Step aside Steve Rogers, there’s a new Captain America in town.
Marvel announced Wednesday that Steve Rogers, the longtime Captain America, has been “robbed of his superior strength and vitality,” forcing him to trade in his uniform for a “sturdy cane.” Rogers will hand over his shield and duties to Sam Wilson, formerly known as The Falcon.
Marvel did not address the obvious, that Captain America is now black, but fans of the original captain have not missed the less than subtle change.
Fans took to the comments section of the press release to share their views, and while there were some detractors, many people embraced the change, saying they looked forward to following the storyline develop.
The Captain America news comes on the heels of Marvel’s announcement Tuesday that a woman would now wield Thor’s Hammer Mjolnir [pronounced me-yol-nair], a departure from the image of the ultimate manly-man who has held the name since the beginning of that franchise.
The Captain America change also comes as Marvel reboots the comic franchise with a brand new storyline and team of writers that has been two years in the making. The new Captain franchise will kick off in “All-New Captain America #1,” by Rick Remender and Stuart Immonen.
“This is it,” Remender said in a Marvel press release.
“This is the fireworks factory we’re arriving at, and now everything’s going to blow up and be very pretty and exciting to look at.”
“I’ve been having a lot of fun writing Sam,” he continued. “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.”
This is not the first time Captain America has been black.
Marvel introduced the idea in 2003 in it’s limited series “Truth: Red, White and Black,” where World War II scientists try to recreate the super-soldier compound they gave to Steve Rogers, and try testing it on black soldiers. The experiment mimicked the notorious Tuskegee Syphilis experiment that took place between 1932 and 1972. One soldier, Isaiah Bradley, survives the experiment and becomes a super-soldier.
The new Captain America is from the 21st century. Marvel says Sam Wilson worked as a social worker, giving him an up-close view of “the worst of urban society,” and “how crime, poverty, lack of social structure and opportunity can affect the community.”
Wilson will have a “greater focus on the plight of the common man.”