Gabby Rivera (W), Joe Quinones (P), Joe and Paolo Rivera (I), Jose Villarrubia (C),
Cover by Joe Quinones
Publisher: Marvel Comics
So today is pretty much going to be catchup day for things I wish I had done a week ago. That means expect something else to be put up on the site later today, so look out for that.
So, America Chavez: Young Avenger, Ultimate, dimension-hopping super heroine, and, now, focus of her very own comic book. I think that’s pretty cool. I haven’t read the iteration of the Young Avengers which she starred in, but, as you know, the Ultimates by Al Ewing is one of my favorite titles being published at this moment. America is a part of the reason for that. She is a really cool character. As a result, I was interested in trying this out. I’m always up for newer and less popular characters getting their own comic book titles. It’s in the name: B-List Defender.
The comic opens up with a brief sequence of a number of people being interviewed about their opinion of America Chavez, among these interviewees being Kate Bishop, Miles Morales, Felicia Hardy, Loki Laufeyson, and Ororo Munroe. The response is pretty overwhelmingly positive.
The comic then hard-cuts to America blocking a ball of rubble from falling onto some young girls on what turns out to be an alien planet. Spectrum and Captain Marvel are on-scene as well, and this turns out to be an Ultimates mission. Monica and Carol are fighting some sort of pink energy being that appears to be a female while America is protecting the bystanders. The energy being begins to overwhelm Spectrum and Captain Marvel, so America comes to their aid. She punches the being once, and it explodes into stars to America’s surprise.
The mission wraps up with much gratitude from the planet’s population, and we cut to the three Ultimates debriefing Black Panther and Blue Marvel on the events of the mission. Apparently, upon the being’s defeat, the damage it dealt to the planet was immediately reversed.
America returns to her partner, Lisa, and the two have a romantic reunion. They discuss America’s decision to move and go to college. However, later in the night, Lisa tells America that she isn’t interested in moving out of New York. America gets angry, tells Lisa that they are over, and then leaves. America meets up with Kate Bishop, and then Chavez goes to Sotomayor University. From what one can glean, it appears to be an Xavier/Jean Grey-esque university that focuses more on education than power controlling. Most of the students appear to be gifted in some way.
Upon her arrival, America is approached by some sort of gang/dance team sorority that wants her to join. She turns them down for now, but she says she will consider it later. She goes to her classroom, which is currently frozen over. The professor says that this is some sort of hologram recreation of a revolutionary battle from a presumably alien world. The class is called “Intergalactic Revolutionaries and You,” and there is a power-nullifying generator in the room keeping America from easily solving the scenario.
Despite it being a hologram recreation, America is fifty seconds from being frozen, and David Alleyne, aka former-Young Avenger and former-mutant Prodigy, comes to America’s rescue by finishing the recreation of the scene. The class then dismisses with the teacher telling the students to find another revolution to recreate for next class.
Prodigy and America leave together, and David tells America about a time machine he has been working on that can help with this assignment. America uses it, despite it not quite being ready, with the intent to go back to her late mothers. Instead, she is dropped on a World War II battlefront with Captain America declaring that they are about to close in on Adolf Hitler himself. America, hearing the name Hitler, excitedly decks the fascist dictator, recreating the original cover to Captain America #1.
Another flash of light takes America, and the comic concludes.
As you can probably tell from the description of the story, this comic is a little out of the ordinary, to say the least. It’s pretty weird, but it is absolutely oozing with charm.
America has a big personality but a good heart. These make her an endlessly endearing character. The story itself seems to be a unique spin on the superhero slice-of-life formula made recently famous in comics like Dennis Hopeless’ Spider Woman, Nick Spencer’s Astonishing Ant-Man, and, of course, Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye.
That being said, the comic does throw a lot of weird ideas which it does very little to explain, and you’re kind of left to role with the punches. I’ve read and re-read the college scene, and I’m still not sure I’ve explained all of it correctly. Following that up with, “oh, by the way, a time machine” definitely makes the pacing seem a little frantic.
That’s both the charm and the shortcoming of the comic. It has boundless energy. In one issue you have a battle on an alien planet, a break-up, a first day at college, and time-traveling to fight alongside Captain America and punching Hitler. It has a lot of emotional ups-and-downs that it earns pretty handily. However, most would have a hard time keeping up with the plot.
I can only imagine that World War II soldiers have to be among the most confused in history, because I feel like a lot of people time travel to that specific moment in time. I know Thunderbolts did at least once. I’m pretty sure the Avengers have as well.
The comic is immensely endearing though. It really just needs to slow itself down, and, generally, issue 2 is when most titles really get into their groove. Maybe that will be the case with America as well.
The art by Joe Quinones is pretty damn good. It straddles the line of new-age comic styling with a touch of retro detail. It’s like a mixture of David Aja and Daniel Acuna without the oil-painting texture for which the latter is notorious. The colors are bright and vibrant too, which I dig.
If you can groove on the hyper-active energy to this comic, then you will probably enjoy it quite a bit. I liked it a lot, and I think many other people would too. Give it a try.
Final Score: 7/10