It’s widely known America Chavez will make her MCU debut in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which means it’s time for her to get the Marvel-Verse treatment! Marvel-Verse is a smaller-sized trade paperback series that helps give casual comics fans a taste of the character on the big screen. For fans who already know the character, it may still be worth checking out this collection since it could hint at what America Chavez’s character will be like in the film.
Collected here are five stories from creators like Robbie Thompson, David Lopez, Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Gabby Rivera, Joe Quinones, Ming Doyle, Stacey Lee, Flaviano, and Mike Norton. Reprinted issues include: Young Avengers (2013) #3; America (2017) #1-2, 11-12; America Chavez: Marvel Legacy Primer; material from Marvel Now! Point One (2012) #1.
Like a lot of the Marvel-Verse trades, this collection is a bit all over the place. The more important detail hardcore comics fans should note is this collection doesn’t house any of the newer America Chavez comics which retconned her past. Instead, this is the version that has America super-powered, can teleport, and was raised by her mothers in the Utopian Parallel. Whether this means we’ll get the original version of America in the MCU remains to be seen, but it’s exciting to know Marvel wants readers to consume this powerhouse version with a lot of attitude and heart.
Opening this collection is the three-page story by Thompson and Lopez basically giving readers a quick recap of America’s origin. From there, Gillen and McKelvie (with Mike Norton and colorist Matthew Wilson) feature a shorter tale where America gets breakfast with Loki. Clearly reluctant, Gillen captures America’s no-nonsense attitude well while McKelvie draws a hell of a clean line. The kid version of Loki is also a delight.
Their story continues into Young Avengers #3 which features Hulkling and Wiccan. The crew end up listening to Loki and there’s a masterclass of character acting, pop culture reference, and unexpected twists in the tale. Rereading this short inclusion in the collection is a reminder Gillen and McKelvie are one of the best duos in comics.
Wrapping up the book is the beginning and the end of Gabby Rivera’s America run. This run sees America quickly break up with her girlfriend and head to college. It’s a zany period for the character which I outlined at length when the second trade paperback came out. In general, this run was not well received as it was plotted in odd ways and tended to have forced dialogue. Again, it’s somewhat odd we get the start and end of the full arc, but there’s enough intro to get things started and then close it out.
Joe Quinones positively kills it in this section, delivering some truly inspiring images of America standing up to the dean and sneaking about. Quinones makes America look more like a 20 something adult who is ready to take on the world. It’s a huge difference from how other artists have rendered her in a more cartoony way in the series.
All told, Marvel-Verse: America Chavez is an interesting primer on the character, but seems to lack something since it doesn’t contain the more recent retcon of the character’s origin. Whether this means America Chavez in the MCU will be closely aligned with her original origin remains to be seen, but there are certainly some tasty morsels to enjoy here.
For a recap of all the Marvel-Verse books, be sure to read our reviews for Marvel-Verse: Moon Knight, Moon Girl, Morbius, Thor, Spider-Man, Hawkeye, Doctor Strange, Shang-Chi, Captain Marvel, Deadpool & Wolverine, Iron Man, Venom, Thanos, and Black Panther — each one features various stories from the title character’s history.
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