Writer: Gabby Rivera / Artist: Joe Quinones / Marvel Comics
I be speakin’ stars and stripes and I be dreamin’ pledge allegiance”- Lupe Fiasco
Just so we are all clear, the soundtrack to reading this review is Lupe Fiasco’s “Made In The U.S.A.” as it’s the only song to capture the magnitude of the excitement of America Chavez’s solo title debut. We’ve been waiting for Gabby Rivera and Joe Quinones to take the reigns for America Chavez and they get the world building jumping from page one. Ya girl Chavez got an updated outfit but still rocking the same “try me” attitude we’ve come to love about her. We got hints that this series would be exploring Chavez discovering more about her powers and let’s just say punching a mofo so hard they turn into billions of stars is a great place to start.
Rivera touches on the loss of America’s mothers as well (which I wasn’t expecting) and I knew I was invested as I experienced a similar loss. Looking at the panel of Chavez reflecting back to what she had lost made me think of a line that Catalina Ferro once said, “I am bad loser, worse mourner”, we haven’t delved into America’s loss of her parents that deeply in earlier appearances and it becomes evident how that loss affected her personality since a young age. This becomes incredibly blatant when Chavez is with her girlfriend and finds out her partner no longer wants to go with their [America’s] plans for their future. It may seem a bit out of character when looking at how Chavez’s reacted but take into account what she lost and how she survived on her own since childhood, it’s textbook defense mechanism, which I really loved to seeing as an exploration into her character.
Rivera makes great strides in knowing her history as we see not only Chavez’s interaction with her Ultimate teammates but in meeting up with her best friend Kate Bishop as well. I loved this cameo as we’ve seen Chavez appear in Kate’s previous title as well as mentioned just this week in Bishop’s current title. Rivera has Chavez enrolling in college but not any college, this is Sonia Sotomayor’s university. Literally. The draw up for the campus is fucking gorgeous and filled with personality. Chavez runs into someone’s she familiar with on campus but I’ll leave that as an easter egg for the fandom. The courses are very hand on at this school and Chavez learns this the hard way. This leads into the next adventure she undergoes after a somewhat rushed decision on a group project. Group project? Yeaaaaaah, let’s call it that. The first arc is going to focus on not so much where Chavez is going but when she is going, if you get my
quantam leap drift.
Can we talk about this artwork from Joe Quinones for a minute? My favorite moments so far are his drawings of Chavez cringing at affection and being so fed up with displays of emotion. I. Liiiiiiiive! I was shouting, “Fam, me too” at the hilarity of it all. Seriously, from Chavez’s incredible new outfit (I’m mad her fresh ass kicks got traded in but I respect the new kick game). Chavez’s new outfit is an incredible updated homage to the Golden Age Miss America, Madeline Joyce Frank. Her outfits this entire issue were flame emojis tho and that’s such a small detail that makes a big difference when seeing your fave hero in their civilian attire. Quinones has a great knack for capturing Chavez’s range of emotions from snark, frustration, and joy. Your girl is def in safe hands with this artist at the helm.
Rivera and Quinones are not only world building but multiverse building out here for Chavez. We’ve seen her comrades, we’ve seen her friends, we saw her get a cosign from Storm [aka the Beyonce of Marvel 616] so you know what’s really good, and now we’re going to see our girl in action on her own. America Chavez is the perfect choice for voice of reason in our current times [ya girl oh so militant, ain’t she] and this team is going to have great a time with that.