By Shikha Sreenivas
The newest hero with a comic of her own in the Marvel universe is America Chavez. America is a queer Latina superhero, and a much-needed addition to the Avengers family — even though she is from an alternate universe.
America has been around since 2011, when she made her debut in the comic Vengeance, but she finally got her very own comic series in 2017, which was announced at the New York Comic Con. Her comic will simply be titled America.
The artist for the series, Joe Quinones, recently posted a photo of the cover on social media. Can you spot the Beyonce homage in the cover?
— Joe Quinones (@Joe_Quinones) January 24, 2017
Quinones is the artist behind America, and Gabby Riveria is the script writer. She is a queer brown Boricua (of Puerto Rican heritage), and the author of Juliet Takes a Breath, which is the story of Juliet Palante, a queer puertorriqueña (Puerto Rican of Spanish descent). The story humorously follows the naive and passionate girl as she comes out to her family, learns about feminism, queer terminology, and radical politics.
In an interview with Refinery 29, Riveria said that it is a little terrifying and intimidating for her to enter the Marvel universe, as a queer person. She explains that she is worried about how she may be torn apart because of her identities.
The title of the comic and her name is a powerful symbol when the definition of what and who “America” is under such debate, in the era of Trump. Riveria says that the name “is also a balance between connecting with people and alienating people”.
Riveria also talked about the femininity of comic characters and said, “I feel like sometimes I’m not considered a woman. People assume I’m a masculine kind of person because I wear hats or boots. And to me, womanhood is so flexible and so ever-expanding and how beautiful is it to show all the ways that it manifests? And especially when it comes to Latinas and Black women. Our bodies’ shapes and sizes vary, and are equally supported by the community and equally loved.” She intends to represent all kinds of femininity in her comic.
If she’s coming from the mind of Gabby Riveria, we’re sure to keep a watchful eye out searching for America Chavez in the skies!