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America Chavez - the Marvel history of Doctor Strange 2's powerful new teen hero

GamesRadar logo GamesRadar 6/30/2022 George Marston
America Chavez in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness promo image © Provided by GamesRadar America Chavez in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness promo image

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now streaming on Disney Plus, and new viewers of the horror-tinged superhero film are getting to know America Chavez, one of the MCU's most potentially powerful young heroes - and a teen hero who already has her super-strong bona fides in the world of Marvel Comics.

Despite her central role in the story and the major display of her Multiversal powers, Doctor Strange 2 only scratched the surface of America Chavez's comic book backstory and what she's truly capable of.

Fortunately, we here at Newsarama are well versed in American history (see what we did there?) and we can tell you all about what to expect from America Chavez as her role in the MCU likely grows - including her key role in what looks like the ongoing origins of the Young Avengers in movies and TV.

Who is America Chavez?

First introduced in Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta's 2011 limited series Vengeance, America Chavez initially went by the superhero name Miss America, originally the name of a Golden Age Marvel Comics hero. With powers of super strength, speed, and flight, she operated as part of a secret superhero team dedicated to maintaining the balance of chaos and order.

Shortly after her debut, America – now going simply by her real name, America Chavez – joins the Young Avengers as they regroup following the events of The Children's Crusade, in which they found and rescued the Scarlet Witch from a plot by Doctor Doom to manipulate reality.

As part of the Young Avengers, America's origin is revealed. America is not from Earth-616 (the core Marvel universe), but from the realm of the magical Earth spirit known as the Demiurge, a place called the Utopian Parallel which exists outside of time and the Marvel Multiverse.

When America was six years old, the Utopian Parallel was attacked, and America's mothers sacrificed themselves to defeat the threat. America absorbed some of the magical essence of the Demiurge and was thrown into the Marvel Multiverse, where she eventually made her way to Earth and became a hero.

Because of her multiversal nature and the Demiurge's magical essence, America not only has the powers of flight, super strength, and super speed, but also the ability to open gateways to any world in the Multiverse.

Recently, America's origin was retconned in a story titled America Chavez: Made in the USA which revealed her mothers were actually scientists working to cure a mysterious disease they call 'Edges Syndrome' which is afflicting America. In this retcon of her origin - which leaves some serious unanswered questions about how it lines up with established continuity - the so-called Utopian Parallel is actually a special medical facility where America is experimented on, resulting in the development of her powers.

These changes haven't been addressed since the series' conclusion back in August 2021, so it remains to be seen how or if they'll play out in future appearances from America Chavez.

America Chavez in the Marvel Universe


Video: Marvel (GamesRadar)

America Chavez's connections to Marvel's other teen heroes run deep – and it all hinges on the beings known as the Demiurge and the Mother, two magical entities that directly oppose each other.

America joins the Young Avengers when she encounters Loki, who had died and been reborn as a teenager, who tried to get her to kill Billy Kaplan/Wiccan. Deciding instead to protect Billy, America finds herself allied alongside the Young Avengers against young Loki. 

But as it turns out, Loki wants Wiccan dead because Wiccan is destined to summon a magical parasite known as the Mother, which devours magic it comes in contact with.

When Billy casts a spell to resurrect his dead adoptive mother, the Mother takes her form and sets out to devour all of Earth's magic – including the essence of the Demiurge, the protector of America's home the Utopian Parallel.

To defeat the Mother, Loki teams up with the Young Avengers. But the Mother has allies of her own, including Leah, a young girl who was actually the physical embodiment of the now-deceased adult Loki's guilt.

In the end, America's Multiversal powers play a key role in defeating the Mother and saving the Demiurge, while it's revealed that at some point in the future, Billy Kaplan is destined to become the avatar of the Demiurge and the Sorcerer Supreme (maybe even sooner than we think).

Given Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness follows up directly on threads seeded in the Disney Plus WandaVision and Loki streaming series, and Wanda herself (if not Loki) is set to star in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, America Chavez could be the lynchpin that ties all these disparate characters together.

America Chavez in the MCU

This leads us to one of the biggest potential implications for America Chavez's future in the MCU: the possible formation of the Young Avengers, with America as part of the line-up. 

As we explained above, a good portion of America's Marvel Universe history has been spent as a member of the Young Avengers alongside other young heroes, notably including Kate Bishop of Disney Plus's Hawkeye fame, Wanda and Vision's twin sons Billy and Tommy from WandaVision, Cassie Lang from the Ant-Man franchise (who has been recast for an expanded and almost certainly superhero role in 2023's Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania), Loki's Kid Loki variant, and Young Avengers co-founder Eli Bradley who appeared in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier in his civilian identity - all of whom are either current heroes in the MCU, or potential future heroes whose roles could expand in future appearances.

And of course, that's not counting current Disney Plus streaming star Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel, or teen hero Riri Williams/Ironheart who is headed for her own MCU Disney Plus series, both of whom are part of Marvel's other major teen team, the Champions. 

Additionally, it's been reported that Marvel Studios is developing a project based on the character Nova, though it's not yet known which version or versions of Nova may appear. One version, teenager Sam Alexander, is also a longtime member of the Champions.

On that note, America Chavez fills some other important roles for the MCU. She's a physical and magical powerhouse - a potential Thor-level hero for the Young Avengers. 

And as one of Marvel's few lesbian lead characters (and the only LGBTQIA+ Latina character ever to headline a comic for the publisher), America Chavez is perfectly poised to bring some much-needed representation and youth to the MCU, which Marvel Studios executives have been very vocal about expanding.

"[America] is a young Latina who is part of the LGBTQ+ community, and has great power," producer Victoria Alonso said in an interview before the release of Multiverse of Madness. "Children want to see themselves represented. There is this level of identity that comes to be a very important moment in an adolescent's life – to see themselves; to not be invisible."

All of that in consideration, America Chavez might be the perfect character to lead the MCU into a phase that seems to be potentially dominated by the Multiverse, and the power of magic - especially one that hinges on the Young Avengers, as seems to be the likely case given Marvel's current crop of Disney Plus streaming series and the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

There's a lot of evidence to suggest the Young Avengers are making their way to the MCU close to their original comic book incarnation.

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