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America Chavez’s Tragic Origin is Killing Her

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The following contains major spoilers for Thunderbolts #4, available now from Marvel Comics.

Ever since she smashed her way into the Marvel Universe, America Chavez has proven herself to be one of the most intriguing figures to call it home. Along the way America has faced all manner of threats, though the one she has never managed to overcome is the one that also hits closest to home. While she may have been counted among the strongest heroes of all time, recent revelations have seen that strength wane away. Now it looks like America’s very life is slipping along with her powers, and there might not be anything that can be done to save her from the repercussions of her own tragic origin.


Since reforming under the auspices of the Mayor of New York City, Luke Cage, the eponymous team of Thunderbolts #4 (by Jim Zub, Sean Izaakse, Netho Diaz, Victor Olazaba, Java Tartaglia, and VC’s Joe Sabino) have suffered one embarrassing defeat after another. This makes it all the more surprising that the issue finds Hawkeye living out a cartoonishly successful adventure with the team. Of course, this entire scenario is simply playing out in Hawkeye’s mind after falling victim to some unseen force. As bad as that may seem, things are still looking worse for the rest of the team, especially now that America’s powers have sent her straight to the hospital.

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America Chavez Finds Her Sister – And Her True Origin

thunderbolts 4 hispanic female collapsed

When America Chavez first appeared in 2011’s Vengeance #1 (by Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta), she was one of the young powerhouses who comprised the Teen Brigade. Alongside the likes of the Ultimate Nullifier and Rick Jones, America battled against foes including the Young Masters of Evil. Throughout all of her adventures, America was driven by a desire to return to her home dimension of the Utopian Parallel, a paradise existing outside the bounds of the known multiverse. As far as America knew, her mothers had sacrificed themselves to save their home, which was what drove America to become a hero. In the years that followed America played key roles in events such as the destruction and reformation of the multiverse, as well as the Second Superhuman Civil War, yet she never forgot her original mission.

It was in 2021’s America Chavez: Made in the U.S.A. (by Kalinda Vazquez and Carlos Gómez) that the titular hero finally caught up with her past, though not in the way she had hoped. Rather than finding her otherworldly home, America found a long-lost sister suffering from the same Edges Syndrome as her, and who was intent on curing their condition by any means necessary. This shocking development came with the revelation that everything America thought she knew about her origin was simply a childhood fantasy dreamed up to hide the horrifying truth behind the experiments she was subjected to. In the end, America lost her sister all over again, and while she did manage to come to terms with the truth, a cure for her condition did not follow.

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America Chavez’s Power Might Lead to Her Destruction

thunderbolts 4 not luke cage

Now it seems like America’s condition has taken a turn for the worst, and there might not be anything that can be done to help her. While the disease had previously been mitigated in her youth, its resurgence in recent years could very well be the end of her. The fact that she has managed to avoid any tragic circumstances so far is indicative of not only how strong she is, but also how little the majority of her teammates have been paying attention to her.

Hopefully, this won’t be the end for America, even if it does usher in the end of her time with the Thunderbolts. Presumably, this will end up being the start of the next chapter in America’s search for answers. Assuming a cure can be found, it will only be a matter of time before America is back on the hunt for it. If not, then fans may have already witnessed her last great adventure, and it wasn’t even one she got to experience for herself.

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