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So Sam Wilson is the New Captain America


Stephen Colbert sat down with Joe Quesada and joked through the confirmation that Sam Wilson, nee The Falcon will be the New Captain America, or as Colbert suggested, “Captain African-American.” This was necessitated because Cap was artificially aged so people could feed him Ensure due to Rick Remender’s disgusting geriatric fetish***. In a burst of innovation, the new book will be called All-New Captain America, and Remender and Stuart Immonenn will be the team…but Carlos Pacheco designed the new Cap’s spiffy new togs. The new team did their first interview on Marvel.com:

“While Sam shares many of Steve’s beliefs in a general sense, he’s also a very different person with a very different background,” adds editor Tom Brevoort, “He didn’t grow up in the 1930s, he’s a modern day man in touch with the problems of the 21st Century. For most of his professional life, Sam has worked as a social worker, so he’s seen the worst of urban society up close, and how crime, poverty, lack of social structure and opportunity can affect the community. So he’s got perhaps a greater focus on the plight of the common man, and perhaps a greater empathy for the underprivileged than maybe even Steve himself. He’s also not a military man, so he’s more apt to be instinctively skeptical of any situation that calls for just following orders. Sam, like Steve, will be led by his personal morality and beliefs as to what is right and what is wrong—and where his beliefs may differ in their shading from those of the previous Cap are where the interesting stories will be found.”

In a third assault on Avengers normalcy, EW revealed that Iron Man is getting a superior makeover in a series by Tom Tayler and Yildiray Cinar:

In November, Superior Iron Man #1 sends Tony Stark to San Francisco with a new outfit and a new perspective on life. “The Genius Bar costume is there for a reason,” Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso tells EW. “The newly-transformed Superior Iron Man has very ambitious plans for the city that some of its residents embrace, but not all.” Comic book fans will note the very pointed addition of the word “Superior” to the title. The last time that happened, it was Superior Spider-Man, and Doctor Octopus took over Peter Parker’s brain. Doc Ock won’t be invading Tony’s frontal lobe, but Alonso does note, “Like the Superior Spider-Man, Superior Iron Man is a character that’s hard to root for.” In a series written by Tom Taylor and drawn by Yildiray Cinar.

Obvs. we’ll have more to say about this when we’ve had some much needed sleep, but three things jump out:

A) Nice way to handle the news cycle, Marvel. Beats the days when you broke everything on Newsarama.

B) While obviously white men Thor and Cap will be back at some point—reinforcing the narrative of the white male hero—the diversity of Lady Thor and AfAm Captain America shouldn’t be swept aside either. The emerging fandom has been calling for diversity and here it is. Now, I would like to see more diversity BEHIND the page at Marvel, but overall let’s praise the step towards inclusion. 

C) That said, comic book heroes are always turning into other things, getting skin conditions, moving to new dimensions, losing limbs and so on. The Shocking appearance of change! When all is said and done these will be remembered as stories, first and foremost, and that’s how it should be. 

*** kidding


  1. I guess my own issue is one that you touched upon – at some stage, the originals will come back and in a narrative sense that is generally set-up with the replacement failing in some way or needing the original to come and save the day.

    Having said that, I’m pretty sure that Sam has been Captain America before for at least one story arc.

  2. I know comics is full of silly stuff, and Falcon’s wings on their own are already on the silly side of the spectrum, but the combination of the wings and the shield looks impossibly ridiculous.

  3. Sheesh, all diversity driven, but you really can’t replace the original characters. Thor a woman, Captain America an African-American. What’s next, Iron Man, a cross dresser, and Spider-Man the Korean?

    Maybe they should just invent more cool heroes and introduce the diversity that way? Inferno looks like a promising new hero, who seems to be Hispanic.

  4. “What’s next, Iron Man, a cross dresser, and Spider-Man the Korean?”
    I’d buy both of those comics, though I think the Iron Maiden one would top the list.

  5. But yeah, new heroes strike me as the better proposition. The problem is that in the era of multi-media synergy, the big 2 would be taking a big risk trying to get traction out of a new creation, at least where potential legal claims are concerned. And any creator with a great idea for a new character (of any stripe) would be silly to give them over to Disney or Warner. If you want innovation, look elsewhere. But diversity is possible even within the narrow parameters of Marvel and DC legacy characters.

  6. If I had the chance to ask the Marvels powers that be a single question, it’d be this: “This is because Tumblr is in love with Anthony Mackie, isn’t it?”

  7. Spider-Man the Korean?

    Mark Millar already did this one in his Ultimate Avengers series that followed the Ultimates. If I remember right the character was also supposedly able to talk anyone into suicide.

    That said, the replacing of the lead with another character is pretty common for Captain America and Thor. Remember US Agent and Thunderstrike? They did this same thing as recently as 2011 when Bucky replaced Cap and What’s His Name replaced Thor for like two issues after Fear Itself.

  8. 1. I really hope that this is a solid story and not just a gimmick to garner publicity and increase sales. As a long time comic reader, we all know that this is a short term thing before the inevitable headline of “Cap Returns!” (Um, Cap was dead, how long ago???)

    2. It really makes sense from a character standpoint that Sam got a turn. Good for him. Not from left field at all. And I mean that non-sarcastically.

    3. I wonder what Kyle Baker thinks about all this? Especially the statements of “Cap has never been black before.” Um. Truth, anyone?

  9. My greatest concern is that Tony Stark moving to San Francisco will upend any plans Mark Waid has for Daredevil. Other than that possibility, this all looks fun to me.

    Remember fun?

  10. The House of Original Idea is truly over and done. Steve Rogers has lost the serum and is old now. I think I already read this “back in the day” with Captain America #291 (thereabouts) which led to a superb finale with the battle between Cap and the Red Skull in Captain America #300 and #301 where Cap returned to normal. And Marvel wonders why I stopped buying their shit.

  11. It’s a back-door pilot.
    The “new” version gets the spotlight. Marvel tests a new character, created in-house, and if worthwhile, spins it off, or moves it over into a team book.

    DC did this with Batwoman in Detective.
    Marvel did it before with Captain America/The Captain/U.S. Agent.
    John Byrne did it with Alpha Flight.

  12. Fond as I am of Sam, there are other black men associated with Cap– and sadly, Marvel seems to have forgotten them… I’ll always love Eli if they don’t, tho’. :(

  13. This feels like a rather hollow gesture when it comes to diversifying the line, since this is obviously a temp move. I suspect both Thor and Steve will be back to status quo by the time Avengers 2 comes out. So that’ll be what? About two trades worth of material each for nuThor and Sam? I don’t think it’s worth getting het up about because there is some definite positive aspect to all this, but I’m not inclined to go crazy applauding it either.

  14. You know what’s funny about this? There were a certain contingent of people whining about the Thor announcement, that it was sexist because it was a woman taking a male characters name and how it subjugated female identity and why can’t we get original female characters with agency. What those people don’t get is that argument by default is inherently entitled and racist because just as it says we can’t have a SHE Hulk or a Spider WOMAN, it also says we can’t have a black Nick Fury because he’s not the REAL nick fury, he’s just the BLACK nick fury. There’s a variety of reasons why creating original characters in the big two environment is a problem for creators and I don’t want to wait for diversity on the timetable of those arguing we should wait for companies to give us original diverse characters rather than having a female version of a male hero or a black version of a white hero because AGENCY! It’s taken decades but She-Hulk is her own character, Spider-Woman is her own character, Batgirl is her own character. A black Nick Fury is now accepted as is Miles Morales Spider-Man. These are iconic characters, once white males, who are now women and people of color. It’s more important for women and minorities to take up that mantle than to wait for an “original character” slot to debut in. I love what Image is doing and their diversity, but lets face it, not a single Image character, with the possible exception of Spawn, is iconic. And probably never will be. But we have Sam Jackson/Nick Fury toys in the toy aisles now and that’s pretty dang cool. An original diverse character is great. But not as great as a black Captain America or a woman being worthy to wield Mjolnir.

  15. Okay … I was thinking the other day that I have nothing in common with most Marvel and DC characters. They’re the best friends from college and high school, but now you can’t maintain a two minute conversation because you have diverged so far away from that point in your life.

    And the shocking revelations, wherein nothing will ever be the same, are not shocking any longer. I’m crying in my beer, because I grew up, and comics ddn’t.

  16. @jessicab – so the answer to getting a diversity of characters is to replace the identity of an already established character with a new one? so you basically screw over an established fan base to create another, an if anyone bitches or moans about it they are racist or sexist? i say thee nay! i’m not against having female or minority characters, i just feel that one character should not be created at the expense of another, especially using a plotline that has been done to death (which is the reason i will not be picking up the thor or cap books, how many times can they go down this “replace the main character with another character” road before it just gets tired (no matter who they replace the main character with). one problem with creating a female or minority counterpart to an established character is that they can be considered a knock-off of the original, the attitude being “who cares about she-hulk, when you can have the original hulk?” now i don’t feel this this way , my attitude is the more the merrier. counterpart characters can be just as engaging and fun as the originals if handled right. you want a female thor ? fine , create one and have her fight alongside the male thor. have a few stories where she saves his butt from getting kicked. there hasn’t been a female captain america in the 616 universe. go ahead, create one, maybe have the super soldier process recreated but this time on a woman, who survives the process. i think the visuals of a male and female captain america striking a pose would be fantastic. dc comics has done this throughout their history and they have some of the greatest female characters around. maybe we can even have male versions of female characters , an african american male version of storm, a male version of medusa , or a male version of the white queen (tho’ i think patrick swayze played that part already in “to wong foo”).by the way, batgirl and she hulk have been their own characters for many years now. i would say a female character that is finally coming into their own is captain marvel , written by kelly sue mcconnick. good stuff. as for the black nick fury of the 616 universe, the reason he’s not considered nick fury is ’cause he’s not. he’s son of nick fury, nick jr. if you please. right now marvel seems to be in the process of getting rid of nick sr., so nick jr. will probably very soon be the only nick fury in the 616 universe , but he’s not the original. in the ultimate universe nick fury was originally presented as a black man (same as the movie universe) , so in that universe that’s what he is, there are no other nick furys before him, no if’s, ands, or but’s.

  17. Yeah, stick me in the “create new characters to add diversity” camp. The main problem is they make these characters as gimmicks and then toss them aside in a few issues. Marvel, make a new black or female character, add them to the Avengers movie, then they’ll have established a new character that makes their line more diverse. It’s not like taking one black character and giving him a new costume is actually creating diversity. Sam’s just changing clothes. Marvel is smart, however, to capitalize on his appearance in The Winter Soldier. I think he was handled really well in that movie and should become an Avenger (and don’t be afraid to make his costume red and white!!).

    All of this aside, I’m hearing lots of bad things about Remender’s work on Cap. Killing a kid by shooting him in the throat, and just trying to be shocking for the sake of being shocking. I will be skipping this (and whatever’s going on with Thor).

  18. This stuff makes for good press but will people buy it? Marvel felt the need to announce Thor on the View and Joe Q had to go on Colbert for the Captain America news. Remember when Marvel had diversity and it didn’t feel like a stunt? The Black Panther, King of Wakanda, an African American sidekick for Captain America (who shared the titles name with Cap for a period of time), an international group of X-Men, a multicultural group of characters in the New Mutants (where the female members outnumbered the male 3 to 2), the strongest member of the Fantastic Four being replaced by a female character, Spider-Woman and Dazzler having pretty respectable runs in their own titles (She-Hulk having multiple solo runs).

    Were these examples perfect? Of course not. Marvel also had comics written by Dwayne McDuffie, Jim Owsley, Louise Simonson, Ann Nocenti, and Jo Duffy. Comics drawn by June Brigman, Marie Severin, Denys Cowan, Keith Pollard and Mark Bright. Those names are just off the top of my head so hopefully I’ve missed a few creators who were not the dreaded “white male”. The group I just mentioned wrote some of my favorite Marvel comic books of the 80’s. So what happened at Marvel that it’s now big news every time Marvel “embraces diversity”? Someone dropped the ball in the 90’s and it left many with the perception (rightfully so) that Marvel and DC only make comics for white men instead of building on what was starting to develop in the 80’s (at Marvel at least).

  19. So this is what passes for “creative” in the Marvel universe…..

    …..and people wonder why I’m down to one Marvel book (Hulk)….that is, until they cancel it only to revive it under “Superior Hulk” one month later.

    Seems the vaunted “House of Ideas” ran out of them in the early part of last decade.

  20. Comics starring new characters usually don’t sell very well. So creating new characters into increase diversity isn’t really accomplishing anything.

  21. With the unprecedented opportunities today’s Image offer to creators, especially established ones, and all the potential media branching Marvel’s (and DC) characters have, why in the world would any writer create original character for them? It’s obvious that they use already existent characters; Gillen can make an Arno Stark, Mc Kelvie design some new costume, Fraction try to refresh the Inhuman concept but I seriously doubt any for them (or Hickman and the others big Marvel’s writer) would create a totally original, great character only to leave the rights of exploitation to Marvel.

  22. I’m all for change but this just seems old and tired. Replacing a popular white character with a black/female character has been done before and we all know when the sales tank after the initial excitement it will be reversed.

  23. “I’m all for the hero fighting a villain, but this just seems old and tired. Having a big fight scene where everyone uses their powers at the end of a long complicated event has been done before and we all know when the sales tank after the initial excitement it will be reversed.”

    Fixed that for ya.

  24. If I trusted Marvel, I would get involved, get excited, and eagerly watch the whole thing play out to a satisfying conclusion. Unfortunately reboots, .1s, and massive(ly disappointing) events are more important than the characters now. I see no reason to trust Marvel.

  25. Personally I’m fed up with having diversity being shoved down my throat.
    Marvel can take their books and stick em where the sun don’t shine.
    Most of their decisions these days seem to be about pleasing a vocal internet crowd who may demand such books but don’t actually ever seem willing to open their wallets and buy ’em.
    And if that makes me a sexist, cross burning KKK member so be it.

  26. If they wanted a black character to be Captain America, why not someone other than Sam Wilson. Nothing against Wilson at all, actually I’ve always liked the Falcon—and that’s my point. Wilson should remain the Falcon, no sense uprooting him for a meaningless gimmick that’ll be over about the same time Wolverine comes back from his, ahem, “death”, Thor “mans up” again, and Iron Man is no longer “Superior”.

    Hey, Marvel: Howsabout canning the cheap gimmicks and the endless crossovers and concentrate on telling some good stories for a change?

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