First Thor, now Captain America? Marvel shake-up continues
Hot on the heels of the announcement that Thor will be a woman, Marvel Comics is set to make another huge change to one of its most iconic characters, Captain America.
Marvel Entertainment's chief creative officer Joe Quesada revealed on The Colbert Report that African American Sam Wilson aka the Falcon will take over the blue and white mantle of Cap from Steve Rogers.
As Marvel fans will know, the Falcon has been a long-time ally of the Star-Spangled Avenger and has even wielded his famous circular shield when Rogers was unable to do so in the past.
Moviegoers who watched Captain America: The Winter Soldier will also recognise Wilson as played by Anthony Mackie.
In the 21st issue of Captain America, Rogers sacrifices himself to foil the Iron Nail's villainous plot and is drained of the Super Soldier serum - the source of his superhuman powers - causing him to instantly age 65 years.
Wilson's taking over as the Sentinel of Liberty is another big change for the character in recent years after Rogers was killed off in 2007 during Marvel's Civil War story arc and resurrected two years later in 2009.
Writer Rick Remender told Marvel.com: "I've been having a lot of fun writing Sam. 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."
Editor Tom Brevoort added: "While Sam shares many of Steve’s beliefs in a general sense, he’s also a very different person with a very different background.
"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...Sam, like Steve, will be led by his personal morality and beliefs as to what is right and what is wrong - and where his beliefs may differ in their shading from those of the previous Cap are where the interesting stories will be found."
Bob Chipman of The Escapist observed that Marvel's latest reveal is "a growing trend toward experimenting with race and gender diversity among top heroes of the Marvel Universe".
And while Tony Stark will still be Iron Man, it looks as if the Iron Avenger will be receiving an update ditching his tradition red and yellow suit for a more Apple-esque silver armour as revealed by Entertainment Weekly:
Sources: Marvel.com, Twitter, The Escapist, Newsarama, Entertainment Weekly