(As may be becoming clear, I’ve got a bit of backlog of reviews to write up and post. Heck, I haven’t even done Civil War II yet and that ended last year! I hope you don’t mind the flood of reviews, I shall try and put some other stuff out later)
First things first, I would like to say a huge thank you to the team over at Graphic Policy about raising awareness of the current offer on this issue. If you’re looking for a site that will keep you super up-to-date with all the comic book news you can get your hands, plus some great weekly mini-reviews (A highlight of my week) then check out Graphic Policy.
This particular comic requires a little bit of context has to how it came to be in my possession. America Chavez’s new title launched last month and sold out completely. Marvel decided that to celebrate it would make a digital copy of the comic available to whoever wanted to read it via their comic book app. The offer ends tomorrow so if you want to pick up your free digital copy do that first, read it and then come back!
Back to the comic in question. My first real experience with America Chavez was back in a copy of Avengers #0. Born in the Utopian Parallel, she gained her powers from a mystical force called the Demiurge. She possesses the ability to fly, use super human strength and x-ray vision. Her most interesting power, however, is her ability to open star shaped gateways between dimensions. Orphaned at the age of 6 when her mums sacrificed their lives to seal a black hole threatening their home, America decided carry on their legacy and become a hero and has since served on numerous teams including the Young Avengers and, most recently, the Ultimates. This brings us nicely to America Chavez’s first solo outing.
The issue opens with some kind words from fellow heroes including Hawkeye, Spider-Morales and Storm. America is on Maltixa, defending the people from a weird energy creature with the help of Spectrum and Captain Marvel. After a bit of a scuffle, America punches the creature into another dimension, a little too easily for her liking. The trio return to Earth and, after discussing the thing they fought on Maltixa, America goes to apologise to her girlfriend whom she accidentally stood up (To be fair, I think intergalatic heroics is a pretty good excuse). After sharing an intimate moment, the couple start to argue. Lisa doesn’t want to move near America’s college, feeling that the move is less about them and more about America. America storms off, decidely upset over the sudden break up. After a quick meet-up with her best friend, Kate Bishop, she heads off to Sotomayor University, a college which caters for super-powered individuals. After a rather trying first class, she hangs out with Prodigy, an old friend and former team mate on the Young Avengers. It is brought to her attention that Prodigy has invented a multiverse traversing time machine which, naturally, she uses immediately to try and see her mums again. However, it doesn’t quite go to plan and she ends up in WW2 Germany where the issues concludes with America delivering a punch to Adolf Hitler.
To say this issue was fast paced doesn’t really cut the mustard. We go from intergalatic brawls to emotional break-ups to a first day at college to WW2 Germany. I’m not saying that it wasn’t fun but I feel like at least the first 3 could have and should have been a little more fleshed out over a few issues or so. Regardless of the pacing, the issue was most definitely enjoyable.
Gabby Rivera and Joe Quinones make a great team. Rivera’s writing is great, helping me to a gain a better understanding of America’s character as well as providing an interesting story. Quinones art has a really defined look to it and the colours make the book really bright, a nice change to some of my other titles.
As a character, America Chavez brings great deal of diversity being both Latina and homosexual. However, the comic doesn’t focus on these themes like one would expect and instead treats it how you treat anything else: like the norm. In my opinion, this is how it should be and, in most cases, this is how it is done. There’s enough hate in the world for something as great as love to be a cause for concern for anyone outside of the relationship.
In terms of interest in the series as a whole, I’m not really sure. This issue was fun and the hints at some serious problems as a result of a certain punch does sound intriguing but I just don’t feel particularly inspired to carry on reading the story. I think time travel can be a fun story point but, when you have a super-powered college full of possible plot gems, I’m not sure it is completely necessary. If you have any thoughts or questions please leave them in the comments. Thank you.
(The images used are property of Marvel comics and the creative teams behind them. I in no way lay claim to them)