Marvel Studios and Funko have updated the skin tone of their America Chavez/Miss America Pop! figure after accusations that the companies had "whitewashed" the character, who is set to make her live-action debut in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
As reported by The Direct, Marvel and Funko released the America Chavez Funko Pop! in early March, but faced backlash from fans for whitewashing the character's vinyl figure, whose skin tone was much lighter than both her comic book counterpart and her live-action actor, Xochitl Gomez. The Pop! figure has since been altered and is still available for pre-order on Entertainment Earth and will become available in August 2022.
Created by writer Joe Casey and artist Nick Dragotta, America Chavez debuted in Marvel Comics in 2011's Vengeance #1. "This certainly isn't unique to America Chavez but I've always thought that our superhero fiction should, in very fundamental ways, reflect our own reality," Casey said in a previous interview about the character's upcoming MCU debut. "Unlike the Marvel Universe that was originally seen in the early 1960s comics, our current reality is multicultural. So more recently-created Marvel characters like America Chavez and Miles Morales and Kamala Khan not only reflect the world of 2022, they seem to have connected to a section of fandom that, in one way or another, strongly identify with them."
Multiverse of Madness wrapped extensive reshoots in January 2021 with the additional material helmed by director Sam Raimi and Loki writer Michael Waldron. Raimi took over directorial duties from Scott Derrickson, who directed the first film and departed the sequel over creative differences. Following the success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, it was reported that Multiverse of Madness would have "more fun with the multiverse," with reshoots for the film including even more cameos and character introductions than originally intended.
Benedict Cumberbatch has commented on the scale of the production, stating that he was not entirely sure if the sequel was really "his" movie. "There's a lot of stuff going on in it," he said. "It's like, do I have a character arc in this? Is it working? No, there's great stuff for me to do. It's very busy. It's called The Multiverse of Madness, and it's bonkers."
The first trailer for Multiverse of Madness teased everything that Phase 4 of the MCU has been headed towards and, along with the debut of America Chavez, will depict a possible team-up between Doctor Strange (Cumberbatch), Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Wong (Benedict Wong). Multiverse of Madness will pick up after the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home and tie directly into two of Marvel's Disney+ series, WandaVision and Loki, both of which dealt heavily with the multiverse.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness premieres in theaters on May 6, 2022.
Source: The Direct, Entertainment Earth