Avengers: Endgame has marked a new era in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With old heroes finally bowing out and new ones set to take center stage, there's a lot of change in the Marvel Studios movies. Perhaps one of the biggest changes is Steve Rogers stepping down as Captain America.
After living a happy life through time, Steve is now too old to hold the mantle. Thus, he has passed it on to Sam Wilson. It's a big change and one that is sure to bring many new interesting stories, especially with the Falcon and Winter Soldier spin-off show set to launch on Disney+. With a brand new Cap inbound, we look at 10 Falcon stories you should read before he becomes Captain America in the MCU.
10 NOT MY CAPTAIN AMERICA
For the opening entry, it seems fitting to visit a story that shows Falcon as Captain America for the first time. The story takes place in the first edition of Captain America: Sam Wilson and features the Sons of the Serpent as prominent villains.
Over the course of a few issues, the storyline examines the world's gradual rejection of Sam Wilson as the iconic hero. With some coining the phrase 'not my Captain America,' it offers an interesting commentary on our backlash to change, as well as a discussion around race. It's a great exploration of the new hero and one that's worth checking out before watching the MCU's new Cap.
During Captain America and Falcon's run in the '70s, there were a few really great character moments for Falcon and some thrilling stories to go along with them. "Madbomb" is considered one of the best of the series and is highly regarded.
Between issues Captain America #193 to 200, the comic story explored a conspiracy to use a sonic weapon on the US population. The weapon is so named because - if utilized - it causes anyone affected by it to go mad! The plot even went to a governmental level and managed to have some interesting commentary on race relations. It's a fun and thrilling story at the height of Falcon and Cap's team-ups.
8 CAPTAIN AMERICA AND FALCON
In this pair's 2010 run, the opening volume focuses on the Falcon, who must face various foes from his past and help an old friend, in order to prove he is still the hero he needs to be. It's a very personal journey and one that tells us a lot about the character.
It's certainly helped by the fantastic art while serving as a great way to kick off this new series. The story garnered praise for being an unusual way to start a book that has two heroes in its title.
7 THE AFTERMATH OF CAP'S DEATH
Captain America was famously killed at the end of the Civil War arc in the comics. After this takes place, Sam Wilson decides it is best for him to register with the government as a superhero. With Steve Rogers gone, a new Captain America is created, who winds up being none other than Bucky.
Flipping the roles on their heads, Falcon must now support the former Winter Soldier in grasping the shield properly and stepping up to the plate. Bucky himself has a very successful run as Captain America, but it's Falcon's support that helps him get going and face some of his greatest foes. It says a lot about the man and the dynamic of the two in their own TV show.
6 THE COMING OF THE FALCON
What better place to start than the very beginning? This is a story that creates the hero in the comics world and sets up the great friendship between Steve and Sam.
The story gives Falcon all the key features the character becomes known for, including his Red Wing bird and fantastic suit, allowing for this historically significant character to make a real impact in a small amount of time. It's a groundbreaking story and one that is absolutely worth checking out to see how it all began and compare it to where we are now.
5 SAM WILSON TAKES THE ROLE
In Captain America's The Tomorrow Soldier: Conclusion, Sam Wilson takes on the role of Captain America for the first time. It's a story very comparable to how Endgame played out and has us reminiscing about this old comic. The story saw Sam come to terms with this huge change.
Of course, it's a huge honor to be chosen for such a role, one that perhaps Sam is not quite ready to handle. Crucially, readers weren't ready for either. Like in the MCU, Steve Rogers is considerably aged and Sam has no choice but to continue the iconic legacy of the star-spangled hero.
4 AMERICAN PSYCHO
This story is another throwback and highlights Sam's past while reaffirming the hero's goals for the future. With events reverting Sam's mental state back to that of a criminal, this narrative is primarily a redemption arc. It's also very much a story about the friendship between Falcon and Captain America.
It takes Cap almost dying for Wilson to finally snap out of it and realize what's important. It shows that Sam really doesn't want to let Steve down, something that's important to note as he starts this new chapter in his life.
3 FINDING HIS VOICE
This next selection takes place mostly in Avengers #64. As Falcon was simply drafted to the Avengers to increase diversity, he never truly felt like he was a part of the team. While Falcon was a hero at heart, that's not what brought him to the club.
At long last, Sam finds his voice in the issue and properly cements himself as part of the team. He gains a lot of respect in doing this; in fact, this marks a defining moment in his Avengers career. Although this is not something he will have to deal with in the MCU, it is still interesting to investigate how his character is portrayed in such a situation.
2 SECRET EMPIRE
This isn't the Secret Empire arc you are probably expecting but one much earlier where Steve is framed by the government and has to step down from his role as the Captain. Once he does, Falcon steps up in order to stand by his best friend.
Being aided by Black Panther, Sam gets a great upgrade to his suit, becoming the modern incarnation of the Falcon that we know and love. It's a great story and transformation that couldn't have come at a better time. To understand the Falcon we have in the MCU, Secret Empire is a great story to read.
1 HEROES FOR HIRE
A fun and maybe surprising one to end on; after the Shadowland arc, Sam Wilson actually joins the Heroes for Hire for a time. Working in Harlem, this was a breath of fresh air for the character, as he was brought down to a street level.
It's also a story arc that allows us to see a completely different side of Falcon, with his roots in crime granting an edge to the hero with wings! It's a great read and provides some fun interactions between all the characters. It also adds just a little bit more of an insight into the real Sam Wilson.