Created and written by Alex Grand, with art by Sebastian Guidobono, JOURNEY INTO MEXICO is a surprising blend of Mexican political history with mythological gods and creatures from Mexico and Latin America.
I say surprising because based on the title (which recalls a hallowed Silver Age Marvel Comics title) I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I got was the story of a young boy who is gifted the power of the gods and transforms, Billy Batson/Shazam style, into El Fuego, a fiery champion of the people. What was really interesting, and unexpected, was the story actually ties into the historical reign and assassination of Vicente Guerrero, the short termed Mexican president of African descent who after abolishing slavery was ousted and eventually murdered at the hands of the conservative forces.
What takes this into the realm of the comic book fantastic is that these political machinations occur as part of a cosmic battle played between the Incan death god Supay and the old gods of Mexico led by Quetzalcoatl. El Fuego acts on behalf of the old gods while Supay has both human political pawns as well as a host of mythical creatures including the Black Demon monster shark! To take a historical drama like Mexico’s War of Independence from Spain and weave it into a tale of gods battling for the sake of the universe is quite a dance.
With such a large cast of characters, and with the weaving of the historical facts into the supernatural elements, the narrative stays steady as it moves boldly forward to its conclusion. Alex Grand, host of the Comic Book Historians Youtube channel, definitely uses his scholarly acumen well here in the form of brief guides in the backmatter material offering short biographic descriptions of the key players, both historic and fictional. The art and storytelling by Guidobono are refreshingly clear, keeping the reader engaged with the proceedings.
The comic is published as four single issues as well as in a collected edition, and is available in both English and Spanish. Take a journey into Mexican history and fantasy and book yourself a trip! I enjoyed the journey myself and highly recommend it!
Javier Hernandez is an American artist, comic book creator, and radio host from Whittier, California. Perhaps best known for creating the popular series, El Muerto: The Aztec Zombie and co-creating the Latino Comics Expo. The majority of his works are published through his privately owned imprint, Los Comex and can be found at www.javzilla.com.
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