Press Release

NRDC and La Borinqueña Comic Unveil Commemorative Cover Art For Five-Year Anniversary of Hurricane Maria

Melodie Mendez
mmendez@nrdc.org, 212-727-4442

NEW YORK, NY  – In commemoration of the fifth year anniversary of Hurricane Maria, NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) and award-winning graphic novelist Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez published new, limited-edition cover art for the comic book La Borinqueña and its special edition issue featuring celebrity activist Rosario Dawson. When placed side-by-side, both covers tell the ongoing story of the impacts Hurricane Maria has had on Puerto Rico and the importance of climate-resilient reconstruction to reduce future impacts of natural disasters.

Hurricane Maria touched down in Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017 as a category five hurricane with sustained winds reaching over 175 miles per hour. The damages to the island and its residents were extensive, with the death toll topping 3,000 people and a nearly five-day long blackout–the longest in United States history.

“It was important for us to reflect on the power and resiliency of Puerto Ricans as they continue to sustainably rebuild from the disasters brought on by Hurricane Maria,” noted Miranda-Rodriguez, the creator of the La Borinqueña series. “At the same time, we must hold local and mainland U.S. leaders accountable for the harmful delays in distributing promised resources and services to the island in the aftermath. Puerto Rico–the island itself and especially the people who call it home–deserve more.”

The special edition issue of La Borinqueña Guest Starring Rosario Dawson, produced with support from NRDC, was originally published in April 2022 to spread awareness of the impacts of climate change and how Puerto Rico can be a model for a transition to renewable cleaner energy. The limited release of the comic with its commemorative covers also includes a foreword by Luis Martinez, Director of Clean Energy at NRDC, detailing the impetus for the collaboration, the importance of recognizing these types of extreme natural disasters, as well as the need for clean energy solutions.

“Puerto Rico is on the frontlines of climate change, and the last five years has further revealed how deeply entrenched the fossil fuel industry is in delaying or stopping the transition to clean energy—here and everywhere,” penned Martinez in the comic’s foreword. “Lately, things have gotten worse: An increase in apagones and the doubling of electric rates since 2020 (seven rate increases this year at last count) is enough to make anyone want to give up. But, as we see in La Borinqueña, Puerto Ricans are in la brega (as it's widely referred to on the island)—doing their best to make it work despite the disaster and its ongoing struggles.”

“Working on these covers was an incredible opportunity to ensure Puerto Rico’s rich, cultural presence in the comic world but also in the environmental advocacy space,” added Alitha Martinez, the artist behind the new covers. “The island has faced so much turmoil but, despite it all, there is still hope.”

The Hurricane Maria commemorative issue of La Borinqueña is available for pre-order at www.la-borinquena.com/#Store while supplies last. Proceeds from comic book sales will benefit local rebuilding efforts and clean energy projects in Puerto Rico.

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About NRDC

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

About La Borinqueña

La Borinqueña is an original superhero graphic novel series independently published, created, and written by award-winning graphic novelist Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez. In the series, college student Marisol Rios de la Lúz found five crystals on her exploration of caves in Puerto rico, now combined, they formed La Estrella del Camino. With her star, Marisol opened a portal connecting her to Atabex, the supreme mother cemi of the Taínos, the indigenous people of Borikén (Puerto Rico’s original name). Atabex, Yucahú the cemi of the seas and mountains and Juracán of the storms imbued her with the abilities to fly, control the elements, move the earth, and superhuman strength making her La Borinqueña. Visit us on Instagram/Facebook at @LaBorinquenaComics, Twitter @LaBorinquena_GN, and www.la-borinquena.com.

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