The new Captain America adds black to the red, white, and blue
The elevation of Steve Rogers' right-hand man Sam Wilson, who is black, is a natural progression and Rogers' personal choice. Sorry Stephen Colbert, you got passed over.
What next, America? A female Thor? A black president?
In an announcement that is sure to raise the eyebrows of the myopic, Marvel said that though Steve Rogers can no longer be the man to carry America's shield, Sam Wilson will.
Wilson, aka the Falcon, isn't even a soldier, America. Is this sacrilege? Oh, wait. He's also black.
Appearing on the Colbert Report, Joe Quesada, Marvel's chief creative officer, had to face some tough questioning from the noted right-wing iconoclast.
"Without Steve Rogers, who's going to stop those Guatemalan kids from coming over our border?" was the opener.
Stephen Colbert was convinced that only he could carry Rogers' mantle and preserve America as we know it.
When Quesada explained it was to be not Colbert, but the Falcon, Colbert sniffed: "Well, if there is one bird associated with America, it is the falcon."
He then took one look at the drawing of America's new savior and quizzically mused: "This new guy is black. Doesn't that make him Captain African-America?"
"I don't see colors," replied Quesada, face still straight.
Naturally, Colbert had to be given some sort of consolation prize, or he'd have created holy war. So a rendering was produced of him, shaven-chested, as the Falcon.
Wilson was Rogers' personal choice to succeed him.
The character of Wilson was first created in 1969 (Captain America #117). He was the first-ever African-American superhero in the comics that you and I might have read. Yes, it wasn't until 1969 that an African-American could be a comic book hero.
Before him, there had been the Black Panther, but he was from the non-existent African country of Wakanda.
For a time, the series was even called "Captain America and the Falcon." It then reverted to just "Captain America" in 1978.
African-American characters were used as test subjects in the 2003 series "Truth: Red, White and Black" to replicate the process of Steve Rogers from skinny to all-powerful. Indeed, some consider Isaiah Bradley from that time to have been the first black Captain America.
He was such a legend in the African-American community that he was depicted as receiving everyone from Malcolm X to Muhammad Ali.
Still, Marvel's announcement did bring out some disgruntled commenters on the Marvel site.
For example, this from Sarge 0341: "Political Correctness and White guilt slowly made its way in the industry and is now ruining comics from the inside out like cancer. Can my pull list got [sic]any smaller? For Odin's sake can't they just create new characters if they want diversity so bad instead of ruining the ones we have?"
Oh, for Odin's sake.