Marvelette Missives – America

Marvel’s new series America (issue #1 came out March 1) is a breath of fresh air among superhero comics. It features America Chavez (aka Miss America), not only one of the few openly gay heroes in mainstream comics today, but also one of the few Latina ones. Plus, the series is skewing slightly younger than most comics right now, even having young adult author Gabby Rivera as writer (also Latina and queer, btw… another step in the right direction). 

In the premiere issue, America has decided to take a break from all the hero work (she was most recently a member of the Ultimates) and do something for herself: go to college (Sotomayor University… HA!). Of course, being the Marvel universe, it’s not a typical college. Her first class involves a holographic reenactment assignment, which she takes on with Prodigy. He just happens to be working on a time travel device and, well, let’s just say there’s some Hitler punching that takes place.

It’s refreshing to read a superhero comic that’s not all “save the world” for a change. And it’s great that the story establishes America’s place in the universe, even having appearances by Kate Bishop (aka Hawkeye) and Miles Morales, among others. It also gives readers new to the character a really quick, yet effective download on who she is and where she came from. And it doesn’t shy away from who America is – a (literally) strong, lesbian woman moving out of her comfort zone to discover what she’s truly capable of. There are so many paths this series could take and it will be interesting to see how great America will become.