All the major characters in the story are outlined below with an illustration and biographical histories. Click the Graphic Novel button to go read all the finished pages.
The 19-year-old daughter of Victor Mata Jr (aka Vick). She is in her freshman year at the University of Texas – Brownsville, majoring in business. Her grades are failing because of poor attendance and lack of motivation. She would prefer to be actively involved in the family business. Quick on her feet and street savvy, she thinks her talents are being wasted by going to college. But Vick demands that his children have a college education, and his will is not to be denied. Nonetheless, she plans on assuming a greater role in the organization as time goes by.
Juia is strong minded and quick to anger. The other members of the Mata crew tolerated her presence in the beginning due to her parents, but they have gradually begun to realize that she is a formidable person. They all respect her and would kill to protect her
Victor Mata III
(aka “Vick 3” or just “3”)
The 22-year-old son of Victor (aka Vick) Mata Jr. He works as a lieutenant under his father in the Mata family’s American operations. He is being groomed to one day take his father’s place. Victor has just graduated from The University of Texas – Brownsville with a business degree. This was not a degree he wanted, but he feels an enormous sense of pressure to live up to his father’s expectations.
Despite his family’s background, working in the drug and racketeering business does not come naturally to Vick 3. He has dreams and aspirations completely unrelated to the family business. Vick 3 has a sense of style and mannerisms that belie his job title and background. The other members of the crew respect him due to his parentage, but they don’t think highly of him personally. He can be aloof and bristles at criticism.
Daniel Pena Jr
The 17-year-old son of Daniel Pena. He has been attending high school in his hometown of Houston Texas. But due to his involvement with a school gang, his mother has decided to ship him away to live with his father in Brownsville. Danny has a strained relationship with his dad, a DEA agent, who has missed most of Danny’s major life events. He is miserably unhappy living in Brownsville and is showing his unhappiness by rebelling against his father.
Danny is the product of a broken family. His parents fought incessantly when they were married and he witnessed all of their worst blowups. As a result he has joined gangs to serve as a replacement family. He has dreams of becoming a rapper and takes part in rapping competitions.
Victor Mata Jr.
The son of Victor Mata Sr. Vick grew up on the hard scrabble streets of Nuevo Laredo in northern Mexico. He dropped out of school when he was 13 when he was recruited into his father’s crew of small-time hoodlums. Growing up in a gang hardened Vick into an angry, sometimes explosively violent man. Over time, the crew of gangsters evolved into a full-fledged cartel making and delivering illegal drugs into the United States. Vick assumed the role of his father’s left-hand man. Eventually, Victor decided to send his only child to live in Brownsville, Texas in order to establish the Mata family’s business empire in America.
Vick respects and admires his father, but he wants to take the business to the next level by making it global. Honor and loyalty are the traits that he hold in the highest regard. He will react brutally when faced with a disloyal underling. Vick rules his crew with an iron fist, but he feels like he is becoming detached from the base of operations back in Mexico. He distrusts Fernando, the man who runs the Mexican side of the business.
The son of Maria Pena. Daniel grew up with his mother and stepfather, Daniel Pena Sr, in Laredo Texas. Daniel Sr. was an officer with the Laredo Police Department. Daniel idolized his father and was devoted to his mother. They had a comfortable middle-class existence in a suburban community. Following in his step-father’s footsteps, Rob decided he would pursue a life in law enforcement, eventually becoming a DEA agent.
Daniel is an intense, driven man with a burning ambition to take down criminals. He puts in long hours investigating and pursuing his targets. This led to the dissolution of his marriage and estrangement from his only son, Danny. Danny has just been sent to live with his father to hopefully straighten him out. Daniel is currently leading a task force in Brownsville investigating increased drug trafficking in the area.
The 63-year-old mother of Daniel Pena, widower of Daniel Pena Sr. Maria grew up in Nuevo Laredo in northern Mexico. She was turned over to a local orphanage when she was a baby so she never knew her parents. Never finding an adoptive family, she eventually emigrated to the United States when she was 17. She struggled to survive in Laredo trying to support herself and her young, illegitimate son, Daniel. Eventually, she met the love of her life, Daniel Pena, an officer with the Laredo Police Department. The two married and for the first time in her life, Maria was part of a family. Later, she moved to Houston with her son, hoping to provide him with a better life. She carefully nurtured his ambition to become a law enforcement officer. Later she moved to Brownsville when her son was sent there to join the Brownsville office of the DEA.
She’s retired now and wants only to spend time with her only child and grandchild. She alone harbors the dark secret that joins the two families.
Victor Mata Sr.
The 67-year-old patriarch of the Mata drug cartel. Victor grew up on a small farm deep in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. His parents were dirt poor, barely managing to eke out a living from the small plot of land they had. But they were honest, hard-working folks. Victor had larger ambitions and eventually moved to Mexico City. There, his hunger for money led him to the underworld. By the time he was 20 he was leading his own crew, running prostitutes and shaking down small businesses. He later moved to Nuevo Laredo to pursue the burgeoning drug-running business. Victor got married and his son Victor Jr was born in 1971. He has raised Victor Jr to eventually take over the business so he can retire.
Victor now lives in a palatial mountaintop retreat in a small town outside of Monterrey. With romanticized memories of his humble upbringing, he sees himself as a colonial-era plantation owner. He sees being involved in the day to day operations of the business as beneath him. So he has turned over daily operations to his son Vick and his longtime crew leader, Fernando. Victor prefers to spend his days as a figurehead, granting largesse to the local poor for their love and respect. Most of the townsfolk call him “El Jefe”.