Marvel Announces Ninth Spider-Title to Relaunch Afro-Latino Super-Team The Santerians
Jose Molina and Simone Bianchi are bringing back a spiritual Afro-Latino Tribeca superhero team that you've probably never heard of in the pages of the newly announced Amazing Spider-Man #1.1 this fall. The very obscure Santerians, who have had four appearances in total in the last ten years, will be the featured guests of the ninth Spider-Man-related Marvel title on the stands this November --- a limited series spinning out of Dan Slott and Giuseppe Camuncoli's Amazing Spider-Man ongoing starring the Peter Parker Spider-Man.
Italian-born Bianchi will be a familiar name to Marvel fans given his work on Wolverine, Thanos Rising, and the Original Sin tie-in series featuring Angela and the Tenth Realm. Jose Molina is a new name to comics; he's a TV writer whose credits include Grimm, Castle, Sleepy Hollow, The Vampire Diaries, and Agent Carter. Born in Puerto Rico, his presence on a book featuring an Afro-Latino superhero team is the latest evidence that Marvel is serious about trying to put diverse talent on diverse books, following last week's announcement of artist Natacha Bustos on Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur.
Speaking to ComicBook.com for the exclusive announcement, Molina confirmed that the Santerians are the real engine for the series; "When Nick [Lowe, Spider-Man editor] approached me about re-launching the Santerians, I instantly sparked to the idea, and a story immediately suggested itself. By their very nature, the Santerians are attached to issues of religion and faith. I wanted to have them bring questions of faith into Spider-Man’s world and force him to grapple with ideas he hasn’t often wrestled with in the books."
Created by Joe Quesada in 2005's Daredevil: Father mini series, the team derives its powers from Orishas, manifestations of god in the religions of the Yoruba people of West Africa. Santeria is the syncretized version of Yoruban religion as practised by slaves in the Catholic Spanish Empire, so it's no surprise that Molina intends to use a team called 'the Santerians' to explore spiritual themes. Though the series features animated dead, Molina was quick to stress that they are "[n]ot zombies, just... not alive and not dead." Definitely not zombies, you hear?
The Santerians' line-up includes Chango, a hot-headed guy with electricity powers, named for the Orisha of thunder; Eleggua (Nestor Rodriguez), an empathic super-linguist, named for the Orisha of crossroads; Ogun, the mandated super-strong guy, named for the Orisha of war; Oshun, a liquid manipulator, named for the Orisha of rivers; and Oya, a weather-controller, named for the Orisha of storms. It should be noted that Oya shares a codename with Idie Okenkwo of the X-Men, created by Matt Fraction and Kieron Gillen in 2005, while Ogun is also the name of Wolverine's demonic mentor from Chris Claremont and Al Milgrom's Kitty Pryde and Wolverine in 1984.
Here's the solicitation for the first issue:
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1.1
JOSE MOLINA (w) • SIMONE BIANCHI (a/C)
VARIANT COVER A by ROBBI RODRIGUEZ
VARIANT COVER B BY TBA
The dead are walking in Harlem and Spider-Man’s going to do something about it. But when the trail leads straight to THE SANTERIANS, Spidey’s finds out he bit off more than he can chew. Television’s AGENT CARTER writer JOSE MOLINA and superstar artist SIMONE BIANCHI bring the heroes hidden since DAREDEVIL: FATHER back into the spotlight!
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99
Amazing Spider-Man #1.1 debuts in November.