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Marvel Universe 

Falcon (Sam Wilson)


Marvel Universe

Real Name
Samuel Thomas "Sam" Wilson

Blackbird, Brother Falcon, Brother Super-Hero, Captain America, "Snap" Wilson

Publicly known

United States of America

Place of Birth
New York City, New York

First Appearance
Captain America #117 (1969)

Captain America #117 (1969), Captain America #186 (1975)

Sam grew up in a tough Harlem neighborhood. His father, a minister, had been killed trying to stop a fight. Sam did his best to try and do the right thing, but when his mother was killed by a mugger two years later, Sam's grief and anger consumed him. His grief and anger consumed his personality, eventually led him down a criminal path. The once-respected community volunteer took on the name of "Snap" Wilson, becoming a racketeer while working for the mob.

After an assignment in Rio de Janeiro, Sam's plane crashed in a remote Caribbean island where the Red Skull and his henchmen, the Exiles, were hiding out. The Red Skull sought to use Wilson as a pawn against Captain America, who was currently on the island searching for the villain. The Skull reasoned that Wilson's idealism would appeal to the Captain enough to become his crimefighting partner. Then, at some later date, the Skull could use Wilson against his enemy. He used a Cosmic Cube to revert "Snap" into Sam and give Sam the ability to telepathically communicate with birds, especially a bird that Wilson had bought named Redwing. Sam helped Captain America defeat the Skull and did indeed become his partner as the Falcon.

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Returning to New York, Wilson became one of Harlem's staunchest crimefighters and a regular ally to Captain America. He became a social worker in his regular identity, defending the streets of his hometown both in costume and out of it. Wilson even adopted Captain America's identity for a brief time when Captain America appeared to have been killed. As the Falcon, Wilson had been solely a rooftop-swinging athlete until the Black Panther provided him with Wakandan technology that enabled him to truly fly.

Wilson's "Snap" identity remained submerged until some years later when he recalled his criminal past while undergoing shock therapy at S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters. Once his former criminal associates learned of this, a bounty was placed on his head. Wilson and Captain America fought off the attacks, however.

At a later point, Wilson was offered membership to the premier superhero team Avengers. However, he was uncomfortable that his presence was due largely to the government's "affirmative action" policy, and he returned to his social work almost immediately after some stern words with his fellow heroes. Despite his feelings, he has helped the Avengers on occasion as a provisional member.

Later still, Wilson ran for a Congressional seat only to be confronted again with his ignominious criminal history. Wilson almost relapsed into his "Snap" personality during this identity crisis before coming to terms with his past. Captain America underwent an identity crisis of his own when he was forced to give up his superhero identity and forge a new one as simply the Captain. As the Falcon, Wilson joined other allies of Captain America in a series of adventures but worked to convince the Captain to reclaim his former identity.

Wilson helped the Avengers in their fight against the entity Onslaught and seemingly sacrificed himself to stop the menace. He was merely shunned to another dimension, however, and was later restored with the rest of the Avengers and their associates. He returned to his life as a social worker and part-time adventurer, briefly stopping to aid the Avengers in re-organizing their team after a brief period of disbanding.

When the Avengers were granted a special diplomatic status by the United Nations, they also established the Avengers Mansion as a unique and separate embassy with Henry Gyrich as their ambassador and liaison. Wilson was asked to return to active Avengers duty, in part so that he could keep tabs on Gyrich. (Gyrich often had a dubious if not antagonistic relationship with the Avengers over the years and was the one whose affirmative action stance "forced" Wilson to join the team in the first place.) Wilson and Gyrich ultimately grew into a respectful relationship and together helped uncover a plot by the Red Skull to infiltrate the American government, which the Avengers defeated.

Falcon went rogue in order to rescue his former girlfriend Leila Taylor from Guantanamo Bay. He soon discovered that Navy Admiral James Westbrook was involved in illicit activities and while attempting to expose him, he and Captain America battled the drug-addicted government operative Anti-Cap. When the Scarlet Witch went mad and turned on the Avengers, leaving the group so damaged and demoralized that they soon disbanded, Wilson resigned and retired from super-heroics for a time, though he soon resumed his Falcon identity and occasionally worked with the newly reorganized Avengers.

When the USA passed the Superhuman Registration Act (SHRA), Falcon became Captain America's second-in-command in opposing the SHRA. A super-hero civil war broke out between enemies and supporters of the SHRA, ending when Captain America surrendered to the authorities. As Cap was being led to trial, he was shot and killed. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (James Barnes) immediately apprehended the seemingly lone gunman, Red Skull's henchman Crossbones. In order to attend Cap's funeral, Sam reluctantly registered himself with the government's Initiative program on the condition that he be given Harlem as his jurisdiction and left alone.

Sam and ex-SHIELD agent Sharon Carter began a search for those responsible for Cap's death, only to discover the real killer was Sharon herself, brainwashed by Red Skull's ally Dr. Faustus. When the Skull's forces took both Sharon and the Winter Soldier captive, the Falcon and the Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff) rescued the Winter Soldier. Feeling responsible for the troubled Barnes, who has become the new Captain America, Falcon has offered to serve as a partner and mentor to Barnes. They teamed up with Black Widow to free Sharon Carter from the Red Skull. Falcon kept on fighting alongside Black Widow and Captain America (Barnes) against various threats and ultimately aided the Avengers and Carter in rescuing the supposedly deceased original Captain America (Steve Rogers), though Rogers allowed Barnes to keep the Captain America identity.

During a fight against Baron Zemo Falcon was injured by a bomb rigged by Zemo's secret ally Fixer (Norbert Ebersol), but he soon recovered and kept on working with Rogers, Carter, Black Widow, Barnes and the Avengers. Falcon is unaware that Barnes, who was seemingly slain by Sin during the Asgardian fear god Serpent (Cul)'s assault on Earth, secretly survived, going underground as the Winter Soldier again. Rogers resumed his Captain America guise, and Falcon has teamed with him, Sharon Carter and Nick Fury against threats such as Hydra and Bravo. Falcon resolved to spend more time in Harlem working on local problems and has also aided Nomad (Rikki Barnes), Black Panther, Luke Cage and occasionally served with Misty Knight's Heroes for Hire.

Falcon soon became an active member of the Avengers again and saved the Earth and the universe from various threats such as Thanos and the Builders alongside them. On his time off from the Avengers he works with Captain America to stop rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents such as Dr. Mindbubble and Iron Nail.