Champion of his community. Avian Avenger. Star-spangled superhero. Before the Falcon (Anthony Mackie) flies again with superhero partner Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) in Marvel Studios original series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, here are five essential Marvel Comics stories starring the winged warrior who becomes the all-new Captain America: Sam Wilson. Throughout his more than 50-year comic book history in the pages of Marvel Comics — read more about it in Comic Book's Back Issues: The Falcon — the high-flying hero of Harlem has battled costumed supervillains, civic unrest, racism, and social injustices. In these five stories, Sam Wilson soars first as the Falcon and then as a socially-active Captain America:
A social worker who lost his parents to street violence, Sam once believed he was the street hustler "Snap" Wilson until it was revealed this criminal persona was created by the Red Skull and the Cosmic Cube. A fateful battle with Steve Roger's Nazi nemesis brings the two heroes together for the first time, and a disguised Captain America convinces Sam Wilson to become the costumed crime-fighter the Falcon (Captain America #117). Together, Captain America and the Falcon defeat the Red Skull in "Now Falls the Skull!" (Captain America #119).
After officially becoming Captain America's new superhero partner (Captain America #133) decades after the apparent death of Steve's wartime buddy Bucky Barnes, the Falcon takes flight for the first time with mechanical wings engineered by the Black Panther (Captain America and the Falcon #170 and #171).
After he decides to fly solo for a time (Captain America and the Falcon #217), Sam briefly serves with the Defenders and the government-sanctioned Avengers when Henry Peter Gyrich appoints him to the team to fulfill the government's policy of equal opportunity for minorities (The Avengers #181, #184). Not wanting to be a "token," Sam resigns as a member of Earth's mightiest heroes (The Avengers #194).
Years into his crime-fighting career, often standing side-by-side with Steve Rogers as his equal, Sam Wilson is entrusted with the shield and responsibilities of Captain America when the villain Iron Nail neutralizes the Super-Soldier Serum granting Steve his superhuman abilities (Captain America Vol. 7 #21). Aged up to an old man and no longer able to wield the shield, Steve names Sam the all-new Captain America when the former Falcon steps out in a red-white-and-blue costume in "The Tomorrow Soldier: Conclusion" (Captain America Vol. 7 #25).
The Falcon fights on as the new Captain America despite being a politically controversial figure among the citizens of the Marvel Universe, battling such villains as Baron Zemo, Crossbones, HYDRA, and the terrorist Sin, the red-faced daughter of the Red Skull. When Captain America confronts Sin, foiling her plot to detonate a massive bomb, he defies her mind games when he calls his supposed history as "Snap" Wilson "nothing but a tired stereotype the Red Skull concocted to discredit me — to take away the honor I spent a lifetime earning." Defiant, a proud Sam Wilson tells the new Red Skull: "Like it or not, Nazi — I am Captain America." (All-New Captain America #3)
Though Sam ultimately relinquishes the star-spangled shield and the Captain America identity to protest the injustices of an America more divided than ever (in Captain America: Sam Wilson #21), he makes it his mission to inspire change — not as a costumed superhero, but as Sam Wilson. With his new partner Patriot, a.k.a. Rayshaun "Shaun" Lucas, Sam sets his sights on healing the streets of Chicago.
After he returns the shield to Steve (Generations: Sam Wilson Captain America & Steve Rogers Captain America #1), Sam once again takes to the skies as the Falcon with his eyes on helping underserved communities (in Falcon Vol. 2 #1).
Captain America #119: Captain America and the Falcon, Together For the First Time
With Captain America away, the Red Skull will play. Captain America is stranded on Exile Island with the Red Skull's murderous minions, while the red-faced devil ruins his reputation with the world. Will the Red Skull finally win?prevnext
Captain America (Vol. 7) #25: All-New Captain America
Extra-Sized Issue! - Who is the All-New Captain America? - The conclusion to the story that began in Dimension Z as Zola strikes in unison with The Red Skull! - The final fate of Jet Black!prevnext
All-New Captain America #3: I Am Captain America
This is it! The new generations meet--Captain America vs Sin, daughter of the Red Skull! - The truth in regards to the blood of equalization is revealed, but Hydra's proliferation is too wide, there is no stopping them now. - Nomad stands tall against the ruthless might of one of Cap's oldest foes!prevnext
Captain America: Sam Wilson #21: Whoever Comes Next
THE END OF THE LINE reaches its climax as Sam Wilson hits his breaking point!prevnext
Falcon #1: The Falcon Takes Flight
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier debuts on Disney+ beginning Friday, March 19th.0comments
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