This writer is the real-life version of America Chavez, Marvel's latest solo hero.
When we imagine superheroes, they’re often strong, courageous, physically fit, good-looking and usually superhuman, which is a tall order for someone that’s often looking to live a normal life on the side. For Marvel’s superhero?America Chavez, life is extremely complicated, especially for a teen that’s been saddled with incredible responsibilities, but she essentially fits the bill of what everyone sees in a superhero.
What makes America even more unique is that she is both Latina and gay, qualities that make her a novelty in a world that is still learning to accept diversity. So when Marvel decided to give America her own solo series, they knew that they would have to hire the right writer to capture America’s exceptional character.
Marvel turned to gay, Latina writer Gabby Rivera: that’s right, they hired someone whose life actually resembles?America’s personal life. Though Rivera never wrote comics in the past, when Marvel contacted her about this opportunity she was floored and beyond enthusiastic about the project.
“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,” Rivera told The Washington Post. “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.”
Best known for her Young Adult novel,?Juliet Takes A Breath, Rivera is currently working full-time as a Youth Programs Manager for Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network. She said that working on this project has been exhilarating, as she churned out dozens of pages at a time while working full-time as opposed to her lax approach to other writing projects.
“I take my sweet old time writing my stuff. But working on ‘America’ has been like riding a jet or a Jet Ski or something fast and fun,” Rivera said.
This fast schedule actually mimics America’s superpowers; America has superhuman strength and durability, as well as the power to catch up to and even surpass the speed of light. She can kick open holes in reality to travel through the?multiverse and other realities. She can turn her enemies into tiny star fragments with a single punch. To say that this superhero is awesome would be an understatement.
As Rivera puts it, Marvel’s idea to hire her as a way to keep the production side of an awesome hero’s story as creative and diverse as possible is “dope as hell,” and we agree. Rivera is the first gay, Latina writer to work for Marvel, but hopefully the hiring practices going forward will continue to include unique talents and people.
The first book, titled?America, was released?on March 1.
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