Who Is Miss America Chavez In 'Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness'
Other than Thor dropping by for a drink in the middle of the credits, the first Doctor Strange movie was a pretty standalone deal. The second one seems to be making up for that by including, well, everyone: Scarlet Witch, What If's evil Strange and Captain Carter (or at least her shield), Patrick Stewart in an x-citing mystery role, possibly Tom Cruise as Superior Iron Man, Black Bolt from Inhumans is being rumored as well, and, you know what, let's throw Loki in there too, why not. And then there's America Chavez, the young girl with the patriotic denim jacket who already has a couple of classic quotes in the Marvel databases thanks to the Multiverse of Madness trailer: "Look out!" and "AAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!"
But, other than jumping and punching, what are her powers? How did she get them? Where does she come from? What does she know? Does she know things? Let's find out.
Chavez is actually the third character called "Miss America" in Marvel history. The first one, Madeline Joyce, was introduced in the '40s, and, like the Superman of that era, she was a socially aware protector of the underdog with a strong distaste for fascists.
This Miss America got her powers the same way as most superheroes: poor lab regulations (she was caught in a big lab explosion). After a couple of issues of her kicking ass, the editors decided to downplay the superheroics and fill her magazine with stuff like romance stories, recipes, celebrity gossip, and make-up tips. She was gradually displaced from her own series by Patsy Walker, Marvel's Archie with boobs. Other than some appearances here and there and the short-lived retcon that she and '40s superhero the Whizzer were Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver's parents, the character disappeared into obscurity.
Another Miss America showed up in 2007 as part of a patriotic group called The Liberteens, but she was less impressive than the original in all ways but one: she became irrelevant much faster (three issues). We're pretty sure the writers didn't even know she existed when they introduced the third Miss America, America Chavez, in 2011. She's Latina, and if her name didn't clue you in then her early dialogue made sure there was never any doubt of that.
She was also quite rude to her fellow heroes at this point, and we're not sure if the artist in these issues was informed that she's supposed to be 15 or 16.
America debuted in a series called Vengeance that presented a hot new supergroup called the Teen Brigade, but she was the only one who caught on. She soon joined the Young Avengers (a series the MCU seems to be setting up), which established that she's gay and revealed her origin: she grew up in a place outside the multiverse called the Utopian Parallel, where the mere proximity of a mystical being called the Demiurge gave her superpowers including flight, super strength, and the ability to kick star-shaped portals between realities (which seems relevant to Doctor Strange's current predicament).
After her also-superpowered mothers died saving her home reality, America began hopping across dimensions to be a hero like them -- or at least that's what she thought she did. In her most recent series, America realizes that her whole backstory was a fantasy her mind created to cope with her true origin: her moms were regular human scientists who put her through an experimental treatment to cure a genetic disease, with the powers being a happy side effect. When the billionaire who owned the lab got a little too excited with the prospect of creating superpowered little girls, America's moms blew up his tech and died in the process. So, it all comes down to a big lab explosion once again.
Now they just have to make her punch a Nazi, and the character will finally live up to her na--
Okay, that works.
Top image: Marvel Studios