Superheroes inspire us. They have out-of-this-world powers that they use to protect the world and its people. They make everything better around them by simply existing, even if they aren’t perfect. So, imagine when we watch these blockbuster films and epic shows and don’t see one Latinx actor or character in them. It’s part of the bigger problem where Hollywood basically tells us we don’t matter. That we not only don’t get to participate in everyday, real-life scenarios acted out on the screen, but we also don’t get to reach for the stars and show our own brand of superheroic power.
We are glad to report, however, that things are changing, albeit much slower than we’d like. We are seeing more Latinxs on screen, even in the superhero sphere. The Umbrella Academy, a Netflix show based on the comic books by the same name (which are illustrated by Brazilian Gabriel Bá) and that centers around several adopted children with superpowers who are brought back together after their father’s death, has not one, but two Latinx actors as its stars. Read on to find out who these Latinx thespians are, and who they play on the much-loved, kickass production.
Genesis Rodriguez as Sloane Hargreeves
A Latina superhero?! We are totally here for that. Sloane Hargreeves is part of the second wave of superhero kids that Sir Reginald Hargreeves adopted, known as The Sparrow Academy. She is played by Cuban-Venezuelan actress Genesis Rodriguez, who has acted in films such as Man on a Ledge and Hours, as well as shows like Days of Our Lives and Doña Bárbara. You may also know her as the daughter of Venezuelan singing and acting icon José Luis “El Puma” Rodríguez.
In The Umbrella Academy, Sloane is a genius badass who can control gravity, giving her the ability to fly. The comics portray her as having blonde hair and lighter skin, so we’re happy that casting decided to have Sloane portrayed by someone with (at least a little bit) darker features! Sloane also is part of a love story on the show, although we aren’t going to spoil it for you.
David Castañeda as Diego Hargreeves
Another Latinx who is kicking ass on The Umbrella Academy is Diego Hargreeves, played by Chicano actor David Castañeda. He has appeared in films including Sicario: Day of the Soldado and Standing Up, Falling Down, and on shows such as Jane the Virgin and Switched at Birth.
Diego, also known as The Kraken, and Number Two, is part of The Umbrella Academy, the original seven kids who became famous for saving the world. His superpower is the ability to control the direction of things he throws, including knives (in the comics, his power was being able to hold his breath forever). Diego can also control bullets that are being fired at him. He also speaks Spanish on the show, which we definitely consider to be an extra superpower.
According to Fandom, like Sloane, in the comics, Diego is seen as having blonde hair and lighter skin. Diego also finds love on The Umbrella Academy, but you’ll have to watch to find out not only who his love interest is, but also how these two Latinxs fare as flawed but fierce superheroes.