Greetings from the Odinson,
On Friday April 4th, the high-flying Falcon will make his triumphant Big Screen debut in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Sam Wilson made his comic book debut in 1968 in the pages of Captain America #117. The Odinson was first introduced to the Falcon with the Power Records: Book and Record Set that reprinted Captain America #168, a tale that featured the sinister Phoenix, a new villain that would eventually go on to become the modern day Baron Zemo and one of Captain America’s greatest adversaries.
When Sam Wilson was a teenager, his parents were both killed in separate incidences of urban violence. This led him down a dark path and he became Snap Wilson, a common street criminal. Eventually he crossed paths with the Red Skull who used the power of the Cosmic Cube to enslave Wilson and turn him on his hated foe – Captain America. Wilson broke free of the Skull’s influence and after helping Cap to defeat his foe, the two forged one of the greatest friendships in comics history.
DC Comics has Batman and Robin. Marvel Comics has Captain America and the Falcon. So prominent was their partnership that in 1971, Marvel changed the title of Cap’s solo series to reflect this partnership with Captain America and the Falcon #134. For eight years this ran until the title switched back to solo credit with Captain America #223. These two amazing heroes had many adventures, grand and small, cosmic and street level, and their undying friendship did not end with the changing of the comic’s name. In Nights of Wundagore, the Falcon joins the ranks of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. He has saved the world dozens of times over the years while serving with them.
Another series that caught the eye of a young Odinson was The Falcon: The Mini-Series in 1983 with engrossing writing by Jim Owsley (Green Lantern) and fantastic art by Paul Smith (Uncanny X-Men) and Mark Bright (Iron Man). This mini series featured a fast-paced storyline where the Falcon raced against the clock to prevent a gang war from tearing the streets of New York City apart. Falcon #2 features an amazing duel to the death between Falcon and a gigantic unstoppable mutant-hunting Sentinel. Wilson’s old pal Captain America even makes an appearance and Falcon has an unforgettable showdown with the electric power of Electro!
Along with amazingly designed characters like the Vision, Dr. Fate, and Phantom Stranger, I’ve always found the Falcon to be one of the most visually stunning characters in comics. His stark red and white attire in all its incarnations is a fantastic looking super hero uniform.
Thanks to a special harness and wings designed by the Black Panther, the Falcon can fly at great speeds and maneuver through the sky like a fish in water. He has an affinity with birds and a special mental power that allows him to communicate with them and even see through their eyes. The Falcon’s pet bird, Redwing, is actually a highly intelligent animal that assists Falcon and the Avengers in their adventures. Redwing is even a member of the Pet Avengers. Sam Wilson was trained in combat and strategy by Captain America himself, making the Falcon one the most capable hand-to-hand combatants in the world. He is also extremely agile and acrobatic. I’ve seen him dodge lightning thrown by Electro.
The Falcon is definitely one of the most unsung and underrated super heroes in comics history. He’s one of those characters like Juggernaut and Shang Chi that if I see he’s in a comic, I pick up that issue. I never thought I’d see the day where the grandiose Marvel Universe would come to life on the Big Screen. And now not only do I get to see my favorite heroes like Captain America and Thor in the movies but I also get to see lesser known favorites like the Falcon in all his live action glory.
What’s next? Doctor Strange? Black Panther? Dare I say it. Dare I even possibly conceive that it may be a possibility? Could the Odinson possibly see the epic tale of ROM Spaceknight one day adorn a movie screen?
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell