It may have taken a few years, but Marvel’s kickass Latina heroine Miss America Chavez is finally getting her own series. Yes, the woman who once declared you couldn’t pay her enough to be an Avenger before joining two versions of the group, is setting out on her own. Raised by two moms in a woman-only Utopian Parallel universe, this genre-subverting character was a much-needed response to the call for greater diversity in comics, and was first introduced in the 2011 miniseries Vengeance, before writer Kieron Gillen revived her for the 2013 reboot of the Young Avengers. Since then, she’s been a part other badass teamups including the A-Force (an all-female Avengers) and the Ultimates.
When she makes her solo debut, she’ll be a young college student embarking on the ultimate learning adventure. “She can travel to alternate universe—so there’s our Earth (Earth 616, the main one in the Marvel universe) , and then she can go to alternate versions of different earths,” editor Wil Moss explained to Refinery 29. “So she’s going to the same college but alternate versions of it to take all these wide variety of classes to get a big broad experience.” Young adult author Gabby Rivera, who also happens to be queer and Latina, has been tapped to write the comic.
Despite the excitement surrounding the series slated for release in March 2017, I know there are quite a few people who aren’t so familiar with her background. Not to worry, I’m here to help you out. Here’s everything you need to know her.
She’s queer: In Vengeance #1, she is seen kissing fellow teen hero Ultimate Nullifier. However, in Young Avengers #12, it’s revealed that she has no interest in men and that her one-time lip-lock with Nullifier was just an experiment. If that wasn’t explicit enough, she also identified herself as a flying, dimension-hopping, virtually indestructible lesbian, per BuzzFeed, in the same issue. Since then, she’s become something of a folk hero as one of the few minority LGBT heroes in mainstream comics. As of yet, she’s only dated Lisa Halloran, an EMT in training. Her friendship with Kate Bishop (Hawkeye) also garnered plenty of attention (and loads of lesbian fan fiction which you can easily Google) but that relationship is strictly platonic.
The full extent of her powers is currently unknown: As a secondary character, Chavez hasn’t yet had the opportunity to put her powers on full display. It looks like that will all change when she sets off on her own next year. “America doesn’t know how powerful she is, but she’s gonna find out,” Rivera said in an interview with Refinery 29. “And the powers she does have are going to be expanded upon and she’s going to learn how to control and develop them.” Among those abilities are superhuman strength and speed, invulnerability, and inter-dimensional travel. Oh, and she can fly.
Image Comics has their own version of her: Marvel wasn’t always keen on giving her a solo run. Despite fans calling for it and spamming the interwebs with their own fan art, the powers that be would not budge. That’s when writer Joe Casey and artist Nick Dragotta, the men behind Chavez, took matters into their own hands and, according to Gizmodo, created America Vasquez (who closely resembles Chavez) for Image Comics. All-American Comix is slated for release in 2017, which is also when Marvel’s Chavez series is supposed to hit stands. Burn.