HBO Max’s upcoming animated movie, Batman Azteca: Choque de Imperios, is introducing an Aztec (or Mexican) version of the Dark Knight and the Joker, taking the Batman legend and viewing it through a Mesoamerican lens.
In Batman Azteca, this version’s Batman/Bruce Wayne is a young Aztec boy in Mexico by the name of Yohualli who experiences a life-shaping tragedy when his father, the village leader Toltecatzin, is murdered by Spanish Conquistadors (because it wouldn’t be DC or Batman if it didn’t start with the tragic murder of a parent or child). Barely escaping with his life, Yohualli makes it out to warn the rest of his people against the coming danger, and becomes obsessed and consumed with the idea of vengeance and the usual righteous inclination to combat injustice, that comes with being a vigilante in a DC comic.
Yohualli trains for his seemingly insurmountable task at the temple of the Aztec bat god Tinactin, and when he is ready, adopts the deity as his persona, making a lair for himself in the hidden, cavernous place of worship. As it is unlikely that DC would be able to explain him having a butler, in this version he has a mentor and assistant named Acatzin. Yohualli quickly develops an arsenal of weapons and skills to combat the cruel invaders who took his father from him, and of course, finally attains justice for his father.
It has been officially announced that DC has found the leading voice actor for their latest animated adventure in the Batman mythos and that it is Horacio García Rojas, the first ever Mexican Dark Knight / Batman. Having starred in Diablero and Narcos: Mexico, Rojas will now step into the world of voice acting and become the legendary Caped Crusader in Batman Azteca: Choque de Imperios.
Along with the first-ever Mexican Dark Knight, we also have been given the first Mexican Joker as Omar Rafael Chaparro Alvidrez (referred to as Omar Chaparro), known for his role in the No Manches Frida films will be voicing Yoka, this version of the Joker. Another confirmed role will be that of Álvaro Morte as Hernán Cortés, this version of Two-Face.
Being produced by Warner Bros. Animation, Anima, and Chatrone, and directed by Juan Meza-León, they called in help from an academic consultant, Alejandro Diaz Barriga of Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico who stood in to ensure that Batman Azteca: Choque de Imperios’s indigenous elements were both respectful and accurate so that they could bring accurate representation to the film with aesthetic elements (like historically accurate art) that was pertinent to the ethical history of Mexico and the Andean region during the historical setting in which Batman Azteca has been placed.
The producers known to be on the project are José C. García de Letona, Aaron D. Berger, Carina Schulze, and Fernando De Fuente, and the executive producers include Sam Register and Tomás Yankelevichserve.
Hopefully, this exploration of a historically accurate, inclusive, and representative adaptation of a well-known and loved character will go well so that we can start seeing more of these awesome, alternate versions of our favourite heroes.