fight of her life, and we intend to battle with her every step of the way.”

The allegations against Lee dropped on the same day that he attended “Avengers: Infinity War” movie premiere.

Lee’s appearance at the red carpet premiere of “Avengers: Infinity War” caught fans’ attention. The comic legend attended the event in a motorized wheelchair on the same day sexual assault allegations went public.

READ: In Front Of Nearly 20,000 Fans At La Conque, Stan Lee Announced That He’s Developing A New Latino Superhero

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