The following contains major spoilers for Ray #4, available now from Marvel Comics.
Ever since making her way into the Marvel Universe, America Chavez has proven to be one of the most intriguing figures to call home. Along the way, the United States has faced all sorts of threats, though the one it has never managed to overcome is the one that also strikes closest to home. While she may have been counted among the strongest heroes of all time, recent revelations have seen that strength wane. Now it seems the very life of America is slipping along with her powers, and there may be nothing that can be done to save her from the repercussions of her own tragic origin.
Since its reformation under the auspices of New York City Mayor Luke Cage, the eponymous team of Ray #4 (by Jim Zub, Sean Izaakse, Netho Diaz, Victor Olazaba, Java Tartaglia and VC’s Joe Sabino) have suffered one embarrassing loss after another. This makes it all the more surprising that the issue finds Hawkeye going on a successful cartoonish adventure with the team. Of course, this entire scenario is simply playing out in Hawkeye’s mind after he falls victim to an unseen force. As bad as it sounds, things are looking even worse for the rest of the team, especially now that the powers that be have sent her straight to the hospital.
América Chávez finds her sister and her true origin
When América Chávez first appeared in 2011 Revenge #1 (by Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta), was one of the young powerhouses that made up the Teen Brigade. Alongside the likes of the Ultimate Nullifier and Rick Jones, America battled enemies including the Young Masters of Evil. Throughout all of her adventures, America was driven by a desire to return to her Utopian parallel home dimension, a paradise that exists outside the boundaries of the known multiverse. As far as America knew, her mothers had sacrificed themselves to save her home, prompting America to become a hero. In the years that followed, the United States played a key role in events such as the destruction and reformation of the multiverse, as well as the Second Superhuman Civil War, but never forgot her original mission.
it was in 2021 America Chavez: Made in the USA (by Kalinda Vázquez and Carlos Gómez) that the titular hero finally met up with his past, though not in the way she expected. Instead of finding her otherworldly home, America found a long-lost sister who suffered from the same Edges Syndrome as she did, and who was intent on curing her condition by any means necessary. This shocking development came with the revelation that everything America thought she knew about her origins was simply a childish fantasy concocted to hide the horrible truth behind the experiments she was subjected to. In the end, the United States lost her sister again and, although she managed to accept the truth, she did not find a cure for her condition.
The power of América Chávez could lead to his destruction
It now appears that America’s condition has worsened and there may not be anything that can be done to help it. While the disease had previously abated in his youth, its resurgence in recent years could well be the end of it. The fact that she has managed to avoid any tragic circumstances thus far is indicative of not only how strong of hers she is, but also how little attention most of her teammates have paid her.
Hopefully this won’t be the end for America, even if it does usher in the end of his 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 the United States goes looking for it again. If not, fans may have already witnessed her last big adventure, and it wasn’t even one she got to experience for herself.