By Nicholas Eskey
All New Captain America #1
Written By Rick Remender
Art & Cover By Stuart Immonen
Following with Marvel’s drastic revamping of some of their well-known comic franchises, Captain America is also getting a total face lift. The “All New Captain America,” which is also the name of the comic itself, has a brand spanking new character at the helm. Well, not really new. Described in the very first page spread over six panels, it is explained how Steve Rogers is no longer able to hold the title of Captain America. The role, along with the iconic shield, is passed on to Sam Wilson, formerly the Falcon.
I’m going to be very blunt in saying that this is a bold move for Marvel and writer Rick Remender. Captain America was originally created amidst WWII as a sort of propaganda comic, on how the lowly Stever Rogers came to become a mighty man who defended truth, liberty, and justice. In essence, it was to show how powerful America was, and how it could kick any foreign butts. Though delving into Captain America history, there was a timeline where it was revealed that the super soldier serum was first tested on African American soldiers, before it was deemed usable for their actual choices. So technically, the first Captain America was black, as shown in The Truth mini series by Robert Morales and Kyle Baker.
Steve Rogers chose Sam Wilson as his replacement, they being long colleagues and friends. But where the new Captain America lacks in super soldier serum, he makes up for with large wings he can use to fly and fight with. And that’s not the only difference. Sam Wilson’s background is that of his father being a righteous Baptist preacher, always calling on those to do good by his words and his deeds. His father is killed, with his mother following suite shortly thereafter, leaving Sam to raise his younger siblings. All the while, the words of his father kept with him, and helped to shape him.
With the total change in appearances, their reasons for being Captain America are also drastically different. Steve Rogers wanted to serve his country, and thus chose to become the Captain. Sam Wilson was forced to face harsh realities early in life, and thus chooses now to fight for himself and the memory of his father.
The idea of giving Captain America a change for a new generation I think is a nice idea, the unimaginative name aside. And Sam Wilson is definitely qualified to be a hero on the same level. Though I do personally have an issue with Sam Wilson being Captain America; it just looks like they took the stars and stripes, and slapped it on the Falcon along with Captain’s shield. And viola, he’s the new Captain America. I really do think there needs to be more than just passing of costume if he’s really going to be Captain America.
Definitely read for yourself though and draw your own conclusions. I just hope the series doesn’t read as a “Falcon” comic with nothing but a “Captain America” dust jacket. “All New Captain America” is available now at your local comic shop.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.