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America Vol. 1: The Life and Times of America Chavez - am I missing something?

ThirithThirith Registered User regular
Not sure if there's a thread where this fits better, but since I haven't found one, here goes: I recently got the first volume of America, the America Chavez comic, as a present. I don't read tons of Marvel comics, but the same friend had previously given me a couple of Kate Bishop Hawkeye comics, and those I enjoyed a fair bit - but I downright hated America. Or, more precisely, I liked the basic idea of a character standing for America that isn't the white male, I liked how the comic gave a middle finger to Trump's America, but in terms of writing and storytelling I found this absolutely dreadful, with flat characters and nonsensical plots. Also, while I'm absolutely in favour of a positive Hispanic LGBTIQ character, in this particular case I felt that they went so far in the direction of making her positive, heroic and all-round fantastic that she ceased to be an actual character.

Am I missing something here? Am I reading this too much from a white male Eurocentric perspective, missing the valid reasons for the creative team's decisions? Are there pleasures to the comic that I might see if I came at it from a different perspective?

"Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods


  • Lord PalingtonLord Palington he.him.his History-loving pal!Registered User regular
    I haven't read much of the character, but I believe her solo series wasn't super well received. The good stuff was in the team series she was part of, with different writers.

    I might be misremembering this.

  • glithertglithert Registered User regular
    America is like if a trumpkin wrote a SJW parody comic. It's pretty bad. I only read the first two, three issues? Maybe it got better, but I'm a horrible, jaded monster so I assume it pretty much stayed the same.

  • TexiKenTexiKen Dammit! That fish really got me!Registered User regular
    No, it was bad, bad book and the idea of it almost being a parody could be easily believed. I read the first two issues and just had to stop because it did feel like a joke and no one wanted to tell Gabby Rivera to stop because they would be seen as mean. The whole dimensional college idea just seemed terrible from the get-go and apparently it got even worse and more soapbox as the series went on. It's a book that shows a lot of Marvel's recent publishing problems in that it's supposed to be a superhero book.....but it turned into a writer who had little to no comic experience loosely using Marvel characters to tell their own stories and characterization, looking for retweet or facebook validation in posting wacky panels from the book. You can't sell books like that, let alone tell good stories. And while some people liked the art I found it bad and inconsistent from panel to panel.

    The sales showed it never did well, and the book became such a joke that 4chan actually got a letter published in letters page that makes fun of the book. Which, either shows they got very few letters/e-mails about the book and just published anything they received, or editorial was so bad they didn't blink an eye when someone compares the comic you're working on to The Room (and even if the editor thought it was Room that's still wildly out of place for America).

    But America is a good character who was different from the other newbies in the past ten years in that she's a not nerd and more like a tank for a team roster with bonus teleporting powers, read her first appearance in the series Vengeance or check out Kieran Gillen's Young Avengers run (and I've heard she was good in Al Ewing's Ultimates series).

    Dizzy DBobble
  • DelduwathDelduwath Registered User regular
    TexiKen wrote: »
    (and I've heard she was good in Al Ewing's Ultimates series).
    You heard correctly.

    (It's a very good series in general, so I heartily recommend it.)

    (Al Ewing is a very good writer in general, so I heartily recommend everything he's written.)

    Dizzy D
  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    Shame that I started with this one, then, since it’s made me unlikely to check out the character in other contexts when there are other books and comics to read.

    I’m still quite confused that I got this as a gift from friends whose tastes are usually not that off...

    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
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