In His Upcoming New Series, Sam Wilson Trades in Captain America's Shield for a Pair of Wings


When Sam Wilson became Captain America back in 2014, it was only a matter of time before he realized that no matter how patriotic a person may be, nobody looks good dressed up in all red, white, and blue. After a few years of flinging Steve Rogers’ old shield around, Sam’s getting back to his roots.


Today, Marvel announced a new, post-Secret Empire Falcon solo series written by Rodney Barnes and illustrated by Joshua Cassara following Sam as he tries to re-establish who he is in the larger Marvel universe after being Captain America.

Sam became Captain America back when an aging Steve Rogers asked him to become the symbol of American heroism that he’d been in his prime. Sam, ever loyal to Steve, took him up on the offer, and for a while, things seemed like they were going fine. But then Steve regained his youth, became the supreme leader of Hydra, and took over the country, forcing Sam and other heroes to go underground.

In an interview with Comicbook, Falcon writer Barnes described how, at the beginning of the new series, Sam finds himself reevaluating his life and relationships.

“He feels guilty about his relationship with Steve Rogers and wonders if he didn’t pick up clues as to what team Steve was really playing for, what else has he missed?” Barnes said. “So he’s backing away from the limelight for a spell and taking a more grass roots approach to making the world a better place.”

Falcon, Barnes said, will pair Sam with the new Patriot as they take on Blackheart, son of the demon Mephisto and the type of magical enemy that Sam isn’t all that accustomed to going up against. From afar, it sounds like Marvel’s moving Sam away from the Cap moniker in preparation for giving it back to Steve in full, post-Secret Empire. And honestly? That’s a good thing. Falcon’s one of the core members of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and giving his comic book counterpart a chance to get out from beneath Steve’s (now-tainted) shadow can only be a solid choice for the character. Falcon hits stores this fall.

Charles Pulliam-Moore is an NYC-based culture critic whose work centers on fandom, pop culture, politics, race, and sexuality. He still thinks Cyclops made a few valid points.



I honestly find Marvel’s backpeddling on Sam to be so disappointing. Yes, cynical comic nerds will tell me that of course Sam’s time as Cap would be temporary. But they could have at least let the occasion of a black man being Captain America stand for something other than a sales gimmick.

Sam got to be Cap for less than a year before Marvel brought Steve back. They told us at the time that Sam and Steve would be treated equally, then immediately made Steve the center of a huge universe-wide storyline while they all but forgot that Sam existed. While Marvel sent out press releases to major news organizations promoting Steve’s title, Sam was lucky to get internal advertising. And then they quietly had him quit, handing him a consolation title as Falcon, a book which is almost certain to fail since 1) Falcon has never been a popular solo character and 2) Marvel’s current policy is to cancel any book that isn’t a massive success from issue 1, so even if Falcon turns out to be a brilliantly written classic, it’ll be canned before word of mouth can take hold.

It just bugs me that Marvel was more eager to promote a Nazi Captain America than a black one.