A little over a day after they used "The View" to announce that comic superhero "Thor" will become a woman in future issues, Marvel Entertainment used last night's "The Colbert Report" to announced that the character of Sam Wilson (aka. The Falcon) will be taking over the role of Captain America in the comics starting this October
While yesterday's female Thor announcement caught many off guard, this change has long been rumored and is less of a surprise. Wilson debuted in 1969 and was the first African-American superhero in mainstream comics (Black Panther, who debut a few years before, was an African character).
He now marks the seventh character to use the 'Captain America' name in Marvel continuity, and the second of Captain America's former sidekicks to take the identity on in the last decade. Anthony Mackie scored good notices playing Sam Wilson in this year's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" from Marvel Studios.
Like with yesterday's announcement, the change is being seen as a potential readying of the film audience for a similar change on screen once Chris Evans' contract to play Steve Rogers wraps up in a few years. Rather than recast, it would seem logical that either Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes or Mackie's Sam Wilson will inherit the mantle of Captain America.
The announcement has also lead to one inevitable bit of speculation about the comics - if Thor is becoming a woman, and Captain America is now black, will Marvel make Iron Man gay and thus complete the so-called "nerd outrage trifecta"?
Sadly no, though Iron Man is getting a makeover. EW has revealed that Tony Stark will be packing up shop and moving to San Francisco.
"Superior Iron Man" launches in November and sees him sporting a whole new Iron Man suit - an all silver affair with glowing blue highlights which even Marvel's editor-in-chief Alex Alonso has already nicknamed "the Genius Bar costume". The newly-transformed Superior Iron Man has ambitious plans for the city that some of its residents aren't happy with.
The trio of changes is part of the company's planned Avengers NOW! initiative, further details of which are being rolled out in coming months. The same EW article posts the picture above of the new Avengers team which consists of the trio mentioned above along with Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, The Winter Soldier, Deathlok, former "Spawn" character Angela, and the Inhumans pairing of Inferno and Medusa.
Could this be a sign of what the Marvel Cinematic Universe could resemble in a few years? All but the last three mentioned above have appeared or are set to shortly appear in on-screen continuity. Marvel has yet to announce its 2017 projects but they could well consist of a third "Thor" where Angela is introduced (in the comics she's Odin's long lost daughter), and a second "Guardians of the Galaxy" in which the Inhumans play a part - or they might get their own film instead post-Avengers 3 as has been rumored.