The Falcon Becomes Marvel’s Second Black Captain America
This week Marvel announced that Steve Rodgers will be replaced by The Falcon as Captain America, making him second black Captain America in the Marvel Comics Universe.
Created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Gene Colan, the Falcon aka Sam Wilson was first introduced in 1969’s Captain America #117 as mainstream comics’ first African-American superhero. He and Captain America were a team throughout most of the 1970s.
The first African-American Captain was Isaiah Bradley, whose World War II Super Soldier program of 1942 story in the 2003 limited series Truth: Red, White & Black includes similarities to the Tuskegee Syphilis Study.
As of Captain America #21, Steve Rodgers fights his greatest battle yet against villain Iron Nail, but will be drained of his super soldier serum that keeps him young and strong.
Rogers will begin to age quickly and lose all of his superpowers, forcing Sam Wilson to step in and carry the shield.
“I think that Steve himself realizes that there’s always going to be a Captain America,” said series writer Rick Remender. “It’s an honor and a privilege to serve in that role, but no one man is Captain America.”
While this change marks a significant diversity move for the series, similar to Thor now being a woman, we will likely never see a black Captain America on the big screen.
Wilson was portrayed by Anthony Mackie in the 2014 Marvel film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which made $712 million at the box office.