Superhero Wiki


Real Name
Samuel Thomas Wilson
First Appearance
Captain America #117 (September, 1969)
Stan Lee, Gene Colon
Team Affiliations
The Avengers, SHIELD, Heroes for Hire, "Defender for a Day"
Snap Wilson, Blackwing, Blackbird, Captain America
Base of Operations
New York City
Flight, Telepathic Communication with Redwing, See Through the Eyes of Birds
Skills and Abilities
Skilled Gymnast and Martial Artist
Tools and Weapons
Flight Suit

The Falcon (Sam Wilson) is a superhero in the Marvel Universe, a longtime ally to Steve Rogers and even succeeded him as Captain America for a time. He is also the first African-American superhero in mainstream comics. The Falcon is also the first superhero of African descent not to have the word "black" as part of his superhero name, preceding John Stewart by over two years.


After criminal Sam Wilson was trapped on an island, he learned falconry and after learning of Nazi war criminals on the same island, he helped Captain America (also on the island) and dedicated his life to fighting crime as the Falcon.


Early Life and the Unreal History of "Snap" Wilson[]

Born into a particularly rough part of Harlem where he had to deal with crime and racism, Sam Wilson had always had a love for birds, learning to train pigeons and taking care of a pigeon coop at a young age. Growing up a bit cynical about religion, Sam decided to forego the church, to which his open-minded parents responded to by giving him books on religion to help him make his own faith-based choices. The next night, Sam Wilson's father, a minister, was killed in an attempt to end a fight. To honor his father, Sam became a community volunteer but two years later, he lost his mother after she was killed in an attempted mugging, which filled him with grief and caused him to turn his back on his altruistic causes. 

Wilson's mind would later be manipulated by the Red Skull, when wielded the Cosmic Cube and with it created false memories of becoming a criminal. In this false history, he relocated to California and changed his persona to "Snap" Wilson, a dangerous criminal. After building up a reputation as a criminal, "Snap" was heading to his biggest job yet in Rio de Janeiro when his plane crashed on Exile Island, run by the former World War II Axis war criminals, the Exiles. The Exiles were former collaborators with the Red Skull, who recognized that despite his criminal behavior, Sam Wilson had the potential to become a worthy partner to Captain America and that if he did then Skull could use it against both of them at a future date. Sam survived on the island and found himself bonding with a falcon on the island who he named Redwing. It is known that Sam's experiences on the island thereafter were real, and though it is unclear what had brought him there, it was there is memories where manipulated.

The Coming of the Falcon[]

Red Skull at this time also used the incredibly powerful artifact the Cosmic Cube to give Wilson what he called a "super-normal mental link" with Redwing, which the Skull intended to develop as a super-power that would later give Wilson the ability to control birds mentally. Sam Wilson would later learn that he shared the island with the Exiles and now mentally grounded in his pre-Snap mindset decided to fight against them using his falconry skills. As the Skull planned, Captain America and Sam Wilson met and decided together to defeat the Exiles and save the island's local population from oppression. To this end, Rogers trained Wilson and inspired him to take on a new identity, The Falcon, complete with a costume created by the locals. They succeed in defeating the Exiles and also end up defeating the Red Skull, who is seemingly killed when the Cosmic Cube is destroyed. When Sam Wilson returned to Harlem, he decided to retain his Falcon identity and fight crime on his home turf.

Later, Falcon would be framed for a crime by the evil villain Diamond Head, gaining Captain America's help to prove his innocence and making their bond stronger. The two would eventually become regular partners after the two teamed up to battle the mad cyborg M.O.D.O.K. in the streets of Harlem.  After a few adventures with Captain America, Falcon met the superhero Black Panther, who helped design a special harness that gave him the ability to fly.  The harness and Falcon's flying ability became invaluable to his crime fighting career and a defining element of his crime-fighting methods.

For a time, Steve Rogers gave up the mantle of Captain America following an event that left him disillusioned and searching for answers.  Many tried to fill Captain America's shoes, including a promising young man named Roscoe (full name unknown), whom Falcon personally mentored.  However, Roscoe was killed by the villain the Red Skull, prompting Steve Rogers' return to the Captain America role. The Falcon teamed up with Steve Rogers, who returned to the role of Captain America and defeated Red Skull but not before Skull used the Cosmic Cube to "reveal" Sam's past as Snap Wilson to him and brainwashed the Falcon to kill Captain America. Captain America defeated the Falcon but the battle left him in a coma.

Powers and Abilities[]

Sam Wilson Captain America.jpg

In his earliest appearances Falcon exhibits a close bond with his bird Redwing, which in Captain America #174 Professor X confirms as being a paranormal empathic link. The Red Skull later reveals that he had used the Cosmic Cube to create a "super-normal mental link" between Sam Wilson and Redwing. Falcon later recalled the experience, stating "Hurt like hell. Being mentally fused with that falcon. Able to see through his eyes." [32]

Falcon eventually revealed that he has been able to extend this empathic link. "I'm always psychically connected with Redwing, but through concentration I've recently tapped into another ability -- I'm able to link-up with other birds. ... I have over six billion pairs of eyes in the United States alone." He used this ability to quickly search New York City when the criminal Scarecrow kidnapped two children, [33] as well as to spy on Senator Dell Rusk (actually the Red Skull in disguise) and Henry Peter Gyrich. [34] He is also apparently able to access the memories of birds, and see things they had witnessed in the past (although birds have a different concept of the passage of time, which makes it difficult for him to know when any events they witnessed occurred).[35]

the Falcon accomponied by Redwing

Falcon has shown some ability to apparently control birds, as shown when he enlisted their aid in attacking Scarecrow, and when (badly injured and manacled to a wall) he telepathically summoned a large number of different birds from the surrounding area to smash through a window and attack the Red Skull.

In other media[]

This character debuted in the media in addition to the comics in the cartoon Super Hero Squad Show, where he could fire feather projectiles, the character appears in the cartoon Avengers The Mightest Heroes of Earth, the cartoon Avengers Assemble, mixed the comic version with the Ultimate in which the wings come out of something similar to a backpack and the Super Hero Squad to fire feather projectiles. The Marvel Cinematic Universe used the ultimate version of perosnagem, but placed it with a drone called Redwing with the power of the Falcon being alluded to with the film version being able to see through the drone's camera through its protective glasses as if it were seeing through the eyes of a bird.