Sam Wilson is back post Secret Wars as Captain America, and his comic is off to a great start. Much like Steve Rogers did in Civil War, Sam Wilson is finally showing his political colors in today’s political landscape, and it turns out he may be in conflict with his old (ha) partner Steve.
To get up to speed, Sam Wilson was formerly a social worker who became the superhero Falcon, a man who could fly and communicate telepathically with birds. He partnered up with Captain America and that’s how things have been for 40 years. Last year, the original Captain America, Steve Rogers, lost his powers and aged to his natural age, and chose Sam to carry on the torch (shield) of Captain America. Steve has taken a more back seat role in the Avengers, and Sam has been the acting leader.
But Sam Wilson inherited an America that Steve Rogers was not addressing. In an America with disgusting government overreach, where increasingly militant cops kill black citizens habitually, Sam cannot sit on the sideline without trying to help. In his words:
Red and Blue, Black and White, Republican and Democrat, North and South, feels like we’re constantly at each other’s throuts. We don’t trust each other. We no longer see ourselves in our neighbors.
And this is not some intellectual debate- people are dying. Our streets are burning. Inequality is soaring. It feels like things are about to break wide open. And it used to be- even if we didn’t agree on what to do in our communities, we could at least unite in fighting our common enemies. Everybody’s okay with beating up Hydra.
Even that’s not so simple anymore. The good guys- SHIELD, the NSA, are getting caught doing things we never dreampt the bad guys would do. Even in our worst nightmares. But the even bigger, scarier problem for me? In all these struggles, all these debates, all these things tearing me apart...
...I have a side.
That’s right. I have opinions. Strongly held beliefs, even. And here’s the thing- the more I saw people believe I was standing up for being walked on- the more I heard a noise machine spouting intolerance and fear, drowning common sense out- the more I wondered...
... Shouldn’t Captain America be more than a symbol?
Steve always tried to stay above the fray, and i respected him for it. He took a stand when he HAD to, but as far as politics went- he played it close to the vest. But if i really believed I could make a difference-if i really believed I could change some mind, do some good- then wasn’t I obligated to try?
So, I called a press conference. I figured I’d talk to the media, break through the static, focus on bring us together...
This speech gave me shivers like the one Cap gave to Spider-Man in Civil War. The result? Captain America dropped to 50% in approval ratings. Cap became a partison figure. Redwing, hilariously, still at93% approval. People protest Sam wherever he goes and call him Captain Communist. In response, Sam steps away from SHIELD and the US Government and says the Avengers are no longer under their control (and loses their funding, which now is apparently fully supplied by Deadpool merchandise).
The issue ends with Captain America trying to stop the new Serpent Society, who are murdering immigrants coming in from Mexico. He is kicking ass (his hawk Redwing now has a non-lethal sonic blast ability) but SHIELD arrives and Steve Roger’s himself orders Sam to stand down.
Sam stepping away from the government is a very Captain America thing to do in times like this, but I can’t wait to see why this is in conflict with Steve Rogers. We may see interesting character developments from both Captains.
I should also note that Misty Knight is Sam’s partner and potential lover interest in this comic, but everyone else sees it but Sam Wilson. Below image is pre-Secret Wars.