Great Ideas Fizzle Out in America 9

by Spencer Irwin

This article will contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

One of America‘s greatest strengths as a title is that it’s chock-full of fantastic ideas; unfortunately, one of its greatest weaknesses is that it often doesn’t give those fantastic ideas enough room to breathe and succeed. America 9 is a frustrating installment in that way, blowing through the meaty ideas of last month’s issue (plus a whole host of new concepts) so fast that none have room to land. Continue reading

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History as a Weapon (and a Motivation) in America 8

by Spencer Irwin

This article will contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

When I was first introduced to America Chavez in the pages of Young Avengers, she was a bad-ass, taciturn woman of mystery. As time has passed, though, we’ve come to learn far more about her personality, her methods, and — especially within the pages of Gabby Rivera and Joe Quinones’ America — her history. She still has the qualities that made me fall in love with her in the first place, but she’s also become more predictable and easier to sum-up.

For example, I took one look at this panel — of America explicitly breaking the rules the moment they’re announced — and thought ‘Yup, that’s America in a nutshell.’ Oubliette the Exterminatrix — the evil who’s been recently stalking America, and who finally makes her move in America 8 — has been paying as much attention to America’s history as readers have, and it gives her just the ammunition she needs to take America down. Continue reading

A History and a Destiny Revealed in America 7

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. Continue reading

Different Kinds of Love in America 6

by Spencer Irwin

America 6

This article will contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

There are many kinds of love, so it’s always frustrated me that society places such importance on romantic love as the be all, end all of adult life. Romance is great, but the love of friends and family can be just as fulfilling and vital, if not more so. America 6 finds Gabby Rivera, Kelly Thompson, and Ramon Villalobos exploring the role each of these kinds of love plays in America’s life, and interestingly enough, it looks like they might just agree with me when it comes to their importance. Continue reading

The Strength — and Risks — of Intimacy in America 5

by Spencer Irwin

This article will contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Fear of intimacy is one of those tropes that’s so common it’s practically become cliché (Friends was on at the gym the other day, and I couldn’t help but to roll my eyes at Chandler trying to run away from his wedding), yet its based on very real, very understandable fears. Without intimacy one would lead a very lonely life, yet opening yourself up to another person is, ultimately, a risk that takes a surprising amount of courage to do. That’s something America Chavez has already discovered in America 5, an issue that shows the benefits of her emotional intimacy even as this same quality places her in grave danger. Continue reading

Being a Mentor is the Ultimate Strength in America 4

by Spencer Irwin

America 4

This article will contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Nobody can make it through life alone — not even someone as powerful and independent as America Chavez. There have been many inspirational figures in America’s life, but no direct mentor figures. That’s something Gabby Rivera, Joe Quinones, and Ming Doyle aim to fix in America 4, where they not only give America Chavez her very own mentor, but show why it’s important for her to have one in the first place. Continue reading

America 1

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Today, Spencer and Drew are discussing America 1, originally released March 1st, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Spencer: I’ll never forget a piece of advice a friend once gave me: “You’ve learned everything you can from this job. It’s time to move on.” That statement has always stood out to me because, up until that moment, I had never considered the challenge provided when looking at a potential job; I’d grown up thinking of a job only as a means to an end, a way to get money to survive and pursue more meaningful hobbies. Now though, while I recognize that there’s a certain amount of privilege involved in that advice, I also recognize the truth in it. I think that statement is certainly going through America Chavez’s mind in America 1 as well, as the hyper-competent Ultimate embarks on a new stage of her career: college. Continue reading

Captain America: White 2

captain america white 2

Today, Taylor and Drew are discussing Captain America: White 2, originally released September 30th, 2015.

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Taylor: For some reason, when I think about World War II, it doesn’t seem like it happened all that long ago. Maybe this is because the war shares many of the same things we see in warfare today like airplanes and tanks and machine guns. Or perhaps the reason it seems fresh is that WWII was a substantially photographed and filmed war, making it an frequent topic of documentaries. Still more, WWII has been the backdrop for much of the pop-culture that has pervaded the 20th and 21st centuries, and with each new story set between the years 1939 and 1945 the war comes alive once again. But WWII ended 70 years ago and few still live who actually saw or took part in its events. It’s a weird dichotomy, this difference between perceived and actual length of time, and if nothing else, Captain America: White 2 has me considering this subject deeply.

Continue reading

Captain America: White 1

captain america white 1

Today, Andrew and Taylor are discussing Captain America: White 1, originally released September 16th , 2015.

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Andrew: After being unfrozen from the ice after 7 years, Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale have delivered on their long teased series dissecting our favorite Nazi kicking boy scout, Steve Rogers. In line with their color series (including Daredevil: Yellow, Hulk: Grey, and Spiderman: Blue), Captain America: White presents a retelling of what made Loeb and Sale fall in love with Captain America in the first place, focused through a thematic color. Loeb and Sale paint a critical picture of this icon without being cynical. The Cap we’ve seen so far is calm, confident, but above all, naive. He is a soldier but not a leader. He has the enormous privilege of superhuman abilities which separate him from ever truly sharing the average soldier’s experience. This privilege and optimism blinds him to the dangers he puts Bucky through. It’s his relationship and loss of Bucky that is put at the forefront of this issue and what ultimately makes him into the nuanced Marvel character that he became today. Continue reading