There’s a fascinating cultural heart to Primos that feels truly authentic; writer Al Madrigal – an accomplished actor and stand-up comedian – has infused the action with a good level of Latinx history, as well as modern pop culture references too. Primos is Madrigal’s response to the fact that, though Latinx superheroes exist, they tend to be second or third tier characters at best – here, he has the opportunity to place them and their culture front and centre.
There’s a lot of exposition to get through in this first issue, with teenage Ricky getting to grips with the superpowers bestowed upon him by one of his time travelling Mayan ancestors (see what I mean? There’s a lot to take in over the course of this issue!).
The ancient time travellers, upon discovering their civilisation gone – and their descendants being kept in cages as ‘illegals’, in an overt piece of political commentary – choose separate paths to deal with the situation: one seeks revenge on present day Earth’s inhabitants, while the other seeks a more benevolent path, bestowing super powers upon Ricky and two of his cousins – the Primos of the title – who he’s never actually met. This sets the stage for an epic conflict between the three modern day kids and the – rightfully – angry Mayan time traveller.
It’s fun, fast paced and very colourful, with some unusual visual design thanks to the partially ancient Mayan setting and characters. Though the pop culture references and teen speak can feel a little clunky at times, the story still works – also, it gets through in spite of the info dump of exposition that we need to get up to speed with the setting.
It’s an intriguing start for the series, which is scheduled to run for four issues. On current evidence, it seems that we’ll need many more to truly explore the story that begins here – and it certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing.
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