Writer: Gabby Rivera
Artist: Stacey Lee with Flaviano
Colorists: Jordan Gibson with Chris O’Halloran
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Cover Artist: Joe Quinones
A review by Laura Forsey
America #11 is taking America Chavez’s story in a new direction. Until this issue, the main problem with the America series is that it feels too rushed. It seemed like Rivera struggled to strike the right balance between action and developing America’s character. Like America herself, there was a tendency in the writing style to rush straight in and avoid any quieter moments. America #11 changes the tone a little.
The issue starts by wrapping up the previous arc, showing what Prodigy, X’andria, and the other students are doing to rebuild Sotomayor University after Exterminatrix’s attack. However, America feels called to do something else. Instead of staying at Sotomayor, America chooses to spend some time with her newly-discovered grandmother, Madrimar. She is eager to learn more about her ancestors and where her power truly comes from. The heavier focus on family and finding your roots gives this issue a more grounded sense that the previous arc, though dramatic and culturally relevant, was lacking. Although both stories are meaningful in different ways, the new story is more personal and hopefully will delve more into America’s relationships with her family and friends. Don’t worry, though- there’s still plenty of action to be had facing threats like La Legion, and Abuela Madrimar has as much to teach America about how to throw a punch as she does about their family tree.
One interesting thing about this issue in particular is that the art style changes halfway through the story. The pencils and colors change completely after America says goodbye to her friends at Sotomayor U and leaves to find her grandmother. Although Stacey Lee’s bolder lines and simpler colour blocks gave America a more youthful, energetic look, the abrupt change does wreck the reader’s sense of immersion in the story. If America #11 was meant to introduce a new art team, it would have been better to simply bring them in at the start of the arc instead of halfway through the issue. Still, Lee’s art, reminiscent of her work on Marvel’s Silk series, is bursting with energy, which suits America’s enthusiastic personality. Hopefully Lee will have a long run with this title.
Buy It. I admit that the previous America issues didn’t pique my interest, but I’m intrigued by the new storyline. We don’t know much about America’s family, and it should be interesting to see whether America will end up butting heads with a grandmother undoubtedly as stubborn as she is. Plus, I love supporting one of Marvel’s few LGBT titles as well as kickass lady characters and creators.