History is unfolding right in front of our eyes, and it’s about time! America is Marvel Comics’ first solo series to star a queer Latina superhero. To make this historic moment even larger, Gabby Rivera was hired to be the writing voice behind the character, America Chavez. Gabby Rivera is the first queer Latina writing for Marvel Comics. Latina, queer, and powerful, America Chavez was first introduced in the 2011 series Vengeance. Now, America will live through the words of Gabby Rivera and illustrations of Joe Quinones.
The first issue of America debuted at the beginning of March. Our superhero will defend the Earth from aliens with the power to jump in and out of different dimensions, all while still making time to attend school and maintain a personal life. About America, Gabby said to The Washington Post:
“I’ve always dreamt up wild, powerful and carefree superheroes that look like me and my family: thick, brown, goofy, beautiful. And now I get to see them come to life. ‘America’ is going to be all those things and it’s [going to] be wild.”
Striving to embrace diversity, Marvel is pushing for characters beyond the heteronormative framework. However, diversity should not have to be seen as running an extra mile, and we hope actions to include people of color in comics will help further their representation everywhere. Gabby Rivera said to EW.com:
“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. “
Gabby Rivera is a superhero herself. She works full time as a Youth Programs Manager in an organization seeking to improve an education system that frequently fails LGBTQ students. Rivera is also the author of Juliet Takes a Breath, the story of Juliet Milagros Palante coming out to her Puerto Rican family, and her journey to understand her feminist identity. Gabby’s powers and multifaceted talents are in parallel to America’s mission throughout the comic series.
Quinones’ second cover of America, to be released in April, is an homage to Beyoncé’s “Formation” — a perfect example of pop culture intersecting with feminism.
Dressed in stars and stripes while fighting villains and proclaiming badass intersectionality, there is no doubt that America is one of our new favorite heroes. You can buy your copy of America here!