Saturday, July 19, 2014

First a new Thor - now Captain America?!

Marvel Comics has announced Sam Wilson -- better known as the Falcon -- will be Captain America.

Just a few days ago, Marvel had rocked the fanboy/fangirl world with the news that there would be a female Thor. (I'm not buying Jason Aaron's assertion this being "the Thor"; I just can't see her being around for the long haul.)

Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort, in a statement, said original Captain America Steve Rogers will be a mentor to Wilson as he takes on the new role.

 "Steve's spirit is as willing as ever, but his body is no longer up to the task of being Captain America, so he'll employ his skills as the new Cap's remote strategic adviser," Brevoort said.

Marvel is changing Cap because they're playing the age card with Rogers - really?!? That's just lame. Really lame. But that goes without saying for this lifelong Caphead; the focus an this post is why the move of having Wilson-as-Cap makes sense.

Just like with the female Thor situation, I don't see Wilson as Captain America lasting long either. We all know it's a way to boost sales and interest -- both temporarily. The change will get fans talking and griping. Fans also will wonder what happened and/or will happen to the real Cap -- Steve Rogers.

At least this change makes sense.

Wilson has a long history of being there for Rogers -- dating back to Falcon's first appearance in 1969.

Cap and Falcon’s partnership and friendship were integral to the CAPTAIN AMERICA comics in the 1970s — so much so the title (or at least the title on the cover) changed its name to CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE FALCON for about 7 1/2 years. Writer Ed Brubaker made Falcon equally important to Cap’s supporting cast when he took over the writing duties in the early 2000.

Most recently, Wilson and Roger's friendship and loyalty can be recapped in Wilson's line from the film "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" when he says: "I do what he does -- just slower." Or even better, in the memorable line by Chris Evans' Rogers: "On your left."

Writers didn't do much with Cap and The Falcon together in the comics in the 1980s, but other than that, their friendship and crimefighting partnership has stood the test of time. In fact,their friendship was a bold move in the mid-1970s since friendship between whites and blacks were rare at that time. A black guy and a white guy being so tight and having each other's backs simply was unheard of; I applaud Marvel for that.

All that being said, I'm sure the Wilson-as-Captain America-situation will be more interesting because of his friendship with Rogers. But I've got no doubt it will be anything close to permanent. ... Well, Wilson will be Cap until Marvel figure out a way in which Rogers' body will be back "up to the task of being Captain America."

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