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Meet America Chavez, Marvel Comics’ queer Latina powerhouse

Meet America Chavez — The first lesbian Latina superhero with her own Marvel Comics series.

The queer Latina powerhouse who was a standout among a stable of amazing superheroes is also the first lesbian Latina superhero with her own Marvel Comics series.

Meet America Chavez

The 18-year-old, who is the second incarnation of Marvel character Miss America, first introduced in 1943, was created in 2011 by Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta and has been a regular in Marvel’s Young Avengers and the Ultimates series.

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Her own series, which debuted March 1, is helmed by LGBTQ novelist and author Gabby Rivera with artwork by artist Joe Quinones.

Marvel-ous Inclusion

America is Marvel Comics’ latest push toward inclusivity and more diversity coming after characters like the first Muslim Ms. Marvel; a female Thor; a young, black teen female Iron Man; and a new black Captain America.

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In a recent interview with Fusion, Rivera, a Puerto Rican lesbian, like America, spoke about how her own experiences have shaped America Chavez:

Q: Do you see yourself in America? And in what ways have your experiences as a queer, Latinx woman shaped your approach to giving America her voice?

A: “There’s a lot about me and my experience that will inform America’s character, more so than my queerness.

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“People navigate queerness in their own ways. My queer brown chubby weirdo vibe works for America’s journey. She’s been so serious for so long, and she’ll still be serious but there’ll be so much room for her to be easy.

“America’s independent and aloof but also looking to make some deep connections with folks. Also, I like to have fun and build community and love on people, and those are the things I really want to focus on in America’s story.

“As an 18-year-old who not only has to save the work but also navigate college life, America has a lot on her plate.

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Q: When people think of finding themselves in college, they often think of discovering their sexualities and gender identities. Both of those are things that America’s always seemed to have a pretty firm grasp of already, so what sorts of things might she be working through in your series?

A: “Well, one, gender and sexuality are often set and reset. Like what feels right and good in the present might change in the future for some folks, you know? Gender and sexuality might not be issues at the top of the list for America’s series but that doesn’t mean we won’t get glimpses of how America and other characters explore them.

“But America isn’t a ‘coming out’ narrative. She’s already out and proud and punching all the things. America is taking on herself in this series. Like she’s wondering if she’s really at the top of her game mentally and physically. Sotomayor University is where she’ll find that challenge she’s been looking for.

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About the author

Beatriz E. Valenzuela

Beatriz E. Valenzuela is an award-winning journalist who’s covered breaking news in Southern California since 2006 and has been on the front lines of national and international news events. She also covers all things nerd, including comic book culture and video games. She’s an amateur obstacle course racer, constant fact-checker, mother of three, and lover of all things geek.

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