Comic book legend Steve Rogers will hang up his cape as Captain America to be replaced by black character, Sam Wilson, who features in the blockbuster 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' as the Falcon.
The news that old-timer Rogers will pass his iconic shield onto Sam Wilson was announced last night on American chat show the Colbert Report.
This comes as part of a major Marvel rebrand which saw iconic Norse superhero Thor re-released as a woman.
The Falcon was first published in 1969, was the first African-American superhero. He will not be the first ever black Captain America however, due to super-soldier Isaiah Bradley taking up the mantle in the 2003 series ‘Truth: Red, White & Black’.
Sam Wilson will become the new ‘Cap’ after Rogers’ powers were drained in a battle against villain, the Iron Nail.
Rick Remender, writer of ‘All-New Captain America’, said: “I think that it’s important with these stories to do things that are natural and make sense and have an inherent logic to the universe, but are also constantly shifting and exciting, keeping the drama high. In order to do that it really comes down to creating new dynamics.
“I’ve been having a lot of fun writing Sam. It’s a completely different attitude. The fact that he’s not a soldier shifts things up a bit. Sam’s not going to be Steve. Steve can be very rigid. That can be kind of joyless at times, whereas Sam is absolutely not that.”
Tom Brevoort, editor of ‘All-New Captain America’, said: “He didn’t grow up in the 1930s, he’s a modern day man in touch with the problems of the 21st Century. For most of his professional life, Sam has worked as a social worker, so he’s seen the worst of urban society up close, and how crime, poverty, lack of social structure and opportunity can affect the community.
“So he’s got perhaps a greater focus on the plight of the common man, and perhaps a greater empathy for the underprivileged than maybe even Steve himself.”
DC’s African Black Panther, who debuted three years earlier in the Fantastic Four, holds the honour of being the first black comic book hero - the Falcon was however the first African-American vigilante.