America Chavez, Marvel Comics’ first queer Latina superhero, is now featured in the groundbreaking solo series “America.” The comic was written by Gabby Rivera, who has a lot in common with her title character. NewsHour Weekend’s Ivette Feliciano sat down with Rivera to talk about how her personal life contributed to the conception of Marvel’s latest superhero.
IVETTE FELICIANO: Author Gabby Rivera hasn’t always been a big comic book fan, but growing up in the South Bronx, she had her fair share of exposure to superheroes at home.
GABBY RIVERA: My parents were huge Marvel comic fans, and X-Men fans, and my brother too. And so through them, comics have had, like, some sort of place in my life.
IVETTE FELICIANO: So when Marvel Comics approached her about writing its newest series — “America” — her reaction was more than enthusiastic.
GABBY RIVERA: They approached me via email, and I totally screamed, and, like, ran around, like, “Oh my God, it’s Marvel.” And at first I thought it was like a scam email. Like, “Oh, like, I’m a Marvel prince and I have, like $100,000 for you,” or something like that. But it wasn’t. So they talked to me about this character, America Chavez.
IVETTE FELICIANO: “America Chavez” is a gay Latina superhero, raised by two mothers who sacrifice themselves saving her homeworld. Rivera’s storyline has Chavez attending college and learning to use her powers — which include superhuman strength and the ability to travel through time and between dimensions.
GABBY RIVERA: A Latina that can just go where she chooses is, like, pretty revolutionary, I think. She has, like, ownership of her own body and her destination, and that’s like a gift that not many of us are afforded.