Marvel has been making an effort in the last few years to showcase how hip-hop culture speaks to their comics. That effort has produced a few classics, but none can hold a candle to the cover for America #2. Featuring title character America Chavez dressed like a star-spangled Beyoncé and two of Marvel’s most powerful women, it’s the perfect cover to arrive in the wake of the Women’s March.
America, written by Gabby Rivera, stars America Chavez (or, Miss America), a queer Latina superhero with superhuman strength, speed, the ability to tear holes in space-time, and a take-no-shit attitude. First introduced back in 2011, she has since been a member of the Young Avengers, A-Force, and the Ultimates. As one of a small but growing number of queer superheroes of color in comics overall, she has quickly become iconic among her loving fans, all of whom crave better representation in the medium.
The cover for America #2, penciled by series artist Joe Quinones, captures why fans love her so much. As a clear homage to “Formation,” it features America flanked by Carol Danvers and Monica Rambeau, otherwise known as Captain Marvel and Spectrum. All three, shown staring forward with stern determination, effectively make the case for why intersectional feminism is badass. Just look at them.
Marvel has received fair criticism in the past for its use of hip-hop as an artistic inspiration while not showcasing the talent of black and brown writers. That situation has since improved with books like Black Panther and now America, but more steps can always be made. Still, it’s incredible to see a cover like this, with a title that reads nothing short of defiant just days after the inauguration. America hits shelves in March.