Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is filled with new and exciting characters, including an MCU newcomer in America Chavez. The upcoming MCU sequel marks the live-action debut of the character, and she will be portrayed by Xochitl Gomez. Before the character’s appearance in Multiverse of Madness, Chavez had a long history in the pages of Marvel Comics.
The Marvel hero was created by Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta, and she first made an appearance in 2011's Vengeance. After that, Chavez went on to appear alongside other heroes in 2013's Young Avengers and 2015's Ultimates. The character's success ultimately led to her own solo comic series in 2016.
Given the character's vast history in the comics, one would raise the question of whether the creators are ecstatic about the hero's upcoming debut on screen, especially after a well-documented compensation issue under the Marvel brand.
Now, half of Chavez's creative team has opened up about this issue in a new interview.
America Chavez Creator Opens Up About Marvel Deal
Comic book writer Joe Casey, who created America Chavez for Marvel Comics, sat down with ComicBook to talk about Chavez's upcoming live-action debut in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
When asked if he wished he could've had more creative control of America Chavez's expansion into other media, Casey regretfully admitted that it was "not the wisest move" to initially create the character under Marvel's roof due to the comic company's notorious stifling of royalties paid to its creators. Despite that, Casey says that he's still "psyched" for America Chavez's live-action debut in Marvel Studios' mega-budget Multiverse of Madness:
"Only when I consider how much cash this Doctor Strange sequel is going to rake in...! In all seriousness, it was probably not the wisest move on my part to create any new characters for Marvel Publishing -- considering their spotty track record on dealing fairly with creators -- however, in the case of America Chavez, I did it, and regardless of where things are at on that front, I'm definitely psyched to see her in a movie that costs more than the GNP of certain developing nations."
Casey then discussed what makes Chavez an interesting character, saying that "she shares a lot of the qualities that epitomize a traditional Marvel hero:"
"Well, one reason -- and I think this speaks to her inclusion in the movie -- is that she just seems to fit into the Marvel Universe. She's unlike any other Marvel character but she shares a lot of the qualities that epitomize a traditional Marvel hero. One of the main reasons why I created her in the first place was to come up with a character who could stand proudly alongside the other classic Marvel icons like Iron Man and Spider-Man. But let's face it, if we're all being honest here, she's had a rather bizarre journey in the comics. That's no secret."
The Marvel creator said that Chavez's appearance in the MCU serves as a chance to "distill the character back down to the best version of her:"
"Luckily, her basic appeal has never wavered and her fans are incredibly loyal. And I'd like to think -- as with anything that's being adapted and adjusted for another medium -- her appearance in the MCU is a chance to distill the character back down to the best version of her, and strip away at least some of the creative detritus that might've accumulated in the comics over the last decade. For the movie, they can pick and choose the best bits."
The comic book writer revealed how satisfying it is to see the character he created brought to life in the MCU, admitting that it's "very cool" while also citing the hero's appearances in other media have "already made an impression:"
"It's very cool, but on the other hand, this is just the latest in a fairly long string of America Chavez appearances in other media -- everything from video games to action figures to animation to apparel to bedsheets and probably beyond, areas in which she's already made an impression outside of the comics."
The Debacle for Marvel Creators and the MCU
Joe Casey's latest comments about inadequate creator compensation are particularly unfortunate considering that the comic book community as a whole agrees with these sentiments.
Despite that, Casey's love and passion for America Chavez are still apparent, especially after reading his exciting remarks. This should serve as an indication that the Marvel creator will end up watching the sequel mainly for the character's debut.
This is far from the first time that a Marvel creator has spoken out about the industry's unfair payment practices. Previously, Ed Brubaker, who created Bucky Barnes a.k.a. the Winter Soldier, admitted that just seeing the ads for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier made him “kind of feel sick to his stomach," citing how he is simply watching his creation make millions at a distance.
Marvel characters' consistent screen presence in the franchise should serve as a beacon for Marvel to retool and realign its rules in order to accommodate their creator's significant contribution.
It is unknown if Casey has inside information on how Chavez will be used in Multiverse of Madness' mysterious narrative, but his comments illustrate just how bright her Marvel future could shine, both on the page and on the screen.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set to premiere in theaters on May 6, 2022.