On Wednesday, July 19th, 2023, The Beat caught up with Kayden Phoenix at her booth at San Diego Comic-Con. Phoenix is the writer of the A La Brava graphic novel series, about a team of American Latina and Mexican superheroes, and now she’s launched The Majestics, a graphic novel series about a team of Native and Latina princesses.

We asked all about the genesis of the new series, the future of A La Brava and The Majestics (and how they might be related), and of course, all about the princesses’ pets!

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

REBECCA OLIVER KAPLAN: You’ve already completed phase one of your superhero universe, A La Brava. What was the genesis of The Majestics, your princess universe?

KAYDEN PHOENIX: For all ages. Superheroes are a little bit older, because of the social injustices, so the content isn’t as “all ages.” So I said, “Okay, here’s princesses.”

I grew up with tons of princesses because Disney is amazing. But throughout the princess series for Disney, there has to be a prince to save the girl. And I said, “No. My mom saved herself, I saved myself, my friends saved themselves.” 

For that reason, I made a princess adventure, which we don’t get to have, where they just go have fun with their pet mascot. That’s the reason: it should be for all ages. Comics should be for available everybody, honestly.

KAPLAN: Mexica has her pet ocelot, Elote. Are they all going to have pets?

PHOENIX: They all have their little mascot. Novi is a space princess, and she has a little space horse, and that’s her friend that she travels with. Alora is my witch princess, and she has this little rabbit with wings. 

KAPLAN: Is there a reason you chose to start with Mexica? 

PHOENIX: I really like Mexica, honestly. She’s the one that’s actually from a time period; everyone else is in the future or just a made-up world. She’s from Mesoamerica, so it is a nod to my ancestors. 

KAPLAN: Do you plan the whole universe?

PHOENIX: I do, absolutely. With the superheroes and with the princesses. Because they get to know each other. In the sixth book, they meet at Princess Academia, so they have to be different enough in their looks and the personalities, so they bounce off each other really well.

KAPLAN: What’s that process like for you and your collaborators?

PHOENIX: It’s fun. I enjoy it, and I hope they enjoy it, too. They all know each other, they’re all Latino artists, and they all refer each other. So they do know how to bump each other and say, “Hey, I need this page,” or “Hey, you didn’t do this,” or whatnot. They work really well together, and they’re just really great people to work together.

KAPLAN: Why is it important to you to create a team of Native and Latina Princesses?

PHOENIX: It’s important because we don’t have representation. We always have the very light-skinned, “fair-skinned” as they call it, princesses. That’s not reflective of the world.

Why can’t you grow up thinking you’re a princess? Why can’t you grow up thinking you can go on an adventure? As females, we don’t even get that itself. You know, we stay at home and we’re a princess and we’re kept, we’re all kept.

So they’re all different skin colors and there’s a range of it, but Latina and just marginalized people in general, we are different skin colors. We do exist.

And then on the superhero side, they’re all American Latinas (except for Jalisco, my Mexican, of course). And that’s because who gets hired? Who gets seen? It’s the same thing: we do not. If you think of a Latina director, they’re generally from Mexico. But we have American Latinas as well, we just don’t get seen; we don’t get hired. Which is unfortunate. Why wouldn’t we?

KAPLAN: I’m curious if you have a plan to continue any of the stories and expand upon these universes in the future

PHOENIX: In the future, there will be volume two of the superheroes as well as volume two of the princesses. The princesses and the superheroes are going to crossover. And then Phase 3 is the Latino superheroes – that’s being made right now, so they’ll be out next year. And then Phase 4, which has nothing to do with these, a new series is coming out – that’s more action and thriller, and more adult content.

Miss any of our earlier SDCC ’23 coverage? Find it all here!