Quote1 Captain America is not just for the good days. He can't be. I can't be. If Captain America can't stand for the Dream on the very worst day-- When America is fallen-- Then there is no Captain America. Because our worst day is where we start from. Where we rise from. And if the man in the flag is too special to fall and rise and struggle with the rest... Then God help us all. Quote2
-- Sam Wilson src
Samuel Wilson (Earth-616) from Captain America Vol 1 186 01

Sam as a child


Sam Wilson grew up in a tough Harlem neighborhood.[11] His father, Paul Wilson, who was a minister, had been killed while trying to stop a fight between two rival gangs when Sam was nine years old.[11] Some years later, his mother, Darlene Wilson was murdered by a mugger while she tried to protect her children.[11] Sam did his best to try and do the right thing, but his grief and anger eventually led him down a criminal path.[11] He took on the name of "Snap" Wilson while working for the mob.[11]

Becoming the Falcon

After an assignment, on the way to Rio de Janeiro, Sam's plane crashed on a remote Caribbean island named Exile where the Red Skull and his henchmen were hiding out.[10] The Red Skull sought to use Wilson as a pawn to attack Captain America (who was currently on the island) with.[10] Red Skull used the Cosmic Cube to revert 'Snap' into Sam, and give him the ability to telepathically communicate with birds, especially a falcon that Wilson had bought named Redwing.[10] After their initial skirmish, Cap was able to free Wilson from the Skull's programming. Together they defeated the Skull, and the Falcon became Cap's partner for a long time. It was later revealed that the 'Snap' persona had entirely been a construction of the Red Skull to manipulate Wilson, and in fact he had never been a criminal at all.[12]

Wilson received help from the Black Panther, who created a harness for Wilson, allowing him to fly.[13]

Roscoe Simons

When Rogers briefly abandoned his Captain America identity, others attempted to take up the mantle, including a young man named Roscoe whom the Falcon mentored. When the Red Skull eventually killed Roscoe, Rogers again became Captain America[14].

Soon afterward, the Red Skull revealed the Falcon's true past as Snap Wilson, and unsuccessfully attempted to use the Cosmic Cube to make the Falcon kill Captain America.[10]

S.H.I.E.L.D. Super-Agents

The Falcon ultimately left as Cap's partner when he was named the leader of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Super-Agents.[15]

Token Avenger

Later, as one of the few black superheroes active, he was drafted to join the Avengers by Henry Peter Gyrich to fill a quota. Resenting being a "token," he quit at the first opportunity.[16]

Captain America and the Falcon Vol 1 7 Textless

Falcon with hard light wings

At one point, a Sentinels chased him believing him to be a mutant,[17] but this was later debunked and the Sentinel was presumed to have been malfunctioning. Shortly following this incident he came across, fought and defeated the super villain named Electro.[18]

Dell Rusk

Falcon became a member of the new team of Avengers assembled to fight the international menace Scorpio as a United Nations peacekeeping agency. By this point, Falcon had discovered that he could extend his telepathic bond with Redwing, allowing him to control other birds and "see" through their eyes. He used this ability to spy on Henry Gyrich (now the Avengers' liaison with the United Nations) and discovered that the United States' Secretary of Defense, Dell Rusk, had been pressuring Gyrich to spy on the Avengers and turn over their secrets. Although initially hostile to one another, Falcon convinced Gyrich to help the Avengers spy on Rusk, feeding him false information while gathering evidence to expose him. They discover that Rusk was actually the Red Skull, who had launched a biological weapon attack on the United States, intending to use the ensuing panic to gain control over America's government and start a war with other countries. Falcon was instrumental in defeating the Red Skull.[19]

Avengers Disassembled

The insane Scarlet Witch accidentally destabilized the Falcon's mind, pushing him back towards his "Snap" persona, and while he continued to work with Captain America, their relationship became strained, until, finally, Cap felt that he had no choice but to stop working with him. While Falcon argued, a man who the "new" Falcon had forced from his home to use as a safehouse shot Cap in the back (while aiming at Falcon). Thinking Cap dead, Falcon cleaned himself up and went after the so-called "Anti-Cap," who had been causing problems for them both.[20]

Civil War and Death of Captain America

Falcon subsequently helped Cap track down the Winter Soldier. He was also the first to join with Captain America against the Superhuman Registration Act, and played a leadership role in the Secret Avengers. Following Captain America's assassination by the machinations of the Red Skull, the Falcon registered with the government and was made responsible for Harlem, although he remained in contact with the underground New Avengers.[21]

Afterwards, S.H.I.E.L.D. recruited Falcon and agent Sharon Carter to investigate the Captain's assassination by locating the Winter Soldier and tracking down the Red Skull.[22] Falcon resumed working with Steve Rogers following his rebirth and eventual return to the mantle of Captain America some time later.[23]

Becoming Captain America

Following Captain America's adventure in Dimension Z, Falcon met Arnim Zola's daughter Jet,[24] with whom he had a fling.[25] Around this time, during a confrontation against the Iron Nail, Steve was deprived of the Super-Soldier Serum, quickly aging into an old man.[26]

After foiling Arnim Zola's plan to detonate a bomb in New York, almost sacrificing his life in the process,[27] Falcon was given the mantle of Captain America by Steve, who had to step down due to his condition.[5]

All-New Captain America Vol 1 1 Textless

Sam's first mission as the new Captain America got him in Hydra's crosshairs, and Sam found himself confronted by several of Cap's most deadly foes as the result of a trap.[28] Misty Knight saved him, and revealed that Hydra had infiltrated numerous critical teams from the super hero community.[29] The terrorist organization had also planned to spread the poisonous blood of an Inhuman kid named Lucas all over the planet.

With the help of Misty Knight and Armadillo, a Hydra agent Cap turned to his side, Cap was able to locate and defuse several bombs that contained fleas with the kid's blood which had been scattered across the globe.[30] With his plan thwarted, Baron Zemo launched a contingency plan, the self-detonation of Baron Blood (who drank large amounts of Lucas' blood) in the atmosphere, resulting in the propagation of the blood.[31] Cap managed to disarm Baron Blood and leave him floating in space to be recovered by S.H.I.E.L.D.[9]

Sam cut his ties with S.H.I.E.L.D. after a series of events triggered by the hacker known as the Whisperer, who had leaked S.H.I.E.L.D.'s plans to create a Cosmic Cube, a project that Sam opposed publicly. When S.H.I.E.L.D. tried to capture the Whisperer, Sam helped him instead, believing the hacker's actions to be righteous, and S.H.I.E.L.D.'s potential retribution disproportionate. With the help of the Whisperer, Sam spent months taking down different Hydra cells, and made a deal to acquire diplomatic immunity.[32]

The parting of Wilson from his superiors took another step when he decided to stop working for the government, believing that the United States needed a Captain America who was more socially active than before. Captain America's segregation from the government wasn't without criticism, with certain Americans believing him to have become "Captain Socialism," while others fully showed his support.[33]

Captain America Sam Wilson Vol 1 9 Textless

During this time, Sam was drawn into a crisis when he and Iron Man aided Spider-Man in battling Warbringer. Joined by the Vision, Thor, Nova and Ms. Marvel, the group took down Warbringer and stopped his attempt to bring an army of Chitauri to Earth. Impressed by it all, the team became the newest incarnation of Avengers.[34]

Shortly after finding a new ally in the form of Joaquin Torres, a young immigrant mutated by the villainous Karl Malus who took on the mantle of Falcon,[35] Captain America became involved in a conflict in the small town of Pleasant Hill, a secret super-prison which resulted from S.H.I.E.L.D. finalizing the Cosmic Cube project in secrecy following its expose and alleged termination.[36] In the middle of containing a break-out in Pleasant Hill, Steve Rogers was returned to his prime by Kobik, the sentient Cosmic Cube that powered Pleasant Hill.[37] Once the crisis was contained, Steve agreed to let Sam keep the shield and mantle of Captain America, in spite of having been returned to fighting form and returned to the mantle himself.[38]


Steve's return as Captain America only further damaged Sam's own reputation, as now his dissidents also demanded he returned the shield to Rogers.[38] Shortly after attending the funeral of Jim Rhodes,[39] Sam and Falcon became involved in a skirmish between Brooklyn vigilante Rage and the private policing initiative known as the Americops.[40] After de-escalating the situation, Cap had to confront U.S. Agent,[41] who attacked Sam in an attempt to get him to give up on the shield. U.S.Agent's attack was orchestrated in secret by two of Sam's biggest detractors: Paul Keane, employer of the Americops, and talk show host Harry Hauser, and Steve Rogers himself.[42] As it turned out, Kobik had actually replaced the real Steve Rogers with an alternate fascist version of himself.[43]

Sam's faith in America was shaken by an ensuing chain of events, most notably the wrongful imprisonment of Rage after being accused of robbing a Harlem bodega. Adding insult to injury, being a vigilante, Rage was beaten up by his fellow cellmates and let in a critical condition. In light of Rage's incident, Sam decided to step down as Captain America.[44]

Secret Empire

The following weeks were spent by Sam disconnected from society, camping in the middle of nowhere in order to find himself. Unfortunately, when he returned to civilization, Sam discovered the country had been taken over by Hydra, under the leadership of Steve Rogers, who eventually revealed his new nature as a Hydra agent after months of scheming. While he still refused to return to superheroics, Sam began to help out those prosecuted by Hydra's regime, namely Inhumans and their families, and created a network to funnel people out of the country.

Captain America Sam Wilson Vol 1 24 Textless

Fighting with the Underground

Sam was pulled back into the life of superheroes when the rebel group known as the Underground requested his services in getting out of America.[45] Sam then reluctantly joined them in their enterprise to recover the fragments of Kobik, which had been spread throughout the globe, in hopes they could be used to return Steve to normalcy.[46] When the Underground returned to the base with their hands almost empty, they were attacked by Hydra's forces, and lost the shards.[47] The grimness of the situation prompted Sam to take up the mantle of Captain America once again in order to inspire the American people.[48]

Following the Underground's acquisition of a Cosmic Cube fragment,[49] Captain America carried out a plan to free the country's heroes who were either trapped below a Darkforce dome in Manhattan or stranded off-planet on the other side of the Planetary Defense Shield. Using the Cosmic Cube shard, Cap manipulated the probabilities of a chain of events which saw the end of those hindrances.[50] Together, the reunited American superhero community launched a final attack against Hydra on Washington, D.C..[51] When the evil Captain America attacked the heroes sporting a suit with the power of the almost-complete Cosmic Cube, Sam purposefully handed him over his fragment, so that once the Cube was complete, the Winter Soldier could reach into Kobik's psyche. This resulted in the return of both Kobik and the real Captain America, who proceeded to defeat his evil self, putting an end to Hydra's reign.[52]

In the wake of the Hydra Empire, Steve Rogers found himself in a place of turmoil. Having proven his worth as Captain America and knowing that his friend needed to win back the trust of an entire nation after the events enacted in his name, Sam returned the shield to Steve,[53] relinquishing the mantle of Captain America in the process, and returning to his alias of Falcon.[54] In an effort to re-connect to the country beyond the threats usually tackled by superheroes, Sam began to focus his efforts on de-escalating street-level issues, such as gang conflicts in Chicago.[55]

Samuel is a superhero who loves birds. As a child, he was friendly and joyful to people especially when it comes to birds.[10] After the death of his parents, Samuel used to be vengeful and angry.[11] However, he starts his new life and meet Redwing; then, his friend, Steve Rogers.[56] He have the courage to become the Falcon because of his powers to control birds.[56]


Samuel Wilson (Earth-616) and Helmut Zemo (Earth-616) from All-New Captain America Vol 1 5 001

Using his bird telepathy.

Avian Telepathy: Sam was given the ability to telepathically link with birds endowed by the Red Skull using the Cosmic Cube.[10] This link is strongest with his companion Redwing but he is also able to extend his empathic link to other birds making it possible for him to see through their eyes.[1] He has also shown the ability to control birds.[31] He is also a skilled handler and trainer of birds even without his mental powers.[8] These abilities apply to the entirety of birds, including at some extent of telepathic reading to Inhuman Bird People.[57] Nick Fury's intel classified him as power level 6.[58]


Master Martial Artist: Sam was trained by Captain America in Judo, Karate,[59][56] and various other styles of martial arts, making him one of the most dangerous fighters in the world.[56][8] His skills enable him to defeat some of the most remarkable trained opponents in the world such as four elite Spetsnaz soldiers at a time,[60] and superhumans as strong as the Wrecking Crew members.

Peak Human Condition: Even before his training with Captain America, Sam was in very good shape.[4] After years of intensive and extensive training with Steve,[56] Sam is now above average athlete and have pushed his body to the pinnacle of human condition.[61]

  • Peak Human Strength: Over years of extensive training, Sam's strength is at the maximum limit of human conditioning. He was able to sent Crossbones flying with a single force kick,[29] break steel chains that tied him to a tank,[12] as well as bending a metal bar with his bare hands.[62]
  • Peak Human Endurance: Sam possesses exceptional tolerance to physical pain. He continued to function in spite of him getting chest stabbed from Zemo's sword.[31] He also continued to function after been set on fire from one of A.I.M. agents' flamethrower while ripping off his costume suit.[63]

Master Acrobat: Sam has underwent more rigorous training in gymnastics and acrobatics with Captain America.[56][1][64]

Master Aerialist and Flight: Sam is an extraordinary aerialist and flight due to his training with Captain America and to his own experimentation with his "hard light harness." His experience in martial arts, aerialist, and flight has made him one of the best aerial fighters in the world, exceeding the skills of other flyers such as Iron Man and Ms. Marvel.[28][65][55][62][17]

Expert Shield Fighter: Sam is very proficient in the use of Captain America's Shield.[30] He has shown himself to be able to hit several targets from the air with pinpoint accuracy.[65]

Leadership: Sam has lead S.H.I.E.L.D. Super-Agents with proficient tactician and strategist.[15]

Strength level

Before Falcon's training with Captain America, he possesses the strength of a normal human who engages in regular exercise.[4] However, over the years of intensive training with Captain America, he possesses peak human strength.[56] Falcon is strong enough to lift at least twice his body weight and can press lift 480 lbs.


Falcon's Wings: The Falcon's original jet-powered glider wings allowed him to fly at speeds up to 250 mph.[8] Black Panther supplied Falcon with a new costume and wings. An emitter array on Falcon's back creates holographic "hard light" wings with a maximum wingspan of up to 50 feet (15 m). Controlled by a cybernetic link, the wings can be instantly reconfigured into "dozens of different cruise configurations." A "magnetic drive," in turn, provides the thrust needed to get Falcon airborne. The emitter also possesses GPS Jamming Devices that prevent satellite tracking, while the hard-light wings interfere with infra-red tracking. A Vibranium microweave was added to the costume itself, making Falcon resistant to small arms fire. The entire system is controlled mentally through cybernetic circuitry in the Falcon's mask. The costume has in the past featured a hidden "talon," a cybernetically controlled grappling line built into the gauntlets of his costume which he uses to entangle opponents, hook objects, or for swinging and climbing when his wings are detached. The costume's visors come equipped with various capabilities, including infrared lenses, giving him the ability to see objects by their infrared signature at night, magnification capabilities, and remote imaging sensors that allow a full 360 degree of vision when activated. The cowl also has a wide band receiver and transmitter with an unspecified range. The suit was originally built by Wakandan scientists, with costume modifications by Desmond Burrell. The wings have been modified by Tony Stark, as Sam said after saving New York from Zola's bomb, making them in full-vibranium: they've been capable of absorbing the whole explosive power of the bomb, saving Falcon from certain death.[27]

Avengers Identicard

Cybernetic Implant: Sam has a implant in his brain that enhances his ability to see what birds see and transmit the visuals into a data storage facility that then converts the visuals into images and videos.[42]



  • The Falcon (Sam "Snap" Wilson) was created in 1969 and frequently teamed up with Captain America and later joined the Avengers. As the protector of Harlem, the Falcon has come into conflict with Harlem crime-bosses Stoneface and Morgan.
  • The Falcon initially started out as a non-flying superhero with a trained falcon, Redwing, but eventually he had wings made of Wakandan design, which he has retained over the years.
  • The Falcon has been a frequent partner of Captain America, and has intermittently been a member of the Avengers, having first been brought in by Henry Peter Gyrich in an attempt to make the group more racially integrated.
  • The Falcon is one of the first African American superheroes, as well as the first not to have "Black" in his name. His nephew was the Hulk's sometime sidekick Jim Wilson, one of the first openly HIV-positive Marvel characters (now deceased).
  • Wilson is to date the only publicly known black successor Captain America (as established in Captain America Sentinel of Liberty 6-8.) Isaiah Bradley was never officially recognized in the role of Captain America, though some list Bradley as the "black" Captain America.
  • All-New Captain America is not the first time Wilson has stepped up to the role of Captain America. In Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #9, he briefly stood in for a gravely injured Steve Rogers.
  • Captain America #117 (September, 1969): First appearance of the Falcon, as well as his first encounter with Captain America.
  • Captain America #126 (June, 1970): "The Fate of the Falcon."
  • Captain America #133 (January, 1971): Captain America and the Falcon become partners.
  • Captain America #170 (February, 1974): The Black Panther and Wakandan scientists create artificial wings for the Falcon, providing him with the power of flight
  • Avengers #181 (March, 1979): The Falcon is drafted into the Avengers under orders from Henry Peter Gyrich, in order to satisfy a racial quota
  • Falcon (November, 1983 - February, 1984): four issue mini-series by Jim Owsley (a.k.a. Christopher Priest); falsely implied that Sam Wilson is a mutant.
  • Onslaught Marvel Universe #1 (October, 1996): Bruce Banner (minus his Hulk persona), Dr. Doom, the Fantastic Four and the Avengers (including the Falcon) are presumed to have been killed by Onslaught. In reality, they begin a year-long sojourn on an alternate "Counter-Earth" subconsciously created by Franklin Richards.
  • Captain America Vol 2 #1-12 (November, 1996 - October, 1997): On Counter-Earth, Sam Wilson is shot and gravely wounded, but Captain America saves his life by giving him a transfusion of the Super-Soldier's own blood. Consequently, Wilson gains superhuman abilities comparable to those of Captain America. His military nickname, "The Falcon", becomes his superhero code name ("Heroes Reborn" series).
  • Avengers Vol 3 #1-3 (February–April, 1998): The Falcon and every other living Avenger (past or present) are part of a medieval reality ruled by Morgan le Fay (his Super-Soldier powers from "Heroes Reborn" are gone).
  • Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #9 (May, 1999): In a flashback tale that predates his receipt of the artificial wings from the Black Panther, the Falcon temporarily replaces a seriously wounded Steve Rogers as Captain America
  • Avengers Vol 3 #64 (April, 2003): Spotlight on the Falcon, who confronts Henry Peter Gyrich after years of resentment; power to see through the eyes of avian lifeforms is revealed
  • Avengers Vol 3 #65-70 (May–September, 2003): "Red Zone" - The Falcon and the Avengers foil the Red Skull's plot to frame the nation of Wakanda for a biological terrorist attack upon the United States
  • Captain America and the Falcon (May, 2004 - June, 2005): a series by Christopher Priest; marks the first time that the Falcon shares equal billing with Captain America in both name and importance to the plot
  • New Avengers #21 (August, 2006): The Falcon becomes Captain America's first ally against the Superhuman Registration Act.
  • All-New Captain America (November, 2014 - April, 2015): The adventures of the All-New Cap, now Sam Wilson himself, that leaves his Falcon identity to become the heir of his mentor Steve Rogers.
  • Captain America: Sam Wilson (October, 2015 - July, 2017)

Discover and Discuss


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Avengers NOW! #1
  2. Avengers Vol 3 #2
  3. Captain America: Sam Wilson #3
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Captain America #117
  5. 5.0 5.1 Captain America Vol 7 #25
  6. Civil War II: Choosing Sides #5
  7. Black Panther Vol 4 #11
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #4
  9. 9.0 9.1 All-New Captain America #6
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 Captain America #186
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Captain America #277
  12. 12.0 12.1 All-New Captain America #3
  13. Captain America #170
  14. Captain America #181-183
  15. 15.0 15.1 Captain America #217
  16. Avengers #184-194
  17. 17.0 17.1 Falcon #2
  18. Falcon #3-4
  19. Avengers Vol 3 #57-70
  20. Captain America and the Falcon #1-10
  21. Captain America Vol 5 #25
  22. Captain America Vol 5 #26-34
  23. Captain America Vol 6 #7
  24. Captain America Vol 7 #14
  25. Captain America Vol 7 #22
  26. Captain America Vol 7 #21
  27. 27.0 27.1 Captain America Vol 7 #24
  28. 28.0 28.1 All-New Captain America #1
  29. 29.0 29.1 All-New Captain America #2
  30. 30.0 30.1 All-New Captain America #4
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 All-New Captain America #5
  32. Captain America: Sam Wilson #2
  33. Captain America: Sam Wilson #1
  34. All-New, All-Different Avengers #3
  35. Captain America: Sam Wilson #6
  36. Avengers Standoff: Assault On Pleasant Hill Alpha #1
  37. Captain America: Sam Wilson #7
  38. 38.0 38.1 Captain America: Sam Wilson #9
  39. Captain America: Sam Wilson #10
  40. Captain America: Sam Wilson #11
  41. Captain America: Sam Wilson #12
  42. 42.0 42.1 Captain America: Sam Wilson #13
  43. Captain America: Steve Rogers #2
  44. Captain America: Sam Wilson #21
  45. Captain America: Sam Wilson #22
  46. Captain America: Sam Wilson #23
  47. Secret Empire #5
  48. Captain America: Sam Wilson #24
  49. Captain America Vol 8 #25
  50. Secret Empire #8
  51. Secret Empire #9
  52. Secret Empire #10
  53. Generations: Sam Wilson Captain America & Steve Rogers Captain America #1
  54. Avengers #672
  55. 55.0 55.1 Falcon Vol 2 #1
  56. 56.0 56.1 56.2 56.3 56.4 56.5 56.6 Captain America #118
  57. All-New Captain America Special #1
  58. Secret War: From the Files of Nick Fury #1
  59. Captain America #163
  60. Captain America Vol 5 #14
  61. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #4
  62. 62.0 62.1 Falcon #1
  63. Captain America Vol 5 #29
  64. Falcon #4
  65. 65.0 65.1 Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #1
  66. Avengers NOW! #1
  67. Avengers NOW! #1

Like this? Let us know!

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+