After initially announcing back in October that “Young Avengers” and “Ultimates” hero America Chavez would get an ongoing series, Marvel has revealed the creative team that will launch the team player into her first solo series. Announced via Refinery29, the series — titled “America” — will be written by YA novelist Gabby Rivera and feature art by Joe Quinones.
Quinones is coming off a lengthy run as the artist on “Howard the Duck” and also contributed art to the “Young Avengers” series finale. Gabby Rivera will make her comics debut with the series; her novel “Juliet Takes a Breath,” which focuses on the life of a Puerto Rican lesbian, was released earlier this year.
While speaking with Refinery29, editor Wil Moss said that Marvel’s been aiming to do a series starring America Chavez for a while, and they’ve been searching for the write voice to helm the series. Moss looked to YA and found Rivera’s book, “Juliet Takes A Breath.”
Rivera spoke about what it was like to get the call from Marvel. “I work at an LGBTQ non-profit called GLSEN as a youth programs manager,” said Rivera. “I got an email from Marvel when I was at work. And I was like, whaaat? What?! And the office is all quiet, everyone’s just like click-clacking away and I just left and I called my mom and I was like ‘Mom!! I got an an email from Marvel!’ My voice went up 48 octaves. I was super-excited. Getting that email from Will was the first time a man had ever written to me about my book — let alone a white guy.”
While this is Rivera’s first foray into comics, she’s done her research on America Chavez. “Wil and Charles [Beacham, assistant editor on ‘America’] sent me all the ‘Young Avengers’ to read and catch up on, and to get a sense of what has been written about America. What I also found really helpful was that there’s a huge queer women and trans women comic book online community. And one of my friends is Mey Rude — she’s a queer trans Latina, and she writes about comics for Autostraddle. And so before anything was signed, I was like, ‘Hey, have you heard about this America Chavez character?’ And Mey was like, ‘Oh my God yes.’ And so through her I was able to get an idea of what fans of America would want, her stellar moments and where there was excitement around her character. And I was able to pull those thoughts into a first outline.”
The series, which puts America in the spotlight, will feature the dimension-hopping, super capable hero trying to figure out who she is. “What’s in it for me? Why am I fighting with these people? What I want is to go to college and I want to start over, and I want to learn about myself and do this for myself,” said Rivera, getting into Chavez’s mindset. “And so that is the big thing that I was thinking about. What’s more American than trying to go to college and trying to find yourself?”
Rivera says the series will take America to class — “but her class will be in Earth-616 and then she’ll also go to other dimensions. So she gets to punch into her Women in Power class; and she gets to punch into Tribal Ancestry and You 101. Just like rad classes that I would want to take in the university of my dreams.” Rivera also teased a larger connection to the Marvel Universe, saying that “some of the really fun Marvel moments are gonna be when we bring in key players like Captain America and Storm.”
“America” #1 will arrive in March 2017.
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