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Marvel Comics Reveals that The Falcon is the New Captain America

After making a thunderous announcement on The View this Monday that Marvel’s brawny, blonde God of Thunder, Thor, would be deemed unworthy to wield his mythical hammer Mjölnir and subsequently replaced by a woman, the Internet exploded, leading to some of the most horrific comment sections I’ve ever read. Tonight, Marvel continued its press tour on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Reportand announced that another of its Big Three heroes would be undergoing a major change, namely the identity of Captain America.

Perhaps the single most iconic character in This announcement comes on the heels of Captain America #21, which saw Steve Rogers sapped of his Super Soldier Serum after a brutal attack by Iron Nail. The assault left Steve Rogers a fragile husk of his former self, a man who finally looked his age. Naturally, there was no way he could continue on as the nation’s embodiment of truth, justice, and the American way. “Without Steve Rogers, who’s going to keep those Guatemalan kids from crossing our southern border?” asked Colbert. Indeed, a successor must be selected.

The answer came courtesy of Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada, who appeared on the program to announce that the shield would be taken up by none other than Sam Wilson, a/k/a The Falcon.

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Audiences will recognize the character as the fan-favorite played by Anthony Mackie in this spring’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The first African-American superhero and Steve Rogers’ longtime teammate, The Falcon is a natural pick to fill Cap’s red, buccaneer-style boots, and was what many comic book fans, myself included, suspected when we first heard that Marvel would be announcing a new Captain America. Other eagle-eyed readers put it together when Marvel teased the cover to Avengers #35, which showed Cap obscured by shadows.

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This seismic shift will lead to a brand new series this fall, All-New Captain America #1 by Rick Remender and artist Stuart Immonen. In a post on Marvel.com, Remender explained the change: “I’ve been having a lot of fun writing Sam. It’s a completely different attitude. The fact that he’s not a soldier shifts things up a bit. Sam’s not going to be Steve. Steve can be very rigid. That can be kind of joyless at times, whereas Sam is absolutely not that.”

Editor Steve Brevoort chimed in on the differences between Steve Rogers’ and Sam Wilson’s approach to the heroic role. “While Sam shares many of Steve’s beliefs in a general sense, he’s also a very different person with a very different background,” he said. “He didn’t grow up in the 1930s, he’s a modern day man in touch with the problems of the 21st Century,” Brevoort continued. “For most of his professional life, Sam has worked as a social worker, so he’s seen the worst of urban society up close, and how crime, poverty, lack of social structure and opportunity can affect the community. So he’s got perhaps a greater focus on the plight of the common man, and perhaps a greater empathy for the underprivileged than maybe even Steve himself.”

For those of you wondering what Marvel was thinking, you should know that this isn’t the first time another person has taken up the mantle. Most recently, Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier, took over for Captain America after he was killed in the aftermath of Marvel’s Civil War event. For that matter, Wilson isn’t the first black Captain America either; that honor belongs to early Super Soldier program subject Isaiah Bradley. Still, if Steve Rogers has to be replaced, Wilson is a terrific choice and one that I’m excited to hear more about

You may be wondering who will take over for Sam Wilson as The Falcon? Well, fortunately for all of our sakes, Quesada offered the job to Colbert, and even included an artist’s rendering by Kris Anka.

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For his first official task as Captain America’s partner-in-crime-fighting, he coined a brand new catchphrase: “Why did the Falcon cross the road? For justice, motherf*cker.” To quote another classic Marvel line, “‘Nuff said.” 

What do you think of Sam Wilson as the Falcon? Let us know — and keep it civil — in the comments below or tell me on Twitter.

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56 comments

  • Why couldn’t they just create whole new super heroes and just have captain america team up with black panther for a movie, I don’t want to have to switch when there is no need too we already have other raced super heroes just give them a movie.

    • ??? heroes have been inheriting each others’ identities since the beginning of the genre so it’s not about there being “no need too” because literally this happens all the freaking time and the only reason you are complaining is because sam wilson is black. smh. and good luck getting anyone in hollywood to green light a black superhero movie (or anyone who’s not a straight white male for that matter). you obvi aren’t familiar with the trouble folks have gone through just to get wonder woman and black panther movies pushed through.

      • People arn’t complaining because captain America will be black, people are complaining because Steven Rogers makes that character. Falcon has always been a kinda crappy and uninteresting character anyway and Steven Rogers is the embodiment of the American dream and patriotism, two things that Americans seem to hold dear. Steven Rogers makes that character not the suit. This is clearly just a ploy for marvel to try and gain popularity among ethnic minorities.

        • Correction I meant that Falcon has been a crappy uninteresting character in recent years, it’d be unfair to say he was always crap

  • I’m somewhat disappointed in the move to have Falcon be Captain America.  The big problem that I have is that they aren’t going whole-hog with it.  It looks less like they are making Sam Wilson into Captain America than it does that they are giving the Falcon a shield.  It feels like they aren’t going all the way.  Either they are going to go out of their way to do “Black Captain America” stories (which would mean a team-up with Black Panther or Luke Cage within the first four issues or, assuming they aren’t going to go overboard on the racial aspect, it will be the Captain America version of Batman Beyond.

    Mind you, I don’t mind the idea of doing some stories dealing with racial issues.  I just don’t want the skin color to be the only focus of the Captain Falcon.  The character has more depth than that.  

  • This going to be great. He’ll take over the role for 4-6 months and Captain America will come back like he always does.
    I used to love all of those Cap/Falcon team-ups from the 70′s. Sam is the best candidate. Anyone knows he has as more partner time with Cap as Bucky did. He’s fought everyone from modok to Red Skull with Cap.He’s a Shield  agent and a total bad ass.

    I expect to see Winter Soldier do a lot of Cameos too. Wouldn’t be right if he didn’t.

  • What a waste of a good character. Sam is the Falcon. If they haven’t used him well so far, what makes anyone think they will use him well as Cap? Steve Rogers has been replaced as Cap at least four times so far, none have been the same. I think at least one character with the morals of a WWII vet is needed. Keep Steve as Cap.

  • I love the potential for this story arch, but I don’t see it as a permanent switch. Steve will inevitably get his serum enhanced body back and take up the mantle of Captain America, and Sam will go back to being Falcon. I would like to see some sort of compromise though where the two, not switch off per say, but maybe Sam takes up the shield at times. Sam Wilson as a character is supper important, and the people who are saying that him taking the role of captain America somehow compromises his importance as an individual are just grasping at straws. we see supper heroes inheriting roles and reinventing themselves all the time, and as long as Sam continues to be an interesting, well thought out presence in the MCU, than more power to the writers! I do have to say though that I am hoping for that Steve Rogers reemergence though. The thought of him being frail and unable to continue fighting breaks my heart, it really does; plus the possibilities that a search for a reversal could render as a story arch are limitless and awesome! So yeah, I’m excited to see where this story goes!

  • These changes probably wont be around for too long, by the time Age of Ultron comes around they’ll switch back to the status quo,happens all the time. if they don’t then i’ll be impresses

  • I’m leaving an open mind to both of these changes and am optimistic that they will be fun and interesting. But it would be nice if every once in a while they write something into the script that helps the original character grow and become more dynamic rather than just replacing or killing them off. That sort of change, though more difficult to write, seems more interesting to me.

  • Folks.  Falcon is awesome.  He’s been a part of the Captain America comics for longer than basically anyone.  He was Cap’s partner and friend for ages, and has probably been in more Cap comics than Bucky ever was.  He’s not some random minority character, he’s an absolute boss.  Also, remember how good Bucky-Cap was?  Bucky-Cap was great!  Give Fal-Cap a chance.  They’re not “wrecking” anything, they’re writing a story.  Besides, if Captain America can survive Cap-Wolf, it can survive anything.

  • If Marvel is looking to shake things up and broaden their readership, personally, I think a female Cap (of any color) would have been more of an strong, iconic role for the Marvel Universe than a female Thor. 

  • Having A Black Captain America is not Unprecedented. In 2003 there was a miniseries “Truth: Red, White & Black”, starring the character of Isaiah Bradley. I personally wish they used a grandson of Bradley to be the new Cap instead, and when they eventually give Steve Rogers the Shield back give the Bradley Relative either the U.S. Agent or Nomad name… or never mind because Patriot is Bradleys’ Grandson.

  • Comics Books are dead. The characters are stronger than ever and will never die (literally) but the book medium is irrelevant and outdated. So what I’m finding to be weird is how Marvel Comics is making mainstream headlines with their latest stunts.
    Pandering to different demographics are nothing new in the comic book world but to the average person these changes go unnoticed. But with so many mainstream people thinking of themselves as “comic geeks” because they watched Iron Man and Avengers 24 times then “Falcon America” and “Thor (SWF)” seem like a bigger deal than they actually are. 
    Give it a year and things will be back to normal. Cap becomes white. Thor becomes Man-Thor. And Marvel Comics still doesn’t get new readers. 

  • I will likely never stop reading Marvel, that being said I wish they would invest more time and money creating and sustaining new IP, instead of just scrambling up their exisisting properties in an attempt to make them fresh and more relevant to todays audiences.

  • I think it’s great. I can’t wait to read it. Kinda sad about Thor though. Just finds out he has a sister and gets turned into one himself. I know it’s a ploy and a stunt but still a bit saddened by it. Shake it like a Polaroid picture, Marvel!

  • Funny how some people were complaining that Fox’s decision to have an African-American actor play Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four reboot was wrong and not staying “true” to the source material. But here we have none other than Marvel Comics announcing that not only Captain America will be portrayed as an African-American character but also Thor will be portrayed as a woman. How poetic.

    • The difference there is that its not Steve Rogers being black, and they are not rebooting Thor into a woman, its two Characters taking the position. as for the whole Fantastic Four reboot that there there changing the History of the comic. 

      • The only thing they are changing with the FF is that they are being portrayed as a mixed race family, which is perfectly fine. Quit being so antagonistic and learn that the comics change the source material all the time. Geez hasn’t anyone seen an episode of Different Strokes? If Marvel can change things like the origin of Ultron and Ant-Man in their movies why can’t others?

    • Portraying a character differently from the source material is what they were complaining about. This is a matter of changing the source material itself. Totally different.

      • Comics change the source material all the time and the movies have done the same thing as well. People like you need to stop making the same excuses and learn that these characters have always been open to various interpretations and changes.

    • Agreed that it is pretty awesome, but in the case of Cap and Thor, these are legacies being handed to others (from Steve Rogers TO Sam Wilson, for example), whereas in Trank’s FF they reimagined the actual character.I’m no MBJ hater, I just try to look at both sides. Honestly Trank’s FF is going to tank for a plethora of other reasons.

      • Once again people are making snap judgments of the portrayal of a fictional character in a movie they haven’t even seen yet. Honestly, the source material changes all the time and plays around with the mythos. Take the limited series for Captain America, Truth: Red, White & Black where Steve Rogers wasn’t the first super soldier because the super-soldier serum was first tested on African-Americans during WWII to make sure it worked. Also the next Avengers movie is completely changing the origins of Ultron and Ant-Man so changing “legacies” isn’t reserved just to studios not named Marvel.

  • Please stop doing this. Kyle Rainer is the only example of this kind of ploy working out well. I want a more diverse cast but do it with new properties. Find new things to do with existing characters rather than shuffling them off.

    • Kyle Rayner is one of the most ill-conceived characters of all time.  He is a failure of the highest magnitude.  Marvel (like DC) is attempting to stimulate sales with shock value.  *Yawn*

  • I’m always glad when they add more powerful female characters just wish it was an original character and not a run off of a male character. Understandably I’m sure the writers will make her unique in her own way. 
    Having the Falcon replace Steve Rogers is an idea worth exploring and seeing how things play out. Especially since it will mean a character that is grounded in this day and age.

  • I’m happy that Marvel is finally catching up to the twentieth century and adding more female characters to their front lines (like the new Thor for example) and having a more (if not much more) racially diverse cast, but Captain America was the first fucking Avenger! Replace someone else, or simply just make Falcon a more prominent character… I’m pretty grumpy about this, but I won’t stop reading.

    • There have been seven (or more) Captain Americas. One black (in a retcon but still) already. There was Isaiah Bradley, Steve Rogers, The Spirit of ’76, the patriot, then Rogers came back, Then Walker (Super Patriot), then Rogers, then Buckey, Then Rogers and now Sam Wilson. 
      Additionally Rogers was also known as Nomad, Yeoman America, The Captain and perhaps others.

    • Actually, Captain America didn’t join the Avengers until issue #4. The original team was Thor, Hulk, Iron Man, Wasp, and Ant-Man. He is only the first Avenger in the subtitle for the first Cap film.
      That being said, it’s Marvel — you know we’ll get Steve Rogers back as Cap in due time. In the meantime, let’s hope for some kick ass comics regardless of who is behind the shield.

    • I agree with you.  Though, I also dont like the Thor change.  I say either bring female Asguadians more prominent or bring in new ones, but dont replace an existing one.  Also, on the whole Cap thing, hadnt Steve started training a new female hero?  Why not have her take the mantel since Sam already is the Falcon, though I will be super pumped if Stephen as the Falcon is actually a real thing in the comics and fairly permanent.