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Samuel Thomas "Sam" Wilson also known as The Falcon is a Marvel Comics superhero introduced in Captain America #117 (September 1969). Born and raised in Harlem, New York, Sam was initially a happy child who was quite fond of birds. As a teen, his experiences with racism and his parents' deaths made him bitter, jaded and angry. Leaving his past behind him, he becomes "Snap" Wilson, a professional criminal, gang member, and pimp.
While traveling to Rio de Janeiro, he purchases a pet falcon and names it Redwing. Attempting to hijack a plane filled with laundered money, Snap crashed it into the Isle of Exiles. Snap and Redwing are found by the Red Skull. Red Skull uses the Cosmic Cube to alter Snap's memory, from being a criminal and pimp to social worker. The cube also gives him an empathic link with Redwing, giving him an ability to communicate with him telepathically and see though his pet's eyes. This ability will eventually be trained to work with any bird that is near him.
After these events, Sam meets Steve Rogers who encourages to stand against the Red Skull's evil. After extensive gymnastics and hand-to-hand combat by Captain America, Sam Wilson dubbed himself the Falcon. With Cap and Redwing, Falcon defeated the Red Skull and would return with them to Harlem. While working as a social worker, Falcon continued being a hero, protecting his neighborhood from crime. Eventually, he formed a long time partnership with Captain America and received a specialized winged-harness that allows him to fly from the Black Panther.
Falcon and Redwing would go to become members of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Super Agents, the Avengers, the Defenders and currently the Heroes For Hire. Initially appearing alongside Captain America in Captain America and The Falcon, Sam would star in his own limited series, The Falcon, in 1983.
Tropes associated with The Falcon include:
- Animal Eye Spy
- Animal-Themed Superbeing
- Angry Black Man: Mainly before he became a hero.
- Badass Normal
- Black Best Friend: To the first Captain America.
- I Believe I Can Fly
- The Cape
- Clothes Make the Superman
- Color Character: Notably averted. Falcon was the first black hero not to have "Black" in his name.
- Fake Memories: Due to the effects of the Cosmic Cube.
- Feather Flechettes: Has this ability in 'The Superhero Squad Show and The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, but yet has been able to do this in the comics
- Hard Light: The Falcon's Wakandan-made costume has hard light wings.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: One would think being able to talk to birds would be a useless power, until you remember that basicly means he has a massive spy network everywhere.
- Jive Turkey: Subverted and played for laughs after the Falcon is more or less forced to join the Avengers by Henry Gyrich (who wanted to make it more ethnically diverse), he speaks this way on purpose to annoy him.
- Legacy Character: Falcon briefly became Captain America when he thought Cap was dead.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Redwing.
- Parental Abandonment: His father was killed trying to break up a neighborhood fight. His mom was killed in a mugging two years later.
- The Prankster
- Psychic Link: He has it with birds.
- Razor Wings
- Speaks Fluent Animal: Can talk to birds.
- Super Senses: The Falcon's mask gives him telescopic, night, and infrared vision.
- Token Black: In-universe, he was added to the team because Gyrich insisted that the team should have more black members; he didn't actually want to join.
- The Worm Guy: His Ultimate Marvel version.