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A Brief history of El Santo comic books

The El Santo comics were very popular in Mexico and all over Latin America for a few decades, beginning in 1952 when the issue first appeared. The first series lasted from 1952 to 1958, with over 300 magazines published. There have been at least 4 separate series of Santo comics. Altogether, every issue portraits a related set-up.

First edition of “El Santo” comic book.

They feature actual sepia tone pictures of the masked hero and the other characters pasted on various bizarre background panels. Several of the comic panels are also completely photo

Panel of a Santo comic book circa 1957 and the creator of “El Santo” comics, Jose G. Cruz.

graphic in nature, while others are hand-drawn. The art tends to be on the shady side and the general effect is often weird and impressive.

The comic was created, produced and published by Jose Guadalupe Cruz. Cruz was also a creator of several series of comic books with characters and circumstances that incorporated famous personalities from other artistic forms (cinema, music or theatre).

 

The early issues still featured the original Santo, Rodolfo Guzman Huerta, however by 1974, “Santo” had been substituted by a Mexican bodybuilder named Hector Pliego who wore an S logo on his mask’s forehead.

 

 In succeeding exploits, the “new” Santo continued clashes both mortal and supernatural criminals. These comics contributed significantly to finally shaping the legend and the lore of “El Santo”.

Reference: “Mondo Lucha A Go-Go: The Bizarre and Honourable World of Wild Mexican Wrestling”, Mandigan, Dan, Harper Collins, April, 2007.

Comic book cover with Mexican bodybuilder Hector Pliego as “Santo”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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