America #7 Review: A Goddess For The New Age
America Chavez gets in touch with her roots, as he grandmother explains the origins of their home planet, her people, how they came to the Utopian Parallel, and her mothers.
America is a character that I've liked quite a bit since her recent inception. I've yet to read Vengeance, and I'm just now going back and collecting the run of Young Avengers in which she starred. However, I came to know her through Al Ewing's Ultimates run, which sadly ended recently.
She's a badass brawler with immense strength and the ability to punch star-holes in dimensions. She's cool-headed, but, if you piss her off, she is a true force to be reckoned with. A rebel by nature, America easily held her own on a team with big personalities whom I adored like Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Blue Marvel, and Spectrum.
I tried out the first issue of America when it came out months ago. I dug its surreal pseudo-slice-of-life structure, but it didn't quite make the pull list. However, I was inclined to try it again this week.
I wasn't expecting such a lore and exposition-heavy issue, I'll admit. And this has a lot of exposition, a lot of which is existential and involves goddesses in love. The time table of events is pretty loose too, making it hard to really gauge if America's people are immortal or age like humans.
I bring this up because I'm not sure if America is technically a goddess, but I want her to be. I dig on the new age pseudo-pagan "myth" of her people's creation, and I feel like the story of America is both endemic of the values the millennial generation holds as well as the personal hang-ups which are common to this generation.
She's a (in before calling me an SJW) powerful Latina lesbian who is called America and where's a variation of the flag in almost every article of clothing. She's driven and tenacious, but she's also lost and has trouble finding peace. She's also (literally) disconnected from the world her parents lived in and can never go back. I want America to be the goddess of the New Age. She's freaking awesome.
I may have to write a longer op-ed about this later, but let's get back to the review proper.
The exposition does weigh the issue down a good bit. What saves it is the emotional engagement between America and Madrimar. America loves her grandmother, but she also resents her for not coming into her life sooner. She's also seeing her mothers again, but she can never talk or touch them again.
The stylized art and depictions of Planet Fuertona and the Utopian Parallel help a lot too. I'm usually against the multiple artists thing, and I was ready to rail on it here too, but it kind of works. It's like a shifting reality, which fits the ethereal place in which America and Madrimar are existing. The bright and often off-beat colors support this aesthetic as well. There's not a weak one among artists Jen Bartel, Annie Wu, Ming Doyle, Aud Koch, Joe Quinones, and Joe Rivera or color artists Bartel, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Jordan Gibson.
While the exposition is pretty overwhelming, I can't say that this isn't an engaging issue. The presented mythos is cool, and America is an engaging character through which to experience all this. Plus, there are some really emotionally weighty moments that support the narrative. I have to recommend this title. It's good, and Marvel certainly isn't marketing it well enough.