Gabby Rivera Will Write “America,” Marvel’s New Queer Latina Comic Book, And We’re Flipping Out

The world is dark and light is precious and here’s a display of fireworks: Gabby Rivera is writing America Chavez’s new solo comic book! Marvel announced their plans to give our favorite queer Latina teen her own title just last month at New York Comic Con, but we had no idea they’d bring on a queer Latina to write her; much less one of our all-time favorite queer Latina writers. (And Sara Ramirez’s too, while we’re on the subject.) Gabby, as you know, is the author of Juliet Takes a Breath and a longtime contributor to Autostraddle and the former head of our QTPOC Speakeasy. She’s now the Youth Program Manager at GLSEN.

america

Variant Cover of America #1. Art by Marguerite Sauvage.

Refinery29 posted the America Chavez creative team announcement today, along with an interview with Gabby and a first look at the art for the new book. We also got a little information about which Marvel universe America will be inhabiting; she’s been in practically all of them! And we got a little information about how our Trans Editor and Drawn to Comics expert Mey Rude consulted with Gabby on the book. (I buried that lede because I wanted to stretch out the excitement.)

From Refinery29:

What were some of the things that excited fans about America?
Gabby Rivera: “One is, the identities: Queer Latina. She’s also a positive presence and has these catch phrases, like ‘chico.’ And she has feelings for Kate [Bishop, a.k.a. Hawkeye]. But there are more questions about what her powers are, who she is and what is she interested in. My friend Mey was like Gabby, ‘Don’t try to write a superhero comic book. That’s not why they reached out to you. Put all the joy and excitement and energy and quirkiness that you did with Juliet and bring it to America.’ So what song does she listen to when she wakes up in the morning? Does she brush her teeth in her underwear? What type of girl is she? The fundamental questions you have about someone you want to be friends with.”

One of the most frustrating things about women on superhero teams — in both comic books and movies — is that their actions are almost always overshadowed by the men on the team and their motivations are rarely explored. Think about Avengers: Age of Ultron. Black Widow, as written by the guy who gave us Buffy, was reduced to a woman who couldn’t have children. That’s was it. That was her main thing. The huge backstory reveal feminist fans had been promised for years after watching women in Marvel’s cinematic universe get ignored and tossed aside was that Natasha Romanov’s major life milestone was a decision to become an assassin instead of a mother. It was the one thing that defined her entire personality.

Well, not in this new Marvel book! Gabby says she’s excited to explore America’s agency and her story outside the teams she’s been a part of: “So my thinking for this new book is that she’s finally asking herself that question: What’s in it for me? Why am I fighting with these people? What I want is to go to college and I want to start over, and I want to learn about myself and do this for myself.”

I can’t wait to watch her answer all those questions.

America Issue #1 will arrive in March 2017. I’ll bet Mey and Gabby will have a conversation about it on this very website as the drop date gets closer!


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Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.

Heather has written 563 articles for us.

39 Comments

  1. I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS!!!! AAAAHHHHHH! Batwoman is my idol but America Chavez is my BAE! With both of them getting series I’m on a happy high so big right now!

    One weird thing is them continuing to call her queer though. She’s plainly stated she’s not attracted to men. Lesbian is not a dirty word Marvel!

  2. This is like amazing news, I am excited to see what stories she will bring. And the fact she’s an Autostraddle alumni makes it even better as hopefully it will raise up queer publishing(specially that target towards women and trans folks) even more!

  3. omfg GABBY! Congrats, it’s gonna be beautiful, I’m going to go to my comic book store and ask for the one by GABBY RIVERA AUTOSTRADDLE LOVERBOI even though I’ve never read Marvel shit before this seems like the best entryway to ever exist? I just know it’s gonna be amazing, amazing. <3

  4. Quite an interesting situation is here, because there will be actually TWO solo comic series about Miss America. The first will be Miss America VASQUEZ from the creators of the character at Image, and the second will be Miss America CHAVEZ from the new team. Wanna start whining about that. Why Marvel didn’t bring creators of the original to write if they wanted to launch series anyway? I don’t say that that the new team is bad, but the situation is just curious.

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