Big changes at Marvel Studios HQ announced in the last couple of days.
First, as announced on "The View" on Tuesday, Thor the superhero will become a woman, in a move to attract more female fans to the franchise. The new incarnation of Thor will be unveiled in a new comic book series this fall. Jason Aaron, Marvel series writer, made it clear to fans the change isn't just some temporary gimmick, stating: "This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before."
Announced a day later, yesterday evening, Marvel's Captain America mantle will be taken over by his long-time ally, the Falcon. That's right - Captain America will now be a black man.
"This is it," says Marvel writer and artist Rick Remender, who'll co-author this new chapter in the Captain America story along with Stuart Immonen. "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. It leads into an evolution of Steve Rogers’ character that I had very early when I was given the job. I think that it’s important with these stories to do things that are natural and make sense and have an inherent logic to the universe, but are also constantly shifting and exciting, keeping the drama high. In order to do that it really comes down to creating new dynamics. I’ve been having a lot of fun writing Sam. 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."
"Sam" of course being Sam Wilson, the Falcon.
Here's more from the Marvel press release:
- Robbed of his superior strength and vitality, Steve Rogers must surrender his blues for a sturdy cane. He’s not about to fade away just yet though. The old maxims hold true: If dead men declared the war and old men talk about it, a young man must rise and continue the fight. If Steve Rogers can no longer hurl his mighty shield, then he’ll hand it to one who can carry it across the battlefield, above the clouds, to greater heights than ever before. This fall, Sam Wilson flies where eagles dare, as the intrepid Falcon assumes his new role as Captain America.
Cue dramatic musical crescendo. Or maybe the "Bwoooong!" sound from Christopher Nolan's "Inception" soundtrack.
As for what kind of Captain America we can expect Sam Wilson, aka Falcon to be, and how he'll differ from the previous Captain, Steve Rogers, here's what Marvel details:
- “While Sam shares many of Steve’s beliefs in a general sense, he’s also a very different person with a very different background... He didn’t grow up in the 1930s, he’s a modern day man in touch with the problems of the 21st Century. For most of his professional life, Sam has worked as a social worker, so he’s seen the worst of urban society up close, and how crime, poverty, lack of social structure and opportunity can affect the community. So he’s got perhaps a greater focus on the plight of the common man, and perhaps a greater empathy for the underprivileged than maybe even Steve himself. He’s also not a military man, so he’s more apt to be instinctively skeptical of any situation that calls for just following orders. Sam, like Steve, will be led by his personal morality and beliefs as to what is right and what is wrong—and where his beliefs may differ in their shading from those of the previous Cap are where the interesting stories will be found.”
As for his new costume (check it out above), Sam Wilson's Captain American suit will incorporate the wings of the Falcon persona, while still bearing the unmistakable stars and stripes of the age-old Captain America look:
- "Historically, Falcon would often act as air support, flying Steve into the battle. Why not merge the two? He pops the wings, and as he flies, he keeps the shield latched onto his back. He dives down onto the scene, hurls the shield, wings retract, and rolls into a kick or jump, catches the shield on the way back. He doesn’t have the super soldier serum, but he has the added zing-zang-zoom of flight."
The old Captain, Steve Rogers, will still continue to be a vital part of the series moving ahead, says Marvel, serving as the new Captain America's "remote strategic advisor, running missions from his headquarters in Avengers Mansion and providing Sam with technical support and field information from a distance. He’ll also tutor Sam in how to throw the shield, a skill that’s deceptively difficult for the new Cap to master."
So with this news, the next obvious question is whether this comic book transition will also happen on the big screen at some point in the near or distant future.
And also, with these 2 key changes (Captain becoming a black man, and Thor a woman), can fans expect even more similar announcements to come for other members of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes?
“We’re not anywhere near finished,” says Marvel editor Tom Brevoort. "Change is one of the watchwords of the Marvel Universe, so there are even more startling surprises to come!"
So, there ya go folks!