Now as I have stated (and yes will state again) I have no problem with the fact that Sam is taking over the mantle of the big C A. In fact it’s seems natural…well at least in suggestion. In practice…time to turn the old Gloryfic character study on one Sam Wilson. I will not make this a knock down drag out introspective of character history, no…but I will display the man and consciousness behind the mask. And if that mask is to be Captain America’s I see it going only one way…
Sam and Captain first met by chance, well seeming chance. It turns out it was all part of a in-depth Red Skull plan to let doom in by the front door…
It did not work and Sam, now Snap Wilson, and Steve, then cracker Rogers, stayed partners and friends. However leaving Sam with some serious character rethinking to do. For in his previous life he was not a “good guy”, but a gangster, druger, pimp. He had lived a restless, boundary-less life on the mad Harlem streets. Now waking up after being the Red Skull’s puppet boy he was a Superhero and respected citizen, a social worker in Harlem trying to do right by kids who could walk in his not so nice footsteps.
He and Captain had a lot in common on surface; they both woke up from an almost dreamland of previous horror. For Steve it was war and watching his best friend/brother go ka-blewy before his eyes and own impending doom. For Sam it was the mean streets and being made meaner for them. They both were able to wake up in a new life, with the means of betterment before them. I say “surface” of common ground. Whereas Steve woke up a legend and Icon, Sam woke up a criminal in hero’s clothing. That will do something to ones head. Not to mention the constant second guessing of self. True self. For if you were dicked with once, life made over by another seemingly so easily what’s to say, who’s to say what is real, true, fake or lies?
Yet Steve was steady in his conviction that when given the chance to be better Sam was the mind that rose to the occasion. His childhood had set him up for failure. The Red Skull did not count on the heart inside the fighter, the survivor, the desperate child just trying to make his way the only way he was ever shown. Sam was the hero, that part was not Skull. So Sam would take the chance given, keep the social worker job and be the base line good role model he never had.
Now what I have established here is a man fighting for control over his identity. Desperate to make his way as his own man. As his own hero. He and Steve had many a clash as Sam tried to step out of the shadow of Captain America well still fighting beside him. He wanted to be more than the sidekick. He wanted to be equal in the people’s eyes more than just his friends.
Now he is stepping into his friends shoes? I do not see this leading to good things. The Falcon And Captain America are synonymous now they are one. Meaning Sam’s identity will be completely lost. I could see him growing resentful of he role. Fighting this resentment because he wants to be there for Steve, do the right thing by his best friend. Yet wanting to be more than just a mask filler.
To veer from Character Study and now to point and purpose of my major complaint with Thor being made a woman and Captain America being “black” for that is what it is really; obvious and unfeeling. It’s not for Sam’s sake, for character’s sake. It’s for the sake of diversity that shouldn’t even be a problem anymore! Why, in order to have a strong female be a large role in their comic brand does she have to be Thor? Why in order for a diversity to be made a major title role does it have to be under a pre-existing characters name and popularity. To me it reads as: because they couldn’t be strong enough on their own. Because we’re not ballsy enough to take the chance on new characters and series lines that shift the focus of our universe and story telling. Because this way they get all the publicity and awe of false (backward) advancement without actually taking any risk. What is done can so easily be undone by Marvel’s go to reset button. Death, gender, diversity mean nothing in comic books it seems. Nothing but attention grabbing headlines of so-called change without changing that shouldn’t be the reason we’re reacting to the change and the reason you made the so-called “change” in the first place…(*gasp!*) or something of the sort…
Still with me?
In the end could these be interesting story developments? Yes they could. I am not discrediting the ideas in and of themselves, just the way that they went about them. That these changes are obviously temporary and when all is said and done, we will still have one less strong female in a leading role and one less diversity…when nowadays it should just be about good characters and the stories they live.