If you’d look at Marvel’s current line of comics, you’ll see a diverse set of characters that wasn’t there just a few years ago. There’s Lunella Layafette, the smartest person in the Marvel Universe while only being nine years old. We have Miles Morales, a half-black, half-Latin Spiderman and RiRi Williams, a black 15-year-old genius who configured her own Iron Man suit while attending MIT. Compared to DC Comics, Marvel has developed more characters that are diverse and represent the world we live in. Yet, they’re still lacking with characters that are queer people of color. Not to say they don’t have any, naming my favorite former Dora Milaje warriors, Ayo and Aneka. But there hasn’t been a full-blown series that focuses on a queer character of color. Thankfully, we’ve been given a gift in the new series, America, focusing on the journey of queer, Latinx superhero America Chavez.
Issue #1 of America starts with America fighting baddies in the Utopian Parallel, but towards the middle of the issue, America decides she needs a change from the superhero lifestyle. What better way to expand your mind and challenge yourself than to go to college? We see America begin her journey at Sotomayor University, named after another badass Latin woman, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. As writer Gabby Rivera explained on Fusion.com, the college aspect is about America “taking on herself.” She’s already proven she can punch punch holes into universes and save the world, but America is searching to prove that she is more than that. She aspires to challenge herself, both mentally and physically.
One of my favorite things in the issue are the fun tidbits sprinkled throughout the comic. There’s the amazing outfits America is seen wearing, drawn by the wonderful Joe Quinones. Where can I purchase America’s cute and comfy looking high-waist, spandex pants? Then we have the best introduction to a sorority ever, with the smooth as hell ladies of Phi Theta Betas. Even though America turned down their bid to join, I hope she has more interactions with them and their leader, X’andria. The best part is left for last, when America goes back in time and ends the issue by replacing Captain America in punching Hitler in the face. Need I say more?
I can’t wait to see where Gabby Rivera’s and Joe Quinones decide to take America’s character in this series. She’s been one of my favorite characters since I was 15 and reading her being a boss in Young Avengers. I love how fun the first issue was, without taking away the loss and trauma America has faced in her past. If the last panel of America replacing a white, male character in punching Hitler was any indicator of where the book is going, then I’ll just be waiting impatiently for the next issue to arrive.
(All images belong to Marvel Comics)