July 21, 2017

Captain America 117Real Name: Sam ‘Snap’ Wilson

First Appearance: Captain America #117 (September, 1969)

Powers: Telepathic link to all birds including Redwing. This allows him to see through the eyes of every bird on the planet. Was trained by Captain America in various fighting styles. Uses a harness with wings to fly.

Affiliation: Avengers

Enemies: Most Avenger Enemies

Did You Know: Sam Wilson was the first mainstream Black character in comics.  At one point, Marvel renamed the Captain America comic Captain America and The Falcon.

A Little History

Falcon was introduced to us in September of 1969.

Sam Wilson was raised by his own parents and if you have read any of the other posts (Cyclops, Storm, Black Widow, Nightcrawler) you know just how rare this is.  His father, Paul Wilson, was a minister who was killed later in life while attempting to break up a street fight.  His mother was also killed.  No, she wasn’t involved in the street fight.  She would be killed while being mugged.

Let’s back up for a second.

It should be noted that Sam spent a lot of his time keeping pigeons in the coop on the rooftop of the building he lived in.

Did you catch that?  That, my friends, is a little foreshadowing.

This led Sam to leave New York and head to Los Angeles.  While in L.A. he ditched the Sam part of his name and went by ‘Snap’.  Snap turned to a life of crime. Snap was a loser.

While on a trip to Rio, Snap’s plane began to malfunction and crash-landed on an island known as Exile Island.  It got the name Exile Island from a group of former Red Skull henchmen who had taken up living there.  Their group name was…get this…The Exiles…

It was on this island that Snap would befriend his longtime companion, Redwing.

Don’t laugh, but because of his pigeon raising, he was able to train Redwing with ease.

One day, Sam found himself caught in the middle of a battle between the Red Skull and Captain America.

FalconThe Red Skull is a man who prides himself on brilliant ideas to rid the world of Captain America.  The tension/problems between these two dates back to WW2.

One such brilliant idea came in the form of Sam Wilson.

While battling Captain America, the Red Skull decided to use the Cosmic Cube to brainwash Sam.  He would ‘program’ him to become a good guy and would rewire his brain so that he would forget that he was a criminal and resume life as a community and social worker.

Muwahahahahaha…pure evil genius!

Not only this, but the Cosmic Cube was used to allow Sam a telepathic link to Redwing and all other birds.  Suddenly, he was able to see through the eyes of every bird on the planet.

If this teaches us anything, it should be that we need to close our bedroom curtains…Sam could be watching.

Instantly Falcon and Captain America became allies and thwarted the Red Skull and the Exiles.

Shortly thereafter, Captain America and Sam went back to New York and occasionally found themselves fighting crime together.

In the beginning, Sam would have to jump from roof to roof.  During a meeting with the technologically advanced Black Panther, he was given a set of Vibranium Wings.

He literally became like Dumbo the Elephant and could fly.

Now, if you have red the Spider-Man post, you will have read the line, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”  In Sam’s case, “With great power, comes a new costume.”

Falcon would go on to become one of Captain America’s most trusted friends/allies. This was so much that as mentioned, the Captain America comic book title was renamed Captain America and The Falcon.

Most recently, Falcon has taken up the mantle of Captain America.

Long, story short, Sam saved the day in a big way.  Because Steve Rogers (Captain America) was aged tremendously by a villain, he asked Sam to become the new Captain America.

Sam accepted and thus is the current Captain America.Falcon Cap

Scott’s Notes:

  1. Parents were killed in two separate criminal instances
  2. Sam left New York for L.A. and took up the moniker, Snap.
  3. Snap became a criminal
  4. While travelling to Rio, Snap’s plane crashed, landing him on Exile Island
  5. Befriended Redwing on the island
  6. Caught in a battle between Red Skull and Captain America
  7. Cosmic Cube was used to brainwash Sam to become a good guy
  8. Cosmic Cube gave Sam the ability to see through the eyes of every bird on the planet
  9. Sam, now Falcon, joins Captain America in the fight against evil
  10. Falcon becomes new Captain America

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