Marvel Comics just released the first issue of a series highlighting a queer Latina who travels dimensional portals and punches Hitler. Has your brain overloaded yet? If it hasn’t, the solo series, entitled “America,” is also being written by a queer Latina.
“Superhero comics seemed so out of my league that I never even imagined it as something I could do. But the second the opportunity came my way, it felt so right,” Gabby Rivera told The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs. “I’ve always dreamt up wild, powerful and carefree superheroes that look like me and my family: thick, brown, goofy, beautiful. And now I get to see them come to life. ‘America’ is going to be all those things and it’s [going to] be wild.”
The first issue of the series, which is illustrated by Joe Quinones, took readers through different areas of America’s personal life. She fights aliens, has a full-blown relationship and decides to go away to college named after Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Most importantly, she’s being used to told stories that wouldn’t have gotten nearly the same freedom in the past.
“I mean, folks have been wanting intersectional representation in literature and the creative arts since forever,” Rivera said. “Social media just heightens the scrutiny and gives people a space to connect. [Online] groups like Black Girl Nerds, Latinx Geeks, and Geeks of Color are doing their thing.”
The biggest reward Rivera sees from taking on her first comic book series after a career of writing novels is the impact it will have on readers.
“I get to see groups of little brown girls and their moms all done up in their America Chavez cosplay gear. And the stories that we tell through ‘America’ will be part of their pop culture experience,” Rivera said. “And, hell yeah, there’s pressure, but also I love it and it’s making me a better writer. It’s a blessing.”
If you’d like to check out the first issue of “America” to support representation both on the page and in the creative team, head to your local comic book store of get a digital copy on Comixology or Amazon.
Photo Credit: Marvel