When Kevin Feige announced that “Baby-Sitters Club” actress Xochitl Gomez would officially portray the character of America Chavez in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” comic fans were thrilled. But as for the wider world, there was a lot of confusion. Who was America Chavez? What does her character add to a film that already includes big Marvel characters like Doctor Strange and Scarlet Witch?
If you’re one of the people asking those above questions, we’re here to help school you on this awesome superhero you probably have never heard of. Aside from a short-lived 2017 solo series, America has mostly been a side character in comics like “A-Force,” “Ultimates,” and “West Coast Avengers.” So it’s not surprising that a lot of people haven’t heard about her. But it seems like Marvel is finally letting her have the spotlight, and we’re betting she’s going to be a big part of the MCU going forward. It’s also notable that America Chavez will be Marvel’s first big Latinx hero–as well as a LGBT one. With a Marvel Universe that’s becoming more diverse, America’s inclusion will no doubt be a welcome addition.
Originally created by Created by Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta, America first appeared in a 2011 limited series called “Vengeance.” But where America really found her footing, and her comic fan following, was in the 2013 “Young Avengers” series helmed by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie. America was raised by her mothers in a place called the Utopian Parallel: a reality that doesn’t exist in time and is ruled by a being called the Demiurge. The Demiurge is where America got her powers of superhuman strength, speed, flight, and having the ability to create inter-dimensional portals by separating dimensions. (Usually with her fists. Talk about literally punching your way out of things.)
When America was a young child, her home was threatened by destruction, so her mothers sacrificed themselves in order to save it. In her grief, America created an inter-dimensional portal so she could escape her home realm, basically copying what her mothers did and opening a hole into the larger Multiverse. This resulted in America traveling across different realms, eventually taking on the superhero moniker of Miss America. In her adventures, she joined the Teen Brigade (a covert operation of superheroes) and later, the Young Avengers, a group that included a few other heroes whose names you might recognize from upcoming MCU projects: Kate Bishop and Loki.
So how does America Chavez fit into the MCU? Well, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” will deal with, obviously, the multiverse. That’s a huge part of America’s background, and a perfect way for the MCU to introduce her. The multiverse has already been teased as a big story plot–we were first introduced to it in “Doctor Strange” and then reminded of it in “Avengers: Infinity War” when Strange saw over 14 million possible futures for the outcome of Thanos’ destruction. We don’t know exactly what story “Multiverse of Madness” will deal with, but we’re betting it could have possible ties to Scarlet Witch’s story in “WandaVision”…and we know that character will be a big part of this movie as well. Seems like it could be handy to have someone around who is very well acquainted with punching inter-dimensional portals for a living, right? Someone like..America Chavez?
Another thing to consider about how America might tie into the Marvel universe and why she’s important: in the comics, she was the leader of the Ultimates, a team that included Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and Monica Rambeau. All of those are characters that we’ve already been introduced to in the MCU.
Remember, before Robert Downey Jr made him big, “Iron Man” was basically a B-list superhero that people hadn’t heard of. And the Guardians of the Galaxy weren’t the big deal they are now. It’s only a matter of time before America Chavez becomes a household name in the same way and Marvel definitely has plans to make her a star.