Tag Archives: Hawkeye

The Character Assassination of Sam Wilson by the Publisher Marvel Comics

Captain America Is Old, Long Live Captain America

In July of 2014 it was announced on The Colbert Report that a momentous event would be occurring in the Marvel universe. The blonde, blue-eyed Steve Rogers would be stepping down as Captain America due to rapidly aging, with the mantle passing on to his partner [not sidekick] Sam Wilson aka The Falcon. As is typical for the industry the cover for Captain America #25, in which the event takes place, promised some level of mystery with a white silhouette asking readers to guess who it would be.

Captain America #25 (Vol. 7). Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Carlos Pacheco.

As Sam himself states in the splash page on the right [I realize that the text is far too small for you to read]:

“You guys all knew it was me, didn’t you?

There’s literally no drama left in this reveal.”

The words are particularly tongue in cheek, with the writer himself acknowledging that even without the announcement on national TV it had always been fairly obvious who would be the next character to bear the shield. Captain America and The Falcon had been compatriots since the late 60s [even sharing a title], so there were few more deserving individuals than Samuel “Snap” Wilson.

Now I was, and still am, all about this. To have as high profile a role as Captain America, a title that represents an entire nation, be given to a Black man is enormous. I’d also always been a fan of Sam as The Falcon. I added the title to my pull-list immediately.

I’ll Justify the Title, But First, This Week’s Events and a Rough Thesis

Now just this past Tuesday, roughly a year and a half after the original announcement, Marvel released the news that Steve Rogers would be returning as the ol’ Shield-Slinger.

This isn’t to say that the book on the left, Captain America: Steve Rogers, would be replacing the currently running Captain America: Sam Wilson. Instead the publisher’s plan is to release both side by side. They will also be penned by the same writer, Nick Spencer, a move which there has been plenty of precedent for [Jonathan Hickman on both Avengers and New Avengers, Brian Michael Bendis on All-New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men, etc.]. Oftentimes both titles will act as separate halves of a larger story, though that hasn’t been confirmed in this case.

This announcement was met with a similar lack of surprise across the internet, largely because Captain America: Steve Rogers coincides with the release of the summer blockbuster Captain America: Civil War. A number of changes have been made to the comic books to have them fall more in line with what happens up on the big screen, and slapping an “A” back on the forehead of the face most of the world knows and loves is generally seen as a solid business move.

Now I am fully aware of how incendiary the title of this blog post is, and hope to justify it by explaining how the existence of two Captain Americas is not similar to the same being true of other heroes, with the reason for that largely being founded in the character’s recent publication history. It’s in the exploration of that latter point that I truly hope to rationalize the words “character assassination.”

As with every article I write, I’ve done my best to make this accessible to both those who do and do not regularly enjoy comic books. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to drop me a line in the comments far below. Continue reading

Fame Day: Matt Fraction and Hawkeye #7

Imagine my joy when I found out that Hawkeye #7 is being released on January 30th, making this post both contemporary and relevant. Redundancies aside, Matt Fraction is a man who’s worthy of a fair amount of praise.

First of all, he’s a man who clearly loves comics. Secondly, as the current writer of Fantastic Four he’s basing the Reed family on his own wife and two children. Thirdly, he’s married to extremely talented comics scribe Kelly Sue Deconnick, who has revitalized Captain Marvel in a huge way. Fourthly, he is also the writer of Marvel’s new-ish Hawkeye title, and it is fantastic.

Fraction’s take on the character is through the lens of a man who, when not rubbing elbows with super soldiers and Norse gods, is just a guy. Take the following panels into account:

Okay, that about just sums up what I said. Check this one out, too:

hawkeye

So now, we’ve established that Matt Fraction’s writing is great. David Aja, who illustrates the title, is also great [at drawing]. Greatness all across the board, you guys [and girls], this is a comic that you should be rolling your eyeballs across.

That’s worth a Fame Day. But you know what’s even more worth that? The cover on the left. It’s for, and the title of this blog post is pretty self-explanatory, Issue #7 of Hawkeye. Why is this a big deal?

For one thing, Fraction is taking time off of his current storyline to explore what happens when Hurricane Sandy hits Clint Barton’s neighbourhood. The real world affects Marvel’s that’s pretty neat.

Here’s something else that’s neat: Matt Fraction will be donating all of his royalties from the issue to Red Cross, which will work towards relief efforts for Sandy’s Victims. 

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, this man will not be making a cent off of the issue. It’s the story about “a girl trapped at a function that she can’t get out of when the hurricane comes, and about a guy helping his buddy move his infirm dad to safe ground” [check the above link]. It’s a story that, for every issue it sells, will benefit those who lost their homes due to a tragic natural disaster. 

If you are a person who thinks they might want to get into comics, this would be a great place to start. It’s a smart, funny title written by a talented man, and it’ll be $2.99, a fraction [pun not intended] of which will go towards people that genuinely need it. Think about it. And at the very least, give the man some credit.