Marvel Comics’ Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada went on “The Colbert Report” on July 16, 2016 to announce that the Avenger Captain America is turning over his shield to his longtime partner Sam Wilson known as the Falcon. This marks another dramatic shift for one of Marvel’s most iconic heroes following hot on the heels of the announcement that Marvel Comics’ God of Thunder would be replaced by a woman in October in “Thor” #1.
In April 2014, the Falcon joined Marvel’s cinematic movie universe in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” where he was portrayed by Anthony Mackie to great acclaim. The high flying hero quickly became a valuable ally to Captain America and ended the movie as Cap’s new partner.
The Falcon will become Captain America in “All-New Captain America” #1 by writer Rick Remender and artist Stuart Immonen debuting this November. The character of the Falcon is no stranger to fans of the original Captain America. The Falcon debuted in the pages of “Captain America” #117 (September 1969) and soon after he was a co-headliner with Cap for 88 issues of the “Captain America and Falcon” series. He is one of the first African-American heroes in comics to receive such billing in a title.
This is not the first time the role of Captain America has been filled by an African American. In the mini-series “Truth: Red, White and Black” (January-July 2003), Marvel published an unknown story of Isaiah Bradley who was part of an all-black regiment to become the super solider for America.
As the current story goes, Marvel’s Senior Editor Tom Breevoort said, “Steve’s [the original Captain America] spirit is as willing as ever, but his body is no longer up to the task of being Captain America.” This leads to his passing of the torch to his longtime friend Sam Wilson who embodies this spirit of Captain America as well as Steve Rogers.
In a Marvel press release, Remender says, “Sam wants to lead by example. To help people see their own selfishness and to turn it around. To build better communities, to never forget the little guy. Sam follows his heart and his belief in what the American dream means and how it belongs to everyone.”
This is not the first time the Steve Rogers has given up the mantle of Captain America. The first time he resigned his position when the United States Government forced him to fall in political step with the controlling political parties, Cap maintained he was above this and wanted to represent everyone’s American Dream. The government quickly replaced him with John Walker, a soldier, who had previously fought with Steve Rogers over differing ideologies. Walker proved unstable and was soon replaced by the original.
The next time Cap was replaced was following his “death” after the events of the superhero Civil War. Cap’s replacement was his original partner Bucky Barnes. Bucky dutifully filled the role of Captain America until the time came when the original returned and was ready to resume his role.
Sam Wilson has huge boots to fill, but the quality of the creative team of Remender and Immonen will certainly give Wilson the chance to soar as high in the role of Captain America as he did in the role of the Falcon. “All-New Captain America” will be available at your nearest comic book retailer, to find your nearest store click here to use the Comic Shop Locator.