Imagine, waking up to find you have the ability to transform into any dinosaur you want. You could run as fast as a raptor, be as large as a T-Rex, or soar like a Pterodactyl (I know it’s not a dinosaur just roll with it). What sounds like the fever-induced dream of a child between the ages of 4-14 is every day life for Humberto Lopez, resident reptilian hero and Marvel’s next big thing.
Humberto has all of the aforementioned dino powers above and much more. And that much is finally going to be explored, along with aspects of Humberto’s life outside heroics, in Reptil #1.
Hitting store shelves later this month, Reptil #1 is just the first in an all new series centering around the Mexican American superhero!
So Who Is Reptil?
Reptil isn’t a new face in Marvel’s library at all, having appeared in previous stories like Avengers: Initiative in May 2009, and more recently appeared in Marvel’s King in Black storyline earlier this year.
Born to two world-renowned paleontologists, Humberto Lopez grew up with an interest in ancient reptiles, but an even bigger love of superheroes. Idolizing teams like the Avengers, Humberto’s hope to one day join their ranks was initially squashed by his lack of powers.
Things changed when he joined his parents on an archaeological dig. Discovering a fossilized amulet, Humberto kept it and took it home as a souvenir, unaware of the power of the amulet he possessed. His life was further changed when his parents disappeared without a trace while on another excavation.
Heading to Sparks, Nevada to live with his grandfather, Humberto first realized his powers while running away from a rock slide. He looked down and noticed his legs had become raptor legs. An effect from the amulet, which allowed Humberto to alter his physical shape to resemble that of any dinosaur.
Since then, he’s used his powers to fight alongside the heroes he grew up admiring. Humberto has been a part of the Avengers Initiative (which saw an Avengers team in each state), the Avengers Academy, and participated in events like Avengers Arena and Avengers vs. X-Men. You can probably guess which side he repped for in that last one.
So Reptil has been around in the Marvel Universe for quite some time. However, Reptil will be the first time the young hero gets his own solo series.
Reptil sees the titular hero momentarily retiring his costume and focusing on his family life in the wake of his grandfather’s worsening health and the passing of “Kamala’s Law,” an act banning the existence of underage heroes, heavily enforced by C.R.A.D.L.E. That’s the Child Hero Reconnaissance and Disruption Law Enforcement.
These events and the mysterious disappearance of his parents that has always haunted him cause Humberto to consider giving up heroism for good. That is, until a mysterious stranger attacks Humberto, sending him back into the superhero life and unraveling more about his origins (and his parent’s disappearance) than ever before.
Marvel is of course keeping the specific events of Reptil #1 under wraps, so we don’t know too much about what the young hero is going to face yet. But an interview with writer Terry Blas for Newsarama confirms a very important and central theme in Reptil: community.
The Mexican American teen getting his own solo series means more representation for the Latinx community in comics. That’s an aspect of Reptil I’m excited to see explored when Reptil #1 hits comic shelves and digital libraries on May 26!