Review: America #1
This was a one “Wepa” issue and it ended with Hitler getting a fist to the dome, everything that happened in between the pages of writer Gabby Rivera‘s go at America’s solo series is pure gold and I’m here for it! The beginning issue of this much-awaited stand-alone series for everyone’s new favorite queer Hispanic bad ass is everything we hoped for and more. Rivera manages to keep the cliches at a minimum, there was a requisite wepa but, nothing that made America feel like a stereotype or caricature. In between the pages of this issue, we are treated to some amazing character development, real emotions and a connection to an imaginary character that feels so real and fleshed out that we feel free enough to have real feelings about her and her situation.
Rivera is tasked with squeezing a story and hook within a minimal number of pages, America is Marvel‘s first queer Hispanic superhero and this coming out story is layered, clever and emotional. America’s age adds to the story and provides a cue for her feelings and actions, she is trying to find herself, thinks she knows everything, yet is self-aware to get that she doesn’t have it all figured out. This issue shows a gut punch of a break-up, leaving America heart broken and feeling alone, there’s also a fresh start at a new college, a familiar face in an old teammate and, some time tavel that places our hero face to face with Hitler and Captain America!
Joe Quinones provides some stellar pencil work giving us some crisp lines, well defined features and an ethnic super hero that looks authentic and not just like a white super hero with a tan. Joe Rivera and Paolo Rivera lay down some stellar inking and Jose Villarrubia gives the issue color that is both authentic in its simplicity when it needs to be and, stylized when it’s full of pop & needs to be fun. Bonus points for the team making sure that America looks Hispanic in a way that doesn’t several up imagery of Liz Taylor as Cleopatra. The rainbow flag outside of America’s lady loves partner is a nice intro and foreshadowing of what’s going to happen when the door opens. I’m also a fan of the throwback style used in the ending pages of the issue when she’s pushed back in time facing Nazis in WWII Germany.
Overall, I found this issue to be a rapid-fire, clever and interesting setup. The writing is solid and appropriate for a young superhero, the story was realistic (in comic book storytelling format). The main character is thoroughly fleshed out, auxiliary characters were shown in a way that not only introduced them but, gave an insight to their personality. This is a great comic book for tweens and up. I suspect it will resonate immensely with the young adult comic book readers who can identify either as LGBT, Hispanic, or female (and any combo of that) who are looking for heroes that resemble them in any way. Rivera doesn’t take her task of inclusion lightly and, makes America story about America and her journey without using her as a cheap gimmick. This issue is a nice starting point for America’s solo debut and, I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here.
Story: Gabby Rivera Art: Joe Quinones Inkers: Joe Rivera & Paolo Rivera Color: Jose Villarrubia
Story: 8.9 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.9 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review