El Diablo
El Diablo (Rafael Sandoval) from the cover of El Diablo vol. 2 #16 by Mike Parobeck.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearance(Lazarus Lane)
All-Star Western #2
(October 1970)
(Rafael Sandoval)

El Diablo vol. 2 #1
(August 1989)
(Chato Santana)
El Diablo vol. 3 #1
(September 2008)
Created by(Lazarus Lane)
Robert Kanigher (writer)
Gray Morrow (artist)
(Rafael Sandoval)
Gerard Jones (writer)
Mike Parobeck (artist)
(Chato Santana)
Jai Nitz (writer)
Phil Hester (artist)
Ande Parks (artist)
In-story information
Alter egoLazarus Lane
Rafael Sandoval
Chato Santana
Team affiliations(Lazarus Lane)
Rough Bunch
Justice Riders
(Rafael Sandoval)
Justice League
(Chato Santana)
Suicide Squad
Abilities(Rafael Sandoval)
Olympic level boxer and athlete
(Chato Santana)

El Diablo is a name shared by several characters appearing in media published by DC Comics: Lazarus Lane, Rafael Sandoval, and Chato Santana. The Chato Santana version of El Diablo appeared in the 2016 Suicide Squad film, set in the DC Extended Universe.

Publication history

The original version (Lazarus Lane) debuted in All-Star Western #2 (October 1970), and was created by Robert Kanigher and Gray Morrow.[1] The character starred in a four-issue miniseries published by DC Comics through their Vertigo imprint as a mature readers title; El Diablo #1 (March 2001) was written by Brian Azzarello and drawn by Danijel Zezelj.

The second version (Rafael Sandoval) first appeared in El Diablo #1 (August 1989), and was created by Gerard Jones and Mike Parobeck.

The third version (Chato Santana) first appeared in El Diablo #1 (September 2008) and was created by Jai Nitz, Phil Hester and Ande Parks.

Fictional character biography

Lazarus Lane

Lazarus Lane is the original iteration of El Diablo, operating in the later half of the 19th century in the American Old West. Lane was originally a bank teller who is nearly killed by a gang of thieves and put in a coma after being struck by lightning. After being revived by Native American shaman "Wise Owl", Lane becomes the vigilante El Diablo.[1] The name "El Diablo" means "the devil" in Spanish.

According to Jonah Hex vol. 2 #11 (November 2006) and #24 (December 2007), Lazarus Lane is cursed to be the host of a minor demon which acts as a Spirit of Vengeance. Lane's body slumbers in a coma while "El Diablo" roams the Earth. His fate is similar to that of the current Crimson Avenger. In Swamp Thing vol. 2 #85 (April 1989), Wise Owl is shown in a more villainous light, with Lane/El Diablo his unwilling servant. In that story, set in 1872, a number of DC's western heroes (including the aforementioned Hex, Bat Lash, Johnny Thunder (John Tane), and Madame .44) were employed by Otto Von Hammer and Jason Blood to defeat Wise Owl and recover from him an object of great power, which turned out to be a crystal containing the spirit of Swamp Thing, who had become lost in time. When the group killed Wise Owl, Lane's comatose body woke up, and El Diablo apparently vanished forever.[1]

In The New 52 (a 2011 reboot of the DC Comics universe), Lazarus Lane appeared in a backup feature in All-Star Western. In this iteration, he was once again cursed by Wise Owl to become the host of a demon. Rather than being in a coma, Lazarus remains awake. However, El Diablo arises from his body whenever he is unconscious.[2]

Rafael Sandoval

Rafael Sandoval was the second iteration created in 1989 by writer Gerard Jones and artist Mike Parobeck as a title set in the modern DC Universe. This title lasted 16 months. As created by Jones and Parobeck, Sandoval is a rookie member of the city council of Dos Rios, Texas, who creates his version of El Diablo (from a festival costume and an old boxing persona and local legends surrounding the Devil) after being stymied by officials while trying to pursue the case of a serial arsonist.[1] Subsequent efforts involved battles with illicit drug smugglers using maquiladora covers for their activities, a hunt for a serial killer, conflicts with human-smuggling operations, and with Sandoval's own conscience over how best to serve the people of Dos Rios.

Rafael Sandoval's character has subsequently made guest appearances in one of the Justice League titles, in which he is possessed by the spirit of an Aztec god-emperor and takes on an appearance reminiscent of the Lazarus Lane Diablo.[1] He also appears in the Villains United Special when he is pulled out of retirement by Oracle to serve in her de facto Justice League, whereupon he is attacked by a member of the Royal Flush Gang during a battle at the Enclave M prison in the Sonora Valley, Mexico. He is wounded in the battle, but saved from death by the warden of the facility.

Chato Santana

The current iteration of El Diablo is Chato Santana, an ex-criminal who after being hospitalized, meets a still living comatose Lazarus Lane.[3][4] It is written by Jai Nitz, pencilled by Phil Hester, with inks by Ande Parks.[5]

In The New 52 reboot of DC's continuity, Santana's El Diablo is a member of the Suicide Squad. He is later recruited into Checkmate under the leadership of Uncle Sam, until he realizes that he is being lied to and abandons them in search of the truth.

In other media



Chato Santana / El Diablo as he appears in Suicide Squad.

The Chato Santana incarnation of El Diablo appears in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) film Suicide Squad, portrayed by Jay Hernandez.[6] This version was previously a gang leader before accidentally destroying his family home in a moment of anger, killing his wife and two children in the process. Guilt-ridden, he was incarcerated in Belle Reve Penitentiary and vowed to never use his powers again. Despite being forced into Amanda Waller's Task Force X program, Diablo maintains his vow until Deadshot goads him into helping defend the squad from the Enchantress' forces. El Diablo later helps his squad-mates resist the Enchantress' illusions before sacrificing himself to kill her brother Incubus.

Video games


The Chato Santana incarnation of El Diablo makes background appearances in DC Super Hero Girls as a student of Super Hero High.


  1. ^ a b c d e Greenberger, Robert (2008), "El Diablo I & II", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 113, ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1, OCLC 213309017
  2. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 99. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  3. ^ "DC Comics' September 2008 Solicitations". Newsarama.com. Retrieved April 2, 2011.
  4. ^ "NEWSARAMA – View Single Post – EL DIABLO RETURNS AT DC IN 2008". Forum.newsarama.com. November 17, 2007. Archived from the original on February 10, 2009. Retrieved April 2, 2011.
  5. ^ Jai Nitz & Phil Hester – Introducing El Diablo, Newsarama, August 2, 2008
  6. ^ Jay Jayson (February 19, 2015). "Jay Hernandez's Suicide Squad Role Revealed; Killer Frost, King Shark & More To Cameo". ComicBook.com. Retrieved April 29, 2015.