by Spencer Irwin
This article will contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
America Chavez is a self-made hero. She chose to follow in her mothers’ heroic footsteps instead of staying safe in utopia forever, and likewise chose her goals and domain very carefully. With the entire multiverse at her fingertips, she’s chosen to call Earth-616 her home, originally to watch over Billy Kaplan, but now because it’s where her friends are, where she’s laid down roots. This DIY image is a stark contrast to her grandmother Madrimar, who has devoted her life to following the will of the spirits and watching over her home planet, and seems to believe that it’s America’s destiny to do the same.
Writer Gabby Rivera and a murderer’s row of artists and colorists (including Jen Bartel, Annie Wu, Ming Doyle, Aud Koch, Joe Quinones and Joe Rivera, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Jordan Gibson) spend much of the issue simply recounting the history of Madrimar and her daughter, America’s mother Amalia, from the creation of their ancestral home by two love-struck spirits to their exodus to the Utopian Parallel and up to America’s birth. Befitting America Chavez, it’s a history built from the ground up around the idea of women loving women.
America 7‘s conflict doesn’t kick into place until Madrimar lets it slip that she was watching America throughout all the time she spent on her own as a child on Earth. Thankfully, Rivera doesn’t dwell on this for too long, allowing America to understand why Madrimar did it, but simply be overwhelmed by the idea, running back to Earth, to Sotomayor U and her friends, in order to process it all.
While it’s bubbling beneath the surface, that’s the real conflict Rivera is seeding here. Madrimar all but outright states that it’s America’s destiny to protect Fuertona — she’s the Starling, the strongest Fuertona — but America’s made her own life on Earth. I’ll admit this idea suffers a bit from America‘s occasional over-ambitiousness — we’ve barely spent enough time at Sotomayor to really get invested in it or America’s choice — but after a series that’s mostly seen America reacting to events that have pulled her willy-nilly across the multiverse, the idea that America has a choice to make about her future, that she can again take control of her own narrative, excites me.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?