First Mexican Superhero


Salma Hayek as Ajak on Eternals.

I grew up watching superheroes. Fighting crime and awesome colorful suits were my main focus at that time. I grew up in a city where violence seemed like it came straight out of an MCU comic, and still, I wondered, if my city is just like the ones in the comics, how come there’s no superhero that looks like me? Since 1939 there’s been a lack of Latin representation in comics and it wasn’t until November 5th, 2021 when I saw myself in a superhero. 


The real-life interpretation of “The Eternals #1” MCU Comic published July 1976, made it to the big screen with a cast that provides a sensational mix of actors and actresses with different ethnicities and backgrounds, and most thrilling to me, amongst the cast is Salma Hayek. Born in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico, Salma is one of the few Mexican actresses that has made it into stardom and shown the world the true talent and beauty Mexico has to offer. Although Salma has participated in more than 67 movies in her life like “Frida, 2002” or “House of Gucci, 2021,” her performance as Ajak in Eternals is the most worthy movie I believe she has ever done. On November 10, 2021, for a press interview for the film, Salma was interviewed for “Despierta America” and was asked by the interviewer what it felt like to put on her costume for the first time, to which she responded “I saw my brown face…I saw my brown face in a superhero suit and in seeing my face, I saw your face. I saw my face as a little girl, who had to have a lot of courage to dream big. I saw the face of all the little girls…and I realized that a door had opened where I didn’t enter alone – but inside that suit were all the Latinos who waited so long for this moment.” When I saw the movie the very same exact thing happened. I saw myself, I saw my cousin’s face, I saw a whole nation of people who finally have a hero rather than a villain to compare themselves to. All my life the only way I’ve seen my culture portrayed is through the archetype of Drug-Lords, the sexy latina, or even as the funny, awkward sidekick, so seeing a Mexican woman defy all these stereotypes, but instead standing strong and powerful in her own right is something that the Latin community will never forget. 


It might just be a movie to some people, but for most Latinos, especially Mexicans, it’s a sign that the world is changing, it’s a sign of progress and diversification that has reached the most “super” aspects of the world. I look up at superhero Ajak, and I see my country and identity being celebrated in the film industry for the first time.  I hope future generations look at Eternals as the first but not the last big movie that not only cheers but accurately portrays my identity as a source of true superpower.