Writer: Gabby Rivera / Artist: Flaviano / Marvel Comics
I feel like I low-key need the victory beat to sound off before I get into this review. The plan started to come together right here as we see F.I.S.T. arresting America Chavez. Rivera isn’t being subtle about the message of Sotomayor University being invaded and its students issued curfews and harassed “for their own protection”. America’s “arrest” (ironic to say ain’t it?) is a jarring scene especially with students filming it all on their phones. However, when America goes militant and wyl’ out? Mmm. Be still my beating heart.
This, the most interesting issue, begins when Exterminatrix reveals herself to the entire school then takes America out of the equation. I liked this move because it allows the supporting cast to step up. If you wanna see how good a writer is, take out the protagonist, and see if the story still holds weight with the rest of the cast. I see that as a challenge and one Rivera set up and surpassed as we see the entire plot call back to previous and present characters/events coming together. Speaking of previous characters…
I do this for my squad, I do this for my gang
America Chavez got a whole squad full-o-killas! Yeah, look at all the Black and brown girl cavalry. Not only do we get the Chavez Guerrillas and Leelumultipass Phi Theta Beta teaming together (A Tribe Called Quest say the whole name rules apply) we got X’andria and Prodigy at the helm too. Hand rub. Yeah, this is what I’m talking about. This is that “early 20’s-not-quite-a-teen-not-quite-full-a-blown-adult” age genre/adventure I wanna see in the panels. I’m always happy to see my guy Prodigy shining.
I was excited seeing this cast come together to take action. When a protagonist’s crew doesn’t fall into the background and reminds the audience just how good they are or can be, that’s what keeps you invested in a series. Flaviano came in on the art this issue and you notice that certain scenes shine more than others but it’s nothing that takes you out of the book. I won’t spoil anything but let’s just say Flaviano does a hell of a job towards the end of the book with an “Oh shit, say word that’s how she rockin'” moment that you won’t see coming.
This issue is a great look at the endgame and an orphaned America Chavez not only gaining her Abuela / Grandmother but seeing her group of friends forming a family for her as well. There’s a long game being played that’s only adding more to the lore and fandom of America Chavez.
Reading America? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.