On Monday, Marvel will announce who the new Captain America will be (with the current Captain America, Steve Rogers, currently out of action due to events in Rick Remender’s run on the title).
The answer is pretty much a given, as there’s about a 99.9999% chance that it will be a certain character. Read on for the spoilers of which character it will be and why I think it’s about damn time (also, regarding spoilers, the link above also pretty much spoils it, as well).
About twenty years ago, Mark Gruenwald started a storyline that seemed to suggest that Steve Rogers might be replaced as Captain America. Gruenwald then introduced four new partiotic-themed characters. It was all very Reign of the Supermen (it was also a pretty bad storyline). At the time, I figured that they were ultimately going to replace Cap with someone temporarily, as DC had done recently with Batman and as comic companies had been doing for more than a decade at that point in time (James Rhodes, Eric Masterson and John Walker, to name three examples). I had two choices that I really wanted to see as Cap at the time – my #2 choice was Vance Astrovik from the New Warriors (as a sort of nod to his future self from the Guardians of the Galaxy, who was wielding Cap’s shield at the time, and also as a nice upgrade from his Justice identity with all the padding – oh, the padding) and my top choice was Sam Wilson, the Falcon.
Later on, when Captain America was seemingly killed after Civil War, Bucky Barnes was the obvious choice to succeed him, as Ed Brubaker’s whole run on Cap to that point had been about Bucky’s return. I had no problem with that. I did have a slight problem with Marvel’s Fallen Son storyline that seemed to suggest that Clint Barton was the natural heir to Steve Rogers. Once again, I thought that Sam Wilson should have been the top choice.
Sam was Cap’s partner for years, longer than Cap was partners with anyone else (#134-217, although Falcon maintained his status in the title of the book for another five issues) so I felt that that history should be respected more than it seems like it has been over the years. By the way, doesn’t it kind of blow your mind that Cap and Falcon were partners longer than Cap and Bucky were partners? It’s sort of like how Jean Grey has remained dead after New X-Men #150 twice as long as she stayed dead after the Dark Phoenix Saga. Or how Gwen Stacy’s entire life as a character (seven and a half years) is the same amount of time it has been since One More Day started (seven and a half years ago).
Obviously, Steve Rogers is always going to come back to take the job, but just like how Dick Grayson should be the guy who replaces Bruce Wayne if anything happens to Bruce, so, too, should Sam replace Steve and up until now it hasn’t happened.
Oh, yeah, that 99.9999% thing I was talking about – it is almost assuredly going to be Falcon taking over as Cap now. Hopefully his Cap suit keeps the wings. Why would you give up the ability to fly if you didn’t have to?
Anyhow, cool decision, Marvel!