Marvel is putting some serious effort behind America Chavez, their first queer Latina superhero. Now, when it comes to the person writing her story, the comic company has tapped a young, queer Latina young adult novelist, Gabby Rivera. Let’s all give Marvel an appropriate “¡Wepa!” in honor of the super relevant and authentic voice behind America Chavez.
Novelist Gabby Rivera is pumped to be working on America Chavez’s story for Marvel.
— Gabby Rivera (@QuirkyRican) March 1, 2017
“Superhero comics seemed so out of my league that I never even imagined it as something I could do. But the second the opportunity came my way, it felt so right,” Rivera told The Washington Post. “I’ve always dreamt up wild, powerful and carefree superheroes that look like me and my family: thick, brown, goofy, beautiful. And now I get to see them come to life. ‘America’ is going to be all those things and it’s [going to] be wild.”
According to Refinery29, Rivera said that one of the things fans are most excited about is her intersectional identity of being a queer Latina.
— Gabby Rivera (@QuirkyRican) January 27, 2017
Although there’s plenty of hype and excitement around America Chavez due to her ethnic and sexual identities, Rivera, a young adult author, says she is not going to completely change her writing style.
Rivera believes America Chavez was a long time coming.
— Elana Brooklyn (@Elana_Brooklyn) March 2, 2017
According to The Washington Post, Rivera credits social media for promoting and pushing for more intersectionality in media. Now, it’s starting to pay off.
And the comic will show more than just cookie cutter, thin, model-esque women.
— Joe Quinones (@Joe_Quinones) March 12, 2017
“People assume I’m a masculine kind of person because I wear hats or boots,” River told Refinery29 when they asked if women of all shapes and sizes would be represented. “And to me, womanhood is so flexible and so ever-expanding and how beautiful is it to show all the ways that it manifests? And especially when it comes to Latinas and Black women. Our bodies’ shapes and sizes vary, and are equally supported by the community and equally loved.”
For Rivera, it is important to show the complexity of being Latina.
— Brianna Jiménez (@briannnaesther) March 3, 2017
Rivera also told The Washington Post that the path to personal discovery for America Chavez is going to be as messy and complicated as it is for all Latinxs.
Rivera admits she was nervous to get involved in the comic book world.
— Sonia Rodriguez, PhD (@mariposachula8) March 2, 2017
But it isn’t because she is worried about writing for a comic. Rivera admitted in November 2016 that she was nervous of the reactions “America” would get on social media. Rivera knows what it is like to be a troll — she was one, she admitted to Refinery29. As a queer woman writing for Marvel, Rivera expressed a nervousness about being called out for “not knowing everything” about every back story involved with the series.
But, Rivera is more excited to see brown girls dressed up as America Chavez because representation matters.
— Gabby Rivera (@QuirkyRican) March 9, 2017
“I get to see groups of little brown girls and their moms all done up in their America Chavez cosplay gear. And the stories that we tell through ‘America’ will be part of their pop culture experience,” Rivera told The Washington Post.