Real Name: Marcos Zapata
Identity/Class: Human, transformed by magic
Occupation: Para-legal assistant
Affiliations: el Gato Negro, el Gato Negro, Team Tejas
Enemies: The Dogs of War
Known Relatives: Emiliano Zapata (great, great, grandfather: The revolutionary had many children out of wedlock)
Aliases: The Invincible Man, the Sentinel of the City by the Sea
Base of Operations: Corpus Christi, Texas
First Appearance: Relampago #1 (Number One Productions, February 17, 1977)
Powers/Abilities: Relampago is enhanced with superhuman strength given to him by La Bruja Mendoza, as she bathed him with special lotions and of bitter broths she forced down his throat and herbs she applied to his body. Not only is he invulnerable, he is now discovering that he has super-speed. He now has learned that every time he uses his "super powers", he experiences intense agony. Relampago ponders if his "gifts" are permanent or temporary, and to this day...he still does not know the answer.
History: Relampago was a petty thief shot during a botched robbery. He escaped and with the help of a bruja recovered by transforming into an invincible man. He then used his powers to stop crime. A former petty thief, he is now a para-legal assistant.
Comments: In 1977 Judge Margarito Garza of Corpus Christi, who also owned a comic store, decided that Mexican American youth needed a superhero of their own. He created Relampago, the very first Mexican-American superhero (specifically Tejano, a Texas-born Mexican-American), and certainly the first Mexican American comic, predating the Hernandez Brothers' Love and Rockets by some four years. He is only predated by Marvel's Puerto Rican superhero, White Tiger (Hector Ayala), for holding the title of first Hispanic superhero. The first issue was self published by Garza's Number One Productions, rather crudely drawn and many copies were destroyed because of concerns about copyright infringement. A second issue, revising the first issue came out c. 1977. The latest, # 3, was more professional, printed on good-quality stock, drawn by Sam G. Gonzalez, and published by Azteca Productions. www.myspace.com/aztecaproductions
Official Relampago Facebook page
Relampago was created by Judge Margarito Garza, and is copyright to his estate.
Thanks to Richard Dominguez of Azteca Productions for information about Relampago's true identity, powers, and for providing the image of him used here. Thanks to Richard again and Lee Villatoro for additional information.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Relámpago, a Mexican character
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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