Marvel has announced a new Captain America — and for the first time in the comic franchise’s history, the superhero has been cast as a black man.
Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada announced on The Colbert Report Wednesday night that Sam Wilson, also known as The Falcon, will take over Captain America’s shield in Captain America #21.
The star-spangled superhero had suffered a brutal defeat at the hands of the newly minted villain Iron Nail and lost his special powers that gave him super-strength and youth last month.
“Doesn’t that make him Captain African-American?” Colbert joked on the show before suggesting he take on the role of The Falcon in the comics.
The change for the Cap will only affect the comic book universe at this time. Chris Evans, who has played the Captain on the big screen in The Avengers, will continue to portray the hero.
Captain America writer Rick Remender told Marvel.com:
“I think that different characters across the Marvel Universe are going to respond to Sam’s appointment in different ways. But he’s not a novice—in his long history as the Falcon, he’s earned a reputation for integrity and honesty and backbone that most of the super hero community have a respect for.”
Hammer-wielding Norse superhero Thor is to undergo a big change.
Marvel Comics has announced the superhero will become a woman in a move to attract more female fans to the franchise.
The new incarnation of Thor will be unveiled in a comic series this October. Artwork released by Marvel depicts her with long blonde hair, metal armour and a red cape.
Jason Aaron, Marvel series writer, made it clear to fans the change will not be temporary.
“This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before,” he said.
Wil Moss, Marvel editor, added “This inscription on Thor’s hammer reads ‘Whosoever holds this hammer, if HE be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.’ Well it’s time to update that inscription.
The new female incarnation of Thor “The new Thor continues Marvel’s proud tradition of strong female characters like Captain Marvel, Storm, Black Widow and more. And this new Thor isn’t a temporary female substitute- she’s not the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!”
In a statement on its website, Marvel said it hopes the lead female protagonist will “speak directly to an audience that long was not the target for superhero comic books in America: women and girls”.
The new embodiment of Thor marks the latest in a growing trend for promoting female superheroes, with Wonder Woman set to make her big screen debut in Batman V Superman and the return of the Power Puff Girls to TV.