HBO Max Latin America’s animation Batman Azteca: Choque de Imperios (Aztec Batman: Clash of Empires) has revealed character images and cast members to celebrate the 83rd anniversary of the DC Comics staple. In this iteration, Batman will be reimagined as an Aztec youth fighting conquistadors in the 16th century.
This version of Bruce Wayne/Batman comes in the form of Yohualli, a motherless Aztec youth whose father, also the village leader Toltecatzin is killed by Spaniard conquistador Hernán Cortés. This leads him to take on a calling that sees him adopting the bat god Tinactin as his own persona to get justice for his father and stop the invaders.
Yohualli will be voiced by Mexican actor Horacio García Rojas, known for his part as the Mexican DFS (Dirección Federal de Seguridad) agent Tomás Morlet who was tight with the Guadalajara Cartel in Narcos: Mexico. In this role, García Rojas showed he could portray the coldness seen in some versions of Batman.
But he’s not alone.
To prepare for the battle, the conservative priest Yoka asks for guidance from the god Huitzilopochtli. However, the answer he gets drives him to madness after said god demands human sacrifices, giving birth to Joker. He is voiced by Mexican comedian Omar Chaparro from No Manches Frida and Compadres.
Joining them is another familiar face in the Batman world.
Crazed Spaniard Cortés tricks the Aztec emperor Montezuma with the use of an ancient prophecy into believing “his presence is the will of the gods.” He is subsequently wounded in battle and sees half of his face changed forever; the outside finally matches the inside as Two Face. And he will be voiced by Spain’s veteran actor Álvaro Morte from La Casa de Papel.
Both Joker and Two Face don’t know that the one thing standing between them and an empire is Batman the Aztec.
The significance of this casting for an animated Batman isn’t lost on García Rojas, who said:
“To know that brown-skinned boys and girls like me can see themselves in a hero who shares their same features, who carries in his skin the history of a past that is still alive, a hero who fights for his own, fills me with emotion. When I was a kid I would have loved to feel represented; that didn’t happen, but today things are changing and my Geek heart is grateful for it. The child that still lives in me smiles at the thought of ‘I am Batman’.”