Earlier this week we got the news that Thor is turning female in Marvel's new comic series, and today it's been announced that another Marvel favourite, Captain America, is undergoing a big transformation too.
Originally Steve Rodgers, the man gifted with superpowers by an experimental growth serum, Falcon will ne named as the new Captain America in future editions of the comic series.
Fans saw Rodgers drained of his superpowers by Iron Nail in recent storylines, with Falcon aka Sam Wilson taking over the hero persona. With the power to fly via his winged suit and a telepathic link with birds, he's an all new American hero.
Captain America's new look (Marvel)
Rick Remender, the author of the new series said in a statement of the changes: "This is the fireworks factory we're arriving at, and now everything's going to blow up and be very pretty and exciting to look at."
"I've been having a lot of fun writing Sam. It's a completely different attitude. The fact that he's not a soldier shifts things up a bit. Sam's not going to be Steve. Steve can be very rigid. That can be kind of joyless at times, whereas Sam is absolutely not that. He's a modern day man in touch with the problems of the 21st century."
Chris Evans plays the current Captain America in the Marvel movies (Marvel)
"For most of his professional life, Sam has worked as a social worker, so he's seen the worst of urban society up close, and how crime, poverty, lack of social structure and opportunity can affect the community. So he's got perhaps a greater focus on the plight of the common man, and perhaps a greater empathy for the underprivileged than maybe even Steve himself."
As well as the comics, the character of Falcon appeared in this year's hit Captain America movie The Winter Soldier, played by Anthony Mackie, so it'll be interesting to see if the movie series keeps up with the comics and eventually casts Mackie as the new lead.
Current big screen Captain America, Chris Evans, is slated to appear in six total films for Marvel - three standalone Captain America films and three Avengers film but will a new recruit take over after that?
Will Anthony Mackie get a promotion in future films? (Marvel)
Interestingly, Mackie spoke out about how he sees the role of Falcon/Sam in the movies, during a chat with MTV to promote The Winter Soldier earlier this year.
Fitting in with the comic's storyline of having Steve mentor Sam as he passes over the famous stars and stripes shield, Mackie says of his role: “It’s interesting because a lot of people equate it [Cap and Falcon's relationship] to Batman and Robin, but the reality of it is it’s more of a working relationship, a respect relationship as opposed to a leader and follower. The three of us [Steve, Sam and Natasha] work really well together.”
The new female Thor was also introduced this week (Marvel)
Marvel is shaking up its comic series in a drastic way, with the announcement this week that God of Thunder Thor will now be a woman, both changes in a bid to attract a more diverse audience. Marvel editor Wil Moss said to the Thor changes:
“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 now the one and only Thor – and she’s worthy!”
Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort was is also adamant that the comics need to move with the times: “We have more of a global audience than ever. And that just makes us more aware that we have more readers of different backgrounds who are hungry for characters who come from circumstances like their own. Our creators take that seriously.”
Nick Fury is one of only a handful of African American Marvel characters (Ultimate Marvel)
Falcon was created in 1969, and was one of the first African-American superheroes. There's only a handful of black heroes in the Marvel universe though, with The Avengers' Nick Fury (played by Samuel L Jackson in the movies) being one of the most well known. In fact, Fury was previously a white character, but like Captain America, was given an image reboot around a decade ago for the Ultimate Marvel series, with his image and personality based on Jackson.
Meanwhile, it was announced earlier this year that Michael B Jordan will play Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four movie reboot - traditionally a white character.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier premiere