By Jim Beard
|Falcon takes flight in "Marvel's Avengers Assemble"|
The high-flying Falcon proudly takes his place alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in the series premiere of “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble,” the newest animated adventures of the Marvel Universe’s greatest characters debuting this Sunday at 11:00 a.m. ET inside Marvel Universe on Disney XD.
The winged hero’s long and exciting history proves his worth to the Avengers, a string of stories that form the backbone of Sam Wilson’s growth as a champion of the oppressed. Once the partner of Captain America, the Falcon’s become a true hero in his own right and a unique addition to Marvel’s pantheon. We celebrate him here with a look into his life and colorful career from the comics that served as inspiration for the character's portrayal in "Marvel's Avengers Assemble."
Out of the Nest
Orphaned by brutal acts of crime, Sam Wilson resisted his parents’ choice of a pious life and fell in with gangs and the lure of easy lucre. Running from his past, he crash-landed on a remote, exotic island during a drug run for smugglers and stumbled upon a stronghold of Nazis--and the evil Red Skull. The wily super villain experimented on Wilson with the all-powerful Cosmic Cube and forged a supernatural bond between the man and a falcon and created within him false memories of a more enlightened past.
|Falcon's first appearance in Captain America #117|
Captain America found Wilson on the island and together they routed the Red Skull’s plans by creating an identity for the man that inspired the island’s natives toward civil disobedience--the Falcon. Sam Wilson then returned to the States with Captain America and eventually became the hero’s full-time partner, as well as a champion among Harlem’s downtrodden populace.
Winging It into the Avengers
Seeking out the Black Panther to provide him with a new edge to his activities, the Falcon began to utilize a Wakandan-designed flight harness to take to the skies and dive-bomb crime. After a dark time wherein a disillusioned Steve Rogers abandoned his Captain America identity, Sam Wilson fought valiantly against a scheme of the Red Skull’s to brainwash the Falcon into killing his friend and regained his true memories.
When the Avengers came calling with a need to fill a government-mandated quota for African-American heroes, the Falcon reluctantly accepted membership. It soon became clear that Wilson’s role on the team rested more on the color of his skin than on his heroism, so he left the Avengers and struck out on his own with a new costume and a new mission of justice.
|Falcon and Captain America embark on a classic adventure|
After many adventures on his own, the Falcon finally returned to the Avengers--this time as a welcome addition and happy component of the team’s success. With his new-found ability to tap into the vision of any bird around him, he played an instrumental part in rooting out the Red Skull once again when the villain masqueraded as the United States’ Secretary of Defense.
Unfortunately, the U.S. government created an “Anti-Cap” to destroy terrorism, a situation which placed the Falcon in the crosshairs of the Office of Naval Intelligence. Together again with the real Captain America, he struggled with being a target of the organization and with the Scarlet Witch’s manipulation of his mind, eventually leading to a showdown with Steve Rogers and Wilson’s retirement from the life of a super hero.
|Captain America and Falcon|
Up From the Ashes
The Falcon came out of retirement as the hero community fell apart over the Superhuman Registration Act, a divisive bill that created a civil war amongst the costumed crimefighters. At first, Wilson sided with Captain America against the Act and led a team of secret Avengers, but after Steve Rogers seemingly died from an assassination by the Red Skull, the Falcon flew with the government until the captain’s triumphant return.
Recently, Sam Wilson spent some time with a new incarnation of the Heroes for Hire and stood by the side of the Avengers during the harrowing events that led Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to go to war with the mutant X-Men. The Falcon now stands as a full member in good-standing with the latest team of Avengers and will fly to assist them when danger calls.