America Chavez’s love life sucks. She’s still dealing with the fallout of a recent breakup that bled into her superhero and student lives, and now a different ex-girlfriend has re-entered America’s life and literally stabbed her in the back. Luckily, America has her superhero bestie, Kate “Hawkeye” Bishop, at the ready, and in next week’s America #6, Kate rushes into action to save her mejor amiga with the help of the mysterious luchador-styled old woman who may be America’s grandmother. America writer Gabby Rivera is a newcomer to comics, and it took some time for her to acclimate to the medium. The first arc of America was filled with ideas, and while Rivera excelled at getting into America’s head, her plotting needed some finessing.
The opening storyline had to spend a lot of time laying the groundwork for the series and setting up future plot points, but this current two-parter allows Rivera to slow down and focus on a few specific threads: America’s relationships with Kate and ex-girlfriend Magdalena, the introduction of The Midas Foundation as a larger villain, and the mystery of America’s potential grandmother. Hawkeye writer Kelly Thompson joins Rivera as “archery consultant,” and while I don’t know how significant her role was in the scripting, the book has clearly benefited from Thompson’s understanding of how comics work.
The guest art team of Ramon Villalobos and colorist Tamra Bonvillain is a fantastic fit for this series. Their work together on Nighthawk honed their skills for exhilarating action sequences and heart-wrenching emotional moments, and that balance of spectacle and characterization significantly enriches America’s storytelling. This exclusive preview of America #6 is brimming with energy and packed with detail, and Villalobos is going even further with his Frank Quitely inspiration as he uses the environment to create sound effects like a cloud of dust that spells “CRASH.” The visuals on this issue are exceptional, including a Jen Bartel cover homaging Jaime Hernandez’s iconic cover for Love And Rockets #24.