Published March 3, 2017

Flashback Friday: America

The kick-butt heroine kicked off her own series this week, but check out how she got her start!

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Earlier this week history was made when AMERICA #1 launched by Gabby Rivera and Joe Quinones as it marked the first time an LGBT Latina headlined her own ongoing series at Marvel! To celebrate the occasion, let’s look back at her first appearance in the six issue series VENGEANCE!

The 2011 comic by Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta first fully introduced us to Miss America as she leapt into a giant missile silo on her own. She exhibited super strength and the ability to fly as she searched for her prize: an imprisoned and unconscious In-Betweener.

Later in that same issue, a new hero by the name of Ultimate Nullifier revealed that he and Ms. America belonged to a group called the Teen Brigade hearkening back to the kids in AVENGERS #1 who tried contacting the Fantastic Four, but instead their signal made its way to Thor, Ant-Man, Wasp and Iron Man and the team was born.

According to VENGEANCE, several iterations of the Teen Brigade go back to World War I and they’ve always focused on helping heroes without them knowing about it. In this first appearance, Chavez acted as one of the group’s heaviest hitters. In fact, she was still carrying the In-Betweener back to headquarters when the Braak’nhud appeared.

Though the ensuing fight proved brutal, she not only fought them off, but kept her new acquisition safe. From there it gets less and less simple to sum up the events of this series which also included the New Defenders, a group of younger villains called the Young Masters who wanted to kill their older counterparts, a WWII-era Red Skull plot, deeply buried S.H.I.E.L.D. espionage, and the like.

However, this Miss America came off as hard-edged and tough, especially when facing villains or being thrust into the Realm of Tiboro by Kid Loki. There she stood up to the creatures who attacked her before as well as the wrath of Tiboro, God of Decay. Eventually, the Defenders appeared to help finish the creature and they all made it back for the big battle.

Ms. America then remained dormant for a while until Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie launched YOUNG AVENGERS in 2013. In that series we learned more about America’s past which actually started on the Utopian Parallel located outside of normal time and space. She grew up with her two moms who sacrificed themselves to save their home from the black holes popping up thanks to the invading Demiurge.

Feeling lost and without an anchor, America started using her newfound abilities—which also included dimension-hopping—to travel around, right wrongs when and where she saw fit. Eventually she wound up with the Teen Brigade, then the Young Avengers, and even A-Force and the Ultimates in more recent times.

Flash Forward

As mentioned above, America also spends a good deal of her time hanging out in ULTIMATES. In that book, she’s helped sate Galactus’ hunger and fix some time travel troubles—among other problems—with her fellow super-smart super heroes, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Blue Marvel and Spectrum. Civil War II proved tough on the team, but they’re back together in ULTIMATES 2 as Galactus’ heralds with America in charge.