It’s a little too late to start watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe if you want to begin with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. But, it’s not a bad time to find a new favorite Marvel character. Xochitl Gomez is to play the MCU’s first LGBTQ+ Latina superhero as America Chavez. If you’ve never heard of America Chavez, she’s a big deal. Think the way-more-powerful-than-Captain-America type of deal.
If you think of a superpower, she most likely already has it. Superhuman speed? Check. Super strength? Check. The ability to travel between universes? Now, that’s new. Watch America Chavez come to be everyone’s favorite teen hero in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. But before you see her in theaters, here’s a quick guide on just exactly how she’s going to make a splash in the MCU.
AMERICA CHAVEZ – ORIGINS AND POWERS
With her debut in 2011, America had an origin story similar to Superman. She was raised in a place called the ‘Utopian Parallel,’ a universe between multiverses.
When black holes threatened to suck her home planet, America’s mothers stayed behind to protect the planet while she fled. At six years old, she ended up on our version of Earth, Earth-616, and was raised by a family in Washington Heights. Since then, she took on an altruistic attitude to help others, using her powers for good and joining the Young Avengers, carrying on the moniker of Miss America.
With that origin story, America Chavez is easily Clark Kent’s counterpart. That is until we get to America Chavez: Made in the USA (2021). This comic apparently revealed (or rewrote for some) that her mothers were Earth scientists trying to protect America from being an experiment. She possibly came up with the idea of the “Utopian Parallel” to explain her powers at a young age.
As a result of her upbringing, America walked away with extraordinary powers. We’re not sure what origin story will be used in Multiverse of Madness. She will be one of the only people who have it easy traveling in the MCU multiverse… besides The Watcher, of course. The most important thing you need to know about America Chavez is that she can punch star-shaped holes in the universe with just her fist or her foot, making parallel universes easy for her to travel to. America also has the ability to fly, meaning there’s no way this girl is staying put in one place. She’s got impenetrable skin, super strength, super speed, and the ability to fly. Everyone said Eternal’s Ikaris was a carbon copy of Superman, but after reading America’s laundry list of powers, she’s got him beat.
THE NEW ‘AMERICA’N WAY
As the new “truth, justice, and the American way,” Chavez is more representative of our country than Superman ever was. She is a strong Latina and a member of the LGBTQ+ community. She’s got layers to her and a perspective on the world that not everyone has the privilege of understanding. It was genius to make her an interdimensional traveler as well because, for someone with so many facets to them, she can show more empathy towards those that are different from her. That is the heart of the American way. Or should be.
It would make no sense for someone who can travel between parallel universes to be a close-minded character. It’s great that America Chavez is a character that can and will speak her mind, even if some countries in our reality would rather not hear her. Looking at you…theaters in Saudi Arabia (and now Egypt) who will not air Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness simply because of America Chavez. Which, note, that this isn’t the first time that a Marvel movie has been banned because of a queer character.
It’s unfortunate because these characters have different lived experiences; like all the potential people that could exist in the multiverse. And they deserve to be seen. Until then, know that America Chavez is coming and there’s no stopping her or the power that a character like her holds. And in a way, she’s an important stepping stone to showing audiences just how diverse perspectives can be, in fiction and in real life; hopefully opening dialogue and conversations on acceptance.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters on May 6th, 2022.