Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr AMERICA #2 by Gabby Rivera, Joe Quinones, Ming Doyle, Joe Rivera, and Jose Villarrubia Plot Characterization Art Summary Though AMERICA #2 gets buried under too many plot developments, Rivera and her team ultimately continue their trend of delivering a story full of inspiration. America Chavez shines as a hero we don’t often get to see, but sorely need. 68 % A little dense, but promising AMERICA #2 continues America’s adventures in the WWII battle scene, as well as in Sotomayor University. Writer Gabby Rivera’s impeccable characterization of America never falters, and the powerhouse art team keep up with America’s momentum from scene to scene. While AMERICA #2 succeeds in these aspects, it, unfortunately, suffers from a convoluted plot that detracts from the story’s trajectory. Despite its pitfalls, however, the team behind AMERICA never loses sight of delivering a story filled with impactful messages and more than enough to appreciate. READ: Miss the first issue? Catch up with our review of AMERICA #1! AMERICA #2 opens on Planet Maltixa, where we found America saving the day in her premiere issue. The denizens of this planet already have immense gratitude for America. They idolize her, donning themselves in stars and stripes and amassing a following of America fans; however, their fanaticism has more sinister implications that propel AMERICA into the remainder of its arc. Following this is the continuation of America’s sudden appearance at the WWII battle scene, where she meets none other than Peggy Carter. Who better for America to team up with? Together, they retreat to a bunker where Peggy drops a bombshell: she had prior knowledge of America’s appearance and had been expecting her arrival. This is too much for America, and she flees back to Sotomayor University via a punch through dimensions. Images from AMERICA #2, courtesy of Marvel Entertainment At this point, the plot starts to get a little lost. From here, AMERICA #2 takes us through several new developments — from a professor at Sotomayor University surreptitiously convening with a mysterious hooded figure, to an army of prep-school bros wreaking havoc on campus, to a brand-new class assignment, all the way to the climax of the story. While each new element introduced to the story is necessary, it gets muddled under its weight. Among it all is the knowledge that America now has the ability to punch through time, but this revelation is glossed over for several new threats that make their way to America and Sotomayor University. The plot introduced in AMERICA #2 seems to have little cohesion with where its premiere issue was taking the story; too many subplots make this issue hard to follow, and AMERICA #2 would have benefitted from fewer developments. Where AMERICA #2 excels, however, is in its characterization. Peggy Carter is portrayed flawlessly as an expert tactician, always prepared for the unexpected. As she assimilates America into this surrounding, Peggy gives America a justified critique of her tactics as America brazenly (yet confidently) crashes into the midst of the battle and takes matters into her own fists. Later, when America retreats to her own time, she reveals that she’s been living in a van since she broke up with Lisa, too scared — or maybe too proud — to find a roommate or ask for help. Both these events help to illuminate a more vulnerable side of America, one where she realizes her shortcomings and succumbs to more sensitive subjects for her. Furthermore, AMERICA #2 brings Lunella Lafayette, AKA Moon Girl, into the mix. Lunella makes a special appearance at Sotomayor University to assign a project for its students, and through her, Rivera continues her trend of delivering inspirational messages through equally inspirational figures. The overall message of Lunella’s speech is that some rules are in play to keep people in line rather than to nurture their strengths. “What do you need in this moment to be the best you?” she asks. “The deep-down, exceptional, powerful, magical you.” This message resonates with America and drives her motivation for the remainder of AMERICA #2. Through Peggy and Lunella, AMERICA #2 maintains its realism, charm, and inspiration.Images from AMERICA #2, courtesy of Marvel Entertainment A major contribution to this series’ appeal is artist Joe Quinones. Whether you’re familiar with America Chavez or Gabby Rivera’s work, fans of Quinones will undoubtedly be compelled to try out AMERICA. Joined by Ming Doyle on pencils this issue, their styles perfectly complement the World War II era and the hip and futuristic figures who populate Sotomayor University. Colorist Jose Villarrubia enables America’s patriotic blues to stand out against the muted WWII backdrop as well as fit in seamlessly with her colleagues. While there are moments where background characters look muddy, the pages are always dynamic and momentously carry AMERICA #2 throughout each of its subplots. READ: Here’s why you should be excited about America Chavez’s solo title! While AMERICA #2 would have benefitted from a cleaner trajectory, it succeeds through its inspirational themes, alluring art, and realistic character portrayals. Despite its shortcomings in its sophomore issue, AMERICA still proves to be authentic, energetic, and representative of the kind of heroes we don’t often get to see, but sorely need. Overall, through AMERICA, Rivera and her team succeed in delivering this message: America Chavez doesn’t need to impress you. She knows she’s more than enough.