• Warning: There are major spoilers ahead for “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”
  • The latest Marvel movie introduces the comic-book character America Chavez, played by Xochitl Gomez.
  • America has the ability to jump through the multiverse via star-shaped portals that she creates.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is expanding with the introduction of a new character, America Chavez, in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” in theaters on Thursday.

Actress Xochitl Gomez, 16, makes her debut as a teenage multiversal traveler and the first LGBTQ Latina superhero in the MCU.

Because of her ability to jump between universes, America plays a key role in the film. Here’s what you need to know about the character.

America is a 14-year-old superhero who hasn’t quite mastered her abilities yet

Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness."

Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”

Marvel Studios

She’s from an alternate reality and arrives in the main MCU universe as she tries to escape a one-eyed monster named Gargantos.

America can physically move from one universe to another via star-shaped portals that she can’t control because they’re triggered by moments of fear. 

The first time she opened a portal, America was a child and got scared by a bee that landed on a flower in her hand. After unintentionally opening a portal, America’s two moms got lost in the multiverse and she hasn’t seen them since. 

As she explains to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Stephen Strange, dreams offer people windows into their multiversal selves. According to America, who has traveled through 73 timelines, no other universe has a variant of her. She knows this because she never dreams. 

Wanda wants to steal America’s power so she can reunite with her sons, Billy and Tommy

America Chavez opens a star-shaped portal in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness."

Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”

Marvel Studios

In “Multiverse of Madness,” Wanda targets America because of the teen’s ability to travel through the multiverse. 

“Multiverse of Madness” is centered on Wanda’s rapid change from an Avenger to a full-fledged villain as she gets corrupted by the Darkhold, a book containing dark-magic spells.

Wanda is determined to steal America’s power (which in turn would kill the teen) because she desperately wants to be reunited with versions of her sons, Billy and Tommy, that exist in another universe. The boys were first introduced in the 2021 Disney+ series “WandaVision,” but don’t actually exist in the main timeline. 

America ultimately uses her power to help Wanda come to her senses and see the error of her ways. She does this by putting Wanda in an alternate reality, where she horrifies that universe’s versions of herself, Billy, and Tommy. 

Toward the end of the film, America is seen training with the sorcerers as Kamar-Taj is being rebuilt. Before Strange and America part ways, she tells him she’s glad she fell into his universe and he says: “So am I, kid. So am I.”

America is a relatively new character in the Marvel comics 

America Chavez in Doctor Strange 2

Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”

Marvel Studios 2022

The Latina superhero was first introduced by writer Joe Casey and artist Nick Dragotta in 2011. 

In the comics, she sometimes goes by the alias Miss America and has been part of groups like Teen Brigade, Young Avengers, and Ultimates. America’s powers, aside from interdimensional travel, include speed and the ability to fly.  

Similar to her live-action counterpart, she has two moms in the comics. In the source material, America is a lesbian who was romantically linked to characters like a superhero named Alloy/Ramone Watts and a paramedic named Lisa Halloran. 

In “Multiverse of Madness,” America is also a member of the LGBTQ community. She wears a rainbow flag pin on her denim jacket, but her queerness isn’t explicitly stated. 

“It’s important, as we always say, that these films represent the world as it is and the world outside your window,” Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said of accurately depicting Chaves on-screen during the movie’s press conference, which Insider attended.

“That aspect of America’s character is from the comics,” he said of Chavez’s sexuality. “So we always wanna adapt them as well and as truthfully as we can. I think when people see the movie, much like in life, it is not any one thing that defines any one character.”

“It’s just great that other people feel represented with her being on screen and I think it’s a really big deal,” Gomez told The Hollywood Reporter at the LA premiere. “She’s representing the LGBTQ [community], Latinas, teens and girls.”


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