THE FALCONMedium: Comic books
Published by: Marvel Comics
First Appeared: 1969
Creators: Stan Lee (writer) and Gene Colan (artist)
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By the late 1960s, black superheroes were in the air. There weren't yet any in their own series (that had to wait for the '70s, with Luke Cage, Black Lightning etc.), but with The Black Panther (1966), Marvel Comics had
already started using them in supporting roles. The Falcon (who came along three years later) did rack up at least one minor "first" — he was the first not to make too blatant a schtick of his racial identity by using the word "black" as part of his name.
The Falcon (no relation) was a neighborhood superhero, operating in Harlem as of his introduction in Captain America #117 (September, 1969). By day, he was social worker Sam Wilson. As The Falcon, with the help of Redwing (undoubtedly the only hunting falcon in all of New York City), he took a more visceral approach to cleaning up the ghetto's messes. He was created by writer Stan Lee (who had a hand in practically everything Marvel did in that decade, from Spider-Man to Linda Carter, Student Nurse) and artist Gene Colan (Sub-Mariner, Iron Man).
The Falcon was back in #133 (January, 1971), where he became Cap's sidekick. The following issue, his name started appearing in the logo, right under Cap's. He remained in the logo until June, 1978, tho the partnership had actually broken up a few months earlier.
During their time together, a retcon by writer Steve Englehart (Master of Kung Fu) established that in "reality", Sam had (unknown to himself) started out as a mobster, not a social worker, and had been mentally manipulated by Cap's old enemy, The Red Skull, into positioning himself where Cap would take him on as a partner, so as to assist in Cap's destruction. Fortunately, this didn't have much effect except on the immediate storyline, and can be ignored without much effect.
In 1979, The Falcon became a member of The Avengers, but this lasted only a few months — the fact that the U.S. government had ordered them to invite him, so they'd have a black member, didn't sit well with him. Five years later, he starred in a four-issue mini-series. He was tried out for an ongoing title in Marvel Premiere #49 (the August, 1979 issue of the try-out comic that introduced Warlock and The Liberty Legion), but that fizzled.
Since then, he's been like Ka-Zar, Daimon Hellstrom, Iron Fist and any number of others — one of hundreds of minor characters who populate the background of the Marvel Universe but don't get much featured play.