First Appearance: Captain America #117 (1969)
History: Samuel “Sam” Wilson grew up in Harlem. As a boy he found he had an affinity for birds and thus he raised pigeons. As an adult he became a social worker, trying to give back to his community. One day Sam found himself at a place called “Exile Island” and soon discovers the island has been taken over by a rogue group of Nazis who are forcing the locals into servitude. He also meets a falcon who he forms a strong bond with; he names it Redwing. Soon Sam and Redwing are at odds with the Red Skull, the leader (or ex-leader, rather) of the Exiles who uses the reality warping power of the Cosmic Cube to create a mental link between the two new friends. Eventually Wilson meets Steve Rogers, who he later learns is Captain America, who offers to train him and help him create a costumed persona to inspire a rebellion among the locals. To that end Sam Wilson becomes The Falcon and defeats the Nazis on the island. He soon leaves and, armed with a harness that allows him to fly, he becomes Captain America’s longtime crime fighting partner, an Avenger and even an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Beta Says: Ah, Falcon. Created by Stan Lee and Gene Colan he is Marvel Comics’ first African-American superhero (Black Panther isn’t American). A social worker from Harlem sounds like a pretty good choice for a background for an early attempt at diversity. It’s shockingly inoffensive when you consider the type of racist garbage creators threw or tried to throw at us in the ensuing years. Yup, I’d say that Falcon was probably the best conceived major African-American hero of the Silver Age/Bronze Age.
Oh right, I forgot; writer Steve Englehart retconned (i.e. retroactively altered) Falcon’s origin in 1975, years after the fact. It turned out that apparently the in addition to using the Cosmic Cube to give Falcon and Redwing a mental link with each other he also used it to erase parts of Sam’s memory. Why? Because…um...er…SCIENCE!! (Actually why would he give super powers to a random dude for that matter?) So Sam Wilson’s “new old” background? Why a mob connected pimp and drug dealer named “Snap” Wilson, of course!
|You know it's hard out here for a pimp|
When he tryin to get this money for the rent
More rage after the jump.