Marvel’s Chavez invokes Beyonce

The latest cover of Marvel’s America #2 will have you wanting to get in formation.

According to Mic, title character America Chavez is a “queer Latina superhero” that is depicted as a “‘Formation’-inspired brown woman dressed in patriotic red, white and blue but with a grimace on her face.”

The comic, written by Gabby Rivera and drawn by Joe Quinones, gives the superhero “superhuman strength, speed, the ability to tear holes in space-time, and a take-no-shit attitude,” reports The Verge.

Marvel Editor-in-chief Axel Alonso told Mic in an email that America only adds to the “rich and diverse characters within the Marvel Universe.”

Be sure to look for the bossed up superhero when the comic hits stores on March 1.

Larson enters the Marvel universe

When Captain Marvel was introduced in the 1960s, Marie Claire says the character was the first leading female character to enter the Marvel universe. And now, that character will be brought to life by none other than Brie Larson.

The Room” actress and Oscar winner is set to take on the role of Captain Marvel (or Carol Danvers) in a 2019 film called, “Captain Marvel,” reports Marie Claire. The news was announced at the recent Comic-Con event held for the forthcoming film, in which Larson attended the cast’s panel discussion.

Marie Claire explains Larson’s character this way:

“Captain Marvel began as Carol Danvers, a superpower-free person who fell in love with her friend, the original Captain Marvel. Carol became Ms Marvel, and later attained superpowers after an accident. The weird bit was that Carol didn’t know she was Ms Marvel, and Ms Marvel didn’t known she was Carol.”

A brief stint with the Avengers and memory loss via X-Men’s Rogue all combine to make this a highly complicated character, but as Marie Claire says, “The film will finally act as an answer to all the desperate calls from fans for Marvel to hurry up and make more films that give the company’s female characters justice.”

Amen to that.

New ‘Iron Man’ for Marvel

The Iron Man comic is getting a new hero, and the character is already taking over the world — the world of Marvel, that is.

According to NBC News, the new heroine will be a 15-year-old black girl named Riri Williams, who purportedly takes over “The Golden Avenger mantle from Tony Stark as a result of the events that transpired in Marvel’s ‘Civil War II.'”

A child prodigy who attends MIT, NBC News says that Williams “reverse engineers Iron Man armor from the confines of her dorm. Tony Stark becomes aware of Riri after she takes this armor for a test drive and he seeks her out immediately.”

Brian Michael Bendis, the creator and writer of the comic, shared that he was inspired to create the character during his time working on a TV show in Chicago, according to NBC News, and was “moved by redemption stories of youth overcoming their environment to succeed at the highest level.”

NBC News says he explained his rationale to TIME this way:

This story of this brilliant, young woman whose life was marred by tragedy that could have easily ended her life—just random street violence—and went off to college was very inspiring to me. I thought that was the most modern version of a superhero or superheroine story I had ever heard. And I sat with it for awhile until I had the right character and the right place

Bendis also added that the new character aims to show a young heroine who is able to “rise up and act … using her science acumen, her natural born abilities,” which serves to contrast a young Tony Stark and his abilities at her age, according to NBC News.

While NBC News says that Tony Stark will still be around, it seems that Williams’ character will open up new territory for the comic — one that has been a long time coming, according to Bendis.

“Talking to any of the older creators, it’s the thing they said they wish they’d done more of—reflecting the world around them,” he said. “It just wasn’t where the world was at that time. Now, when you have a young woman come up to you at a signing and say how happy she is to be represented in his universe, you know you’re moving in the right direction.”



Marveling at STEM

Marvel may be known for male superheroes like Captain America, Thor or the Hulk, but the company just created a program designed just for girls.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Marvel launched a program to support girls interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) ahead of the May 6 release of Captain America: Civil Wars.

“The ‘Girls Reforming the Future Challenge’ — supported by the National Academy of Sciences’ Science & Entertainment Exchange — encourages female students ages 15-18 in grades 10-12 to submit videos that demonstrate ideas they feel can change the world,” reported EW.

Civil War star Emily VanCamp told the USA Today about the program, “Elizabeth [Olsen]and I are here to tell you about an amazing opportunity for girls just like you to explore your inner potential to reform the future with positive world change through STEM.”

Adding that the submissions should demonstrate a “commitment to safeguard humanity, protect the Earth at all costs, and make the world a better place for future generations,” co-star Elizabeth Olson said that the projects submitted can be previously done for a class, for a competition or just for fun.

Once the applicants are narrowed down to five finalists, they will receive a trip to Los Angeles to attend the April 12 premiere of Captain America: Civil War.  In addition, they will participate in a webinar to discuss their project, tour the Walt Disney Studios and Dolby Laboratories and earn $500 in a savings account. If that weren’t enough, the winner will also receive an internship opportunity at Marvel Studios.

To learn more about the program, click here.