- Instagram has mixed feelings about Mindy Kaling supporting Aziz Ansari Saturday 5:02 PM
- Donald Trump keeps pushing his unsubstantiated voter fraud claims Saturday 4:09 PM
- Report: YouTube will no longer run ads on anti-vax channels Saturday 2:54 PM
- Microsoft employees want to cancel a $479 million contract with the U.S. military Saturday 1:14 PM
- Queso recipe gets launched to space Saturday 10:09 AM
- ‘Isabelle Facts’ was a wholesome queer meme account—until harassers showed up Saturday 8:28 AM
- 2016 election stories the ‘Newsroom’ reboot will cover Saturday 6:30 AM
- How to stream Brandon Rios vs. Humberto Soto for free Saturday 6:00 AM
- ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ heads to ‘Bly Manor’ for next installment Saturday 5:45 AM
- How to stream James DeGale vs. Chris Eubank Jr. for free Saturday 5:30 AM
- How to stream UFC Fight Night 145 in Prague for free Saturday 5:00 AM
- R. Kelly charged in Chicago with multiple counts of sex abuse Friday 7:51 PM
- Elon Musk finally hosts PewDiePie’s meme review Friday 6:27 PM
- Netflix throws ‘Umbrella Academy’-themed wedding for fans Friday 4:54 PM
- Report: Facebook collects app data on users’ body weight, menstrual cycles Friday 3:38 PM
Marvel reveals that the new Captain America will be black
It’s another surprise announcement from the comicbook makers.
Colbert was the obvious choice for a Cap announcement. Stephen Colbert is a nerd, his onscreen persona is a parody of overblown patriotism, and he’s even had a replica Cap’s shield hanging on the wall of his studio since 2007. It’s a fitting choice, especially after Marvel recently used The View to make the announcement that Thor is now a woman.
Marvel’s big Colbert announcement was that Sam Wilson, a.k.a. the Falcon, would be taking up the mantle of Captain America.
Sam Wilson was Marvel’s first African American superhero, and has long been a major player in Captain America comics. He’ll be taking over in October’s issue #25 of the current Captain America, after Steve Rogers loses his supersoldier powers during a fight with a supervillain. Writer Rick Remender explained on Marvel.com that Steve Rogers would still remain a regular character in the series, providing “strategic support” for his replacement.
Announcing this news on the Colbert Report looks like another step in Marvel’s plan to get more people reading superhero comics. Their movies are enormously popular, but comics still tend to be more of a niche interest, so it’s interesting to see Marvel using talk shows to frame comicbook news as a normal part of mainstream pop culture.
It’s no coincidence that both of these announcements focus on the progressive nature of Marvel’s creative direction, which many fans are interpreting as a sly dig at DC Comics. In recent years the ongoing (and somewhat manufactured) rivalry between the two publishers has taken a more and more ideological slant, as DC lags behind Marvel when it comes to appealing to more diverse audiences.
Between female Thor and black Captain America Marvel is looking even more interesting and exciting than DC
— leareth (@_leareth) July 17, 2014
— Anthony Permal (@anthonypermal) July 17, 2014
Marvel: Thor is a woman and Captain America is black. BAM. DC: Oh, well…we redesigned Batgirl…she wears leather now.
— Kate Bresnahan (@katebrezzy) July 17, 2014
Of course, while it’s definitely cool that Marvel are using shows like Colbert and the View to reach out to new audiences, the Thor and Captain America announcements are not quite as momentous as Marvel wants them to sound. Many other characters have used the Captain America alias in the past, including Bucky Barnes (who most people will know from the movies), and Isaiah Bradley, the first African American Captain America.
Comicbook continuity being what it is, the old Thor and Captain America will likely return to their old posts in a few years, or at least continue on in alternate timelines. But Marvel have still done a good job of making this news into a more mainstream discussion topic — not to mention stealing DC’s thunder in the days leading up to Comic Con.
Photo via Marvel/Twitter
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested.