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Meet America Chavez, Marvel’s Queer Latina Superhero

A lesbian Puertorriqueña is saving the world.
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Marvel’s hottest new superheroine is a lesbian Latina named America Chavez. She attends college by day and saves the universe by night.

America was born and raised by two mothers in an all-female society. After her mothers sacrificed themselves to save the multiverse, America took the responsibility upon her shoulders.

She appeared in a run of Young Avengers in 2013 and, after finding an unexpected following, she returned to titles such as Ultimates and A-Force. She is finally getting her own series.

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Her inclusion is the latest in a string of rebooted, diverse Marvel Characters. RiRi Williams is the new fifteen-year-old black, female Iron Man. A Muslim teenager named Kamala Khan became Ms. Marvel. Marvel has introduced a black Captain America, an Afrolatino Spiderman and a female Thor.

Marvel tapped queer puertorriqueña author Gabby Rivera to write the comics. Although Rivera is new to comics, she made waves with her Young Adult novel Juliet Takes a Breath, which centered around a queer Puerto Rican girl.

When asked about America’s powers, Rivera said,

America doesn’t know how powerful she is, but she’s gonna find out.”

As an alt-reality version of Ms. America, America Chavez possesses a wide range of powers, from teleportation to flight to interdimensional travel. She can kick someone so hard that they leave earth’s atmosphere; when she stomps, earthquakes erupt;  and bullets bounce off her skin. She also has super speed.

Rivera mused about what it means to be American, queer and Latina after the 2016 election. She said, “I am still learning how to navigate [America Chavez’s] world, but to not include elements and emotions of what is going on would be a huge missed opportunity on my part — on our part. But it’s also a balance between connecting with people and alienating people. ‘Cause Latinos voted for Trump too. My family voted for Trump.”

You won’t find America Chavez in a skimpy skintight costume, unlike many of Marvel’s superheroines; the cover features her in a sweatshirt and gym shorts. She’s as practical as she is badass. And she’s here to show that there’s more than one way to be an American.

Pick up the first America Chavez comic in 2017.

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Author
J. Marie graduated from Duke University with a degree in International Relations and dreams of being a creative writer--dreams she's now realizing as a musical theatre writer in NYC. She's passionate about global black identities, black representation in media, and leather-bound notebooks. She also loves backpacking through a new country at a moment's notice, and speaks Spanish, Swahili and Standard Arabic.

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