Buy This Comic America 1
Today is Wednesday, better known as New Comic Book Day, the best day of the week. A lot of great comics came out today, but this column is meant to focus on the best of the best, the must have books that should be in everyone’s stack for the week. This week, that comic is America #1 from Marvel Comics, writer Gabby Rivera, and artist Joe Quinones.via Marvel ComicsAmerica #1(W) Gabby Rivera (A) Joe QuinonesAt last! Everyone’s favorite no-nonsense powerhouse, America Chavez, gets her own series!Written by critically-acclaimed YA novelist Gabby Rivera (Juliet Takes A Breath) and drawn by all-star artist Joe Quinones (HOWARD THE DUCK), Marvel Comics’ brand new AMERICA series shines a solo spotlight on the high-octane and hard-hitting adventures of the one and only America Chavez!America has always been incontestably awesome, and as the newly appointed leader of the Ultimates, she’s now officially claimed her place as the preeminent butt-kicker of the Marvel Universe! But while leading a team of heroes and punching out big bads is great and all, it doesn’t really leave much time for self-discovery… So what’s a super-powered teenager do when she’s looking for a little fulfillment? She goes to college!She just has to stop an interdimensional monster or two first, plus shut down a pesky alien cult that’s begun worshipping her exploits!There is something about reading America #1 that feels like a big deal. When I say this, I don’t mean it in the sense that the Marvel universe is going to change as a result of this book, or that it seems to be setting up more for the Marvel universe as a whole. It is hard to read this first issue and not compare it to the Ms. Marvel series that focuses on Kamala Khan as the titular character. Both of these books are super enjoyable comics, by writers hailing from outside of comics, with fan-favorite artists, starring young women of color. However, where Ms. Marvel deals with Kamala and her journey from zero to hero, America hones in on the woman that can punch holes in reality, who she is, and what makes her human. It approaches the character with a mindset that I wish we saw more of because there is obviously so much love and respect for the character put into this book.via Marvel ComicsWriter Gabby Rivera is known best for her work on Young Adult novels, with America being her first work on a comic book. Marvel has been on a roll lately with recruiting writers from outside the industry to launch/relaunch characters, such as Ta-Nehisi Coates on Black Panther, Roxane Gay on World of Wakanda, G. Willow Wilson on Ms. Marvel, and Saladin Ahmed on the upcoming Black Bolt series, to name a few. It shows that Marvel has a dedication to diversity both on and off the page, as the work is given to women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and people of diverse religion backgrounds as opposed to the same pool of talent in the comics industry that has been stagnating for years. It also adds another layer of authenticity to the character, as Rivera has talked in great detail about the fact that her Queer/Latina heritage and culture has had a major impact on how America Chavez is written. The character has been something of an enigma since her first appearance in Vengeance over seven years ago, never really getting her own personality and defined powers until the Young Avengers run by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie. Now, she is the headstrong young woman headlining the only Marvel Comics’ series to star a queer lead, until the new Ice-Man series launches in the near furture. Despite it being Rivera’s first work on a comic book, she clearly is having a lot of fun jumping headfirst into the Marvel Universe, quickly exploring the huge cast of characters and the lore of it all.Joe Quinones is an artist that I have been following since his work on Green Lantern for Wednesday Comics back in 2009, so it is great seeing him on a Marvel title starring a character that I am so attached to. Quinones’ is a the closest thing we have to a modern-day Kevin Maguire, constantly giving the reader/audience so much personality in his characters, being able to show the tiniest expressions that make them feel that much more nuanced. Every face is distinct but familiar, making everyone, even small characters, feels like someone you could pass on the street, which quickly creates a small world and cast all for this book. One of my favorite things about Quinones’ work is how it adapts to the creative team, constantly feeling different depending on the inker and colorist, despite being recognizably his work. His art is just so much fun, and in my opinion, underrated. The most recent Howard the Duck series that he did with writer Chip Zdarsky were some of the best books that Marvel was putting out (seriously, read them!), and it is nice to see that Marvel is giving Quinones the spotlight that his art deserves. Rivera and Quinones really have something special here with this book and this character, so I can’t recommend this first issue enough. America #1 is available today in stores and on Comixology.com.via Marvel Comics3/1/17 Releases – In addition to America #1, here is a list of other new titles that came out this week that you should also be reading if you are not already.AmeriKarate #1 from writers Corey Kalman and Brockton McKinney, artist Devin Roth, and Action Lab’s Danger Zone imprint. Read my review here.Shade, The Changing Girl #6 from writer Cecil Castellucci, artist Marley Zarcone, and DC Comics’ Young Animal imprint.Paper Girls #12 from writer Brian K. Vaughan, artist Cliff Chiang, colorist Matt Wilson, and Image Comics.