A report by Charles Pulliam-Moore for Fusion.
America Chavez, Marvel’s first queer woman of color to ever star in her own ongoing comic book, closed out the inaugural issue of America by traveling back in time to World War II, pushing Captain America out of the way, and punching Hitler in the face.
The following interview has been edited for clarity.
We’ve seen America, the enigmatic, badass powerhouse with the Young Avengers and the Ultimates, but who is she when we first meet her at the beginning of your arc? What are the ideas that are weighing on her mind?
College is a fresh freakin’ start. It’s a place she must now face alone and that’s hella exciting too.
All that to say, America’s got mad shit on her mind.
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?
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.
There’s a lot about me and my experience that will inform America’s character, more so than my queerness.
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.
Even though she’s an inter-dimensional super-being, America’s always been coded as being explicitly Latinx. Do you plan on grounding her in a real-world specific Latinx culture as you explore her backstory?
America isn’t identified anywhere as being Puerto Rican or Colombian or from Chile or Peru (or any other of the many very diverse and distinct Caribbean and Latin American countries/islands/homelands that are connected under the term “Latino/a/x”). She’s just “Latinx” and like, what does that mean? Beyond being a gender-neutral term for Latina/o, what does it mean to identify as such?
Let’s say America managed to kick her way into our present day universe. What do you think her read on the U.S. would be? Is there hope for the future?
To really get a handle on what’s going on in the U.S., America Chavez would just talk to the people. She’d be on the street corner doing pull ups with folks in the neighborhood. America would be in Detroit rallying with folks for clean water. America would be everywhere, connecting with folks from all backgrounds.