Writer: Gabby Rivera / Artist: Joe Quinones, Ming Doyle/ Marvel Comics
It’s a trip back in time as we catch up with America Chavez post punching Hitler. If meeting Captain America wasn’t enough of an “oh shit” moment, we see none other than Agent Peggy Carter stop by and want to have a discussion with Chavez. You can’t help but feel the scene that follows with Peggy explaining to Chavez that punching a Nazi is one thing but toppling the figurehead at the top is the main goal is a bit of throwback to the Richard Spencer-Gate where dude was getting decked on sight (because that’s beef on sight). Carter is trying to instill in America (the irony) to think ahead of herself and beyond herself. The emphasis in planning is what gets thrown to the forefront here, but that also begs the question of just how Peggy Carter knew to expect Chavez. We learn that a good spy doesn’t reveal their sources.
Back in the present day, we’re dealing with the realization that America is able to time travel as an ability, however controlling where she travels is a guess more than a destination. We get a glimpse into the help that Chavez was unknowingly provided by her professor, then some visiting dudebros cause issues around campus. There is a lot going on this issue, including another look back at Chavez’s relationship she just got out of and how that sense of lonely is starting to creep up on her. This is the first time we’ve seen America Chavez cry on panel (that I can think of, at least), which shows the layers to this emotional shit. I doubt there’s any coincidence that Chavez was alone while she was crying.
My favorite moments of the book are the glimpses of academic life we see on campus. We get word there’s a guest lecturer giving a talk and as soon as she’s described as having a pet dinosaur you already know Lunella Lafayette is up in this book with the ill Ted talk for the masses.
Lunella challenges the class to innovate, and before Chavez and her homegirl can do that proper, fuck shit strikes again. There’s more to those dudebros than was let on earlier and Chavez has to clear house, which isn’t the least of her worries as we discover later that those from a dimension she saved are now pulling a Stan (an Eminem reference for the youngins) and are taking up America’s name in a cause that, in their eyes seems right, but in non-crazed faboying/fangirling point of view is fucked up. Life is not dull on campus in the least bit, we’re getting a lot of threats thrown at Chavez as well as players in the background trying to navigate her on a certain path.
The points that have Quinones and Doyle drawing America interacting with folk on campus are my favorite parts of the book. Chavez in different casual gear displaying showing off her red, white, and blue fashion is such a great staple and a way of normalizing her character as a young adult off-duty hero. I also have to shout out all the different shades of black and brown we see displayed on campus as well.
While this issue had more threats and more questions for us, we can see the world building taking place for Chavez. It’s happening at a faster pace, but that’s pretty much the pace Chavez lives her life anyhow. We’ll get a better look into this radical group that’s become Chavez’s fandom come at odds with her in the coming issues.
Reading America? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.