Comics: Sam Wilson aka The Falcon to take over as new Captain America
Earlier this year we got our first big-screen rendition of Sam Wilson aka The Falcon (as played by Anthony Mackie) in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER and now the comics version of the character is about to take on an entirely new role; that of Captain America himself. The announcement was made by Marvel's Joe Quesada on The Colbert Report tonight and later released with more details by Marvel. There's a stark contrast between Marvel Comics world and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so there's no need to get up in a tizzy about Cap being replaced by Falcon in the movies just yet. Series writer Rick Remender commented on the change as being a culminating effort he's been building to since taking over the book.
“This is it. This is the fireworks factory we’re arriving at, and now everything’s going to blow up and be very pretty and exciting to look at. It leads into an evolution of Steve Rogers’ character that I had very early when I was given the job. I think that it’s important with these stories to do things that are natural and make sense and have an inherent logic to the universe, but are also constantly shifting and exciting, keeping the drama high. In order to do that it really comes down to creating new dynamics. 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 Tom Brevoort on the difference between Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers:
“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 didn’t grow up in the 1930s, he’s a modern day man in touch with the problems of the 21st Century. 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. He’s also not a military man, so he’s more apt to be instinctively skeptical of any situation that calls for just following orders. Sam, like Steve, will be led by his personal morality and beliefs as to what is right and what is wrong—and where his beliefs may differ in their shading from those of the previous Cap are where the interesting stories will be found.”
Brevoort on Steve Rogers' role in the book:
“Steve’s spirit is as willing as ever. But his body is no longer up to the task of being Captain America. So he’ll instead employ his skills as the new Cap’s remote strategic advisor, running missions from his headquarters in Avengers Mansion and providing Sam with technical support and field information from a distance. He’ll also tutor Sam in how to throw the shield, a skill that’s deceptively difficult for the new Cap to master. So Steve will continue to be a vital part of the series moving ahead. And Steve is completely supportive of Sam as his hand-picked successor—the only replacement Captain America ever to be chosen by Steve himself. Steve and Sam are effectively brothers-in-arms, and there’s a level of trust and camaraderie between them that’s matched only by that of soldiers who’ve fought shoulder-to-shoulder in foxholes on the battlefield."
Brevoort on how Sam Wilson will implement his Falcon abilities with the Cap costume/shield:
“Historically, Falcon would often act as air support, flying Steve into the battle. Why not merge the two? He pops the wings, and as he flies, he keeps the shield latched onto his back. He dives down onto the scene, hurls the shield, wings retract, and rolls into a kick or jump, catches the shield on the way back. He doesn’t have the super soldier serum, but he has the added zing-zang-zoom of flight.”
For those keeping score in the comics world, we will see a gender change for Thor this fall and the death of Wolverine as well. Adding in a new Cap just helps stir the pot. There have been many different characters to "wield the shield" throughout the years, the most recent being Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier, which is still rumored as a possibility for the film universe with actor Chris Evans ready to wrap things up with the role after THE AVENGERS 3. Sill, there's always the possibility that it could change, just as quickly as it does in the comics. However, comics have always been cyclical like this with major changes happening in a book to shake things up (or simply to drive up sales) with the new guy/girl sitting in the new role long enough for the old character to seem new again. But, you can always count on those changes happening regularly, as Brevoort says:
“We’re not anywhere near finished. Change is one of the watchwords of the Marvel Universe, so there are even more startling surprises to come!”
What do you think? Is Sam Wilson a good candidate to step in for Cap? Would you rather see him take over in the films or do you prefer The Winter Soldier taking the role?