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Thoughts on the New Captain America

On Monday, Marvel will announce who the new Captain America will be (with the current Captain America, Steve Rogers, currently out of action due to events in Rick Remender’s run on the title).

new-cap-teaser-35933

The answer is pretty much a given, as there’s about a 99.9999% chance that it will be a certain character. Read on for the spoilers of which character it will be and why I think it’s about damn time (also, regarding spoilers, the link above also pretty much spoils it, as well).

About twenty years ago, Mark Gruenwald started a storyline that seemed to suggest that Steve Rogers might be replaced as Captain America. Gruenwald then introduced four new partiotic-themed characters. It was all very Reign of the Supermen (it was also a pretty bad storyline). At the time, I figured that they were ultimately going to replace Cap with someone temporarily, as DC had done recently with Batman and as comic companies had been doing for more than a decade at that point in time (James Rhodes, Eric Masterson and John Walker, to name three examples). I had two choices that I really wanted to see as Cap at the time – my #2 choice was Vance Astrovik from the New Warriors (as a sort of nod to his future self from the Guardians of the Galaxy, who was wielding Cap’s shield at the time, and also as a nice upgrade from his Justice identity with all the padding – oh, the padding) and my top choice was Sam Wilson, the Falcon.

Later on, when Captain America was seemingly killed after Civil War, Bucky Barnes was the obvious choice to succeed him, as Ed Brubaker’s whole run on Cap to that point had been about Bucky’s return. I had no problem with that. I did have a slight problem with Marvel’s Fallen Son storyline that seemed to suggest that Clint Barton was the natural heir to Steve Rogers. Once again, I thought that Sam Wilson should have been the top choice.

Sam was Cap’s partner for years, longer than Cap was partners with anyone else (#134-217, although Falcon maintained his status in the title of the book for another five issues) so I felt that that history should be respected more than it seems like it has been over the years. By the way, doesn’t it kind of blow your mind that Cap and Falcon were partners longer than Cap and Bucky were partners? It’s sort of like how Jean Grey has remained dead after New X-Men #150 twice as long as she stayed dead after the Dark Phoenix Saga. Or how Gwen Stacy’s entire life as a character (seven and a half years) is the same amount of time it has been since One More Day started (seven and a half years ago).

Obviously, Steve Rogers is always going to come back to take the job, but just like how Dick Grayson should be the guy who replaces Bruce Wayne if anything happens to Bruce, so, too, should Sam replace Steve and up until now it hasn’t happened.

Oh, yeah, that 99.9999% thing I was talking about – it is almost assuredly going to be Falcon taking over as Cap now. Hopefully his Cap suit keeps the wings. Why would you give up the ability to fly if you didn’t have to?

Anyhow, cool decision, Marvel!

36 Comments

Gruenwald is one of the greatest idea men comics every had. We are diminished without him.

Travis Pelkie

July 6, 2014 at 4:36 am

Man, it’s shadowy in the link, of course, on that Avengers cover, but ugh, what an awful new costume. Those goggles!

That said, yeah, it’s a cool idea, certainly. Hopefully the follow through won’t suck, though.

I don’t remember that from Fallen Son re: Clint. Haven’t read it in a while, though. Because the hothead who always chafes against authority is certainly the heir to the coolheaded dude who embodies the ideals of America.

And cries when he kills bad guys.

Yeah, y’know, I won’t believe that there’s a new Cap until he’s crying over the death of a bad guy.

Sam Wilson is a marvel character that I would like to see be put in the spotlight but I cannot stand his look. Instead of only having his mouth exposed, his forehead and hair are also visible. To me that just looks godawful.

In the link above it also shows the godawful look of the character Alex Summers. Gimme the masked look by John Cassaday anytime. If it is indeed the asgardian Thor featured in the link above than, regarding that character, his look is also godawful.

Is it more than a coincidence that the marvel characters James ‘Logan’ Howlett, Nick Fury and Steve Rogers have all lost their youthfull appearances because of the loss of the healing factor, infinity formula and super-soldier serum running thruogh their bodies?

All 3 characters have at least lived more then 75 years, like the company Marvel Comics celebrates this year their 75th anniversary (1939-2014).

I’d rather Falcon stayed as, y’know, Falcon.

FFS, he was the first black superhero not saddled with ‘Black’ in their name. Dude needs some damn respect for that. After TWS, he deserves a bit of comic-book spotlight shining, but not by making him the umpty-first affirmative-action legacy character of a white dude, like John Stewart, Rhodey (twice), kid Patriot, etc…

Tracer Bullet

July 6, 2014 at 6:59 am

Considering the reaction to Miles Morales and the mere prospect of Donald Glover as Spider-Man, I can begin to imagine how much worse the bigots will be this time.

Duff McWhalen

July 6, 2014 at 7:10 am

I was really confused and off-put when the Bucky thing was going on, and Brubaker said when it came to the Falcon, he didn’t think a black man would wear the flag colors, or something like that.

Mom: “Billy, you liked that Captain America movie so much I went and got you these comic books.”

Billy: “Who da fug is this guy?”

No, no, it’s more like this.

Mom: “What, Captain American comics? I didn’t know there was a comic! I think I’ll buy one since Billy liked the movie so much?”

Mom picks up the comic: “What the fug? 4 big dollars for this thin little magazine? Who buys this shit? Get out of here!”

FFS, he was the first black superhero not saddled with ‘Black’ in their name. Dude needs some damn respect for that. After TWS, he deserves a bit of comic-book spotlight shining, but not by making him the umpty-first affirmative-action legacy character of a white dude, like John Stewart, Rhodey (twice), kid Patriot, etc.

How is Falcon an affirmative action hire? That’s pretty offensive.

Later on, when Captain America was seemingly killed after Civil War, Bucky Barnes was the obvious choice to succeed him, as Ed Brubaker’s whole run on Cap to that point had been about Bucky’s return. I had no problem with that. I did have a slight problem with Marvel’s Fallen Son storyline that seemed to suggest that Clint Barton was the natural heir to Steve Rogers. Once again, I thought that Sam Wilson should have been the top choice.

Wasn’t Fallen Son written by Jeph Loeb? If so, it’s not meant to make sense, similar to how you don’t examine Bob Haney book’s for the continuity. The point of a Jeph Loeb-written comic is so that Marvel can get Loeb to use his rolodex and call in a hot artist who is normally hard to get. The story is an afterthought, no?

not by making him the umpty-first affirmative-action legacy character of a white dude, like John Stewart, Rhodey (twice), kid Patriot, etc…

This sentence is actually offensive on multiple levels now that I reread it.

It’s cute that people actually believe that parents go out and buy their kids comics after those kids enjoy superhero movies. Or that they would examine the comic so hard as to notice or care that the Captain America in it didn’t match up to the one in the movie.

Fury has a point, even though Sam does seem like a logical heir to the title. I have the same feeling about Dick Grayson actually–after establishing himself as Nightwing, I always felt he’d continue rather than step into Batman’s cowl (this may reflect that while I don’t mind legacy heroes, I don’t buy There Has To Be An X).
Travis, Clint has often credited Cap for making a man out of him, so I can see where the idea of him picking up the shield comes from. But no, I agree with you he doesn’t fit.
Brian, was this the Fighting Chance plotline? I looked it up online but if I ever read it, it didn’t stick with me.

Falcon is his own man, his own hero. Making him the new Cap reinforces the idea he was Cap’s sidekick, not his partner, just Cap junior. By all means give him the shield but not force him into a costume from someone he should see as an (almost) equal, not a superior. (I say almost, ´cuz Cap is admired by Zeus himself, no one is actually at Cap’s level)

Falcon is his own man, his own hero. Making him the new Cap reinforces the idea he was Cap’s sidekick, not his partner, just Cap junior. By all means give him the shield but not force him into a costume from someone he should see as an (almost) equal, not a superior. (I say almost, ´cuz Cap is admired by Zeus himself, no one is actually at Cap’s level)

This I agree with.

I think it would be great to see Falcon be Captain America for a while. When Cap supposedly died, I had the same thought–that of course it would be Bucky who took over, but I’d have loved for it to have been Sam, who’d be wayyyy more appropriate than Hawkeye.

And sure, he’s his own man, but so was Nightwing when he stood in for Batman. (Bucky, less so. His partnership with Cap was really all he had going on aside from being mind-controlled for decades.)

And just for the sake of throwing ideas out, if it were going to be someone who wasn’t closely associated with Steve Rogers, it would be fun to see American Eagle play the part for a while. He’d have some pretty interesting ideas about the role.

Robin, Bucky, Kid Flash etc are assistants to their big shot hero. Having the Falcon take over Cap is like asking the Atom to become Hawkman as they have partnered up. The Falcon is no more the successor to Cap than Iron Man is to Thor. It just demeans the character.

Jake Earlewine

July 6, 2014 at 1:02 pm

I wish they could just tell stories, and stop screwing around with the character.

That’s what stories do. Without screwing around with the character, Captain America would just lie around in a field all day smelling the daffodils.

I never felt Nightwing was ever his own man, so his becoming Batman was never a problem for me. When you say something enough, people start accepting it as true, and this was the case with Nightwing. It was common to say that Dick was now his own man and that he now was “out of the shadow of the Bat,” but really, he never was. Even when he became Nightwing, he was still constantly obsessing over his daddy issues under Wolfman’s pen. It’s similar to that friend you have who keeps saying he’s over his girlfriend. If he has to keep bringing it up over and over, he’s probably not over her. Same with Nightwing’s claims of being his own man and being out of Batman’s shadow.

Travis Pelkie

July 6, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Nah, Cap’s a stop and smell the roses kinda guy, no?

The modern-day Patriot is a legacy hero, sure, but the legacy is Isaiah Bradley. Nobody cares about the legacy of the original Patriot, not even Jeff Mace himself, who didn’t hesitate to ditch the short pants to replace Cap.

I’m also betting that it’ll be Falcon. It’s his turn to take the mantle, and I’m sure the positive reception to the character in the new CA movie will be one of the major reasons behind it.

If not, my second guess would be Black Crow, who was planned to replace Cap in the 80s before Marvel changed their minds at the last minute.

Travis Pelkie

July 6, 2014 at 5:44 pm

And btw, it warms my heart that we got an anti-Loeb bit from T. It’s the kind of thing that makes you remember what’s great about comics, America, and life itself.

;)

It’s been a long time, maybe over a year. I even resisted during the best Batman writers list. But alas I caved. :(

Travis Pelkie

July 7, 2014 at 12:02 am

You have been very good about not doing it. Don’t feel bad that you fell off the wagon. It was actually quite restrained and pointed, and was certainly better than how I usually criticize (see: my comment on the latest Abandoned an’ Forsaked). You had a reasonable explanation for why he am not good. Whereas I’ll say something like “boy, Identity Crisis suxxxor!”

Just remember, when it comes to Long Halloween or Hush on Batman storyline list, you may hold back, but we’ll all be thinking, boy, T’s right about this guy….

;)

I also expect Falcon, more for the fact that he’s enjoying such a burst of popularity from the movie. Tons of people walked into that film never having heard of him and walked out loving the character.
Also, Dick Grayson was always the wrong choice. The reason he became Nightwing was to distance himself from his previous role as Bruce’ successor. The cowl should have gone to Tim Drake, the only Robin to figure out Batman’s identity and go to him seeking training.

I guess I’m on the page of that he was Cap’s partner, not sidekick. No one would say if Falcon lost his powers that Steve Rogers should take his identity. But I don’t have any real problem with him getting his turn with the Shield, because he deserves it as much or more than the others who have. And it’ll all be changed back by the time Avengers 2 comes out.

The timing is weird though….forget people buying Cap comics right after the movie, and seeing a different guy…like that happens. But just as people who know the character start seeing how Falcon is/can be a cool character after the movie, let’s make him NOT the Falcon. Uhm, ok.

I agree with the side that says it is a step down for Falcon to become the new Captain America. Give him the shield, okay. But he should be Falcon with Cap’s shield, not Captain American VII (or whatever the current count is.)

I guess it`s not Battlestar.

I’m basically over this book. The art has been okay (not great, but okay) but the writing has been down right atrocious. First they unceremoniously kill Sharon who was just acting as a deux ex machine anyway for the dimension Zola storyline and now they’re pulling the typical “Oh no Steve loses his super soldier serum” shtick 21 issues in.

Why can’t Marvel consistently put out books as good as Daredevil? Clone Samnee and Waid please and get them to draw/write the rest of your books. Either that, or figure out what they’re doing right and get the rest of your teams on the same plan.

In terms of Steve Rogers someday taking over the Falcon’s identity, why not? That would be intriguing for awhile.

If he can be Nomad, I have no problem with him being the Falcon. But they’d never do it because they’re treating Falcon like a sidekick, not an equal. (Or as equal as anyone can be with Captain America).

Jake, I’m likewise unimpressed by the current writing. And Sharon’s sufficiently important that I don’t buy her dying.

I know they’ll never do it, but it would be kind of interesting if he stayed Falcon AND designated Captain America in addition to it. Like, instead of Captain America being a specific costume motif and codename, it’s almost a rank/position on its own bestowed on the paragon hero of American values, along with, probably, the shield. Like an actor can be named People’s Sexiest Man Alive without changing their stage name to that.

Can’t wait for Secret X-Civil War 2 in 2017 after Rand Paul becomes President.

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