Falcon: Comprehensive Character Summary

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Introduction

Falcon (Samuel Thomas Wilson) is a fictional superhero appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. As the superhero Falcon, Wilson uses mechanical wings to fly, and has limited telepathic and empathic control over birds.

Following Steve Rogers’s retirement, Wilson becomes the newest Captain America in All-New Captain America #1 (January 2015) and leader of the Avengers.

Attributes & Abilities

Height6’2″
EyesBrown
Weight108 kg
HairBlack
GenderMale
UniverseMarvel Universe
Other AliasesSamuel Thomas “Sam” Wilson
Blackbird
Snap Wilson
Captain America
Brother Super-Hero
Brother Falcon
Willie Samuels
EducationHigh school dropout and later extensively self-educated
Place of OriginHarlem, New York City, New York (Earth-616)
IdentityPublicly known
Known RelativesDarlene Wilson (mother, deceased)
Paul Wilson (father, deceased)
Sarah Wilson Casper (sister)
Gideon Wilson (brother)
Jody Casper (nephew)
Jim Wilson (nephew, deceased)
Doug Stone (godson)
PowersHand-to-Hand Combat
Expert bird trainer
Aerialist and acrobat
Flight via wing harness
Proficient tactician and strategist
Empathic and telepathic link with all birds
Group AffiliationAvengers
S.H.I.E.L.D.
“Defenders for a Day”
Heroes for Hire
Mighty Avengers
Avengers Unity Squad

Sam was given the ability to telepathically link with birds endowed by the Red Skull using the Cosmic Cube. 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.

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.

Before Falcon’s training with Captain America, he possesses the strength of a normal human who engages in regular exercise. However, over the years of intensive training with Captain America, he possesses peak human strength. Falcon is strong enough to lift at least twice his body weight and can press lift 480 lbs (218 kgs).

The Falcon’s original jet-powered glider wings allowed him to fly at speeds up to 250 mph (402 kph). 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.

Publication

Samuel Thomas Wilson, was the first African-American superhero in mainstream comic books. The character first appeared in Captain America #117 (Sept. 1969). The character was introduced by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Gene Colan.

On July 16, 2014, Marvel Comics announced that Sam Wilson would relinquish the mantle of Falcon and would become the new Captain America, succeeding Steve Rogers in the role. An ongoing series starring Sam Wilson as Captain America launched in October 2015, as part of Marvel’s post-Secret Wars relaunch, written by Nick Spencer and Daniel Acuña.

Wilson temporarily returns to the role of Captain America in the 2017 miniseries Marvel’s Generations.

Wilson resumed the identity of Falcon in a series written by Rodney Barnes that debuted in late 2017, the character’s first solo series since 1983.

Biography

Sam Wilson grew up in Harlem listening to his minister father Paul deliver life-affirming sermons that instilled a sense of justice and fairness in his young self. While trying to break up a gang-related fight, Paul was killed in front of his son. Sam’s mother Darlene was later killed during a mugging, leaving him alone to raise his brother and sister.

After living through the murders of both of his parents, young Sam embraced his father’s ideals and decided to strive for goodness. Along the way he developed a talent for communicating with birds. His world travels eventually brought him to a falcon named Redwing who would become more friend than pet.

While on the Island of the Exiles, Sam met a disguised and body-swapped Captain America who convinced him to take on the masked identity of Falcon. Not long after, Falcon became Cap’s official partner and eventually scored a winged costume. Since then, he has joined the Avengers and even temporarily took over as Captain America.

Reception

Anthony Mackie portrays Sam Wilson / Falcon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man (both 2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019). Mackie will reprise the role in the upcoming Disney+ series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021).

Wilson was placed as the 96th greatest comic book hero by IGN, which opined that the partnership between him and Steve Rogers forms one of the greatest crime fighting duos in comics, and as #45 on their list of the “Top 50 Avengers”.

References

Falcon – Marvel

Falcon – Wiki

Falcon – Fandom