Marvel has been shaking things up with a few of their classic heroes. We’ve already covered that there will be a new Thor, and now, there’s a new Cap in town. Joe Quesada, Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer, announced that Sam Wilson, a.k.a. The Falcon, will be the new Captain America. Don’t worry though, Steve isn’t dead. Recently, Steve had lost his strength and youth, and is the 90 year old man he would be without the Super Serum. In this condition, he’s no longer able to fight, but Marvel still has plans for him. Steve will still be around, acting as a strategic advisor, running missions from his headquarters in Avengers Mansion and providing Sam with technical support and field information from a distance
Current writer of the series, Rick Remender, had this to say, “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.”
Editor Tom Brevoort adds:
“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. He’s also not a military man, so he’s more apt to be instinctively skeptical of any situation that calls for just following orders. 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.”
So far, I like what these two have to say. Truth be told, Steve is growing old as a character. Seeing as how the “Man Out of Time” story has been done and explored pretty extensively over the character’s career, a new face is welcome. And it isn’t unprecedented for someone else to take up the shield, citing (spoilers) Bucky Barnes after Steve died. Bucky lasted for a a few years as the new Captain America, and had a pretty successful career/comic run. A large part of that is getting new writers and a new character to write for. Whether this is a permanent change like the Flash, or something like Bucky or the Superior Spiderman thing, isn’t really known yet, but I’m optimistic. Here’s hoping for a fresh twist on a great hero.