So wait, who's Falcon and who's Redwing again?
Samuel Thomas "Sam" Wilson also known as The Falcon is a Marvel Comics
superhero introduced in Captain America
#117 (September 1969). Born and raised in Harlem, New York
, Sam was originally written as a social worker who joined up with Captain America. Later, the story was that while he was initially a happy child and quite fond of birds, as a teen, his experiences with racism and his parents' deaths
made him bitter, jaded and angry. Leaving his past behind him, he becomes "Snap" Wilson, a professional criminal, gang member, and pimp
While traveling to Rio de Janeiro
, he purchases a pet falcon and names it Redwing. Attempting to hijack a plane filled with laundered money, Snap crashed it into the Isle of Exiles. Snap and Redwing are found by the Red Skull
. Red Skull uses the Cosmic Cube to alter Snap's memory, from being a criminal and pimp to social worker
. The cube also gives him an empathic link with Redwing, giving him an ability to communicate with him telepathically and see though his pet's eyes. This ability will eventually be trained to work with any bird that is near him.
After these events, Sam meets Steve Rogers
who encourages to stand against the Red Skull's evil. After extensive gymnastics and hand-to-hand combat training by Captain America, Sam Wilson dubbed himself the Falcon. With Cap and Redwing, Falcon defeated the Red Skull and would return with them to Harlem. While working as a social worker, Falcon continued being a hero, protecting his neighborhood from crime. Eventually, he formed a long time partnership with Captain America and received a specialized winged-harness that allows him to fly from the Black Panther
Falcon and Redwing would go to become members of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Super Agents, the Avengers
, the Defenders
, and the Heroes for Hire. Initially appearing alongside Captain America in Captain America and The Falcon
, Sam would star in his own limited series, The Falcon
, in 1983. He was invited to rejoin the Avengers during Marvel NOW!
In 2014, Sam Wilson became a replacement Captain America
after Steve Rogers lost his powers.
Also in 2014, a new version of the character entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe
in Captain America: The Winter Soldier
, portrayed by Anthony Mackie
. The Cinematic Universe Falcon has yet another completely different origin: as an Afghanistan War veteran turned PTSD counsellor, who flies using a one-man powered wingsuit that he used during his military service and subsequently "liberated".Comics
- Captain America and The Falcon Vol. 1 (1971)
- Falcon (1983)
- Captain America and the Falcon Vol. 2 (2004)
- All-New Captain America (2014)
- All-New Captain America: Fear Him Infinite Comic (2014)
- Captain America and the Mighty Avengers (2014)
Tropes associated with The Falcon include:
- Affirmative Action Legacy: Sam will be temporarily replacing Steve Rogers as Captain America.
- Animal Eye Spy
- Animal-Themed Superbeing
- Angry Black Man: Mainly before he became a hero. He can occasionally channel this vibe nowadays, but it's not really anger so much as it's exasperation with Steve's or Bucky's or Ian's antics, or having to educate someone about African-American history.
- Badass Normal
- Big Brother Mentor: To Bucky Cap.
- Black Best Friend: To the first Captain America.
- Building Swing: This was originally how The Falcon got around with a glove with a built in grappling hook launcher. This was discontinued when he got his flying wing harness.
- The Cape
- Clothes Make the Superman: His psychic connection to birds is his only inherent superpower. His ability to fly (which he uses much more frequently in combat) is from the winged harness in his suit.
- Color Character: Notably averted. Falcon was the first black hero not to have "Black" in his name.
- Fake Memories: Due to the effects of the Cosmic Cube. For the longest time, no one was sure if the actual Fake Memories were of Sam's family or of Sam's time as the pimp "Snap" Wilson. All-New Captain America #3 ultimately chooses the "Snap" Wilson memories as the fake ones, with Sam saying that they were lies the Red Skull concocted to discredit him.
- Fanboy: To Isaiah Bradley, the very first (in-universe chronologically) African-American superhero who becomes Captain America. Sam is among several African-American heroes, along with Luke Cage, Goliath (Bill Foster), Monica Rambeau, and Triathlon; who are gleefully surprised when Isaiah arrives as a special guest at the wedding of Storm and Black Panther.
- Feather Flechettes: Has this ability in The Superhero Squad Show, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes and Avengers Assemble but hasn't as of yet been able to do this in the comics.
- Hard Light: The Falcon's Wakandan-made costume has hard light wings.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: One would think being able to talk to birds would be a useless power, until you remember that basically means he has a massive spy network everywhere. It's been said that his birds make for a better information source than Nick Fury's spies. After all, who pays attention to whether there's a bird nearby?
- Hyper Competent Sidekick: In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Falcon manages to hold his own very competently in many situations that gave Captain America and Black Widow trouble and is never once a burden to the situation, many of which he wasn't trained for, although it can go almost unnoticed because he's Over Shadowed By Awesome.
- Jive Turkey: Subverted and played for laughs after the Falcon is more or less forced to join the Avengers by Henry Gyrich (who wanted to make it more ethnically diverse), he speaks this way on purpose to annoy him.
- I Believe I Can Fly
- Legacy Character: Falcon briefly became Captain America when he thought Cap was dead. He'll be doing it again courteousy of Marvel NOW!.
- Meaningful Name: "Sam Wilson" was the name of the New York meatpacker who's most often credited as the inspiration for "Uncle Sam". Fitting, since this Sam Wilson is Captain America's most trusted ally, and in 2014 Steve Rogers will be passing the title on to him.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Redwing.
- Parental Abandonment: His father was killed trying to break up a neighborhood fight. His mom was killed in a mugging two years later.
- The Prankster
- Psychic Link: He has it with birds.
- Red Is Heroic
- Razor Wings
- Speaks Fluent Animal: Can talk to birds.
- Superhero Packing Heat: The Ultimate and MCU versions of Falcon use guns.
- Super Senses: The Falcon's mask gives him telescopic, night, and infrared vision.
- This Is Gonna Suck: Sam is very fond of Bucky... just not of Bucky's plans.
- Token Black: In-universe, he was added to the team because Gyrich insisted that the team should have more black members; he didn't actually want to join.
- The Worm Guy: His Ultimate Marvel version.