Boyle Heights woman creates Latina superheroes in hopes of more representation

BOYLE HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Boyle Heights resident Kayden Phoenix is on a mission to bring more Latina representation to film and TV, starting with her very own universe of superheroes that are being introduced via comic books.

"The first thought was Latina superhero, because we don't have it. Obvious reasons, but we don't have (the Latina superhero). This was years ago, we still don't have it," she said.

She started by writing, producing and directing a short film called "Jalisco," but after getting requests for comics, she made the jump to print.

To increase her chances of getting noticed, she created five superheroes in a universe called "A La Brava."

"If I have five, then they might as well be a team. If they're on a team, they're in a universe...and it's a just a very easy process and so it just made sense," said Phoenix.

Last October, she released "Santa," and last month, "Loquita."

"One of the themes, Loquita is just courage. She's my young one, she's my cute one. I call her that even though she fights supernatural and fights the demons all throughout it," she said.

While she says her themes are universal and focused on superhero stories, Kayden really hopes to make a difference for people who she says are marginalized.

"It's part of the end goal. Right? My end goal is equality, at the end of the day, regardless," she said.

She's already seeing the fruits of her labor with girls who have embraced her characters.

"Girls have worn Jalisco dresses for Halloween. Stuff like that - I did it already, just by me going to one Comic-Con, one girl wanted to be Jalisco... I'm grateful for that," she said.

Three more superhero comic books are in the works, but on the horizon is another genre: fantasy.

"My new universe is Latina princesses. The Majestics is what I call them, so my first one I already wrote," she said.

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