Real Name: Sam Wilson
First Appearance: Captain America #117 (September, 1969)
Powers: Telepathic link to all birds including Redwing. This allows him to see through the eyes of every bird on the planet. Was trained by Captain America in various fighting styles. Uses a harness with wings to fly.
Enemies: Most Avenger Enemies
Did You Know: Sam Wilson was the first mainstream Black character in comics. At one point, Marvel renamed the Captain America comic Captain America and The Falcon.
A Little History
Falcon was introduced to us in September of 1969.
In this issue, Sam Wilson was a character living on an island that the Red Skull had sent his former henchmen to. This island was aptly named Exile Island after the exiled men. Around this same time, the Red Skull had used the Cosmic Cube to swap bodies with Captain America, who he had also sent to the island.
Very quickly, the captain of the group (in a Red Skull mask) overheard his group grumbling about how angry they were to be banished to the island. Realizing why he had been sent to the island, the Captain could feel the Cube shaking the tree that he was hiding in causing him to fall from it. The Captain decided that there was no point in explaining himself and instead decided to fight for his life.
Just as the Red Skull (in Captain America’s body) began to gloat to himself about how his plan was working, a Falcon named Redwing swooped him. The incoming Falcon caused just enough of a distraction that the captain was able to escape.
The man responsible for the falcon’s attack was none other than Sam Wilson. And Sam was all too happy to take another victory away from the Exiles. As Sam was set to leave, the captain caught up with him and expressed his gratitude.
Sam took the captain to his home and explained that up until the arrival of the Exiles, the island was a peaceful place. Since their arrival, they have enslaved everyone and made life on the island difficult. He went on to explain his bond with Redwing, and how he wound up on the island.
Listening to the story, the captain suggested that Sam become a symbol to the villages and free them. With this suggestion taken seriously, Sam created a costume and call himself The Falcon. The two trained and worked on Sam’s fighting skill. When they were ready, they mounted an attack on the Exiles.
Seeing defeat, the Red Skull used the Cosmic Cube to retake his normal form and transfer himself, The Falcon and Captain America to his castle in Germany. Once there, the Red Skull trapped The Falcon and gave Captain America back his identity. Even though the Red Skull possessed unlimited power, he was not able to defeat the team of Captain America and The Falcon.
From this point onward, the character became Captain America’s on again, off again partner.
Title Image © Marvel