With an expansive multiverse finally on the table, soaring cosmic adventures all but guaranteed, and a very public push towards more diversity and better representation in its films, Marvel Studios is well on the road to giving fans the fully-realized Marvel Cinematic Universe of their dreams.
So where is America Chavez?
Created by Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta, America Chavez – then going by Miss America – first appeared in the 2011 Marvel Comics limited series Vengeance, a largely-forgotten reboot of Rick Jones’ old Teen Brigade. She found significantly more acclaim as a member of the Young Avengers in 2013, and, later, as leader of the Ultimates. Previously, she’s also popped up as a regular supporting character in books like Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat and Kate Bishop’s Hawkeye series, among others. After being given her own standalone title, 2017's America, written by Gabby Rivera, Ms. Chavez was most recently seen as a member of Kelly Thompson and Stefano Caselli’s amazing (if ill-fated) West Coast Avengers this year.
And why not bring her into the MCU? A perennial fan favorite, America is Marvel’s time-traveling, star-punching Superman, strong enough to team-up with – or go toe-to-toe with – Carol Danvers’ Captain Marvel, with the added bonus of being able to teleport and tear open holes in reality, allowing her to traverse the multiverse with ease. She’s proudly bisexual, and one of the few Latinx superheroes to grace the pages of Marvel Comics.
In short, America Chavez is the perfect candidate to join the MCU.
Let’s start with the behind-the-scenes: Kevin Feige has made clear Marvel’s desire to make its films more diverse going forward. As it is, the highest-profile Hispanic character in the MCU is Michael Peña as Luis, Scott Lang’s ex-con sidekick in the Ant-Man films. He’s great, and everyone loves Michael Peña, but having your only Latinx character being a former criminal isn’t a good look. Adding America Chavez would cover a lot of ground, and quickly. Putting a strong woman of color in the lead of her own movie or show would be a huge step in the right direction for the studio – especially a Latinx woman.
Similarly, the MCU doesn’t have the best track record with LGBTQ representation. The big Avengers: Endgame reveal of the MCU’s first confirmed, on-screen gay character being a bit part played by one of the directors wasn’t, to put it mildly, well-received. Add to that Tessa Thompson saying a scene implying Valkyrie’s bisexuality was cut in Thor: Ragnarok and various other teases that never came to fruition over the years, Marvel does still have a lot of work to do on that front.
And while the past can’t be undone – at least, not in the real world – adding a proudly Latinx, openly bisexual character to the mix would certainly go a long way towards a more diverse MCU.
On the other side of the screen, too, the prerequisites for America’s live-action debut are all in place. Between the Disney+ shows and the announced movies of Phases Four and Five, we know that a Marvel Cinematic Multiverse is imminent. And, with Hailee Steinfeld potentially set to play Kate Bishop, all of Miss America’s allies are already in place.
In the comics, America has worked side-by-side with Captain Marvel and Monica Rambeau’s Spectrum as a member of the Ultimates – both characters that have already been introduced into the MCU. And with the next phases of Marvel promising to go cosmic, wouldn’t it make sense to introduce a hero who’s spent her life in the cosmos? Someone who could hang – and kick butt – with Carol Danvers?
Then again, why wait until the Captain Marvel sequel? One of America’s most lasting relationships in the comics comes in the form of her friendship with Kate Bishop. And with Kate set to make her live-action debut in the upcoming Hawkeye series, there’s no reason not to introduce America, as well. After spending a ton of time with Clint Barton, Kate’s going to need someone to gripe to, after all.
Even more obviously, though, is the implication of the multiverse. The specifics, of course, are only vaguely known at this point, other than the fact that the Scarlet Witch and Doctor Strange will be involved, and that it might start as early as the WandaVision series. Although, given the “in the Multiverse of Madness” qualifier, we can probably assume it won’t go well for our heroes. And since both Strange and Wanda will, presumably, be in over their heads and new to this whole multiverse thing, why not bring in a woman who actually grew up in a different reality? One who can easily traverse from one universe to the next, explain the intricacies of how the multiverse works and, basically, solve all your problems?
And yet, despite all of this, there have been no rumblings of casting, no hints, no allusions to America Chavez joining the MCU – outside of a vague reports of, maybe, sort of, bringing together the Young Avengers. Except it might be the Champions, or some mix of both.
All of which is, quite frankly, ridiculous. The pieces are in place. Fans – including Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor! – love America. And, let’s be real, Stephanie Beatriz has already nailed the audition. The hard work is done. Bring America to the MCU already.