Excerpt

The following Associated Press story appeared in numerous media outlets, including San Antonio's KSAT. Roberto Corona, coordinator for SMU's Embrey Human Rights program, provided expertise for this story.

Dallas teacher creates new kind of comic book hero

With El Peso Hero, Dallas educator creates new kind of comic book character

 

January 7, 2014

DALLAS (AP) - He has super strength and a big heart. A protector of immigrants, he's ready to take down drug cartels and corrupt cops.

He's El Peso Hero, a comic book superhero to right wrongs along the Texas-Mexico border.

Created by Dallas ISD teacher Hector Rodriguez about two years ago, El Peso Hero is growing in popularity. It has attracted the attention of Spiderman and Venom artist Sam de la Rosa, who is drawing a comic book cover for the hero for free.

Rodriguez uses the comic book to inspire students in his second-grade dual-language class at DISD's Junkins Elementary School in Carrollton. It offers teachable moments in writing, he said, with some students creating their own stories.

"There's a need for a Hispanic superhero right now," Rodriguez told The Dallas Morning News (http://dallasne.ws/19ZgoH8). "I always wondered why there hasn't been a Latino hero. The Hispanic population is growing."...

Roberto Corona, a community outreach coordinator in the Embrey Human Rights Program at Southern Methodist University, has talked to Rodriguez about human rights issues.

Corona said many kids in the area are familiar with problems that El Peso Hero tackles, or they've heard about them from their parents.

"What I like about the story is that it may empower the community," Corona said. "That's why the character is relevant to the kids."