The Falcon, real name Samuel Wilson, is a superhero created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Gene Colan, and introduced in Captain America #117 (Sept. 1969), the character is mainstream comics' first African-American superhero. Marvel's previously introduced Black Panther is African, a native of the fictional country Wakanda. The Falcon followed the company's first African-American co-starring character, the non-superpowered World War II soldier Gabe Jones, and first regular supporting character, Joe Robertson of The Amazing Spider-Man. The Falcon debuted nearly three years before Luke Cage, Marvel's first African-American series star, and almost six years before the African character Storm, the first black female, and also precedes Marvel's British vampire hunter Blade, also created by Colan, by almost four years. The Falcon is also the first superhero of African descent not to have the word "black" as part of his superhero name, preceding the John Stewart Green Lantern by over two years. (The first African-American starring character in comics is Dell Comics' Old West gunfighter Lobo, introduced in 1965.)
The Falcon's deceased nephew was the Incredible Hulk's sometime-sidekick Jim Wilson, one of the first openly HIV-positive comic-book characters. Jim Wilson's father Gideon Wilson would go on to join the Gamma Corps. Gideon would presumably be Sam's older brother. Sam also has a sister named Sarah Casper and a niece named Jody Casper.
In May 2011, Falcon placed 96th on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time.
- "#96 - The Falcon". IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time. IGN. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
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