Stan Lee Gave Captain America a Black Sidekick, The Falcon, in 1969

While The Falcon character is mainly associated with the seventies  – that's if you didn't think he first appeared in the Captain America movies – but Sam Wilson got his start at Marvel Comics in the late sixties., co-created by Stan Lee and Gene Colan in Captain America, the first African-American superhero in mainstream comic books. As a result of the impact of the Civil Rights movements in the US, his arrival was heavily criticised at the time by the kind of people who criticise such things. Not much has changed, has it? A Harlem resident with a tame Falcon, he was first trained by Captain America and then gained a flying harness from the Black Panther to become Captain America's regular sidekick. He would also take over the role of Captain America when Steve Rogers stepped away from the position. And no need to call him Black Falcon.

Gene Colan was quoted in the Marvel Masterworks series as saying "in the late 1960s Vietnam War and civil rights protests were regular occurrences, and Stan, always wanting to be at the forefront of things, started bringing these headlines into the comics. … One of the biggest steps we took in this direction came in Captain America. I enjoyed drawing people of every kind. I drew as many different types of people as I could into the scenes I illustrated, and I loved drawing black people. I always found their features interesting, and so much of their strength, spirit and wisdom written on their faces. I approached Stan, as I remember, with the idea of introducing an African-American hero, and he took to it right away… I looked at several African-American magazines and used them as the basis of inspiration for bringing The Falcon to life."

The Captain America title would then be renamed Captain America And The Falcon for several years. After the character's appearance in the Marvel movies played by Anthony Mackie, both the comic books and then the MCU promoted The Falcon to become the new Captain America. This copy of his first appearance in Captain America #117 from 1969 is currently being auctioned by Heritage Art Auctions going under the hammer today has been CGC slabbed at a 7.5 grade and is currently totalling $588 in bids.

The Rarest, Most Valuable, First Appearance Of Static Shock

Captain America #117 (Marvel, 1969) CGC VF- 7.5 White pages. The origin and first appearance of the Falcon (Sam Wilson) and Redwing. Red Skull and M.O.D.O.K. appearances. Gene Colan, Joe Sinnott, and John Romita Sr. cover. Colan and Sinnott art. Overstreet 2022 VF 8.0 value = $512. CGC census 8/22: 277 in 7.5, 828 higher.

The Rarest, Most Valuable, First Appearance Of Static Shock

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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