Character Spotlight #2: Falcon

Welcome readers, to the second installment of Character Spotlights. This is the first spotlight where I tackle a character with a huge amount of backstory so the brief history is very brief and glossed over. So without further ado, I present Sam Wilson, The Falcon.

Brief History:

Sam Wilson as a teenager, dealt with the death of both of his parents and extreme encounters with racism which led him to leave his life as a respected community volunteer. He moved from Harlem to Los Angeles, under the new persona “Snap” Wilson, who’s a gang member and a criminal. During one of his scores, his plane crashed on an island, where he met a falcon named Redwing and encountered Red Skull, the nazi supervillain. Red Skull uses the Cosmic Cube to warp reality and to give Sam Wilson the ability to mentally bond with Redwing and rewrote Snap out of existence. He meets Captain America, who convinces him to don a costume and inspire the natives of the island. He becomes the Falcon. He gets recruited to be the token black member of the Avengers (I can’t even make this up) by Henry Peter Gyrich, the liaison for superhero teams. Falcon obviously resents that and quits ASAP. Currently, Falcon is now Captain America (or as I refer to him, Captain Falcon), after Steve Rogers is aged into an old man.

Why is he being discussed?

For starters, Falcon is the first African-American superhero in mainstream comics, and that deserves a bit of warrant, especially since this is Black History Month. A lot of his character history has been closely associated with Captain America, as his first appearance was in one of Cap’s comics, they team up almost as frequently as Batman and Superman, and in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he’s basically Captain America’s yes man. That last reason was the reason I decided to write this piece. In the comics, he’s had a complicated past, and that past shaped him in the present. Also, even though he’s associated with Captain America, he did have his own personality and his own views. In the movies, we’re not given much about him, other than he will agree with everything that Cap says and that he’ll argue with Bucky over anything.

Now I’m not going to bash the MCU’s treatment of Falcon and not provide better sources for you to get your Falcon Fix. So here are some comics and TV shows where Falcon is a central character:

  • Captain America #115-119 (This 1969 comic run  marked Sam’s first appearance in the comics)
  • Avengers #57-70 (The 2003 series written by Geoff Johns)
  • Captain America and The Falcon (there are the 1970s and the 2004 comic series)
  • All-New Captain America (Where Sam takes over the mantle of Captain America)
  • Falcon #1-4 (A four issue miniseries)
  • Avengers Assemble (An animated series that depicts Falcon as a 17-year-old that Tony Stark wanted to bring to his team)