July 17, 2014

More comics news: The Falcon becomes the new Cap, and ... Superior Iron Man??

As reported by Doug Ernst and many others, aside from the ludicrous media stunt that is the female Thor, this fall Sam Wilson -- better known as The Falcon -- will assume the mantle of Captain America.

As Doug notes, this makes perfectly logical sense. Sam and Steve Rogers (Cap) have a long, storied history that dates back to the late 1960s. They even shared the marquee on their book for a time. Early 1970s Captain America features some incredibly biting social and racial commentary.

It's akin to Tony Stark and Jim ("Rhodey") Rhodes in the Iron Man title. Rhodes first appeared in IM #118, but chronologically the duo's first encounter -- Stark as Iron Man, that is -- took place during the Vietnam War. Rhodes first assumed the role of Iron Man in the early 1980s when Stark succumbed to alcoholism. He did it again in the early 90s when Stark's nervous system deteriorated. And, of course, he went on in his own suit of armor as War Machine.

Doug notes, too, how Marvel Political Officer Tom Brevoort continues to make an ass out of himself. Here's what he said about Wilson coming on as Cap (my -- and Doug's -- emphasis):

While Sam shares many of Steveís beliefs in a general sense, heís also a very different person with a very different background. He didnít grow up in the 1930s, heís 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 heís seen the worst of urban society up close, and how crime, poverty, lack of social structure and opportunity can affect the community. So heís 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.

First, read Doug's take on the "common man" statement. It fits Brevoort (and many at Marvel and DC) to a tee. Second (and admittedly Brevoort gets more leeway here since he used "perhaps"), what was Steve Rogers?? The kid grew up without a father, he and his mother (who died while he was still young) were dirt-poor, and he endured constant bullying due to his sickly, frail nature. Granted, being white as opposed to black in the 1930s was a whole different ball of wax than it is today, but if anything the Captain America title itself has shown time and time again how socially and racially progressive Rogers is.

One of the most poignant examples, in my opinion, was a more contemporary issue -- an annual of The Ultimates, if memory serves. It featured some in-depth conversation between Wilson and Rogers, with the latter remembering some days during World War II. Steve (as Cap) had just finished up attending a benefit party, and after practically everyone had gone, a few black soldiers approached him asking for his autograph. They had not been allowed to attend the party ... for obvious reasons. Rogers was not happy about that. At all.

Nevertheless, if history is any indication, you can bet that Brevoort and the usual cadre of creators will be quick to assign the "racist" label to anyone who doesn't like this Cap transition, even if it is completely devoid of any racial pretext. Because that's what modern "progressives" do. Just look at how these 'bats react to criticism of our president, after all.

Speaking of Iron Man, in other Marvel news there will be a new Shellhead title, Superior Iron Man. No, it won't be written by that idiot Dan Slott, but the premise does sound a bit like Superior Spider-Man:

"What you're seeing in 'Superior Iron Man' is a Tony Stark whoís seen both his worst and best impulses all let loose," (writer Tom) Taylor told Mashable. "It is Tony, but heís going to be in a zone now where heís never been. He's more ambitious, cunning, egotistical ... all of those quantities are unharnessed. He has a vision for the world. I like to think his position is defensible ó controversial, but defensible."

In other words, Stark will be a dick. Granted, he's always had that potential, but Taylor is gonna "open it up."

Oh joy.

UPDATE: As if on cue, regarding Cap:

What'd I tell 'ya? And just wait until the actual stories in the new Captain America come forth. If they're anything like a lot of other contemporary comicbook tales (y'know, like the Cap vs. Tea Party yarn), it'll give even more of an excuse for guys like Marz to call out legitimate criticism as "racist."

But, alas, that's easier than thinking. Which makes sense since there ain't a whole of original thinking going on in the 'ol House of Ideas, that's fer sher.

UPDATE 2: This Graeme McMillan piece gives hyperbole a whole new dimension. Sam Wilson will be "working for a white master" because Steve Rogers will be "running Capís missions from his headquarters in Avengers MansionĒ and will "also tutor Sam in how to throw the shield," etc.

I'm racist/sexist/homophobic if
I don't like a comicbook storyline?


Posted by Hube at July 17, 2014 02:29 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

When I first heard about Superior Iron Man, I thought Mandarin had died and transferred his mind into Tony's body.

Re Captain Falcon. A black man taking over a white super-hero's identity? Unheard of! It's as silly as imagining Jim Rhodes as Iron Man or John Stewart as Green Lantern!

Posted by: art.the.nerd at July 17, 2014 07:06 PM

I find it amusing that Ron Marz weighed in on this story given what he did to Green Lantern. Whereas Falcon has a long history with Cap, Marz penned a story that tanked Hal Jordan and saw him replaced by someone who had only made one brief appearance.

As for the change itself, while it makes sense within the universe, Marvel's only doing it to boost sagging sales. Cap's title is barely hanging on to 30,000 per month--not even in the top 70. Falcon becoming Cap for a while is probably the most logical development in Marvel in years, but the sales are something to keep in mind as Marvel pats itself on the back for this "bold change." ('Course, Iron Man can't even get 30,000 per month, which is why they're going to pull a Superior.)

Also, I have to say, it will be amusing to watch Marvel later try to put Steve back in place as Cap. We all know it'll happen eventually (presumably when the third Cap movie comes out), so I look forward to watching Brevoort bend over backwards trying to justify it. "Well, the common man might be this guy, too, right?"

Posted by: tops116 at July 18, 2014 02:31 AM

Isn't that the janitor that Mystique impersonated in "X2?"

Posted by: Carl at July 18, 2014 06:58 PM

Bingo! I knew only a select few would get that (you included, Carl)!

I tried to find a video clip of it, but to no avail.

Posted by: Hube at July 18, 2014 07:42 PM

I knew it! I just watched X2 again recently, as a matter of fact.

Posted by: Carl at July 18, 2014 11:42 PM

Is it just me or is Marvel going out of their way to offend readers. Letís take or break a character and then put someone else in so we can criticize them when they tell us how they feel about it. Even better we can call them bigots, sexists, or any other flavor of the week to make us feel special!
The treatment of minorities for sales is insulting.

Have they not noticed they cannot keep sales going very long anymore due to gimmick tactics? This is only a short term fix to get money from die hard collectors (people who always buy the first few issues, including several variant covers).
The Superior Spider-Man sales decline was good proof of the short term boost with a decline.


Posted by: truthwillwin1 at July 21, 2014 09:52 AM