canelofilmNew sneak peeks from the upcoming Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode showed us another character from the comics, albeit a more than secondary one. In Meet the New Boss, not only we’ll finally know who the new S.H.I.E.L.D. director is, but we’ll also meet Robbie Reyes‘ boss, Canelo, portrayed by Daniel Zacapa. Canelo will be introduced as the owner of Canelo’s Auto and Body, and he will obviously share a relation with the new antagonist (possible future costar) of the series…but this is as far as our informations go so far. Well, even in the comics Canelo doesn’t have much of a storyline, and he appears mostly as a background character, but he’s there nevertheless, so as usual we’re going to take a quick look at him.

Not much is known about Canelo’s life, actually not even his first name. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, and lived in the Eastern block, not exactly the safest area of the city. Always good with cars, Canelo opened a mechanic’s workshop, which he called Canelo’s Auto and Body. A pretty good mechanic himself, Canelo hired some helpers and assistants for his activity, often underpaying them for their services, and taking for himself the praise for their job. Obviously, you can’t live in the mud and keep your hands clean, so Canelo often made deals with some of the local gangs in a relationship of mutual benefit: his activity was left in peace, with no problems coming from the gangs, and in return Canelo took care of the cars and bikes they brought to him, without investigating much on their origin, and closing an eye if they “casually” matched the description of some stolen vehicle. Business was doing quite fine with this philosophy, and Canelo never found a reason to change it. Things on the streets never got any more peaceful, and gangs fought one against the other for power, control and wealth: only Canelo’s Auto and Body was a constant, a canelocomics1neutral ground for any gang, thanks to Canelo’s peculiar diplomacy that managed to make the workshop resist any gang war, social change or politician. The man wasn’t exactly friend with anybody, but being nobody’s enemy gave him quite an advantage in keeping his activity going, and he made sure that also his employees learnt the rule soon enough not to ruin everything during their first days of work…especially when they had something against the gangs, like Robbie Reyes.

Robbie Reyes was one of Canelo’s newly hired mechanics, and he worked for him just to earn enough money to get away from East L.A. along with his crippled brother Gabe: Canelo knew that Robbie didn’t like the gangs, so he kept an eye on him, apreciating his work, but never trusting him enough to make him part of his most remunerative activities. Robbie even proved to be too smart for his own good, as he was one of the few who realised Canelo was giving him less money than he should have had, and also had the guts to make his employer “notice” it, forcing him to give him what he owed. Everytime it happened, Canelo played dumb, and acted as if it was a simple mistake of calculation, but he knew that Robbie meant trouble, and despite he was a skilled mechanic, he hoped that he would have moved soon. One day, another one of Canelo’s “special costumers” arrived: McCallum, a mercenary who had a brand new car, and needed someone to take care of it for a while. The car was a black 1969 Dodge Charger, quite a fine automobile for a workshop like his own. McCallum had entered a war involving the local gang leader Grumpy and the international supervillain Mister Hyde, and the car itself was full with a particular kind of booty, Hyde’s formula…but Canelo didn’t care anything canelocomics2about it, and just took the money. Unbeknownst to him, Robbie repaired the car, and used it for an illegal car race starting a series of events that unleashed the ghost haunting the car and transformed him into the new Ghost Rider…bringing a lot of unwanted attention to Canelo’s Auto and Body as well. Canelo knew the boy meant trouble, just he didn’t know how much he was right…

Canelo is a clever man in a difficult world, a simple worker who knows how to survive in an urban warzone thanks to a not-so-pure conscience. Not exactly a thief, not properly a criminal, Canelo nevertheless takes a lot of compromises to keep his head above water, and he manages to do so pretty well.


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