The word is out: Sam Wilson, best known in the Marvel Universe as Falcon, is now the new Captain America. Father Time has finally caught up with the original Cap, Steve Rogers, after decades of donning his shield and serving as the face of justice to fight crimes and the enemies of the United States since World War II.
After his long-time sidekick role, Sam goes to the driver’s seat in two new series— All-New Captain America, where he takes on the Hydra-headed terrorist organization that has infiltrated the whole Marvel universe, and Captain America and the Mighty Avengers, where he forms the elite team of superheroes, which the amazing one, Spider Man, tries to join.
An Emerging Trend in Comics
Making an African-American to carry the moniker of the superhero that has been the long-standing symbol of patriotism in the U.S. is a giant step forward for Marvel. The renowned comic book brand continues to promote the culture of diversity, as it pays the importance to the typically marginalized members of the society. Before the Black hero was christened as the new Cap, Marvel made the female Thor official last month.
These major developments aren’t just a fad either. The writers behind Captain America and Thor, Rick Remender and Jason Aaron, both shared that this will be a long-term change. Remender said in his interview with CNN that, “… this could be a permanent change or something that goes on for a good long while.”
Something New to Offer
While both Sam and Steve had a life filled with hardships growing up, what made the new Cap completely distinct is the way he approach problems. In his talk with Paul Montgomery on Marvel.com, Remender explained that, “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.” In addition, Sam is a modern-day guy who’s in touch with the challenges of the 21st century—something every comic book fan can relate to.
What the Fans Say
The announcement was met with polar reactions, as expected, but the feedback was generally positive. What moved Remender were the photos they received from a class composed predominantly of Black children, which show kids utterly joyous in looking up to a mainstream hero whom they personally relate with.
What Happens to the Old Cap
Although Steve passes his shield to his younger successor, he hasn’t completely retired. He’ll work at the Avengers mansion’s command station, where he’ll provide services as a strategist using his vast military experience and expertise.
Marvel editor Tom Brevoort shared that they’re far over. He told Montgomery, “Change is one of the watchwords of the Marvel Universe, so there are even more startling surprises to come!”