So, now Captain America is Black. Why is that shocking? Last night on The Colbert Resport Marvel CCO Joe Quesada announced that Sam Wilson (previously known as the Falcon) while take on the role of Captain America in the October issue. This is shocking news for several reasons.

First, 99% of people had never heard of Sam Wilson before Captain America: The Winter Soldier played by Anthony Mackie. The character's been around since the 60's and is the first African-American superhero but most people think of him as a minor character.

Second, Captain America embodied the Caucasian ideal. He's strong, he's patriotic and he's got blue eyes and blond hair. Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort said "It's about time. In 2014, this should be a thing that we shrug off, it shouldn't be seen as revolutionary, but it still feels exciting.”

Third, everyone loves Chris Evans and don't want the movies to change. They won't.

Fourth, Marvel has already blown people away with the news that Thor will become an unnamed woman and will be known as Thor, not She-Thor.

Here's why it's cool though.
They could have made Sam Wilson any character, but they chose the one that most challenges the audience. This could lead to a huge shift in acceptance of minority characters in comic books. I doubt this change will stay long since Rogers is still around. He's now 90-years-old, but still providing backup support. It's just refreshing to know that Marvel is making changes that broaden the audience.

Plus, he'll be able to fly. “Historically, Falcon would often act as air support, flying Steve into the battle." Rick Remender told Marvel, "Why not merge the two? He pops the wings, and as he flies, he keeps the shield latched onto his back. He dives down onto the scene, hurls the shield, wings retract, and rolls into a kick or jump, catches the shield on the way back. He doesn’t have the super soldier serum, but he has the added zing-zang-zoom of flight.”

All this is part of  Marvel NOW! they started back in 2012 as "the next chapter in the ongoing saga of the Marvel Universe." Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso said, "From October through February, we’ll provide at least one great reason for readers—old, lapsed or new—to go into a comic store each week: a new issue #1, featuring an exciting new creative team and driving concept, that’s an easy entry-point into the Marvel Universe."Wave Two started in 2013 and led to more changes. The most noticeable one is that Dr. Octopus became Superior Spider-Man.

While none of these changes will probably stick for long it shows Marvel is serious about broadening it's audience.  “We have more of a global audience than ever,” says Brevoort. “And that just makes us more aware that we have more readers of different backgrounds who are hungry for characters who come from circumstances like their own. Our creators take that seriously.”

What do you think of the news of a Black Captain America?

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Pat Dilloway said...

I'd be more interested if this and the Thor thing weren't just more cheap gimmicks like "killing" Wolverine this fall or when they got rid of Peter Parker as Spider-Man, etc. etc. They already had Bucky as Captain America the last time they got rid of Steve Rogers (when he "died") and he came back so in six months or a year he'll be back again and none of this will matter all that much, thus no reason for latent racists and sexists to get offended.

At best, Sam Wilson gets a spin-off title for a year or two out of this once Steve Rogers comes back.

It was funny with the Thor one someone commented that Thor's a person not just a title! I might have agreed if I hadn't read the original comics a month or two ago where Thor isn't an actual person, but just a fairly typical superhero, ie, some dude finds a hammer and becomes "Thor." So really like I said, they're just getting back to their roots, only a big-breasted blond woman picks up the hammer instead of some wimpy male doctor.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Merging the two sounds like a smart move. I have no problem with it.
Now, a woman named Thor is a little bit unnerving...

Nate Gebhart said...

"Fourth, Marvel has already blown people with the news that Thor will become an unnamed woman and will be known as Thor, not She-Thor."

Might want to find a place to add "away" to this sentence. Or was that an intentional omission?

Maurice Mitchell said...

LOL that must have been a Freudian slip. I've added the word "away." Thanks

Hoppypatamus said...

I'm here to help.

MarkM said...

I've always thought Sam Wilson was an interesting character and think it's a bit of a shame that Marvel thinks they have to put him in the Cap role to "make him interesting". Besides, they're just going to change it back before the next movie comes out, so I see it as a bit of a waste.

I don't understand why they can't take the character, as is, and do more cool stuff with him. But, then again, I'm not a comic book big wig, so...meh.

Tom Badguy said...

I agree with this:

Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort said "It's about time. In 2014, this should be a thing that we shrug off, it shouldn't be seen as revolutionary, but it still feels exciting.”


Is he wearing red, white and blue...then he is Captain America.
Comics will always evolve as the culture around it does.

Tony Laplume said...

Follows in the footsteps of Eli Bradley (Young Avengers' Patriot) and Isaiah Bradley (Truth: Red, White & Black).

John Garrett said...

I have to admit, I have more respect for Falcon than I thought I would. I don't really care that he's Captain America, but it does show that Marvel and the writers actually believe in the character.

I've never been one to buy much Captain America, but I do hope this does well.

Serge Cirri said...

That the next Captain America would be black doesn't disturb me per se. It's not silly like making Heimdall or Johnny Storm black, which is not only a rewrite (I had no problem with black Nick Fury in the movies or in the Ultimate Universe) but is also illogical and contrary to the original characters ; as much so as would a white Black Panther or Luke Cage.
What troubles me is that Sam Wilson is, well, Falcon ! When Bucky became Cap, he went all Cap, didn't keep his Winter Soldier uniform. Sure, he kept his arm (!), but what I see with Sam isn't a black Cap, I see Falcon with a shield. No super-strength, no real tactician skills, a flying man with a few gadgets... Black, white or green it just doesn't feel like Captain America to me.


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