America needs a hero. And according to writer Joe Casey and artist Dustin Nguyen, America needs America Vasquez.
This June, the "superpowered champion for the oppressed" will debut with Image Comics' All-America Comix. Inspired by Casey and Nick Dragotta's reimagination of Marvel's Ms. America - America Chavez - for 2011's Vengeance, the two in 2017 announced plans for a creator-owned hero, America Vasquez, with All-America Comix. After three years and the switch of Dragotta to Nguyen, and the book is now set for release.
Newsarama spoke with Casey and Nguyen about this new hero debuting in June and how it's a reunion for the two after their seminal work together on DC's Wildcats 3.0.
as their own, creator owned America VasqueAfter writer Joe Casey and artist Nick Dragotta created America Chavez for Marvel Comics
Newsarama: Joe, All-America Comix was originally announced in 2017, what made you push the series back to release now?
Joe Casey: Despite the fact that life got in the way, as it sometimes does, timing is everything in this business. While I think it would've worked just fine back in '17, it works even better in 2020. As the PR aptly suggests, her time has come.
Nrama: Have you rewritten any of the comic since planning its 2017 release or is this the same story you were going to release then?
Casey: This was always the story I wanted to tell with this character. It meant something to me personally to be able to put Vaz in a certain type of story, in a certain, very specific context. The story itself is not only what happens to her, but what she represents. I don't know if you've noticed, but there's a generational thing being explored with superheroes right now. This book speaks right to the heart of it.
Nrama: You’ve also done a lot of work in animation with Ben 10, Generation Rex, and much more. Would you like to adapt this story for TV in some capacity?
Casey: Personally, I think most comics should be happy being comics. Mine generally are. Even though I've had a few things adapted, optioned, developed, whatever, my first love has always been comics so I'm just psyched that this one is finally seeing the light of day.
Nrama: Dustin and Joe, you’re reuniting fifteen years later since your work on Wildcats Version 3.0, what’s it like working together again?
Casey: It's pretty great. Dustin was the right artist for the job when we did Wildcats Version 3.0 and he's absolutely the right artist for this project. Who knows, maybe this one will be as important to our careers as that one was.
Dustin Nguyen: Feels almost exactly the same. [Laughs]
Joe's scripts read just as naturally to me as they did on Wildcats.
Nrama: What brought on this collaboration for this specific story?
Casey: Let's just say I needed a heavy hitter. I needed talent and resolve. Luckily, Dustin said yes when I asked him. And he knocked it out of the park.
Nrama: Dustin, what made you interested in collabing on this project?
Nguyen: Honestly, I just wanted to get back together with Joe on something, and this felt like the perfect project to pick up where we left off.
Nrama: This was a previously announced series with a different artist attached, jumping onto this title were you able to contribute to any designs for the character?
Nguyen: I followed Joe's lead and notes which were plenty, and got to develop the bulk of the new characters which was lots of fun.
Nrama: What was your brainstorming process for capturing the overall look for the book?
Nguyen: It's a bit dirtier thanks my usual look, but it's perfect for the world Joe's created. It's been over 15 years since we've collaborated, so my work is a lot different than it was!
Nrama: Why did you want to make this a one-shot instead of a limited series or ongoing?
Casey: For me, I'm forced to schedule my time a little differently than I used to. For something like this, taking things one small step at a time was the way to go.
Nguyen: At the moment, it's really all I can handle as far as the workload, but hopefully we'll be doing more very soon.
Nrama: Do you have plans for more All-America Comix?
Casey: I always have plans. I have plans for days. Time is the factor that I have less control over. Plus, I've learned over the years that trying to predict the future is not something I'm that good at.
Nguyen: I am very open to more if readers want more!