Why Marvel's America is the superhero people need right now
The Marvel hero is front and center in her long-awaited solo series, America, written by Gabby Rivera and illustrated by Joe Quinones. The series will focus on her saving the world, one dimension-puncturing punch at a time, while also attending college and attempting to have a personal life.
Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta created the character of America Chavez and first introduced her in their 2011 series, Vengeance. She’s since gone on to take over the title of Miss America, and become a fan favorite after her appearance on Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s Young Avengers.
With America #1 hitting stands March 1, EW caught up with Rivera to discuss the hero’s upcoming journey.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What does America mean to you?
GABBY RIVERA: America Chavez represents infinite hope and the power of taking action. With America, girls of color, people of color, we get to see ourselves living vibrant and free. America isn’t policed at higher rates than her counterparts nor is she sexualized by any systems that also seek her labor. She can dimension hop at her leisure when she needs to go and save lives. America gets to exist in this world and others without racist, heteronormative, xenophobic, and sexist limitations. America Chavez chooses her destiny. She is powerful enough to take on and dismantle any systems or groups of folks trying to thwart her or the people she loves. She is power and I am honored to be connected to her legacy.
America will be starting college when the series starts off, but what are some of the other things she’ll be dealing with in this first arc?
America lost her moms when she was a little kid. They sacrificed their lives to save the whole dang Utopian Parallel [a dimension outside of time and the Marvel multiverse]. That type of grief doesn’t just go away, you know? So we’re dealing with that. She is also taking on the notion of putting herself first. Many women are expected to put everything else before themselves and some women choose that for themselves. Either way, it’s worth investigating what it’s like for a young queer Latina to choose herself and invest in what’s going to make her great and more powerful. She’s asking herself: “How powerful can I be? How much stronger can my punches be? And what does love look like when you’re a badass, dimension-punching, Latina? Do I even want that in my life?”
Fans were hoping she might make an appearance on Hawkeye. Have you had a chance to talk to Kelly Thompson about possibly doing a crossover? Are there any other Marvel characters who might make an appearance?
The America series is going to be one big Marvel house party. Ok, maybe it’s going to be more like a little wine and cheese get together that turns into people chilling on the roof and swapping stories and laughs. Basically, be on the lookout for the glorious faces of some of Marvel’s most famous and most iconic characters. You might even see some X-Men. As for a crossover with Hawkeye, anything is possible. I know some fans ship the heck out America and Kate. Maybe dreams do come true.
In a lot of ways, this book is unexpectedly relevant. How are you navigating that? Is that something you’re leaning into, or are you just focusing on telling America’s story?
America’s story is happening right at a time when people need a superhero like her the most. Yes, her identities are important: woman, queer, latina. But also, everyone needs someone positive and strong to root for. She knows what justice looks like and she’s in it for the good of the people. That’s the type of superhero everyone will always need, you know? We are supposed to love each other and care for each other. America will love her people and herself in every freakin’ issue. Love is where the real power lives.
America has obviously struck a chord with fans and inspired some great variant covers. What do you think it is about her as a character that makes her such a fan favorite?
America Chavez is the badass you want on your team. She’s tough, loyal to the core, and delivers grade-A one-liners. What’s not to love? Also, she has a bit of mystery to her. She punches into other dimensions using star-shaped portals. Star-shaped portals! C’mon, that’s cool as hell. America’s Latina, likes girls, and is a dimension-punching mega babe. How could she not be a fan favorite?
Marvel’s America #1 is currently available for purchase. You can read the first few pages, below.