- —Sam Wilson[src]
Sam Wilson grew up in a tough Harlem neighborhood. His father Paul was a minister who had been killed while trying to stop a fight between two rival gangs when Sam was nine years old. Some years later, his mother Darlene was murdered by a mugger while she tried to protect her children. Sam did his best to try and do the right thing, volunteering and becoming a social worker.
Sam was lured to a Caribbean island named Exile where the Red Skull and his henchmen were hiding out. After their initial skirmish, Captain America and Sam defeated the Skull, and the Falcon became Cap's partner for a long time. Allegedly, Red Skull used the Cosmic Cube to give Sam the ability to telepathically communicate with birds, especially a falcon that Wilson had bought named Redwing. Wilson received help from the Black Panther, who created a harness for Wilson, allowing him to fly.
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.
Soon afterward, the Red Skull tricked Sam into believing he had a secret past as mobster "Snap Wilson" born from Sam's grief and anger, and that this was wiped from his memories using the Cosmic Cube so that Sam could be a mole for Red Skull. In actuality, the 'Snap' persona had entirely been a construction of the Red Skull to discredit Wilson via racism, and in fact he had never been a criminal at all. Red Skull attempted to use the Cosmic Cube to make the Falcon kill Captain America.
Not Some Token Avenger
The Falcon ultimately left as Cap's partner when he was named the leader of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Super-Agents. 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.
At one point, a Sentinels chased him believing him to be a mutant, 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.
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.
The insane Scarlet Witch accidentally destabilized the Falcon's mind, pushing him towards the "Snap Wilson" 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 safe house 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.
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.
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. Sam later formed an initially uneasy alliance with Bucky Barnes after the latter became the new Captain America, and eventually became his partner. Together, the two faced continuing threats from the Red Skull and other villains. During a clash with the Watchdogs, both Sam and Bucky were taken prisoner, but with help from Redwing, Sam managed to free himself and prevent a terrorist attack.
The two remained partners until Bucky relinquished the mantle following his supposed death (actually faked) at the hands of Sin, the daughter of Red Skull. After this, Falcon later resumed working with Steve Rogers following his rebirth and eventual return to the mantle of Captain America some time later.
Becoming Captain America
Following Captain America's adventure in Dimension Z, Falcon met Arnim Zola's daughter Jet, with whom he had a fling. Around this time, during a confrontation against the Iron Nail, Steve was deprived of the Super-Soldier Serum, quickly aging into an old man. After foiling Arnim Zola's plan to detonate a bomb in New York, almost sacrificing his life in the process, Falcon was given the mantle of Captain America by Steve, who had to step down due to his condition.
Sam's first mission as the new Captain America placed him in Hydra's crosshairs, and Sam found himself confronted by several of Cap's most deadly foes as the result of a trap. Misty Knight saved him, and revealed that Hydra had infiltrated numerous critical teams within the super hero community. The terrorist organization had also planned to spread the poisonous blood of an Inhuman kid named Lucas all over the planet.
During a confrontation with Sin, it is revealed that Sam's alleged secret past as the drug dealing pimp "Snap Wilson" was a lie created by the Red Skull to discredit Sam through racism. With the help of Misty Knight and Armadillo, a Hydra agent Cap had turned to his side, Cap was able to locate and defuse several bombs that contained fleas with Lucas' blood which had been scattered across the globe. 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. Cap managed to disarm Baron Blood and leave him floating in space to be recovered by S.H.I.E.L.D.
Acting as Captain America
After a series of events triggered by the hacker known as the Whisperer, who leaked S.H.I.E.L.D.'s plans to create a Cosmic Cube (a project which Sam opposed publicly), Sam cut his ties with the agency. When S.H.I.E.L.D. later 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 struck a deal to acquire diplomatic immunity.
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 divorce from the government wasn't without criticism, with certain Americans believing him to have become "Captain Socialism." Yet, other citizen fully supported this change. 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.
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, 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. 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. 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.
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. Shortly after attending the funeral of Jim Rhodes, Sam and Falcon became involved in a skirmish between Brooklyn vigilante Rage and the private policing initiative known as the Americops. After de-escalating the situation, Cap had to confront U.S. Agent, 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. As it turned out, Kobik had actually replaced the real Steve Rogers with an alternate fascist version of himself.
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 left in a critical condition. In light of Rage's incident, Sam decided to step down as Captain America.
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.
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. 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. When the Underground returned to the base with their hands almost empty, they were attacked by Hydra's forces, and lost the shards. The grimness of the situation prompted Sam to take up the mantle of Captain America once again in order to inspire the American people.
Following the Underground's acquisition of a Cosmic Cube fragment, 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. Together, the reunited American superhero community launched a final attack against Hydra on Washington, D.C.. 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.
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, relinquishing the mantle of Captain America in the process, and returning to his alias of Falcon. 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. Despite the difficult times, he and Misty kept working together and even began dating.
After a while, he decided to go by Captain America once again.
Samuel is a superhero who loves birds. Even as a child, he was friendly and joyful to people. Despite the death of his parents, Samuel would do social work and volunteer for the community. He had the courage to become the Falcon because of his powers to control birds.
Avian Telepathy: 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. He has also shown the ability to control birds. He is also a skilled handler and trainer of birds even without his mental powers. These abilities apply to the entirety of birds, including at some extent of telepathic reading to Inhuman Bird People. Nick Fury's intel classified him as power level 6. Allegedly, Sam was given the ability to telepathically link with birds by the Red Skull using the Cosmic Cube.
Master Martial Artist: Sam was trained by Captain America in Judo, Karate, and various other styles of martial arts, making him one of the most dangerous fighters in the world. 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, 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. After years of intensive and extensive training with Steve, Sam is now above average athlete and have pushed his body to the pinnacle of human condition.
- 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, break steel chains that tied him to a tank, as well as bending a metal bar with his bare hands.
- 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. He also continued to function after been set on fire from one of A.I.M. agents' flamethrower while ripping off his costume suit.
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.
Leadership: Sam has lead S.H.I.E.L.D. Super-Agents with proficient tactician and strategist.
Falcon's Wings: The Falcon's original jet-powered glider wings allowed him to fly at speeds up to 250 mph. 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.
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.
- The Falcon (Samuel Thomas 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.
- 803 appearance(s) of Samuel Wilson (Earth-616)
- 22 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Samuel Wilson (Earth-616)
- 108 minor appearance(s) of Samuel Wilson (Earth-616)
- 77 mention(s) of Samuel Wilson (Earth-616)
- 13 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Samuel Wilson (Earth-616)
- 928 image(s) of Samuel Wilson (Earth-616)
- 66 quotation(s) by or about Samuel Wilson (Earth-616)
- 3 item(s) used/owned by Samuel Wilson (Earth-616)
Links and References
- Samuel Wilson (Earth-616) on Marvel.com
- Samuel Wilson (Earth-616) on Wikipedia.org
- Falcon (Sam Wilson) at Comicvine.com