This week, reports emerged that 14-year-old breakout star of The Babysitter's Club Xochitl Gomez had been cast in an unnamed role for Marvel Studios' Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, currently scheduled for release on March 25, 2022.
Given that Doctor Strange isn't exactly the kind of character who hangs around with teenagers in comic books (his MCU relationship with Peter Parker notwithstanding), there's not an immediately obvious choice for a teen girl character to join the movie's cast. But there's good reason to believe Gomez will be playing a very recognizable Marvel Comics character.
In fact, all signs point to Gomez taking the role of America Chavez, a multiversal powerhouse who is a core member of recent incarnations of the Young Avengers.
Not only is Chavez a young woman of Latina descent – much like Gomez – America Chavez has an origin story tied directly into Marvel's multiverse, and one of its greatest magical threats.
On top of that, she's got ties to Wiccan of the Young Avengers – AKA Billy Kaplan, one of the sons of Vision and Scarlet Witch, who may appear in WandaVision - and even Loki, who although unconfirmed could also appear in the Doctor Strange sequel. And if that's not enough, a Marvel Studios casting rumor from back in August directly stated that Marvel was seeking an actor of Gomez's profile to fill exactly that role.
So with all of those clues, we're ready to say it's at least worth speculating that Xochitl Gomez is playing America Chavez in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – which means we're also ready to fill you in on exactly who she is, and how she could fit into Doctor Strange's world.
Who is America Chavez?
First introduced in Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta's 2011 limited series Vengeance, America Chavez initially went by the superhero name Miss America, originally the name of a Golden Age Marvel Comics hero. With powers of super strength, speed, and flight, she operated as part of a secret superhero team dedicated to maintaining the balance of chaos and order.
Shortly after her debut, America – now going simply by her real name, America Chavez – joined the Young Avengers as they regrouped following the events of The Children's Crusade, in which they found and rescued the Scarlet Witch from a plot by Doctor Doom to manipulate reality.
As part of the Young Avengers, America's origin was revealed. America is not from Earth 616 (the core Marvel universe – it's even name-checked by Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home), but from the realm of the magical Earth spirit known as the Demiurge, a place called the Utopian Parallel which exists outside of time and the multiverse.
When America was six years old, the Utopian Parallel was attacked, and America's mothers sacrifice themselves to defeat the threat. America absorbed some of the magical essence of the Demiurge, and was thrown into the multiverse, where she eventually made her way to Earth and became a hero.
Because of her multiversal nature and the Demiurge's magical essence, America not only has the powers of flight, super strength, and super speed, but also the ability to open gateways to any world in the multiverse.
Someone like that could be pretty important in a story titled 'Multiverse of Madness.'
How does America Chavez fit into the Marvel Universe?
America Chavez's connections to Marvel's other teen heroes run deep – and it all hinges on the beings known as the Demiurge and the Mother, two magical entities that directly oppose each other.
America joined the Young Avengers when she encountered Loki, who had died and been reborn as a teenager, who tried to get her to kill Billy Kaplan/Wiccan. Deciding instead to protect Billy, America found herself allied alongside the Young Avengers against young Loki.
But as it turned out, Loki wanted Wiccan dead because Wiccan was destined to summon a magical parasite known as the Mother, which devours magic it comes in contact with.
When Billy casts a spell to resurrect his dead adoptive mother, the Mother takes her form and set out to devour all of Earth's magic – including the essence of the Demiurge, the protector of America's home the Utopian Parallel.
To defeat the Mother, Loki teams up with the Young Avengers. But the Mother has allies of her own, including Leah, a young girl who was actually the physical embodiment of the now-deceased adult Loki's guilt.
In the end, America's multiversal powers play a key role in defeating mother and saving the Demiurge, while it's revealed that at some point in the future, Billy Kaplan is destined to become the avatar of the Demiurge and the Sorcerer Supreme.
How could America Chavez affect the MCU?
Given Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness follows up directly on threads to be seeded in the Disney Plus WandaVision and Loki streaming series, and Wanda herself (if not Loki) is set to show up in Multiverse of Madness, America Chavez could be the lynchpin that ties all these disparate characters together.
If WandaVision goes as far as introducing Billy Kaplan and Tommy Shepherd, the twin sons of Scarlet Witch and Vision, all the pieces will be in place for the story of the Demiurge and the Mother - and who better a villain for a Doctor Strange sequel than an entity that eats magic, especially considering Mordo's vow to eliminate magic users at the end of the first film?
With Loki's Disney Plus show also tying in directly to Multiverse of Madness, there could be a scenario in which Loki is de-aged or reborn as a younger person, as happened in comic books - with Loki perhaps even appearing in Multiverse of Madness himself. And if that's the case, the last piece of the puzzle could be in place for a full-on Young Avengers adaptation, including a perfect way to extend the dynamic of the Avengers and Loki well into the future, while allowing Tom Hiddleston to move on in his career.
Speaking of the Young Avengers, America Chavez joining the MCU would be one step closer to completing a core cast of characters for the team, counting Billy Kaplan/Wiccan, Tommy Shepherd/Speed, Cassie Lang/Stature (who was aged up to teen years in Avengers: Endgame), Kate Bishop/Hawkeye (the co-star of Hawkeye's upcoming Disney Plus series), and perhaps even Morgan Stark following in her dad's footsteps.
Add in Patriot, Hulkling, and Iron Lad (a younger version of reported Ant-Man 3 villain Kang), and you've got a clear picture of what could be the next generation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Heck, in one possible alt-future, America took up the identity of Captain America, so there could be a very long game in place.
She's even appeared as a recurring character on the recent Marvel Rising animated series, making her an easy sell for kids looking for characters they know on the big screen.
On that note, America Chavez fills some other important roles for the MCU. She's a physical and magical powerhouse - a potential Thor-level hero for the Young Avengers. And as one of Marvel's few LGBTQ lead characters (and the only queer Latina character ever to headline a comic for the publisher) America Chavez is perfectly poised to bring some much-needed representation and youth to the MCU, which Feige has been very vocal is coming.
All of that in consideration, America Chavez might be the perfect character to lead the MCU into a phase that seems to be potentially dominated by the Multiverse, and the power of magic.
Want to know how WandaVision could change the MCU Multiverse and even introduce mutants? Read all about its references to the Marvel Comics event House of M.