By Susa Silvermarie
“Buenota, la Gloriosa told herself, for she found herself very good.” from Luis Alberto Urrea’s House of Broken Angels
Buenota, I told myself, for I found myself very bad. Bad was good, and the parents had no idea when they made me read this book that I was the spittin’ image of la Gloriosa inside my baddie heart. A Buenota woman, mmm, she could be my new superhero. I could draw her adventures, Las Aventuras de La Buenota…And that was the beginning. My parents required the book, their favorite author’s newest novel, and they didn’t see much of me for the next three months. Summer vacation, and the graphic arts Original Superhero competition, with the fabulous scholarship to Parsons School of Design was due in September.
I would win. They would stop harassing me about my “immature comic books fetish” and stop telling me to grow up. Yeah, to turn into their version of a goody girl with high-falutin’ literary interests like theirs. Nope, for me it would be the Parsons School of Design in Manhattan or nothing. And La Buenota would be my ticket. Her first adventure had to be as superlative as her name. It was a lot of pressure, this contest. But La Buenota thrived under pressure, didn’t she? She was my model, but I was her Creator! She’s the Bad Ass Buenota and she’s not what anyone expects. Ferocious, but not with a stupid bare-legs outfit. She would be out to please no one but her own badass self. Her powers, hmmm…
Whoever said you get only one? Each morning she flies out her window over Albuquerque and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains as she intercedes for the planet. She turns invisible in an instant. Seeing through anything? Each day of her smart life she is less fooled by surface appearances. As for super strength, stamina is her middle name. But her real wildness is the power of her heart, focused like a super laser out onto the idiot world “leaders”. She brings them to their knees all right, but not like the superheroes of old. Not using their own kind of brute, so-called, strength. Superpowers? Maybe. Or you could say La Bad Ass Buenota uses the unstoppable powers of an Everyday Goddess.
Wait, my comix readers have to buy this. Am I changing the genre altogether and making a literary comic book? Horrors– my parents might actually approve. No, wait, it all depends on her frickin’ first adventure. I have to introduce her to the world of comic book readers in such an unforgettable way that my name goes to the top of the prize list.
I’ve got it! Presenting, La Bad Ass Buenota, Chicana Superheroina. She shows up undercover at one of the “parties” at an Airbnb place, the kind where the high school girls get invited on Instagram and Whatsapp, the parties where they’re given drugs like Ecstasy and spiked drinks, and never get to go home again. They’re kidnapped, or murdered and returned in a body bag. In Texas, in San Diego, in Tijuana, in Puerto Vallarta, and one by one, in every single other place where they try to stick their dirty mitts entrapping girls, La Buenota is the Hero who brings down the fricken’ sex traffickers of planet Earth!
La Bad Ass Buenota is born. The scholarship is in the bag. Now to my drawing table.
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