Paranormal Pop Culture: The Fantastic Four versus El Chupacabra
In Fantastic Four: Isla de le Muerte! (2007) #1, Ben Grimm, aka The Thing, travels to Puerto Rico for a secret vacation. The rest of the team is curious of his whereabouts, and track him down on the island. The local government asks the Fantastic Four to investigate a string of murders in the rain forest, but the heroes don't expect to run into the island's most famous cryptid--the dreaded Chupacabra.
The issue is meant to be a homage to Puerto Rican culture, according to author Tom Beland, who included numerous references to cultural touchstones like Old San Juan, mofongo--a dish made from plaintains--and the tiny frog coquí..
“My aim in this book was for the reader to learn about Puerto Rico,” said Beland. “I wanted whoever had been to this island to be able to pick up this book and recognize the culture instantly,” adds Beland. “We’re eliminating 95% of the comic readership by doing this, but I didn’t give a s—.”
What better supernatural threat to pit against the Fantastic Four than Puerto Rico's very own calamitous cryptid the Chupacabra?